The World’s Shortest Marketing Plan Goes A Long Way

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Terry Tanker


Make this your first step toward improving internal communications.

Recently, I sat down to analyze our company’s marketing goals and objectives. The original document had been written about this time last year and has been revised each quarter. I’ve been pleased with the results we’ve achieved.

The 2006 plan focused on repositioning an existing brand and product, then re-launching it as something entirely different. The plan and goals for 2007 look significantly different, and, because our company has grown appreciably with regard to head count, another consideration has come into play: keeping the whole team on the same page.

One of the larger drawbacks to most marketing plans is their complexity and length. Expecting your entire company to read the 94-page marketing masterpiece you just wrote isn’t realistic. In an effort to find a template that would be the “Cliff notes” version, I typed “marketing plan” into Google, and 143,000 results were quickly returned to me. Any of the plans would fill a three-ring binder.

One of our monthly columnists, Guy Kawaski, pointed me toward what I was looking for — “The World’s Shortest Marketing Plan.” Kelly Odell, senior vice president/head of marketing, TeliaSonera AB, Stockholm, Sweden, created the template. See Kelly’s blog at www.kellyodell.blogspot.com. You can download this template from his blog or from our Web site at www.hvacrbusiness.com/downloadcenter.

This template is perfect for any marketer, and once filled in, addresses customer needs, product positioning, price, promotion, timing, cost, product benefits, distribution, and more. An additional benefit of this template is the ability to tweak the questions so they are relevant to your company and your situation.

If you’ve never developed a marketing plan, this is a great place to start. If you have created one, and it’s become too complex, here’s a way to simplify things and boil them down to what really matters. Best of all, this easily can be shared with your entire company, large or small.

Last month, our columnist and editorial board member Jackie Rainwater wrote “Great Companies Are Built with Great Internal Communications”. Sharing a document such as this marketing plan with your employees would be a great first step toward improving internal communications.

Have a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year, and please email me your thoughts and comments about this and the other articles in HVACR Business. —Terry Tanker


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