Book Review: “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” by Allan Dib

1 Page Marketing Plan Allan Dib

Is the Marketing plan still a relevant strategic tool for small business owners and new entrepreneurs?

We market our brands in times of rapid change in technology, shifting consumer preferences, heighten expectations, impossibly short attention spans, increased competition and limited Marketing resources. Predicting what’s going to happen next year might feel like pure luck rather than a task worth pursuing.

Daily routines always seem more pressing than taking a step back to think of your overall business goals, how to get there, and what resources you need to succeed.

The result is a random collection of marketing initiatives that “feel right”, often mirroring what competitors are doing, with no consistent, measurable results.

Lack of planning is one of the main reasons more than 50% of businesses fail within 5 years, while others struggle in mediocrity.

In less than 250 pages, “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” written by Allan Dib provides a 360-degree guide on how small businesses can make the most out of their limited resources and make an impact in their respective categories.

Is a 1-Page Marketing Plan Possible?

The book aims to motive business owners not only to take the time and creating a Marketing plan, but creating one that actually gets implemented, by providing a single page marketing plan template, divided into nine sections.

Its title fuels the hopes of those who are intimidated by Marketing. I have to admit the subtitle (“Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out From the Crowd”) sounded a little too sensationalist for my taste. The world is full of marketers who claimed to have discovered the key to business success, and are willing to share it with you in a “ground-breaking” book.

It turns out Allan Dib is not one of them. A serial entrepreneur from Australia, Allan has managed to successfully build and scale new businesses, often facing tough competition from big, very resourceful companies. A no-nonsense marketer, he uses his expertise to teach small business owners and new entrepreneurs the ins and outs of going to market in categories dominated by big players.

The “1-Page Marketing Plan” is very logically divided into the 3 major “reference points” of any business: the “before”, “during” and “after” launch. Each chapter starts with a preview, which lays the expectations for the pages ahead.

The “before” phase, a crucial step in building the first impressions, includes selecting your target audience, creating your positioning message and deciding on the communication channels to broadcast it to your audience.

The “during” phase, when reality sinks in, and the time when the business needs to make money. This is the time of attracting and nurturing leads, and turning as many as possible into customers.

The “after” phase, which some businesses pay little attention to, consists of decisive steps that make the difference between a successful business and another failed endeavour. Here, Allan provides insight on how to turn your customers into a loyal community that in return works as your most effective marketing tool generating more new customers, thus closing your marketing loop.

Each chapter will provide enough information to fill each of the 9 areas of the 1-page template, resulting in a customised marketing plan for your business.

Who Should Read This Book

“The 1-Page Marketing Plan” is written primarily for small business owners and new entrepreneurs, particularly those who are deeply involved in the business’ day-to-day operations.

Experienced marketers will also benefit from this book. While the book uncovers no “ground breaking” marketing concepts, its structure and simplicity is useful reminder to experienced marketers of the things we should be focusing on, when we get pulled in different directions.

There are countless of products that would become viable alternatives in their categories if only marketed properly. If you have a premium product and plan to build a business around it, the “1-Page Marketing Plan” is a great resource, in particular to those with no Marketing background. The book will teach you how to move away from selling on price, and build a marketing machine that will turn your product into a desirable brand.

I learned a few interesting things from the book, one of them being the 64/4 rule; that is, 64% of effects come from 4% of causes, or, as Alan puts it “the majority of your success comes from the top 4% of your actions. Or put it another way, 96% of the staff you do is a waste of time (comparatively).”

The book uses some great examples to illustrate classic marketing concepts.

A fundamental concept that business owners have to wrap their head around is that a profitable business is the result of its marketing, not the product or service it sells.

In order to illustrate the importance of marketing your business Allan gives the example of the Joshua Bell, a world-class violinist who makes up to $1,000 a minute playing a $3.5 million Stradivarius violin.

In an interesting social experiment, Washington Post asked the successful violinist to play some classical masterpieces at the local subway, using the same famous violin he uses to entertain audiences in concert halls around the world. At the end of the hour, he earned a meagre $32 from passersby, compared to up to $60,000/hour playing in front of packed concert halls.

Same product in a very different setting can make a huge impact on the bottom line.

Another relevant chapter that I think is relevant to many business owners is now to fire yourself from your businesses; meaning, how to put systems in place so the business runs without you. That will allow you to scale your business, enjoy owning it, and getting a good return in case of selling it, by not being “the business”.

Finally, the book unveils another reality of building a successful business: the immense challenge of building its reputation that is inevitably in negative territory at launch. It takes proper planning and execution, and a clear message, to build that reputation, from negative to turning prospects into customers.

If you planning to start a new business, or struggling to maintain one, this is the one book you want to read, no marketing background required. Allan Dib‘s book “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” proves that it is possible to create a simple and effective marketing plan that actually gets used.

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