reads: The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

There are virtually thousands of marketing books available on shelves today, but not all writers can articulate their thoughts the way Allan Dib does. Penned primarily for startup founders and small business owners, The 1-Page Marketing Plan talks about three marketing phases and discusses how leaders should address each stage.

Although the book doesn’t uncover disruptive marketing secrets, seasoned entrepreneurs will still find this read a delight to skim through as Dib’s way with words is commercially insightful. For instance, he notes that a fundamental concept not too many business folks will immediately understand is that a profitable enterprise is largely because of how it’s marketed and not because of the business’s product or service.

To prove his analogy, he used the story of world-class violinist Joshua Bell as an example. In a social experiment, Bell was asked by the Washington Post to play classical pieces at his local subway. After about an hour of a concert’s worth of performance, the talented musician garnered a disappointing $32 from passersby, a far cry from his hourly talent fee of $60,000 on stage in front of a live audience.

Aside from the difference of venues, Bell performed the way he would’ve had in front of a paying crowd, but he earned much less. Dib’s point is spot on. The same product can carry different monetary values depending on the audience it’s presented to.

Considering how saturated the market is today, one can imagine the many promising alternatives to the most popular brands today, if only some commodities were marketed differently. If you’re interested in making money out of a product or service you produce, then you should definitely pick this book up.

Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from The 1-Page Marketing Plan

  • Not too many business leaders will have the humility to admit this, but many entrepreneurs in their fields today might as well look for a job in the industry they belong to. Firstly, they won’t have to work as much as they do in their own businesses. Secondly, they’ll most probably even have better benefits and won’t need to stress as much as they do now. Founding a startup is liberating, but not when you lack professional experience and an empathetic leader’s insight.
  • The most impactful leverage point for any enterprise will have to be marketing. Your product’s design and features may not be as excellent as your competitor’s, but when you can sell it in such a way that makes it stand out, best believe you’ll out-earn all of your contemporaries. The bottom line is if one is a terrific marketer, sales will follow.
  • Many entrepreneurs fool themselves into believing that their product is Manna from heaven. “Build it and they will come,” served Kevin Costner’s movie character well, but you are not in a movie. The real cinema you face daily is the life you live in. To successfully market something, your product has to possess some level of promise, too.
  • One of the most prominent mistakes startups and small businesses commit is executing precisely their bigger competitors’ marketing tactics. No matter how similar your product is, remember that the markets they’re presented to dictate how much they could be worth. For instance, a water bottle can cost less than a dollar, but when you take the same water brand and sell it at, say, a five-star hotel, it becomes three to seven times more expensive.

The three reference points

Before — consider the people in this category as prospects. At the start of this phase, people typically haven’t heard about your product. This stage concludes when your prospect learns about your brand and initiates an encounter with your business. This could come in the form of liking your page, commenting on a post, or subscribing to one of your platforms.

During — this stage, prospects turn into leads. At the start of this phase, leads have expressed some level of interest in whatever you have to commodify. This stage concludes when your lead purchases from you for the first time.

After — in this stage, leads aren’t only glorified prospects anymore; they’re customers. At the beginning of this stage, customers have already made a transaction with you, so the objective is to keep them returning to purchase more.

The marketing process is an expedition. From not knowing about your product to learning about it to making a purchase, the cycle never ends. The secret here is to keep on learning.


Overall, Dib’s words are relevant and useful, and any business leader will appreciate what he has to bring to the table, albeit nothing mind-bogglingly new. If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to take a deep dive into the world of marketing, The 1-Page Marketing Plan should start you off just right.

Have startup ideas in mind? Call us, and tell us all about it! We’d love to make it happen.

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