4 Pages to Run Your Business…and Internet Marketing (Part 1 of 2)

As an Internet marketing company, when working with new clients, we often see that many of them are facing the exact same problem that goes beyond Internet marketing. What is the problem? They are not sure how to efficiently plan their marketing, while monitoring success and failure.

As marketers, we are taught to develop marketing plans and look at a long list of metrics to understand how our business is performing. As a result, by the time the planning is finished, the plan is out of date and does not include the key variables to drive real results, while lacking a clear understanding of what needs to be changed over time for continued success.

Recently, we had two different companies approach us about Internet marketing strategy. One was in the legal field and the other was in the pool business. Both of them had the same problem. They knew what they wanted to achieve, but they didn’t know how to plan it out efficiently and were not sure which metrics to focus on. As a matter of fact, one of the clients asked us to write a marketing plan for them and we told them to save their money. Instead, we said that we would develop four key pages for them, which would cost less than a 20 page marketing plan.

What are the four key pages? The first page is what’s called the three C’s. The second page is a key messaging document. The third page is a projection report. And the fourth page is a simple implementation plan. Let’s take a look at each.

The Three C’s
As part of an MBA program, many of the business schools teach the three C’s of marketing. For me, this was the single most important framework that I learned. As a matter of fact, it transformed the way that I think about marketing planning. It took the most important components of a marketing plan and condensed the variables into a single page. So, what are the three C’s? The three C’s stand for customer, competition, and company.

As marketers, we want to ensure that our marketing is customer focused. By understanding what’s important to your customer, you’re able to satisfy their desires, which is the foundation of good marketing. You want to start by outlining the top five desires of your target audience because if these desires are not met, you’ll have a very difficult time selling your products.

Once you have a strong understanding of your customer’s top five desires, list your top three to five competitors. Then, determine if they communicate that they are meeting the desires of your target audience in their marketing. If they are, these needs are considered met within the marketplace from a marketing perspective.

What you are looking for by going through this exercise is to determine if there are opportunities from a marketing messaging and differentiation perspective, so that you can position yourself differently within your market.

The third variable that you want to outline is what your company is good at. By understanding what you do well, along with how your competitors are positioned, you will have a strong understanding of how you should be positioned within your market.

Key Messaging Document
The second document that you want to develop is a key messaging document. The key messaging document builds on the three C’s in more detail. Why do we develop a key messaging document? Because content is king. Marketing that works well, whether it’s online or offline, connects with people emotionally and includes the right emotional drivers.

The emotional drivers of your audience are the things that drive them to take action. These include their fears, frustrations, the things that keep them up at night, etc. Your key messaging document should also include elements like the things they should be aware of that they are not aware of yet, as well as a value proposition that will be used to drive your messaging through all of your marketing.

In part two of this post, we are going to discuss the two remaining documents, which are a projection report and implementation plan. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below. We’d be happy to help.