Why have an effective Marketing Plan before you do your marketing?
Many businesses have tried “doing marketing” and not got the results they expect. Even with an “expert” like an SEO “guru”, website developer, graphic designer, lead generation person, sales trainer, copywriter, social media guru or digital marketer you often don’t always get the right results. Why? Because all the pieces like branding, website, content, social media, digital, networking and sales process just to name a few, aren’t in place.
Without having an effective Marketing Plan in place before you start “doing marketing”, you are driving around in circles, never quite know if you’re going to reach destination business goal, or even if you’re on the right road. But how do you create a marketing plan? It sounds like a daunting task if you’re not a marketer. Well, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. But the main answer is that you have to start and use some sort of framework.
But where do you start? An effective Marketing Plan can cover hundreds of strategies and tactics. So over the next few episodes of the Marketing Strategy Show we will explore different ways of putting together an integrated Marketing Plan.
In this episode, our host Kym Heffernan was joined by Allan Dib, from Success Wise the author of the One-Page Marketing Plan book, to discuss the One-Page Marketing Plan. Allan is a serial entrepreneur, rebellious marketer and technology expert.
The episode contains a discussion on both why having a marketing plan is important and Allan’s One-Page Marketing Plan system.
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If you want more information from the podcast check out the transcript below.
The One-Page Marketing Plan Transcript
Welcome to Marketing Show, the 20 to 30 minutes of marketing magic that will help you connect the dots with all the digital, social, and old school marketing and sales options available today. Our aim is to give you practical, effective tips and ideas so your business or professional practise can get more prospects, and nurture those prospects to becoming long-term customers. The show is sponsored by The Marketing Strategy Company, who help B2B organisations develop winning marketing strategies and sales and marketing automation systems to turn their sales and marketing efforts into new customers and dollars through their marketing. Check out The Marketing Strategy Company’s planning and marketing services at themarketingstrategy.co. That’s themarketingstrategy.co.
Kym Heffernan: Hi, and welcome to today’s Marketing Strategy show. The Marketing Strategy Show is all about getting the right marketing for your business. In our Marketing Strategy episodes, we pull back the curtain with experts on a specialised topic. Today, we’re going to go back to basics. We recently surveyed our database to understand more about what they wanted to learn about, and the number one topic was marketing strategy, or more specifically, how to put together an effective marketing plan. Why? Because without a plan, you are driving around in circles, never quite know if you’re going to reach destination business goal, or even if you’re on the right road. But how do you create a marketing plan? It sounds like a daunting task if you’re not a marketer. Well, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. But the main answer is, you have to start and use some sort of framework.
Kym Heffernan: Today, we’ve got Allan Dib, who’s the best-selling author of The One‑Page Marketing Plan. Allan’s One‑Page Marketing Plan sounds intriguing, doesn’t it, or certainly sounds less daunting than traditional marketing plan. So let’s get Allan on the line for some real insights into how simple it can be to get started with your marketing plan. Hi, Allan. Are you there?
Allan Dib: Hey, Kym. Pleasure to be on the show.
Kym Heffernan: Hey, welcome. Thanks very much for joining us. As I mentioned in the intro there, we surveyed our database recently just to try and get an idea of what content people wanted to hear about. By the way, it’s a great tip for anyone out there who wants to more about what content to produce. It came back, as I said, with marketing strategy, marketing plan. The One‑Page Marketing Plan really, really interested me, and I’m sure will interest a lot of people as well. But maybe before we jump into that One‑Page Marketing Plan, tell me about the Allan Dib story, once upon a time.
Allan Dib: Sure. Sure. Once upon a time, I was a dead-broke IT geek. I thought I’m good at the technical thing of what I do, so I thought, “Why work for this idiot boss,” and I became the idiot boss. That’s the way it started. I struggled in business for many years. It’s funny, in the beginning, I distinctly recall having a conversation with my business partner at the time. I said, “You know what? We’ve got such a great business. We’ve got everything sorted out. Clients love us. Our product is excellent. Our services are excellent. We’ve just got this tiny little thing that we’ve got to really crack, and that’s sales and marketing.” I thought that was the small thing that we needed to fix. Little did I know that would take me on a journey that would take really probably close to a decade to really figure out and learn. But anyway, I did. Maybe I’m a slow learner, but that’s okay.
Allan Dib: Anyway, I grew that business to be a national business, and exited that quite successfully. I’ve done other businesses since then. Yeah. Now, I’m helping other business owners with their sales and marketing, and particularly their marketing strategy.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah. It’s really interesting you say that. Often, I think, I hear people are really good at something, you’d be a great IT guy or a great plumber or great electrician, great mortgage broker, great financial planner, but it doesn’t help you run a financial planning business, a plumbing business. Right? You have to be able to grow the business. I mean, certainly systems and finance are important because without cash, you can’t run it, but you can’t grow without sales and marketing. There’s always natural attrition, right? So you’ve always got to be having to get new leads, new business in the door. I guess [crosstalk 00:04:21] that IT tech business as well. There’s a lot of project-based work, right? So you’d be so focused on delivering a project and getting it up and running, that’d finish and you say, “Wow, where’s the next one,” [inaudible 00:04:33] for new leads.
Allan Dib: Yeah, that’s exactly right. There’s that feast and famine cycle. If you don’t have a lead flow machine happening, then you do experience that, where you win a job and you’re concentrating on delivering, and then you’ve concentrated so much on delivering, you haven’t been concentrating on the next one. Yeah. I totally relate to that.
Kym Heffernan: It’s probably what we all feel comfortable with as business owners. I mean, back then, you probably felt comfortable with the tech side of the business. I mean, in my business, I felt comfortable with the marketing side and probably not as comfortable with the finance or the tech side. We all tend to try and spend time where our strengths lie and where we like it more, right?
Allan Dib: Yep. Yep.
Kym Heffernan: I guess, sometimes, I find, if I use an analogy from an IT or a finance viewpoint, sometimes it’s a bit daunting, so we put it off. I think that’s what I liked about your concept, Allan. I think sometimes people put off marketing and sales because they find it a bit daunting. Do you find that?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Look, no doubt. We all sort of gravitate to the area we’re more comfortable in. For most entrepreneurs, especially small business owners, you started the business because you’re good at being an accountant, good at being a lawyer, a doctor, or whatever, and you tend to spent most of your time on lawyering, doctoring, accounting, that sort of thing. So marketing and sales is kind of a very foreign concept to many of those. I often say the school system is very much rigged against entrepreneurs because it’s designed to create employees. You’ll spend five years at chiropractor school learning how to whack and crack backs, but they won’t do a single class on how to get a customer. In a way, the school system and the education system is completely rigged against entrepreneurs.
Kym Heffernan: It’s interesting you say that. I mean, I have a marketing degree, and even in a marketing degree, they don’t teach you how to get customers and how to sell. [crosstalk 00:06:30] They tell you the theory of sales management, but not how to sell.
Allan Dib: Well, it doesn’t surprise me. I mean, they’re [inaudible 00:06:39] really designed around churning out employees.
Kym Heffernan: You’re absolutely right. The concept of The One‑Page Marketing Plan, I want to just go back to marketing too. I hear this a lot from people, “What sort of marketing did your agency do? What sort of marketing do you do?” [inaudible 00:06:57] go back to a definition of marketing. There was a great example you have in your book. For those people who want to get the book, it’s The One‑Page Marketing Plan. Just google it. You’ll find it. Allan’s done a wonderful job of marketing his business, not surprisingly. So if you google One‑Page Marketing Plan, he covers page one of Google, which I would expect. I’ll put it in the show notes, of course, as well.
Kym Heffernan: There’s an example you had of the circus coming to town. Do you want to maybe run through that example?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Yeah. Look, I’ll grab it out, actually. The analogy is, a circus is coming to town, right? I don’t think I’m the first one to use this analogy, but I certainly used it in the book because it’s such a good way of illustrating the difference between advertising, promotion, publicity, all of that sort of thing. But basically, the definition of marketing, as I put it in the book, it says, “If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, ‘Circus coming to the showground on Saturday’, that’s advertising. If you put it on the back of an elephant and walk into town, that’s promotion.”
Kym Heffernan: Good promotion.
Allan Dib: Exactly. “If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flowerbed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity. If you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If all the town’s citizens go to the circus and you show them all the entertainment booths, show them how much fun they’re going to have spending money at the booths and answer all their questions, at the end of the day, that’s sales. Really, if you plan the whole thing, that’s marketing.” So marketing is really the strategy you use for getting your ideal target market to know you, like you, and trust you enough to become a customer.
Kym Heffernan: And then to become a repeat customer as well, of course. I think that’s what a lot of people think … [inaudible 00:08:44] marketing is about getting leads and sales and converting. No, marketing is about the whole end-to-end customer experience process, right through from identifying who they should be, right through to making sure they’re satisfied and they come back and buy again.
Allan Dib: That’s exactly right. Kym Heffernan: 08:57 [crosstalk 00:08:58]. Which [inaudible 00:09:00] leads us, I guess, on to … What I love about your framework, is the way it divides it up logically. There’s three phases, before, during, and after. Is that right?
Allan Dib: That’s it. Yep. It’s before, during, and after. Yep.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah. Each of those three phases has three steps, if you like. Why don’t we go through how you … [inaudible 00:09:18] go through the framework overall first of all, perhaps. Why this framework?
Allan Dib: The reason I started this framework was because I was consulting with clients. I do coaching and consulting. One of the first things I wanted my clients to do, was put together a marketing plan. For the most part, they found it difficult, complex, and very often something that was intimidating, and something that often simply would not get done. So I came up with a simple framework, where in literally a single page, they could map out their entire marketing strategy, you know, a sophisticated direct response marketing plan. That got heaps more compliance. People, when something’s one page and it can be filled in in 10, 15, 20 minutes, you get far, far more compliance than if someone’s visualising a big document that’s going to be 20 pages and have graphs and charts and all of that sort of thing. So I started to get great traction with the One‑Page Marketing Plan from my consulting clients, and that’s why I decided to write the book. I thought a wider audience could really benefit from that.
Kym Heffernan: Cool. Why don’t we jump into the first part, the before phase? It’s got three different steps, if you like, hasn’t it? Where do you start?
Allan Dib: We start at selecting a target market. This is all about really identifying who your absolute ideal customer is. We really want to hone in on that because it gets critical when we move on to the next step, which is messaging. But we really want the target market to be someone that you like working with, someone that is profitable to work with, somebody that really values what you do. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work with other people outside of your target market, but this is who we aim for in when it comes to our marketing campaigns and our advertising.
Kym Heffernan: I think people really struggle with this concept, don’t they, Allan?
Allan Dib: They do. They do.
Kym Heffernan: How do you help them, your consulting business and in the book? What do you recommend they do to try and work out who their ideal client is?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Often, the struggle people have, is they say, “Look, I don’t want to limit my market, you know? My product is great for everyone and anyone.” That’s totally okay. Often, your product will probably be great for multiple market segments. But the thing to understand is, as a marketer, you have limited firepower. What I mean by firepower, you have limited amount of budget, and you have a limited amount of time. Very large companies, you know, the Nikes, the Coca-Colas, all of that, they have budgets in the millions, and they have time frames in the years, right? As small business owners, we need a result like now, and we need to get a return on investment on our marketing.
Allan Dib: So we need to be hyper-targeted because when it comes to the second part of The One‑Page Marketing Plan, the second step, which is crafting your target message, you’ve got to craft your target message in a way that the person reading it or seeing it says, “Hey, that’s for me.” If you’re everything to everyone, you won’t be able to craft a message that will resonate like that with an audience. You’ll have a very general message, which easily gets lost.
Kym Heffernan: Do you recommend people then look at their existing clients, for example, top 10 clients and say, “Hey, who are they,” and they just start there? How do you start pick? How do you pick one [inaudible 00:12:46]?
Allan Dib: Look, if the business is already running, I think you’ll have a sense of who your ideal target market is. It’ll be potentially your best type of clients that you like working with, your most profitable clients. If you’re a startup, you’re going to need to do a little bit of research. You’re going to need to see who’s got a problem that you can really solve, who will value your solution, who will be happy to pay for your solution. I heard the phrase, “Test your ideas on check writers,” you know? Because a lot of people will say, “Oh, that’s a great idea. Yeah. Sure, I would buy the hats for turtles,” right?
Kym Heffernan: Friends, family, and Uber drivers are not necessarily a great [crosstalk 00:13:26].
Allan Dib: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. You’ve really got to test on check writers as such, so people who would potentially buy a solution that you’ve got. The other way is if you’ve been a part of your target market … In my case, I’ve been that small business owner who’s been struggling to make payroll and struggling to get lead flow and all of that, so I understand that very well. So in that case, I really understand my target market because I’ve been one of them.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah. I think there’s a couple of points in there you raised. I mean, it’s great to have a target market, but the check writer thing is a really good point. It’s got be target market who has money to spend, number one, and certainly a target market that’s big enough to … They’re two key things, I think, that you came up with there as well.
Kym Heffernan: So number two’s the message to that target market. Talk to me about the message. What do you mean by the message? Are you talking about an elevator pitch, a strapline? What do you mean by message?
Allan Dib: What I mean by the message is, what’s going to motivate your target market to respond to your message, whether it be in advertising form or other forms? The whole idea, as I mentioned, is for them to say, “Hey, that’s for me.” You really want to tap into the emotional element, you know, the things that are keeping them up at night, the things that are behind the surface of what they want to do. As an example, when someone buys insurance, yes, they’re buying insurance, but it’s more than that. They’re buying peace of mind.
Allan Dib: I’ll give you another example. Recently, my wife injured her knee. What did she type into Google? She didn’t type a general doctor or whatever, she typed in knee specialist, right? There’s a lesson in target market. But going deeper, yes, she needed assistance with her knee because she’d injured her knee, but more than that, the psychology behind it was … She was very, very upset about it. It was all about her being able to wear the shoes that she likes to wear, right? She didn’t want to wear … As I say in quotes … ugly shoes, right? Because especially for the ladies, often a change in footwear means a change in the whole wardrobe and all of that. She was very, very upset by that.
Allan Dib: So getting behind the psychology of what is motivating your target market. In the case of my wife, it’s she didn’t want to wear ugly footwear. She didn’t want to have to change her whole wardrobe, which she loves. She wanted to wear her Cons and her Docs and all of that. She didn’t want to have to wear these big, chunky kind of sneakers. So really getting behind the psychology of why what is motivating your target market.
Allan Dib: A chiropractor might be advertising knee repair or fixing your knee pain and all of that, but really getting further behind the motivations, what is actually behind someone seeking out help with their knee or their back or their neck or whatever else, really getting into the mind of your prospect there, and hitting some of those emotional elements.
Kym Heffernan: Like you can’t sleep at night or you can’t exercise, or you can’t move around, you can’t play with the kids, those sort of things. Okay. Okay. I like that. That’s good. So number one is target market. Number two’s getting your message that resonates with the target market emotionally. Number three, then, is media. Is that right?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Number three is reaching your prospects with advertising media. That’s all about bridging … I almost visualise it like a bridge between your target market and your message. How are you going to get your message to your target market? Very often, this is the most expensive part of your marketing. It could be your pay-per-click ads, your Facebook Ads. It could be print media. It could be billboards. It could be all sorts of things, right, social media or email marketing, all the rest of it.
Allan Dib: This is how we reach our target market with our message. This is all about really finding out where does your target market hang out, where are they present, and being there and reaching them with the media that they’re most comfortable with.
Kym Heffernan: I guess that’s [inaudible 00:17:33] but it’s also testing, right?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. There’s very much a testing component. The other thing I would say about media, especially when it comes to highly technical media like Google AdWords, pay-per-click, I would encourage people to seek out experts in those areas. Because the experts will usually pay for themselves because the average person trying to conquer some of these platforms is very, very difficult, and you’ll make very expensive mistakes. This is the most expensive part of your marketing. You really don’t want to mess it up.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah. Absolutely. People can easily jump on and set up a Google Ad or a Facebook Ad, but unless you’re setting things like daily budgets, et cetera, you can all of a sudden, your credit card gets hit with a couple hundred dollars and you say, “Where did that go? What did they get?”
Allan Dib: Yeah. Not only that, but like sometimes, someone who really knows what they’re doing will be able to reduce your costs. They’ll-
Kym Heffernan: Oh, hundred percent.
Allan Dib: [crosstalk 00:18:29] reduce your pay-per-click, reduce your cost of customer acquisition. That can pay for itself.
Kym Heffernan: Absolutely. What are you finding these days, Allan, with your clients? What sort of medium, I guess, are getting the best results? Let’s take a B2B example, for example, rather than a B2C example.
Allan Dib: Sure. Sure. Look, in B2B, I think LinkedIn is very powerful. I also believe … I know a lot of people might be a bit shocked by this, but I think postal direct mail is still very powerful. That’s gotten much less crowded. As online has gotten more crowded, the physical and postal mail has got a lot less crowded. So I think that’s still a very, very powerful medium. You can get a lot of cut-through and good return on investment. Email marketing is extremely powerful. You must be building your own email marketing database. I think that’s incredibly important. Depending on, I guess … Even in B2B, there’s a lot of subsegments of B2B, there’s like high-end enterprise sales, which the sales cycle could take 12 or 18 months. And then there’s kind of small business, SME, which are much faster. So you’ll choose different media depending on the subsegment of B2B that you operate in.
Kym Heffernan: Right. Okay. It’s useful to get your feedback on that [inaudible 00:19:54]. Okay. We’ve got our first part, this is before. This is interesting. This is before we’ve even started to market or reach out to people. I think a lot of people skip these first three steps, don’t they, and then they start going out there?
Allan Dib: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: I love the way you set out the next phase. Let’s talk me through the next phase.
Allan Dib: The next phase, we get into the during phase. Hopefully, by the first phase, someone’s indicated interest. They now know that you exist, and they’ve indicated interest. By indicating interest, I mean it could be something like downloading your white paper. It could be opting into your email list. It could be just replying to one of your emails or something like that.
Kym Heffernan: Or even just a form on the website, right?
Allan Dib: Form on the website. Exactly. Contact, whatever. At this stage, they’re kind of vaguely interested. They know who you are. They know you exist. This phase is all about taking them through to becoming a paying client, so spending their first dollar with you.
Allan Dib: This phase has three major steps in it. They are, first of all, capturing leads, then nurturing those leads, and then lastly, sales conversion. We go through these three steps, and that takes us through that phase. Capturing leads is all about making sure that people who arrive at your website or people who read your ad or whatever, you don’t lose them. Because we know from the statistics that only maybe 3% of your target market at any one time are absolutely ready to buy right now. The vast majority of advertisers only target that 3%, which is fine, but you’re losing a very, very large chunk of people who might be interested in buying from you in 30 days’ time, 60 days’ time, 90 days’ time, a year from now.
Allan Dib: So like you and I and everybody on this call know how to deal with a prospect that’s ready to buy right now. “Okay, you’re ready to buy right now? Here’s the paperwork,” or, “Here’s the buy button,” or, “Here’s the shopping cart.” That’s easy. But the good marketers really know how to deal with people who are ready to buy in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, a years’ time. I’ve had people who’ve become clients of mine who’ve been on my mailing list for years. They never bought anything in years, and then suddenly, something changed in their circumstances or something clicked with what I’m doing, and they contact and say, “Hey, look, I’m ready right now.” The point is, you need to be top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Your prospect’s time frame for buying is not always the same as your time frame for selling.
Kym Heffernan: I think that’s a really good point, Allan. I see it so often, that people only want the people ready to buy now because it’s the easy win. The reality is, that’s very hard because everyone’s competing for them. But you often see people, I’ll ask them, “Okay, well, how many phone calls do you get each week,” and they won’t know how many phone calls they get each week [inaudible 00:22:47]. They’re only interested in the ones who are ready to buy, and the rest they ignore. Those people they ignore may be ready to buy in a month’s time. So everyone who contacts you. I guess a pile of business cards on your desk is not a lead capture system, right?
Allan Dib: It is not a capture system. That’s a lead capture [inaudible 00:23:05].
Kym Heffernan: And a phone message the person who doesn’t buy, or a quote you followed up, that’s not a lead capture system either, right?
Allan Dib: Exactly right. Exactly right.
Kym Heffernan: They will need to be captured, right?
Allan Dib: They do.
Kym Heffernan: So all those business cards who are prospective clients, or even referral partners need to be captured.
Allan Dib: Most definitely.
Kym Heffernan: Do you categorise those leads as people who are potential clients or people’s referral partners [inaudible 00:23:30]? What do you call a lead?
Allan Dib: Yeah. A lead is anyone who’s put their hand up. They’re vaguely or very interested in what you’ve got to offer. You’re absolutely right. You must capture them in some kind of database system, a CRM system of sorts. And very, very important, a good CRM system will allow you to segment and tag them. So you can tag people as being either partners, or tag people as being interested in a particular segment that you do. For example, if you’ve got a target market, let’s say, for example, if we take my business. I help business owners and entrepreneurs.
Allan Dib: I have three major segments. I’ve got people who are kind of just startups. They’re just starting up their business. They need help kind of validating their idea and getting to market and getting it out there. Then I’ve got the small business owner. They’re probably doing usually around one to $10 million in revenue. I’m normally dealing with the business owner directly. Their whole goal is to really level up their business and get their marketing systems really pumping. And then the third segment that I deal with are corporates. I’m usually dealing with an executive team. I might be dealing with a COO or a CEO or a CMO. Again, they have different needs and respond to different messaging, again. So I would tag those three segments differently in my CRM because I need to communicate to them differently. They’re interested in different things, and I have different offers for each of those three market segments.
Kym Heffernan: That comes back to being able to send your message to the right people, right? If you’ve got a CEO and you’re talking about, “In your small business,” all the time, the CEO’s going to say, “Well, I’m not interested in this [crosstalk 00:25:14]. What’s this all about?” Or if you’re a startup, you’re talking about [inaudible 00:25:18] existing customers, “Well, I don’t have any customers.” It’s about being the right message, the right target. I get that. Tell me about your lead nurturing system. What does the lead nurturing system, your second step, involve [crosstalk 00:25:31]?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Lead nurturing is all about creating a better educated prospect. If what you’ve got to offer is a good product and a good service, the best thing that you can have is a highly educated prospect around knowing what you do, and really positioning yourself as an expert in your target market, as an authority in your industry, and taking them through that process of really becoming their trusted advisor. This is all about … The old style of marketing where you kind of just do, you know, sell, sell, sell, you know, ABC, Always Be Closing, and all of that. That stuff is really old hat. It doesn’t work. [crosstalk 00:26:15] Gone.
Allan Dib: It’s all about becoming a trusted advisor, and, as I mentioned earlier, being there for the client, top of mind when they’re ready to buy. So when they’re ready to buy in 60 or 90 days or a year or however long it be, if you’ve been there for them and if you’ve nurtured them along the way and if you’ve built a relationship with them and if you’ve given them a lot of value along the way, then they’re much, much more predisposed to doing business with you than just a random stranger who happens to be there. It’s all about being top of mind in a way that’s not being a pest, but it’s really being a welcome guest, someone who provides a lot of value.
Kym Heffernan: Do you find people [inaudible 00:26:54] lead nurturing are using a combination of different mediums, mail, email, phone? What do you recommend [crosstalk 00:27:01]?
Allan Dib: Absolutely. Yeah. I highly recommend a multichannel approach because some people respond to different modalities better. For example, some people are real readers. They love to read. In that case, a text-based nurturing sequence is good. For others, other people like to listen. In that case, things like podcasts and audio is very good for them. Other people like to watch, so video is great for those kind of people. Different people consume in different modalities and have different preferences. So having a multichannel approach to your lead nurturing is very, very powerful.
Kym Heffernan: How, then, do we know, then moving from your number five, lead nurturing, to sales conversion? What’s having a sales conversion strategy mean, from your viewpoint?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Sales conversion strategy’s all about getting them to make their first transaction, but not, as I mentioned, not being a pest, but being a welcome guest. In my mind, if you’ve done the first five steps right, if you’ve done your marketing right, if you’ve chosen your target market right, you’ve done your lead nurturing right, your messaging’s all good, sales conversion just becomes order taking. It just becomes really natural. It’s something that you both naturally come to the conclusion of, “Hey, okay, let’s do some business here.” It’s all about helping make that a very smooth process. A really good sales conversion strategy is try before you buy. I mean, it’s not relevant to all industries and not relevant to all kind of businesses, but that’s a really good sales conversion strategy. It’s all about, again, helping take your prospect to a better place. Like I said, it’s going to be a very natural process if you’ve done the first five steps right.
Kym Heffernan: So try before you buy could be free consultation or that sort of thing. So I guess they get to know you better and the process they’re going to go through. Is that, really, what you’re trying to do in that sales conversion?
Allan Dib: And also just removing any of the risk. You can remove the risk, again, with try before you buy or through powerful guarantees, those sort of things.
Kym Heffernan: Testimonials. Yeah.
Allan Dib: Testimonials, exactly right. All of that. Case studies, white papers. So really being a trusted authority, and just making you the logical person to deal with.
Kym Heffernan: Okay. We’ve gone through the before phase of target market, message, and media, the during phase of lead capture, lead conversion, sales conversion. Got a customer. Hooray. I can sit back and relax, right?
Allan Dib: Wrong.
Kym Heffernan: Let’s find some more customers. That quite often, sadly, is the reality though, isn’t it?
Allan Dib: 29:35 That is, sadly, the reality.
Kym Heffernan: [crosstalk 00:29:37] I’ve invoiced you, Allan. Got your money. Thanks. On to the next one.
Allan Dib: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: I don’t think it’s intentional, though. I think people get busy, so busy delivering the work, using your IT example, that sometimes they forget about the person who isn’t your customer. They don’t quite understand what the experience is all about and how they go about it, which is why you got an after phase, which I love. Take me through the first step in the after phase.
Allan Dib: Yeah. It’s critical. Look, the after phase is really where the money is made, because a lot of times, you’ve spent a lot of money to acquire a customer. Their first transaction with you, you may be just breaking even or you may be even in the negative. A smart business owner will understand that the real money’s made in the after phase, after someone becomes a client. The first step in the after phase is delivering a world-class experience. You really want to make sure that you’re not just transactional, but that you’re converting people into raving fans, people who want to buy from you repeatedly, people who want to refer business to you, people who want to deal with you on a regular basis. We really want to deliver a world-class experience, a way that people will find it very, very easy to deal with us on an ongoing basis and refer to us and become, I guess to borrow a marketing term, is a net promoter, right? We don’t want people who are just either negative or passive about our business, but we want people who are really net promoters of our business.
Kym Heffernan: In that box [inaudible 00:31:08] world-class experience, you actually say it’s part of this One‑Page Marketing Plan to map out what your onboarding your new client experience and process is. [inaudible 00:31:16] have a process in place. Is that what you’re recommending?
Allan Dib: Exactly. Exactly. Because very often, a client may sign up, and they may not know what to do. They may not know where to go. So having a very good onboarding experience for them, having an experience where … Also, ensuring that they get the result that they want. Very often, we feel like it’s up to the customer use our product or service to get the result that they don’t. I don’t agree with that. I think it’s your job to help your customer get the result that they came to get. For example, if you’re selling six-pack abs to your client, part of them getting six-pack abs may be a nutrition plan. It could be an exercise plan, a lot of these things. It’s incumbent on you to ensure that your client gets a really good experience and gets the result that they were after. So you’re not just selling them your product or your service, you’re selling them a result and taking them from point A to point B.
Kym Heffernan: Why don’t we just use a real example here to help people? Say if you’re a financial planner, what would that look like if you’re a financial planner, for example, and you’ve got a new client on board?
Allan Dib: Yeah. It’s a good point. A financial planner … For example, it depends what the person came to the financial planner for. Very often, they’ll come to financial planners for a retirement plan. They want to make sure that when they retire, they’ve got enough money to last them the rest of their life to live comfortably. Again, it’s not about selling them particular financial products or that sort of thing, but it’s really to ensure that they actually do achieve what they want, that retirement that they want, or whatever it is. It could be that you really have to be very honest with the client and say, “This simply is not possible.” That’s a very ethical thing to do. Say, “Look, in your situation, I mean, you’re $10 million in debt and you’re one year away from retirement. Unless we take some huge, huge risky kind of strategies, it’s probably not going to happen for you,” or outlining our particular plan where they can actually deliver that. So really ensuring that your client is getting the result that they want, not just buying the products or services that you’re selling.
Kym Heffernan: And measuring it along the way, I guess, as well.
Allan Dib: Of course. Yeah.
Kym Heffernan: Point number eight you’ve got, I think is really interesting. A lot of businesses don’t think about this [inaudible 00:33:37] business model, and that’s how you increase the customer lifetime value.
Allan Dib: Yeah. So increasing customer lifetime value. It’s kind of the fries with that. You know? “Would you like fries with that,” is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to McDonald’s. And it’s more than just tacking something on that will increase your margin, although that’s a side effect, but fries make the burger more enjoyable, right? It gives the client a better experience. What can you do to give the client a better experience? Do they need to buy in more volume? Do they need to buy in more frequency? Do they need to buy additional products? Or do they need to buy the next version up to get a really good experience?
Allan Dib: As an example, I signed up with an internet provider, right? It’s good for my needs today, but in a few years’ time or in a year’s time or six months’ time with more Netflix, with more cloud services and all of that, the internet connection that my ISP sold me year ago or two years ago is no longer fit for purpose. I need the next level up or next speed up or whatever else. So really ensuring that the client is maintaining a really good experience. That will also ensure that the client doesn’t turn away to another provider. I mean, if I start getting frustrated with my internet connection, it’s really slow and all of this sort of stuff, that might trigger an event where I start shopping around with other ISPs.
Kym Heffernan: I’m sure at that point, [inaudible 00:35:03], “Hey, you’ve had that new plan for six months [crosstalk 00:35:05].”
Allan Dib: Exactly. Exactly. By then, it’s too late. So you really want to be very proactive in helping your client get a great experience, and ensuring that they’re buying your product in the right volume and the right frequency and in the right packaging that they need to get that experience.
Kym Heffernan: The last step, then, is how do you orchestrate and stimulate referrals? I love this idea as well, to …
Allan Dib: Yeah. Orchestrating, stimulating referrals … I purposely titled the chapter Orchestrating and Stimulating Referrals because it implies something active, rather than something passive. A lot of people are very passive about referrals. They’re kind of squeamish about asking for them. They feel like they’re either begging for business or looking desperate, and all of that sort of thing. Certainly, there are ways of positioning yourself as looking desperate and needy and all of that, but there are ways of positioning, orchestrating, and stimulating referrals without looking desperate, and actually doing it in a way that actually helps your target market refer you.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah. I just love the idea of orchestrate, because I’m sure I’m not alone of having a coffee meeting with someone [inaudible 00:36:16], “Yeah, that sounds wonderful,” and then nothing happens afterwards, right?
Allan Dib: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. That’s because of the bystander effect. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the bystander effect. [crosstalk 00:36:28] It’s basically, you know, a lot of people say, “If you know anyone who needs chiropractic services, please refer them to me,” or, “If you know anyone who needs a lawyer.” When you say, “Do you know anyone,” or, “Someone do this,” that falls on deaf ears. It’s kind of like if you do emergency training or anything like that, they say when there’s an emergency, you need to point to a specific person and say, “Right, you go get a blanket. You call emergency, call the ambulance,” or whatever, because when you point to someone specific, they’re now responsible for that job. However, if you say, “Hey, someone get a blanket, someone call the ambulance,” often, it doesn’t get done because everyone thinks someone is someone else, right?
Allan Dib: So it’s very important to be very specific when you’re wanting referrals, but also making the referral process very easy and simple for someone to do. So if you can give someone something that they can pass on to a referral that’s valuable, so if you can give a voucher away or if you can give a book away or a white paper report away that they can give to their friend or their colleague or whoever else that you want them to refer to, that makes the referral process much, much easier.
Allan Dib: And it really comes down to understanding the psychology of referrals. People don’t refer because they want to do you a favour. Very often, we feel uncomfortable about asking people for referrals because we feel like we’re trying to ask people to do us a favour. But if you think back to the last time that you referred a friend or a colleague a movie or a restaurant or something like that, you likely didn’t do it to do a favour to the movie chain or to the restaurant. You did it because you had an awesome time. You had a great experience, and you want your friend to have a good time. So you want to look good for your friend, right? So that’s really the psychology of referrals. So orchestrate a way that your prospect can look good by referring you.
Kym Heffernan: I think be specific. Like in the very start, we talked about being specific [inaudible 00:38:27] target market. It’s a lot easier [inaudible 00:38:29], “If you know any real estate agents,” than say, “If you know any property managers in Ray White at Hawthorn.”
Allan Dib: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Kym Heffernan: Networking groups like BNI will teach you that, to be specific about referrals. And the ones who work best are the ones who are specific about that. I guess having your target market well defined would help you with that too, right?
Allan Dib: Very much so. Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: That’s actually really good, Allan. Might just run through those nine steps again, just a summary, if that’s all right. The first one I’ve got, the before. What are the three steps in the before?
Allan Dib: Yeah. The three steps are selecting your target market, crafting your message, and then reaching prospects with advertising media.
Kym Heffernan: And we’ve got the during.
Allan Dib: In the during, we’ve got capturing leads, nurturing leads, and then sales conversion.
Kym Heffernan: And finally, the missing piece I think in most marketing planes, the after.
Allan Dib: The after is delivering a world-class experience, increasing customer lifetime value, and then orchestrating and stimulating referrals.
Kym Heffernan: And I think [inaudible 00:39:29] fit the key points of these nine steps on there, but I think what it forces you to do, which I really love, it forces you to think about all nine things, not just think about the promotion and what I’m going to say. I’m not just thinking about doing Facebook Ads [inaudible 00:39:43] going to convert someone [inaudible 00:39:45] putting it all together in one place, which is what a good plan should do, right, and help you get that right direction.
Allan Dib: That’s exactly right.
Kym Heffernan: Is there anything else, mate that you’d like to add? I think it’s been a wonderful conversation. I think it’s a great little framework you’ve got going there as well.
Allan Dib: Yeah. It’s been great working with you, Kym. The thing I would leave the audience with, is really understand that the best marketer wins every time. A lot of times, we feel like having a great product or a great service is the thing that’s going to move the needle in your business. That’s great. You do need to have a good product and a good service, but that’s a customer retention strategy. That’s not a customer acquisition strategy. So before you have customer retention, you need to have a customer acquisition. Unfortunately, there are so many good products and services that just died because they had poor marketing. So really, your job is to become a really, really good marketer, because, quite simply, the best marketer wins every time.
Kym Heffernan: Is there a particular ask you’d like to [inaudible 00:40:41] people to go to the website, download the book? [crosstalk 00:40:45] people to do?
Allan Dib: Sure. Yeah. Look, if you go to Amazon or any book retailer, you can get The 1‑Page Marketing Plan. If you want to get a copy of the actual One‑Page Marketing Plan canvas, you can do that on my website, which is successwise.com. You can grab a PDF, a fillable PDF of The One‑Page Marketing Plan canvas. They’re probably the two best places that people can go.
Kym Heffernan: Fantastic. Look, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us and share your expertise and knowledge. It’s lovely to see a guy go from the dark side of IT to the bright side of marketing. [crosstalk 00:41:14] That’s what I tell all my IT friends and clients anyway. [crosstalk 00:41:20].
Allan Dib: No. I’m with you. I’m with you. I agree.
Kym Heffernan: Allan Dib, thanks very much for your time, mate. Much appreciated.
Allan Dib: Kym, it was a pleasure.
Kym Heffernan: So that’s Allan Dib, guys. I have the show notes together ready for you. And of course, Allan is a great resource. I think [inaudible 00:41:37] start on putting together a marketing plan, before you engage anyone, go and buy Allan’s book, because knowledge is powerful. So before you engage us or anyone else, highly recommended you grab Allan book, The 1‑Page Marketing Plan.
Thanks for joining us on this episode of Marketing Show. We hope you got some practical, effective tips and ideas so your organisation gets more prospects and nurtures those prospects to becoming long-term customers. Just a reminder, the show is sponsored by The Marketing Strategy Company, who help B2B organisations develop effective marketing plans, winning marketing strategies and sales and marketing automation systems to turn their sales and marketing efforts into new customers and dollars through their marketing. Check out the show notes for this episode and The Marketing Strategy Company’s effective marketing plans and marketing services at themarketingstrategy.co. That’s themarketingstrategy.co. Until next time, happy marketing.