Marketing powerhouse P&G developed a marketing plan in just 7 sentences!

In fact, in just five minutes you could create a top-notch marketing plan for your brand of chiropractic and get your practice ready for success.

Here’s the Plan

Building your chiropractic business without a marketing plan is a lot like going to battle under the command of a general who tells you, “Ready, fire, aim!”

Your marketing plan functions like a personal guidebook that has seven sentences covering the most pressing issues in marketing. We know that there are far more than seven issues facing a practice about to market it brand of chiropractic, but we also know the close correlation between focus and profits. By all means, scrutinize every aspect of your practice, but concentrate on these seven areas. Prove your concentration by writing one brief sentence covering each area. That’s not overly demanding. In fact, all the sentences except the fourth one are short and simple. The fourth one is a list.

A minute is a long time. Do nothing for one minute, and you’ll see how much time is packed into that little unit. For your marketing to succeed, you need to put a seven-sentence guerrilla marketing plan into writing in five minutes.

Read the entire article before you get started. Don’t try to cover everything or say too much in each of your sentences. A marketing plan is a blueprint, a framework, a map. What you’re about to create will serve you for three to five years. Although your commitment to this plan is going to make it work, you must still be prepared to make minor alterations to the plan.

A marketing plan this brief and focused has been the cornerstone of many businesses worldwide. It’s short enough to show to all interested parties without boring them with details.

It’s focused enough so that everyone gets the point. Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s most marketing-minded companies, creates a marketing plan for each of its products. These plans are as brief as we’re suggesting here.

Each P&G plan may be accompanied by 300 pages of documentation, but it begins with a clear marketing strategy. Do as you like with your own documentation. But get the seven sentences right first.

1. The first sentence tells the purpose of your marketing. Be very specific. What physical action do you want your Prospex to take? Pick up a phone and punch in your business’s number? Go to its website? Send an e-mail? Go to your office? Call a phone number and ask for Rose? What specific thing do you want Prospex to do right after they’ve been exposed to your marketing message? You’ve got to be clear about that, or your Prospex never will be.

In your sentence, don’t say something vague like “to grow” or “get more new patients” Instead, be very specific. What precisely is the desired outcome you want from your marketing? Begin by creating SMART goals: sensible, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (must be accomplished before a specified deadline).

For example, maybe you want to develop 50 new leads by June 3, generate 1,000 web hits a day or cultivate 10 new Patients in the next three months. Don’t talk marketing or advertising in this sentence. Talk in plain English.

We’d write a couple of examples here for you, but starting up doesn’t mean hitching a ride. Close your eyes and visualize a Prospex who has just read, heard or viewed your message. The Prospex is smiling. What’s he going to do next? Watch him carefully. Then convince the world to do just what he did.

2. The second sentence states the competitive advantage you’ll emphasize. How will you accomplish your first-sentence goal? Why will your marketplace take the action we were just talking about? You’ve got a lot of benefits to offer your Prospex, but so do your competitive colleaagues. Fortunately for you, you’ve also got some benefits that only you offer. These are your competitive advantages. This is where you hang your marketing hat. If you have multiple competitive advantages, good for you, but pick only one to be the superstar of your marketing campaign. More than one might confuse an audience already besieged by marketing clutter.

Whenever possible, stress your competitive advantage so that it is seen as the solution to a problem. Marketers have long known that it is much easier to sell the solution to a problem than to sell a positive benefit.

3. The third sentence explains who your target audience is. The more specific you are and the more you narrow down the audience, the more accurate your marketing’s aim will be. Your marketing plan needs to be as precise and focused as possible.

Try to broadcast only to people with a very high propensity to want and need what you’re selling. It’s not a matter of high numbers so much as it is accuracy.

A thousand random Prospex won’t earn you as much profit as 10 of the right Prospex. For example, if you know that folks with a certain insurance plan have great chiropractic coverage… target them. Or, if you enjoy working with children, then focus your efforts on parents with young children.

It may be that you have more than one target audience. Most Chiropreneurs have several. Set your sights on all your target markets. But, have a “plan” for each target segment. If you don’t, someone else probably will, and you’ll have a devil of a time getting them back.

4. The fourth sentence lists the marketing weapons you’ll be using. Choose only those that you: a) can afford, b) understand, and c) can implement properly.

Because you’re aware of so many options, it ought to be easy for you to pack an arsenal of custom-chosen weapons that have demonstrated their firepower in real marketing battles.

Far more weapons are affordable now than at any other time in history. This is not your father’s century… this is your century, and by properly equipping yourself for the struggle to win minds and money, you’ll be in for a smooth ride.

5. The fifth sentence explains your niche in the marketplace. Now that you have determined your purpose, benefits and target market, it’s time to define your marketing niche.

When people hear the name of your practice, what’s the first thing that enters their minds? Is it chiropractic, wellness, economy, exclusivity, value, service, selection or one of a host of other good things?

That’s your niche… also referred to as positioning… and it’s what you stand for in the minds of your Prospex.

Chiropreneurs know the marketplace is cluttered with competition, so it pays to be a leader in a smaller pond. For example:

Back Pain Relief Without Surgery

End Back Pain Without Drugs

Each of these “targets” a different potential patient… one homes in on those considering spinal surgery and the other targets those who are looking for natural solutions to back pain.

Chiropreneurs carve out a position where they can differentiate themselves, and this differentiation is apparent in every marketing weapon they use. Niches can be defined in many ways, including through a specific target market or a distinct means of service. What’s your niche?

Once you’re clear about what your niche is, let it come shining through in all your other marketing. Your target market has a hard enough time understanding why it should do business with you. Don’t add confusion about yourself to the mix.

6. The sixth sentence sets forth your identity. Your identity is different from your image, because an identity is based on truth. An image is a facade, something phony. The far better “I” word is “identity.”

Your brand of chiropractic identity is automatically honest. If you communicate a real identity, people sense comfort and relaxation when they contact you. What they see in your marketing is ultimately what they get from your brand of chiropractic and that builds trust and rapport.

Part of your identity is your practice personality. Every practice has an identity, but many of them haven’t given it much, if any, thought. People are attracted to other people… and providers… who have pleasant or exciting personalities. Be great at your healing art, but don’t be all business. Let your identity shine through. Put it in writing, right in your marketing plan, so that it will apply to all your creative materials.

7. The seventh sentence states your marketing budget, expressed as a percentage of your projected gross sales. The beauty of marketing is that more than half of the marketing weapons are free. But remember: There are important reasons to spend money on your marketing.

Chiropreneurs know that the most important place to spend money is on your practice presentation, meaning the quality of your stationery, business cards, brochures, fliers and logos.

The public will get their first sense of your professionalism through your written materials, so make a strong impression. This may cost you more initially, but look at it as an investment in your future.

Now spend a few minutes deciding where you’ll get the biggest bang for your marketing bucks. Having a good idea of what your budget is will help you plan better and avoid misspending precious funds.

Calculate your marketing budget using your projected gross collections; this helps you operate in a growth mode. If you work off your current collections, you’ll be planning to tread water.

In 2007, the average U.S. business invested 4 percent of gross revenue in marketing. But you don’t want to be average, do you? At the start, when you have the least money, you still ought to invest generously in your debut. You might invest 10 percent the first year, but rising sales would make that absolute dollar mount only 5 percent the next year and 3 percent after that. Pin down a number and write it into your plan as the seventh sentence.