Prioritize marketing initiatives

1. Set a clear, well-defined, measurable marketing goal.

This goal will serve as a measuring stick for all upcoming marketing initiatives. You likely already have high-level goals listed out in your company’s quarterly or annual objectives or goals. Common marketing goals include: Increasing sales. Re-engaging past customers. Building your prospect list. Growing your email newsletter database.

2. List all of your potential marketing initiatives, including in-progress and proposed actions for the near future.

3. Pause, cancel, or stop investing in any marketing initiatives that aren’t aligned with your main goal.

Doing this should immediately narrow your list of marketing initiatives.

4. Identify key metrics, such as cost and effort, that will help you define your return on investment and steer project prioritization.

Every company and brand will have different strategic goals, but there are common data points and metrics that can help any enterprise set its priorities. Metrics that you may find useful when determining what marketing initiatives to focus on include: Cost: How much will it cost to run advertising, build new landing pages, and hiring new staff? Project duration: Will this initiative only run for a month, or for a year? Is it seasonal or evergreen? Estimated hours: How much time will it take for your team to do this on a daily basis? Will it be a side project as time allows, or will they need to dedicate their full day to it? Effect on your business: How effective will this initiative be at helping you achieve your strategic goal?

5. Assign weight values to each of your specific prioritization criteria.

Using the previous criteria as examples, you might come up with the following: Cost effective: 30% Project duration: 10% Estimated hours: 20% Effect on your business: 40% There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. For example, a small marketing team of only three individuals may decide that project duration and estimated hours should be weighted much higher because of the outsized impact that these factors would have on the team’s daily activities and workload.

6. Create a spreadsheet with a column for your initiatives and a column for each criteria. List all of your marketing initiatives in the first column and score each initiative on a scale of 1-5.

If this will be a team exercise, set a 30- or 60-minute time limit to prevent your team from spending too long debating the merits of each initiative. This scoring process should be quick and to the point.

7. Calculate the weighted score for each marketing initiative by multiplying each criteria score by the weighting you decided earlier, then adding up the weighted scores for each criteria.

For example, if you were trying to decide between a new email newsletter or launching a new social media strategy, you might score the newsletter: Cost effective: 5 Project duration: 4 Estimated hours: 5 Effect on your business: 3 Your equation would look like this: (5*0.3)+(4*0.1)+(5*0.2)+(3*0.4) = 4.1

8. Sort the list from the highest score to lowest score for a quick, upfront glimpse of your priorities.

Marketing initiatives that receive the highest score are those that have the best return on investment and will have the greatest impact on your company’s goals. These are the initiatives that should be your top priority.