Are your prioritizing marketing activities effectively to optimize business impacts?
Regardless of the industry, probably all marketing professionals recognize that desperate feeling when hopes and ideas for marketing come flooding in from every direction, even though in theory, there might be a consensus in the organization about the main tasks and goals of marketing. Instead of a single backlog, ideas are scattered across different platforms such as to-do lists, Slack conversations, and email inboxes. You name it.
Okay, the above-described situation is a really negative scenario. Many who are more systematic than I am probably manage the situation quite well. But if you happen to be as spontaneous and intuitive as me, you might get some ideas to support your marketing decisions from this writing.
In this blog, I present a couple of different suggestions for how to select tasks for implementation from a long to-do list based on certain criteria. With these tips, I aim to help you focus on activities that most effectively produce business impacts. That is, impacts that marketing is set to achieve, which are considered to generate business impacts, whether they be leads, awareness, website traffic, or something else.
In both examples I provide, it is assumed that you have at least a rough idea of the kinds of impacts various tasks can achieve. At best, both of my examples are about prioritizing different-sized individual tasks, not so much about coordinating ongoing daily marketing.
The same blog post is also available in Finnish: Priorisoitko markkinoinnin toimenpiteet tehokkaasti ja liiketoimintavaikutukset huomioiden?
1. Marketing Prioritization Matrix
I love matrices and quadrants as they help in simplifying cause and effect relationships. That's why I offer again one here as a tip. This particular matrix is inspired by traditional models, such as the Eisenhower matrix and the GE McKinsey Value/Effort matrix, which are typically used in product development queue prioritization. However, I think they work just as well in marketing too.
The Marketing Prioritization Quadrant is divided into the following parts:
Quick to implement, high impact: These are low-hanging fruits, quick to execute and potentially having a high impact on business objectives. These should be put into production immediately.
Slow to implement, high impact: These tasks have a high impact, but they require more time and resources. They should be put into production soon, but time and resources should also be allocated for them. They should not take up all the resources alone. Consider also whether the entire task can be divided into smaller, more manageable components
Quick to implement, small impact: Tasks that are quick to perform, but the impact is minor. In my own work, this section actually divides into two subcategories:
Comfort food: This category includes a lot of "nice little bits," such as data cleaning, enhancing presentation slides, photo editing, website updates. I use these as "comfort food" in between bigger challenges when I want to do something whose results are immediately visible.
Necessary evil: Things that just have to be done for one reason or another.
I usually don't schedule either of these separately, although it's important that they appear on the work list. I tackle these at suitable intervals, depending on deadlines.
Slow to implement, small impact: These tasks take a lot of time, but their impact is minimal. It's not worth even starting these, not even to please the idea presenter no matter their position in the organzation.
2. Weighted Prioritization
Another option for work list planning is weighted prioritization. It has the same logic as the above matrix, but the equation also includes costs and a calculation formula as follows
Business Impact + Internal Work + Purchase Costs = Total Points</p>
Each mentioned factor can have a basic value of 0-5. The higher the total points, the better. For example, no business impact = 0 and high business impact = 5. Since the business impact is the most significant in any case, I usually weight it with some multiplier. For example, like this
Business Impact x 2 + Internal Work + Purchase Costs = Total Points.
Ranges need to be made for internal work and costs. For the amount of work, you can use hours or days. I have used hours with the following ranges:
0-3h = 5
4-8h = 4
9-10h = 3
11-14h = 2
15-20h = 1
Yli 20h = 0
The ranges can naturally be adjusted based on the types of tasks that are generally on the lists.
In the same way, ranges are set for external costs, with one example below.
0€ = 5
100-300€ = 4
400-500€ = 3
600-900€ = 2
1000-1500 = 1
Yli 1600€ = 0
If the budget is very small, the ranges should be quite small too and the upper limit set quite low.
Example of a scoring table
Below is a fictional model of prioritizing my client's marketing tasks. I have given business impact a weight of two, but other factors are not weighted. The ranges for both the number of hours and external costs are as mentioned above.
In this list you can clearly see that optimizing marketing automation flows should be prioritized above all as they clearly seem to have most business impact and the costs are low. Whereas finnising brand renewall tasks shouldn't be given to much effort above the more important tasks. T
When to Use Prioritization Tools?
As I mentioned, for "everyday marketing" and running and frequently repeated tasks, prioritizations should not be done at least task by task. Instead, a broader set of activities can be prioritized as a single factor. For an example I recently decided with one of my clients to significantly reduce organic LinkedIn activities because algorithm changes have significantly reduced impressions and various experiments have not helped us bring them back to the earlier level. Thus, the business impacts of organic social media have clearly decreased. So instead of making decisions about individual social media posts, we made a decision that cover Linkedin organic posts in general.
At its best, either of the models I presented is useful when there is a large backlog of tasks waiting to be addressed. Additionally, if the marketing plan includes a multitude of ideas spanning the spectrum, and the fact is that resources are limited, prioritization models can help streamline the plan
Collaboration between Sales and Marketing in Prioritization
A joint prioritization session between sales and marketing, for example, once a month or every couple of months, helps ensure that all parties have up-to-date information on the tasks at hand. And most importantly, what should be done or left undone.
It also prevents ad-hoc ideas from clogging the work list, as each task put into execution is genuinely evaluated together.
If regular sessions don't seem like a good idea, then depending on the workload of marketing, even a one-time joint review of tasks can increase mutual understanding for the future.
How do you prioritize marketing tasks?
Marketing tasks can be prioritized using methods such as the Marketing Prioritization Matrix or Weighted Prioritization. These tools help assess factors like business impact, internal work, and purchase costs to determine the priority of each task.
How to do market prioritization?
Market prioritization can be achieved by analyzing various factors, including market size, growth potential, customer demographics, and competitive landscape. By weighing these factors, you can determine which markets should be prioritized for your marketing efforts.
How do you prioritize market segments?
Market segments can be prioritized by considering factors like the segment's alignment with your business objectives, potential profitability, and the resources required to target each segment effectively. Identifying high-potential segments and aligning them with your marketing goals is key to prioritizing market segments.
What is the main priority of marketing?
The primary priority of marketing is to achieve business impacts that contribute to the organization's success. This may includes generating leads, increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, and other goals that support business objectives. Effective marketing prioritization focuses on activities that most effectively produce these desired impacts.