By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail - Benjamin Franklin
A skill that every marketer needs to have is the ability to balance time and resources effectively. It’s a tough challenge. Marketers are pulled from pillar to post, from creative to analytics, from printed flyers to animated web banners and everything in between.
When you’re creating your monthly, quarterly or yearly marketing plan you’ll have lots of ideas on marketing activities with the aim of helping you to meet your business goals. How do you know what marketing activities to roll out first?
Creating an action plan
The first step is to create a list of all your proposed marketing activities. This is the start of your action plan. Once you have all your activities in a list, answer the following questions of each activity with high or low.
- How much revenue will the activity generate for the company? (Value)
- What costs are involved? (Value)
- How much time and resource is required from staff members? (Complexity)
- What risks are involved, if any? (Complexity)
Once you have answers for all the questions for each activity, you can start to build a value versus complexity matrix.
Value versus complexity
A value versus complexity matrix helps you to evaluate the activities in your marketing plan. We love this example from MindTheProduct.
Assess every activity from your list based on what you scored it for Value (revenue generated and costs involved) and Complexity (resource and risks). If you have scored one question as high and another as low, you’ll want to plot that activity somewhere in the middle.
Once completed, group all your activities by segment, or quadrant to understand what marketing activities you should focus on first. You can then create a priority list based on the high-value tactics that require the least effort.
Top left is your high value, low complexity tasks. These are the ones to prioritize as it provides the best value for minimum effort. These should be at the top of your action plan.
Bottom left is your low value, low complexity tasks. As the image above shows, these are best saved for a Friday afternoon, or once all high-value tasks have been completed.
Bottom right is your low value, high effort tasks. These should be at the bottom of your action plan or reassessed to see if the ideas can be reconfigured to provide more value.
Top right is your high value, high effort tasks. These tend to be bigger projects, so it’s worth breaking down each activity or idea here into smaller, more manageable tasks.
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