Friday, June 19, 2009

The Simplest Marketing Plan Ever

Before we begin today's post, let me clarify one thing: This is not an original idea. I read about this type of marketing plan in one of the fabulous "Guerrilla Marketing" titles by Jay Conrad Levison. I thought this was so revolutionary, so incredibly simple, that it would never work. Much to my surprise, it not only works, but my small business clients LOVE it to pieces. What is it, you're asking? It's a 7 sentence marketing plan, followed by a 12 month calendar marketing map. You can whip one of these babies up in about a half hour. It's easy, simple and straightforward. Now, it won't do if you're applying for a grant or loan. You'll need a much more complicated plan than this. It can help to keep you and your employees, and therefore your company, on track with all your marketing ventures, so that you reach your marketing goals.

(My apologies to scruffy-looking nerfherders everywhere......)

Here's how it works:

Sentence 1: A brief description of the purpose of your marketing.

EXAMPLE: The purpose of XYZ's marketing program for the coming year is to take XYZ from $Q in sales to $R in sales and in the process, make XYZ the leader in selling nerherding informational resources and products.

Sentence 2: A brief description of how you plan to achieve that purpose by describing what you'll do for your customers.

EXAMPLE: This will be accomplished by positioning XYZ as the industry's expert in helping nerfherders increase their knowledge of nerfherding and nerfs in general, increase nerfherding capabilities through products and support, and boost nerfherding profitability through use of our products.

Sentence 3: Briefly describe your target audience.

EXAMPLE: XYZ"s target market is the senior executive nerfherders, trail boss nerfherders and apprentice nerfherders of the universe's 100 top nerf ranches.

Sentence 4: Briefly describe your niche, or corner, of the market.

EXAMPLE: XYZ's niche is to provide the highest quality nerfherding informational resources that will enable our customers to improve their nerfherding knowledge, capability and profitability.

Sentence 5: OK, not technically a "sentence" but rather a list of exactly what marketing tools you will use to execute your plan. You can make it neat and bulleted, if you like.

EXAMPLE: A web site catalog of all our products, a subscribers-only monthly ezine, direct mailings, appearances/booths at nerfherding rodeos, sponsoring a nerfherding rally or rodeo, publishing articles in industry-related publications at least four times throughout the year.

Sentence 6: A sentence that describes the focus of your business and how it will relate to the customer.

EXAMPLE: XYZ's representatives will be seen as knowledgeable of product, friendly, highly capable, approachable and easy-to-work with.

Sentence 7: A sentence giving your marketing budget for the outlined plan.

EXAMPLE: The total budget for the marketing plan outlined here is $P.


Now, Levison originally designed this 7 sentence plan for consultants, but I know of a florist who uses it, a construction contractor who keeps it pinned to the wall by his desk, and a salesman who created one for his own purposes, even though he is not self-employed. Several marketing/copy writing friends of mine use it, as well as yours truly. It really brings everything into focus, keeps it accessible and all in one place. Now, you'll need the marketing road map, or strategy calendar to really put this plan into action. We'll cover that next week.

See ya after!

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