But the proper planning can mean all the difference in the world. I’ll be sure to share the information here with many in my network. I am always preaching that the products and customer problems/need to align, but a picture is worth lots more than my word. I think the problem with marketing is it can appear to be complicated when in reality it isn’t.
I like to start with conversations with the owner, not an analysis. Sometimes the owner is so busy that he or she doesn’t even know how much they know.
After the SWOT Process, I’, fairly ready to do an one-page-plan. I’ve actually been using another template that I didn’t share here. I simply use an “organizational chart” program and put my primary goal on the top block. Under each strategy I break out more activities and measurables, and so on. For some reason, I really like this simple format as well.
I think the one pager is a little brief and does not cover many of the basic items of a business plan, well at least in much detail. Business plans and objectives change though so perhaps it is easier to keep updated. I agree with you, proper planning is very important for positioning your brand well. Even after years of being in the business with my team, it is always good to be nicely reminded that brevity is much welcome. When one is forced to be concise, one needs to think things through thoroughly! You are absolutely correct when it comes to planning and most businesses would rather do without.
The last thing I do is convert some of these activities into task items that end up in my Outlook tasks and Calemdar. #1 is like the broad strategy and helps you put it in perspective, so that you don’t spend too much time on one part of your strategy at the expense of another. I love the concept of the one page plan to use as a guideline, but I would need a little more detail behind it. For instance, your sample plan for Paws, the pet business, talks about using printed collateral. But it seems to me that I’d need a little plan for creating and printing the direct mail piece and drop-offs. 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.
Then the marketer can then choose the tools that will clarify, expand, invalidate, focus the owner’s vision and the company’s activities. Like Maria Marsala said, it’s taking what’s in our heads and writing it down that is the place to start. E. g Put down sales targets/ revenue to total the lines vertically and/ or horizontally. Originally just to do it, but later I got licensed to teach it. I’ve watched turnarounds in business, boosts in production and profitablity, etc. Amazing what happens when you take what’s in your head and write it down. First I do a SWOT (I have my own templates and process that I will be happy to share. ) The SWOT process forces a lot of research and analysis.