One-Page Marketing Plan for SMEs: stop wasting time and start making money

Jasmine Toh

This is Mark.

Mark runs a gym.

To promote his gym, he manually gives out flyers to people working nearby.

There was hardly any response. In fact, most of his flyers ended up in the rubbish bin!

Mark is stumped.

Then Mark discovers the term “online marketing”.

Determined to revive his business, he studied it furiously.

He learned about various online marketing tactics he can use to market his gym.

Feeling confident, he shared his ideas with Jackie, a friend who owns a digital marketing firm over a cup of coffee.

To his surprise, Jackie said this –

Many SME owners tend to jump into digital marketing without much thought, dumping money into SEO and SEM only to realise it’s not what their business needs!

It was at this moment that Mark realised why he needs a marketing plan. It acts as his road map to achieving his business goals. Marketing without a plan will be a waste of time and money.

The best thing is, creating a marketing plan can be very simple (even if you have no prior marketing knowledge.)

Here’s how.

#1 Review your customer persona

Every successful marketing strategy starts with customers.

A customer persona helps you understand your customer’s psychology and behaviour, and guide you in reaching out to them.

If you don’t have a customer persona, then you are not ready to create a marketing plan yet. Start envisioning your ideal customer and create an identity for them. A basic customer persona should look something like this,

If you already have a customer persona, review it to make sure that you have covered all relevant preferences or behaviour that will affect your product or service. It is also important that it is up to date.

#2 Analyse your competitors

Make a list of your top three worst and best competitors.

Beside each competitor, jot points on how your business is/could be better than theirs. This will determine how you should position and market your business.

#3 Decide on four marketing goals

Must it be four? Yes.

Four is a good number for most small businesses like Mark’s gym because it is realistic. Too many goals will easily cause burnout, leading to no specific marketing results.

All of your four goals should directly impact your bottom line, i.e. increase your business revenue. Goals will vary depending on your industry and business life-cycle stage.

Here are some guidelines to follow when creating your marketing goals:

  1. Find out where your business stands at now (number of leads, revenue, customer acquisition rate), and set the bar higher.
  2. Be specific. Have actual numbers rather than general ideas. E.g. “55 online leads per week” vs “increase leads generation”.
  3. Goals should be measurable. If you can’t determine whether you achieved your goals, what is the point of creating one in the first place?
  4. Set a time-limit. Each goal should have a deadline, after which it should already be achieved.

Once again, remember that your four goals should always link back to increasing your business revenue.

#4 Identify four key activities that will achieve those goals 

Once your goals are set, the next question is “how to achieve them?”

If “leads generation” is one of your goals, some marketing activities could be designing a landing page or content marketing.

It is best to keep it to four because again, having too many will lead to burnout and achieve nothing. Rather than attempt to do everything halfway, focus on a few key activities and go all the way with it.

This is often what differentiates the successful business from the less successful ones.

#5 Have three key KPIs

List three key performance indicators (KPIs) for your marketing campaign to determine if it is successful at the end of the day.

Here are five common marketing KPIs to help you out. It’s a non-exhaustive list, so you can check out this blog if you want more KPIs to refer to. (Remember, just pick three key ones!)

  • Sales revenue from online marketing

(Total sales for the year) – (Total revenue from customers acquired through offline marketing)

  • Online Marketing ROI

(Sales Growth – Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment

  • Organic traffic

Refers to the number of people who searched for your website on their own.

  • Social media traffic and conversion rates
    • Lead conversions generated via each social media channel.
    • Customer conversions generated via each social media channels
    • Percentage of traffic associated with social media channels

Analysing such metrics will help you to focus your efforts on the more effective social media channels.

  • Traffic-to-lead ratio (aka new contact rate)

If this ratio is low, it means that people are visiting your site but are not filling out the form. Examples of forms are “contact a rep” forms, “sign up for newsletter” forms or “download my free ebook” forms.

A lead is one who fills up such forms and leaves their contact details.

Choose a suitable software that can help automate your analytics for you. This pinpoints areas in your marketing that are doing well and ones that are not, giving you insights on how to improve.

#6 Constantly review and make changes if necessary (Ongoing)

Be clear on the fact that your marketing plan is never set in stone, it changes constantly.

Your team changes. Your customer changes. Your competitor changes. Your goal changes… When such changes happen, you need to be ready to readjust your marketing plan accordingly.

Review your KPIs and metrics regularly to ensure that your marketing campaign is working. If it is not, look at the metrics again to diagnose where can be improved.


Most SMEs tend to stumble at step 4 – identifying key activities. They bite more than they can chew and end up with a half-baked and ineffective marketing method. Do not fall into this trap!

Using these six steps, Mark managed to create a one-page marketing plan for his gym. Check it out!

Do you still find a marketing plan too tedious?

Mark is willing to introduce you to his online marketing guru, Jackie! He’ll do the tedious and boring parts for you so you can focus on other things.

Now that Mark has his marketing plan armed at his side, he is ready to move on to the next step.

Any guesses as to what that is?


If you guessed landing page, you are absolutely right!

Want to hear about how he went about it? Then stay tuned for next week’s blog post.

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