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Book Review: The 1-Page Marketing Plan is the best book I’ve read this year

Published 02/25/2019

Granted, the year is young, but one of my resolutions for the new year was to read 52 books in 2019 – a book a week.

Unlike my other resolutions, I’ve actually stuck to this one.

I’ve read some fiction, but mostly non-fiction to this point.

But as we, at Gunner Technology, have been focusing on growing the business, my eye has tended toward business books.

The best way I can describe The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib is a survey of marketing, replete with concrete examples and advice that are sorely lacking in other books of its kind.

While I have made it my personal goal (or resolution – there is some internal debate on the difference between the two) to read a specific number of books, the entire staff at Gunner is rewarded for reading, and reviewing, business related books.

For reviews, we only require an opinion and one actionable item – specific to Gunner.

There’s no length requirement and we certainly don’t aim to direct opinion.

To help me in this regard, I dog-ear any page that has something I want to include in my reviews, specifically, anything that I think might be to Gunner’s benefit.

Here’s my problem: the book now looks like it went through a wood chipper as nearly every 10th page is dog-eared (I also left it in a puddle of water, but that’s another story).

No I risk plagiarism if I attempt to summarize all the dog-eared pages, so I’ll attempt to dog-ear some of the dog-eared pages, and, yes, I am a big dog person.

One of the key takeaways is that, in order to build a business and not just run a job is to have a process for everything.

Essentially, your company is worthless without process – to your customers, your clients, investors and any company looking to acquire your business.

Every action should trigger an event.

For example, a prospect officially becomes a client when they sign a Master Service Agreement with us.

That signature should trigger a welcome package with personalized gifts be sent to the new client.

Add to that a simple decision tree – was the new client a referral? If so, we should send a thank you gift to the networking contact who referred them.

Likewise, prior to an MSA, we worth with prospects on a 30-day free trial basis.

The start of this trial is informal (as there is no obligation), but this action should trigger an event as well – the mailing of a booklet “Working with Gunner Technology” which is a short paper on how we work and what to expect.

Hire a new employee? Same thing.

New Intern? Same.

New Subcontractor? Same.

There should be a process for every action and response to these actions.

Define them. Follow them. Measure their effectiveness.

Here are some more quick hits:

Craft a message that anyone in your company can describe to anyone in 30 seconds or less in the following format.

You know [problem]? Well, what we do is [solution]. In fact, [proof].

For us, this may be something like “You know how everyone has an idea? Well, what we do is help people and companies define, build, fund and bring their ideas to market using cutting edge technology and software. In fact, we just helped an entrepreneur get acquired and increased another company’s revenue by over 40% in one year.”

Putting the right stuff in front of the wrong people or the wrong stuff in front of the right people is one of the first marketing mistakes made by business owners.

So identify a specific target market to go after, which you can do by analyzing search engine queries using tools like Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner and seeing what topics are trending on social media and on industry news sites.

Copywriting is essential to success in direct response marketing. Don’t use logic. Craft messages that speak to emotion because people buy with emotions first and then justify with logic afterward.

The five major motivators of human behavior, especially burying behaviors are:

  1. Fear
  2. Love
  3. Greed
  4. Guilt
  5. Pride

In your messaging, appeal to a common enemy as most people have a list of common enemies they blame for lack of success, including:

  • The economy
  • The government
  • Taxes
  • Poor upbringing/parenting
  • Unsupportive family or friends
  • No Time
  • No Money
  • No opportunity
  • Lack of skills or education
  • Unfair boss

What gets measured gets managed.

So take the time to figure out how to measure everything.

In order to measure the effectiveness of your marketing, you must know what your customer lifetime value and your cost of acquisition.

Unless your company is a giant (i.e. coca-cola, Apple, etc), you should be focusing on direct response marketing where the purpose of your advertising is to find people who are interested in what you do rather than trying to make an immediate sale from the ad.

When you interested leads respond, you put them in your follow up database so that you can build value from them, position yourself as an authority and create a relationship built on trust.

Again, unless you are a gigantic company, “getting your name out there” is a complete and utter waste of time and money.

You want all your leads, all your customer interactions to end up in your CRM. Remove the “randomness” from your marketing success and failures.

Fifty percent of all salespeople give up after one contact, 65% give up after two and 80% give up after three shots. Be the person who keeps following up because it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The longer you keep contacting, the less competition you’ll have.

  1. Advertise with the intention of finding people who are interested in what you do by offering free, valuable information such as a report or video. This will position you as an expert.
  2. When they take the “free” thing, add them to your CRM
  3. Continually nurture them and provide them with value – such as a newsletter with information from your industry, but do not make it a constant sales pitch.

When you send things in the mail, make them stand out by being “lumpy” – everyone wants to open something that stands out like that.

You must know your numbers because you can’t substitute good marketing for bad math.

It takes different types or roles to make a business work. One person can fill maybe two of these, but rarely can one person fill each role. These are:

  1. The entrepreneur: This is the ideas person or the visionary. The see a problem or gap in the market and are wiling to take risks to they can solve that problem for profit. They make it up.
  2. The specialist: this is the implementer of the entrepreneur’s vision. They could be an engineer, a venture capitalist, a graphic designer, etc. They take the vision, or a part of it, and help make it reality. They make it real.
  3. The manager: they come in every day and make sure things get done, work gets delivered and the vision is on track. They make it recur.

It’s imperative that you schedule marketing activities at regular intervals. What do you do daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually?

But you also need to define events and your responses to those events such as, what happens when:

  1. You meet a potential prospect at a business event?
  2. You get an inbound sales inquiry?
  3. You get a new email list subscriber?
  4. You receive a customer complaint?

Use services such as Upwork, Freelancer and 99Designs for non-critical work and on-demand workforce.

Come up with an excellent narrative that describes, in human terms, how throughout your process is and why it’s better than everyone else’s.

Products make you money, systems make you fortunes.

systems allow mere mortals to run an extraordinary business because once you have a system that is replicable, people will want to pay you large sums of money for it.

Business systems start with documented procedures and process that allow your business to run without you. Most often, these are in the form of scheduled tasks, checklists and decision trees with video and audio training a crucial part of this.

Collectively, these are called an operations manual and its purpose is to capture the collective “know how” of the business.

If you are your business – meaning, it can’t run without you, it is worthless.

Define roles for everything. A person may have more than one role, especially in a small company.

  1. Identify all the roles in your business
  2. Define what tasks each role performs
  3. Create checklists for properly completing those tasks.

Numbers DO tell the whole story

Think of football – you really are only as good as your record says you are.

Here are critical numbers to know:

  1. Leads
  2. Conversion Rate
  3. Average transaction value
  4. Break-even point (dollar amount you need to make to keep the doors open)

Try to form Joint Ventures with companies that offer complementary business.

No one knows how good your product or services are until AFTER the sale. Before they buy, they only know how good your marketing is, which means the best marketing wins, every time.