Planning sucks. None of us like to do it and if you’ve had any corporate experience in the process, it’s no wonder. But planning is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful.
So how do we reconcile our need to succeed with our propensity for procrastination?
Simple: Re-frame how you look at planning.
We hate planning because we remember the endless meetings, hours of research that doesn’t seem to get you closer to an answer and documents the size of War and Peace. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Developing a Marketing Plan is nothing more than setting goals and making a to-do list that will get you there. It’s really not much different than planning a party.
You’re basically creating a plan for inviting more people you love to give you money and then tell other people why they should give you their money too. Sounds like a party to me. How about you?
That’s why I’ve been working to develop really simple, one-page templates that can be used to develop marketing plans. I’d like to share two different ones with you. They’re designed to get you thinking and planning and making money, not writing lengthy documents.
(1) One-page marketing plan # 1 — The first marketing plan template is one that I’ve loosely adapted from learnings from the original marketing guru, Philip Kotler . (Even he doesn’t believe in hundred-page plans). It’s a simple single sheet of paper that outlines the basic marketing components or categories like your Mission/Objectives, Target Market, Offering, Pricing, Distribution, Communication — you know, those 4 Ps we love so much in marketing. But the good news is that that’s really all there is to it.
You can find something roughly along these lines in an old “Marketing Management” book that Kotler wrote over 20 years ago, but I think the principles are still valid.
You can use this format as a place to put your big thoughts so that you can focus on what the strategies are.
I am making the template available as a Word document — both a blank template and a mocked-up sample plan, which you can use as a guide for how to fill out the template.
Download blank template #1  (.docx format)
Download mocked-up sample plan #1  (.docx format)
(2) One-page marketing plan #2 — The second one-page plan format I use is a combination of the Kotler plan and the Guerrilla Marketing process as advocated by Michael McLaughlin . This one’s not much different from the Kotler plan, but it’s less academic and more focused on emotional triggers that will get your ideal customer to choose you.
I am also making this template available as Microsoft Word documents for you to download use to guide your marketing planning.
So, there you have the plans I’ve been using — and my hat tip goes to both of the masters for giving me a starting point to create these one-page marketing plan templates.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. What do you think of these one-page marketing plans? What do you use as a marketing plan, and why? In what ways would you change or improve the templates I’ve offered? Come on, share your ideas.