Can you imagine going to your doctor, having her tell you her diagnosis and that she may need to do some more tests, but then having her say: “You know what? Let’s just wing it.”
Or imagine you’ve boarded a plane, and you hear the pilot through the PA: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We’d like to welcome you onboard this flight to NYC, flight duration is around 6 hours… more or less, ‘cause we’ll be winging it today. Thank you for choosing to fly with us, we hope you enjoy your flight!”
No, thanks. You know airline pilots follow a flight plan and have one defined before the plane starts to move; if he’s just winging it, chances are you won’t be enjoying your flight at all.
Look at any professional who’s succeeding in his or her field: as the stakes get higher, the more likely it is that you’ll see them following a well-thought-out plan.
Successful people are never going to “just wing it”
I’ll be generous and say that a only a few businesses achieve some type of growth without a well-defined marketing plan. Without marketing, your business may actually be offering the best product or service in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales levels are known to crash and companies may even have to close.
As you may have guessed, to have a successful business, you need to stop doing random acts of marketing and start following a reliable plan that will get you rapid business growth. My first tip for you:
You need to make sure you’re spending your time on the stuff that makes the biggest impact for your business.
That’s why this week I want to talk to you about Allan Dib’s book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan. In his book, Allan reveals a marketing breakthrough that makes creating a marketing plan simple and fast. It’s literally a single page plan, divided into nine sections. With it you’ll be able to map out your own marketing plan and go from zero to marketing hero.
Here are the 9 sections of Allan Dib’s 1-Page Marketing Plan
My target market
Your target market is not everyone. Look at your current customer base: who are your current customers and why do they buy from you? Try to find a pattern of common characteristics and interests among them. It is very likely that other people like them could use what you have to offer.
My message to my target market
A marketing message can’t be boring or shy. You need to stand out from the crowd, and you can do this by crafting a compelling message that will grab the attention of your target market. Once you have their attention, your next goal is to call your audience to action.
Something that will always work is having a Unique Selling Proposition. From a customer’s perspective, they have no reason at all to buy from you, unless you prove your value to them. The entire objective of your USP is to answer this question:
Why should I buy from you rather than from your competitors?
The media I will use to reach my target market
Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it, and when are they the most receptive. Think about factors like age, location, gender, attitudes, interests and hobbies, etc.
Determine how your product or service fits into your target’s lifestyle. What media does your target turn to for information? Is your target reading the newspaper, searching online, using social media, attending certain events?
In this step of the 1-page marketing process, I like to emphasize the importance of measuring your marketing efforts. Once you know what works and where it works, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on the strategies that have the highest return.
My lead capture system
Capturing your leads in a database system is critical for the success of your marketing efforts. Only a very small number of interested leads are ready to make a purchase immediately. Lead capture is all about properly handling interest, following up on this, and helping your audience through the sales pipeline.
When your interested leads respond, you put them in your follow-up database so that you can keep building value for them and end up creating a relationship built on trust. After this, the sale will come naturally.
My lead nurturing system
The second step after capturing your leads is creating a relationship with them, building up that mutual trust. This is known as nurturing your leads, the process of taking the people from “vaguely interested” to “actually wanting to do business with you.”
Having a great lead nurturing system will allow you to make sure your leads are interested, motivated, qualified, and predisposed to buying from you even before you try to make a sale.
My sales conversion strategy
Converting your leads into sales is all about creating enough trust and proving a value that’s high enough to motivate your interested leads into becoming paying customers. You’ll start generating real profits once you know how to flawlessly market yourself. Winning your potential customers’ trust is the first step in positioning yourself correctly which will make the sales conversion process easy and natural for everyone involved in the transaction.
How I deliver a world class experience
By delivering a world class customer experience, you’ll be turning your customers into a loyal army of fans who will want to buy from you repeatedly. In other words, you’ll be creating such an amazing brand loyalty in your customers that no one will want to go with your competition. A couple of the qualities that extraordinary businesses have are:
- They continually focus on wowing their customers
- They create and foster lifetime relationships
The goal of this step is to deliver a great customer experience that will turn your customers into raving fans who trust you, refer you, and look forward to doing more business with you.
How I increase customer lifetime value
Increasing the lifetime value of existing customers is where the money is. To achieve this you need to have strategies and tactics to get your existing customers to do more business with you, and keep a mindset of continuous improvement for your business.
An example of how you can increase your customer’s lifetime value is upselling. “Would you like fries with that?” and “Would you like that in small, medium, or large?” are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for fast food chains.
How I orchestrate and stimulate referrals
Orchestrating and stimulating referrals is an active and continuous process. By implementing some simple tactics you can make the flow of referrals a more reliable part of your marketing process. One of the best strategies to get referrals—for getting what you want in business and indeed in life—is to just ask. Straight out ask for referrals from customers to whom you’ve delivered a good result.
The 1-Page Marketing Plan has become one of my favorite books, an instant classic. The tagline alone makes you want to read it:
WARNING: Do Not Read This Book If You Hate Money
Just like you wouldn’t follow the instructions of a physician who tells you to wing it, or be on a plane where the pilot doesn’t bother to have a flight plan, you don’t want you and your family to rely on a business without a plan. The stakes are just that high. It’s time to go pro and create a plan.