Well-executed market research and the development of a marketing plan can be vital to the success of a small business. Yet writing a marketing plan is a commonly ignored part of business planning, especially in the digital age when an entrepreneur can start an online business with minimal effort. Writing a one page marketing plan can give small- and online-business owners a guideline for their marketing efforts without the time committment of preparing a full marketing plan.While a full marketing plan for any business is a good idea, there are several benefits to an abbreviated one page marketing plan for entrepreneurs wanting to save time, but without ignoring a marketing plan altogether:
1. A one page marketing plan can be prepared quickly.
2. One page marketing plans give business owners a marketing to-do list, in addition to a general snapshot of their marketing situation.
3. A one page marketing plan can later work as a springboard into a more comprehensive marketing plan, almost like a marketing plan outline.
At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to a .pdf one page marketing plan template. Here is a list of the sections of my one page marketing plan, with a brief description of each, to help you write your own one page marketing plan for your small or online business”
- Target Market – This is who you’re hoping to reach with your marketing message (including demographics, like age groups, ethnic groups, sex, location, etc.).
- Industry Trends – If your industry is experiencing widespread growth or decline, it might affect your marketing efforts, so you need to be aware of that and take note of it.
- Goal(s) – Choose specific and measurable goals that you hope to attain with your marketing efforts, and note them on your one page marketing plan.
- Strategies - Strategies very generally state how you plan to reach your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase listeners of your podcast by 10,000 in a year, an example strategy might be to invite well-known people in your industry to be guests on the show. Anything more specific would be considered a “tactic.”
- Yearly Marketing Budget - You need to estimate your yearly marketing budget, which will serve as a guideline when choosing your marketing tactics.
- Marketing Mix - The marketing mix is basically a breakdown of the 4 Ps of marketing.
- Top 3 Competitors – While you likely have many competitors, pick at least the top three competitors that you’ll need to position your products or services against in order to analyze them and form a comparison. By “top competitors” we’re talking about those that are most directly related to you; not necessarily the most well-known.
- Your Strengths – List your primary strengths as opposed to your top competitors.
- Your Weaknesses – List your primary weaknesses as opposed to your top competitors. Saying “I don’t have any weaknesses,” isn’t acceptable. Every entrepreneur has weaknesses in the competitive environment. You can’t overcome them if you don’t acknowledge them.
- Monthly Tactics – Here’s where you’ll choose very specific marketing tactics that fit within your strategies and your marketing budget. This one page marketing plan template lets you break them down monthly in order to ensure that your marketing efforts are continual, instead of using up the marketing budget on one or two tactics early on.
Use this one page marketing plan template and guide to help you build a quick and basic marketing plan for your small and online business needs.
Note: This post was originally published on November 11, 2007.