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December 15, 2009
Create a 1-page strategic plan
A strategic plan has a better chance of being successful when it's easy to understand, easy to find, and easy to share.
That's why after we create longer-form strategy documents for social media or customer evangelism planning, we convert them into 1-page infographics. The word-driven complexity of a strategic plan is easier to comprehend when it's displayed graphically. We've found the one-pager to be a convenient way to keep everyone in a group or a team on the same page -- literally and figuratively.
One-page strategic plans like this can be printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, tacked to a wall, put in the front pocket of a binder or sent easily via email. Each component is color-coded into a group, and every component has a parent component to guard against orphan tactics or strategies.
The plan above is for a fictitious company. Click on the graphic to see a larger version.
(For an explanation of how we define objectives, goals, strategies and tactics in a strategic plan, see my last blog post.)
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Loving the perspective of this post. So many people and companies think social media is just an ad-hoc, jump into the pool feet first kind of game. Its not. as with any business strategy it needs to be planned, standardized, institutionalized, and formalized. I will definitely be using this example moving forward with my strategy. Thanks!
This is good. Very good. I can see it working both ways: as a graphic representation of a written plan, and as a thought starter prior to formal planning. By showing the client what the final outcome could look like you help them visualize an end result all through the process. Thanks for sharing this.
Hi Ben. Detail question, I get the ‘1% creation rate’ however I'm intrigued by the '10% synthesis rate'. Please can you elaborate? Regards, Robin (referencegeek)
From an in-house perspective, this is a great way to get executives on board who may not have the time or attention to go through an in-depth strategy doc. Thanks for sharing.
Ben - This is great. Rather than simply add a "me too!" on your post, I will also suggest that this exercise will ensure you know your plan inside and out. If it does not make sense as a 1-pager, it is probably a sign you either don't know it well enough OR it simply is not "fully cooked."
This is great and extremely useful. Any chance of providing an editable template? Thanks!
That's a great template! Really handy - love the layout. Thanks for sharing - will give it a go when doing my '10 planning next week.
@Eric -- You got it. As my co-author Jackie noted, it's time for social media to get boring (from a process standpoint).
@Jim -- Great idea of using the graphic as a starting point and an end point. It's a lot of work to simplify it, but simplicity has lasting value.
@Robin -- The 10% synthesis rate refers to people who interact with content, whether it's commenting, voting or taking some action other than reading. Hope that helps.
Cece -- Including this as part of an executive summary is a natural and ideal ways to share a strategy, and I can't believe I forgot that. Doh! Thanks for pointing it out.
Kevin -- Totally agree, and good point. If a plan can't be boiled down to its essential ingredients, then it's unlikely to be understood, much less communicated well.
Kate -- Hmmm. I create these in Illustrator, then save them as PDFs. Illustrator isn't exactly a widespread file format, and the learning curve is a bit steep. I could post the PDF file. Would that help?
Andy -- Love to hear that! Good luck with your planning.
Great model!In february this year I created one myself. My purpose was also to replace hevay strategy-document with a model at one page. Your model is more easy to follow than mine. However I cover a few more perspectives in my model.
My model is in english but blog-post is in Swedish
Ben - a PDF would be great - if it's unlocked (is that the proper terminology?) I can edit it, correct?
Glad it was a fictitious company. I first clicked on the image and started reading and couldn't figure out how those tactics were going to support the objectives and goals. Then I read it was fictitious. Phew!
Yes, It's hard int he beginning to trust my plan because business starts slow and then builds over time. But a clear strategy is necessary. Great reminder to set the vision, , goals and tactics and then implement, implement, implement, reevaluate and implement again.
Does one have to follow this system to the tea and do this system everyday? I like the sheet and recommendation and I appreciate your sharing it. Can this be done by a online marketing newbies?
Dr. Elon Bomani
This is a great tool for folks who want a simple plan that's easy to follow, implement and keep up with. Love that it's one page too! You know my thoughts on goals/objectives ;-), but what I think this highlights that will be SO important in 2010 is integration of tactics. If there's a cross-over of tactics to multiple strategies...siloed departments/teams may struggle a bit or have some conflicts. Integrated team/agency management is going to be key.
Community Manager, MarketingProfs
Is there a place where I can get this template to use myself?
Thank you for your excellent description of a condensed strategic plan. I was wondering -- if you want to focus your company around specific customer segments, should you consider enhancing your diagram with some mention of targets? Or perhaps you can have this document refer to specific segments with some more blown-out tactics to reach them.
We just find that the move to customer-centricity requires customer segments to appear on every core planning document, to reinforce the centrality of the concept.
Bjorn -- Thanks for sharing your model, too. I think an intrepid reader could combine elements from both of ours that fit their needs and create a hybrid.
Debra -- I just assembled a gumbo of ideas into the plan to show the overall structure. A customized plan would, of course, read pretty differently. (But if this plan works for someone, more power to them!)
Elon -- Well, a plan is a plan is a plan. I think a monthly review of tactical success and progress toward goals is a good start. Weekly reviews are better. An online marketing newbie could certainly give it a shot; I think it all depends on drive and desire.
Beth -- Thanks for chiming in and for all of your thoughtful comments about OGST. Depending on the company culture, a one-pager could be done departmentally, divisionally or individually.
Mark -- Conceivably, you could add customer segments as individual strategies, with supporting tactics of how you'll reach people in them. The measurable goals would feed customers served and/or x new segments, etc. The objective could be to position yourself in new markets. Depending on the size of your company, you could have unique one-pagers by department or even individuals, with those plans feeding into a core company plan.
1-page infographics, very beautiful. Thanks for nice posting.
Even though the 1-pager is a bit complicated itself, it is far more likely to be referenced and understood than a 300-page binder. It's "simplicity on the far side of complexity" as Oliver Wendell Holmes would say.
For another good example of valuing simplicity in gathering customer feedback, see The Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire Blog.
Thanks for sharing this idea. It looks like this would be s good way to plan for our social networking in 2010. Happy New Year!
Good post! Basically, you can never start a good business without having in mind what you want for the business and how you want your goals to be achieved and it's all about the creation of a perfect mindset - and that completes every unique business plan of successful entrepreneurs. What I can also add to this one is to set the 80/20 principle in separating the less dollar productive to more dollar productive activities that you should target in the market. This way, it can be easier for you to manage batch processed time to finish more specific goals as possible.
I love the phrase "customer evangelism planning;" it seems to carry in it the idea of building a personal relationship with verve and vigor.
Creating a personal relationship with your customer is what it will be about in 2010. People are no long silent and held hostage. Everyone now has a voice thanks to the internet and that's the way it should be.
Thanks for the nice post.I think that when we do a work with proper strategy and plan it could give much better result than a work wich done without plan.
I wish the popularity of infographics would grow much faster. A well-designed infographis speaks SO much more effectively than numbers, figures and charts.
thank you for this post! very helpful! i'm interested to begin trying this out with the church leaders that i work with - thanks again!