Expert's Opinion

Turn Your Marketing Plan Into a One-Page Action Plan

October 7, 2013

Mike Concannon explains how a brief document can boost sales.

The marketing plan can and should be a document that helps a brand leader drive sales on a daily basis.  
A typical plan, especially for national brands, often takes months to prepare; is voluminous; has many moving parts; gets formally presented and approved anywhere from two to four times, and then it is seldom referenced once the plan and the budget get the green light.  
There has to be a better way for all that hard work to make a bigger contribution to the business.
Consider this analogy. NFL football teams have playbooks with 1,000 pages or plays. Obviously, the coach can’t bring his playbook to the sidelines and thumb through the book during the game. So, every football coach carries a laminated card on the sidelines during the game, containing the core game plan – the key tactical steps the team plans to employ to beat its opponent and win. The coach intently scans the information on the card before calling each and every play.
The coach is smart, experienced and he wrote the information on the card himself – so why the constant and intense reference?
Every game (and business situation) is unpredictable – there are surprises, distractions and unanticipated events. The coach needs to constantly review and consider the plan in order to take the right action, at the right time. The head coach must also ensure that all the assistant coaches have the same core information to remind themselves of those steps, so the entire team stays focused, action-oriented and aligned.
So, what would a brand leader’s “One-Page Plan” look like? In my experience, after a new product launch meeting or the business year begins, there are a few key topics from the Marketing Plan that must be considered and acted upon on a routine basis to drive sales, and those seven items are outlined below.
To create your brand’s “1 Page Action Plan”, review each question and list the key actions as well as the time frame for execution. Then, distribute the completed document to the brand team and refer to it daily – above all, keep it to one page. I wish you great sales success.  

Brand: “Acme Widgets”
1.    How Will Company get the brandon-the-shelf at preferred sellers/retailers (selling strategy)?
2.    How Will Company get …the ideal consumers to-the-shelf (stimulate awareness & demand via PR, advertising, word of mouth, etc.)?
3.    How Will Company get …the brand noticed & considered when customer reaches the shelf (packaging, merchandising, POP material, price)? 
4.    How Will Company get …thebrand off-the-shelf/purchased (display, price, promotion, product demonstration)?  
5.     How Will Company …know ifthe customer is satisfied(deliver on the brand promise, gain important feedback)?  
6.    How Will Company …create an ongoing engagement with the customer to stimulate repurchase?

7.    How Will Company measure success (the core metrics)?

About the Author
Mike Concannon is the leader of JohnsRoad Brand Development, a consulting practice which helps businesses make and keep great product, marketing and sales promises that change behavior, create (new) customers and improve business economics. Contact Mike at, visit his blog or via