Arek Dvornechuck: What's up branding experts, Arek here at Ebaqdesign. And welcome to On Branding Podcast, the only podcast where I interview branding experts to give you actionable tips on everything, branding and beyond. And in this episode, I interview Allan Dib. And we talk about marketing strategy framework. And Allan is a serial entrepreneur, rebellious marketer, technology expert, and bestselling author. And he has started and grown multiple businesses in various industries, thanks to his marketing expertise. So, his business was named by Business Review Weekly, as one of Australia’s fastest-growing companies. He is also passionate about helping businesses find new and innovative ways to leverage technology and marketing to facilitate rapid business growth. And Alan is the author of the bestselling book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan. And this is the book we are going to talk about today. As a business coach, consultant, and public speaker he frequently shares his proven strategies and cutting-edge tactics, and that’s why I really wanted to have Allan on our podcast today to talk about marketing strategy framework. Hello, Allan, thank you so much for taking the time to join us on our podcast.
Allan Dib: Yeah, thank you, Eric, for having me a pleasure to be on.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you. So I wanted to make this podcast actionable for our listeners and talk about your marketing plan, right? So I wanted to make this podcast actionable for our listeners and talk about your marketing plan, right? So, the framework that you described in your book, but before we talk about the framework itself, and the steps we need to take to develop that marketing plan. Let’s just start with the basics, so that we are on the same page. So basically, in your book, you quote statistics that say that many small businesses and startups fail within the first five years. And this is mainly because, you know, as business owners, we may be guilty, we may have excellent technical skills, but we often lack business skills, or in other words, more, most businesses problems can be solved with money. So, therefore, we need to have a marketing plan in place to generate that money, right. So we can bring those new leads consistently and convert them effectively. Right. So can you speak to that a bit? So why is marketing strategy is so important for small businesses? Why can’t we just, you know, run some Facebook or LinkedIn ads, or just focus on SEO? Why do we need to develop a whole plan?
Allan Dib: Well, that's a great question. So, if you're building a house, one of the first things that you're going to need to do is put together a blueprint or a plan for building that house, and you're going to have to get that submitted to your council or community. And they will need to approve that plan. Because if you just start digging, or if you just start laying bricks, it's going to be a disaster. So, what you need to do is put together a plan and a blueprint on exactly how it's going to be. So, you build the house before you build the house. So, you build it on paper first, and then you build it in reality. And the same is true of marketing. The same is true of anything that where the stakes are high. So, pilots have a flight plan, the military has a military operations plan, your doctor has a medical treatment plan. So anytime where the stakes are high, you need to have a plan. And there's no way where the stakes are higher than in running a business because your family's relying on that you're relying on it, your communities relying on it your employees, your customers. So, if you don't have a plan for how to get new clients, new prospects, new leads in your company, then you're going to have a major, major problem. So, you need to put together a plan for the most important part of your business, which is the marketing.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. And I like the analogy with building a house, right? So, we start with the blueprint, we hire an architect before we actually start laying down the break analogy also using your book. And you also mentioned that you know, all professionals, you know, where the stakes are high, always follow a well-thought-out plan like doctors, pilots, soldiers, and so on. And I just wanted you to pick a bit to strategy versus tactics. So okay, so we understand that we need a plan, have those leads, you know, according to us consistently, and we can be more effective and deliberate with what we do. Can you speak to us, you know, strategy versus tactics? Why not just focus on one channel, for example, like Facebook ads, and just hire someone and start running Facebook ads?
Allan Dib: Yeah, so a lot of people do this. I call it following the bright shiny object syndrome. So it’s where people for example, if I go to a market, and I ask the chicken guy, what should I have for dinner? He’s gonna say chicken and if I asked the vegetable guy, what should I have for dinner he’ll say, “vegetables”, and if I asked the fish guy, what should I have, he’s gonna say “fish”. So, the same thing is true in marketing. The pay-per-click guy will say do pay-per-click. The SEO guy will say, do SEO. The LinkedIn guy will say do LinkedIn. And none of those things are bad things. I mean, you know, fish, chicken vegetables are good. LinkedIn, SEO. Pay-Per-Click is all good as well. But we need to know what to do and when, and really how to connect with our audience. And that’s where your plan comes to place. And really separating the strategy from the tactic. So, you know, it’s not SEO, that gets you the clients and the traffic, it’s not pay-per-click that gets it. It’s not LinkedIn, it’s your message to your target market on those platforms. So really understanding from a strategic perspective, what is the message to our target market? And how are we going to create a message that’s really going to cut through to them? So we want to know that our message is really connecting with our audience, we want to know who our ideal audience is. We want to know how we’re going to reach them. And then we plug in the tactical things. So we want to fix all these strategic things first because then we know the tactical things will fall into place. And we can execute. But if we don’t have the strategy, right, the tactics are going to fail as well. And we’re going to spend a lot of time a lot of money, a lot of energy, and we’re not going to get a good result.
2. The 1-Page Marketing Plan
Arek Dvornechuck: Right, right. Okay, so this gets us closer to talk about your framework. So basically, you suggest a small to medium-sized businesses should focus on direct response marketing. So so you would advise that the way to go is not to try to just get our name out there or Saturday, like directly from our ads, but rather get our prospects to show us that they’re interested in what we have to offer. And so then we can capture their contact information, like email name, phone number, and we can nurture them and follow up with them until they’re ready to buy from us. So can you just give us an overview of you know, the direct-response marketing? How is it different and why your framework is so different? And what makes it so effective?
Allan Dib: Yeah, why it’s effective. So whenever we’re talking about marketing, for a small business, the type of marketing that works well for small businesses is called direct-response marketing. And that’s quite different from what a lot of people know, as marketing, what a lot of people know, is marketing is what’s called mass marketing. Or sometimes it’s called “branding” or something like that. So what we want to do is really direct-response marketing, because that works at a small scale, it works for small budgets for small companies, and for short timeframes. So if you’ve got millions of dollars and years to get a result, mass marketing can work for you. And it does work for very large companies. But if you’re operating in a small scale, you need to make sure that whatever you’re doing works at that small scale. And so direct-response marketing is something that really works well. From that perspective, it’s something that you would implement at a small scale where we need to get results today on a small budget. And so what direct response marketing means is that we’re gonna, we’re putting advertising out there that has an emotional element, that will get someone to take some kind of action. And so that action could be maybe calling a phone number, maybe clicking on an ad, maybe opting in on a landing page, maybe putting something in a shopping cart, whatever it is, but we want people to take an action. And the reason we want people to take an action is because that’s measurable. So we can say, we spent $1,000 on this ad, and we had 50 people who opted in, and out of the 50 people who opted in 10 people bought and we had $10,000 of revenue. So it’s very, very responsible marketing in that we can track what happens and we can track the return on investment, which is extremely important. So and we can do this both in the long term and short term.
3. The “Before” Phase
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So it’s understandable so self-explanatory direct-response marketing, meaning our customers will directly respond to our ad, it’s not just a name recognition tool is a lead-generating tool. So we want them to take specific action as you said, you know, request more information or download a free report. But anyhow, we want to capture those leads so we can track them and we can see if we can improve on you know on them on the message on the target. Like later on, right? So, let’s just jump right into the framework itself, since I promised my listeners to make it actionable. So in your book, you say, quote, “the marketing process is a journey to guide our ideal target market from not knowing that we exist to becoming a raving fan, customer.” So to this journey, there are three distinct phases: the before, the during, and the after phase. So basically, you divided your framework into three phases. Right? So let’s start with the first one, which is the before phase. So can you walk us through this phase? And what are some of the key steps that we need to take here?
Allan Dib: Yeah, so in the before phase, the prospect doesn’t know that you exist. And so the whole goal of the before phase is to take someone from not knowing that you exist to raising their hand and saying, “Look, I’m vaguely interested in what you have to offer.” So part of that phase is, first of all, identifying our target market, having a message that really connects well with the target market. And then having a media that we can bridge that target market and that message with, so we really want to go for, from someone not knowing that you exist to raising their hand and say, Look, I’m vaguely interested and raising their hand might be opting in, it may be visiting your website, it might be calling your business, whatever, whatever that is for you. It’s someone raising their hand and saying, Look, I’m interested in what you’ve got to offer. So that’s, that would be the starting point. And that’s the before phase.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right? So in the before phase, we have three things, we start with identifying the target market, and then we craft our compelling message. And then we pick the media channels, right? So can we talk a bit about you know, each of those, just to give our listeners a quick overview, and maybe have some examples. So starting with the, you know, the first step, which is identifying your target market, and you talk a lot in your book about the importance of, you know, either niching down and narrowing down your target market. And you give this example, with beauty salon, that may offer, you know, different services like tanning, waxing, facials, massages, and so on. But we should focus on something specific there, to just pick one. And so as an example, you give this example, cellulite treatment for women who just had a baby. So that’s very specific. So can you talk to us a bit about the importance of, you know, picking the right target market?
Allan Dib: Yeah, so the importance of picking the right target market is incredibly important. So you need to think about who is going to be my ideal customer because in every business, and in every industry, there are many, many people that you could serve. And some people make the mistake of saying, “Hey, I serve everybody, right, everybody is my target market, or everybody is someone that I could help.” So and that’s, that’s a big mistake. And in my opinion, so I believe you need to select who your ideal target market is, and that there are a few filters that you need to use for that. So first of all, is who is very profitable to work with, you know, because there are some clients who can pay you a lot of money, but they’re not very profitable, then, who is fun to work with, because if the business is not fun, then what are we doing, we might as well get a job work for someone else. So So who’s going to be fun to work with who’s gonna really, you know, you wake up on a Monday morning, and you’re excited to be working with those people. And then who’s going to really value what you do and pay you a lot of money for what you do. So finding the intersection of those three things, is super important. And it’s something that can really help you through the whole process of selecting your target market and making sure that you’re, you’re working with someone who is ideal for you, that you’re connecting with. And that is very, very profitable for your business. So rather than saying, I serve everybody saying, “Look who is going to be my audience that I’m going to serve and do a really good job for.”
Arek Dvornechuck: Now, we are going to take a quick break here, but we'll be right back. Listen, my mission is to help people design iconic brands. So whether you're a business leader who wants to be more intentional with branding and all of its aspects, or you are a creative who wants to attract powerful clients and surely be able to help them with branding, then you need to start with a discovery session and then develop a strategy that will inform all your creative work. And everything you need to learn how to do that you can find in my online courses, at ebaqdesign.com/shop, where I shared with you my worksheets, case studies, video tutorials, and all other additional resources to help you feel safe and strong about your process. So now let's get back to our conversation Allan Dib. Can you give us some specific tools like PvP index, you know, an avatar, some specific tools and exercises that we can run to actually, that's going to help that will help us to identify the right Mark target market. Okay, so secondly, so once we once we've identified them now, secondly, it says the second step would be in this phase is to craft a compelling message for the target market that will grab their attention and compel them to respond. Right. So here we talk about talking to their knees and toes and the motions, we talk about unique selling proposition and elevator pitch. So can you just walk us through this step?
Allan Dib: Yes. So really, the whole goal of your message is for your audience to see your message and to say, “Hey, that’s me.” So that’s really what you want to do. And so if your target market is anyone and everybody, that’s never going to happen, so you’ve really, you’ve really got to make sure that you’ve selected your target market, right, then you can craft a message that is, makes someone triggers someone emotionally, and makes them do what you want to want to do. So we want to connect emotionally with our audience, we want to really be that person who says yes, this is exactly what I want to do. So for example, people will often suggest general stuff and list a whole laundry list of products and services that they do. But more and more people are looking for specialists in what they do in the area that they want to buy. So when you look at your Google search history, it’s going to be full of very specific things you don’t type just general things in Google, like marketing, you would type in “how do I create a marketing plan?” Or, you know, “what is a brand” or “what is direct response marketing”. So you type very specific things into Google. And so do your prospects. And so you need to have very specific messages for your target market as well. If you do something very general, your message is going to be weak, and it’s going to be diluted.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right? And it’s not. So they want to resonate with that message, right? Okay, So the third step here in this phase would be to deliver that message to the target market, right, so we need to select the right media channels for them, whether it be TV, radio, print, social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), email marketing. And here, you strongly advise to hire an expert and track the ROI and, and track things like customer acquisition cost as the most important metric. So you can use it to talk to that a bit?
Allan Dib: Yeah. So when it comes to selecting your media, we want to get a good return on investment. So a key to that is making sure that because media is going to be your most expensive part of your marketing. So whether it be Facebook ads, or Google ads, or whatever else. And so we want to make sure that you’re getting a good return on investment. I highly recommend if you don’t have experience in your media, to hire a media specialist to help you. So for example, if you’re, if you’re going to do Google ads, hire a Google Ads expert or hire a Google Ads specialist. So that’s really, really going to get you a return on investment faster than if you were trying to do it yourself. If you do a direct mail campaign, find the Google ads, people who are going to do that, find the directory, find the direct mail people who are going to do that for you. So use specialists in their media area because they’re going to pay for themselves over time
4. The “During” Phase
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. Okay, So once we've done that, we've gone through the first phase, the before phase. Now the second phase would be the during phase. So in this phase, we are dealing with leads who actually coded to know us and they've indicated interest in What we have to offer, and we've captured the information in our database. So now we want to get them to like us and what we have to offer enough to buy from us for the first time. Right? So can you just give us an overview of the of the during phase? And what are some of the considerations when it comes to this face?
Allan Dib: Yeah, one of the keys in the in the during phase is to really take people from someone who is vaguely knows about you and vaguely knows about your products and services to being a paying client. So it's really all about three things. It's about lead capture, lead nurturing, and then sales conversion. And so it starts with with lead capture where we know that only a small percentage of people are ready to buy right now. So what we want to do is we want to capture those leads, because we want to access more than that 3%, who's ready to buy right now we want to work with people who are maybe ready in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, a year, two years time, whatever else. And so we capture those leads, then once we've captured those leads in a database or a CRM, we can nurture those leads, we can enter the conversation that's going on in their mind, and connect with them on a regular basis. So help them with education, help them with content, help them with getting a result in advance before, before we've had had a chance to even do business with them.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So so and you say, you mentioned you give this there is this, you get those statistics that in your only 3% of our audience would be ready to buy from us now immediately, right? 7% might be open to buy from us. 30 another 30% might be interested, but not now. Not so we just want to capture all of those, you know, 40% not just that 3% that is ready to buy right now. Like Like, you know, correct? Right? Exactly. All right. So you also talk about the importance of follow up. And you mentioned that, you know, most people give up after, you know, after one or two or three follows follow ups. But you know, the money is in the follow up. And we should follow up, you know, many, many, many times, but not just testing our leads, but just provide them with valuable information, you know, on value-building information, right?
Allan Dib: Yes, yes. So, it's not about just "Hey, buy my stuff, buy my stuff", it's about creating a lot of value over a period of time, because who would your customers prefer to buy from from an expert who has created a lot of value in their lives, who's educated them or just a random stranger, of course, we know they would rather buy from a friend and a trusted adviser than a stranger. So, we want to become that trusted adviser to our target market.
5. The “After” Phase
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So once we, you know, we are able to, once we provide them with this information, we are able to build trust in their eyes. And and so we demonstrate and our value and so they so they can become ready to you know, to buy from us and for the first time. Right, so once we've done that now, the third and the last phase would be the after phase. So, in this phase, we are dealing with customers who already like us, and what do we have to offer and they bought from us at least once. So, they paid us money. So these are already customers. And now we want to convert them into raving fans and by delivering world class experience and so ultimately you can do more business with them, or they can refer us to some of their colleagues and friends and so on. So, we also want to stimulate those referrals, right. Like I said, Our marketing can be much more effective. So can you walk us through this final but you know, very important phase, and perhaps talk about some some of the best practices? Or maybe you have some tips on how to turn those customers into raving fans.
Allan Dib: Yeah, yes. Great question. So, a lot of people believe marketing ends at that second stage when someone has signed up and become a customer and nothing is further from the truth. So the real money is made in the after phase. In the after phase. That's when we can increase customer lifetime value. That's when we can generate raving fans that so when we can create referrals, so all of those sorts of things. And so what we want to do in the after phase, first of all is deliver a world class experience. So we want to create take people from just being transactional, and just being customers who may be bought on price or convenience or whatever else. And now become someone who is a raving fan, who refers us new business, who buys from us in more quantity more quality, more frequency, and then becomes someone who's a referral to our business. And we want to put together a strategy around how do we generate referrals in our business. So that's basically the after phase where we've done all the hard work to generate a customer. And now we want to create more value from that customer, both for us and for the customer as well.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. And your book, also, just for our listeners, you guys can find it, you know, Allan gives you templates and referral templates and examples and exercises that you can run. So, it's very, very practical. So, you can dive in and learn about the details. But basically, the takeaway is that, you know, most businesses, they start here, and once they have converted the prospect into a customer, but successful businesses get exponential results, because they're able to get those customers to buy from them. And again, and again and refer them to new customers.
Allan Dib: Yes, correct.
Arek Dvornechuck: So basically, this phase will will add in, it will continue basically in an ongoing virtuous cycle, right, as you're saying your book, you know, once they they love us and on our products and what we have to offer and they buy from us again, or they recommend us to other people, so that you know, our customer acquisition cost is lower, and therefore our marketing is more effective.
Allan Dib: Exactly.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. So, as we're approaching the end of our episodes, please let us know how we can find more about you. And whether it is for clients who want to work with you, or business owners, or creatives like myself who want to learn more about or learn more from you and more about your process. And I will include those links in the description.
Allan Dib: Yeah, so anyone who wants to learn more about The 1-page Marketing Plan you can buy, you can get the book on Amazon. It's also available in audio format on Audible. If you prefer to listen instead of read. You can download The 1-Page Marketing plan Canvas for free on my website, which is successwise.com. So, any of those ways, a lot of people listen to the book on audiobook on Audible, and so it's very popular and audio.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us on our podcast. I really appreciate that.
Allan Dib: Thank you, Arek. It was a pleasure to be on the show.
Arek Dvornechuck: So, this is it for today's episode, make sure to go and check out Allan's website and follow him on social media. And you can find all the links on this episode's page at ebaqdesign.com/ podcast/19. So thanks for tuning in. And if you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to my podcast for more tips on branding strategy and design. This was Arek Dvornechuck from Ebaqdesign.
Arek Dvornechuck is a strategist and designer who helps brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
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