The One Page Marketing Plan – Preparation

The purpose of the One Page Marketing Plan is to simplify the steps of creating a practical plan you can put to use immediately. It can be used to support a marketing campaign or to carry out your overall business plan.

We start by gathering pertinent information and answering specific questions. The purpose of the One Page Marketing Plan is to give you explanations and examples to organize your thinking and direct your actions. You’ll have simple tools that provide a structure you can use over and over again. You are both learning and doing at the same time.

There are only two basic steps in the One Page Marketing Plan process: Preparation and Planning. This article covers the highlights of the Preparation process. During this step you’ll gather critical information about your business and your market. Upon completion of this step you’ll be ready to create a simple and effective One Page Marketing Plan.


Preparation consists of gathering pertinent information about your business and your market. You want to be very clear about your market position before starting your plan. You also want information about your market and your marketing history.

Market Positioning

As a place to start, you want to learn the real value of your business in the marketplace and how you’re different from your competitors. This allows you to identify and promote what makes your product or service unique.

Even if you think you have no competitors, remember, potential clients/customers are spending their money somewhere. Identify the most likely options. Consider these your competitors.

We start with a SWOT analysis (a fancy term for taking the pulse of your business and your competition in the marketplace). Coming from a market perspective we want answers to the following questions:

What are the strengths of the business?
What are the weaknesses?
What opportunities may be possible in the market?
What threats are possible?

Select three companies that you consider your primary competition. You will be identifying each of their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) as well as your own.

The purpose of this exercise is to leverage your expertise and products in a way that your competitors do not. Use this analysis to differentiate and position your business within your market. Request information about a tool to perform this analysis through the Contact page.

NOTE: You can learn a great deal about your competitors by researching their web site and entering them or their products as keywords into your favorite search engine.

Learn more about SWOT analysis by entering it as a keyword into your search engine. Don’t get caught up in the details. Take away the big picture of the SWOT and its purpose.

Market Questions

Once you’ve clearly established your Market Position you are ready to answer the next series of questions:

What is your value message?
Who will value what you offer?
When will they be most interested in your offer?
Where will you find your target market?
Why should they buy from you?

These look like simple questions…and they are. But don’t skip over them lightly. There’s a wealth of information in the answers that you will use to drive your Plan.

Marketing History

The final step before actually beginning your Plan is to look at your Marketing History. What marketing and sales activities did you do within the past year? What worked? What didn’t work? Are there any marketing activities you’ve done in the farther past that were successful? Why were they a success?

Analyze what you’ve learned in the Preparation step. This is the sound information upon which you’ll make decisions for the next step, Planning.