Coming up with awesome growth marketing ideas is kind of the easy part.
The real challenge comes in once you have more good ideas than you can execute.
That’s when you need to prioritize!
It takes a lot of planning, experience, focus and discipline to manage your marketing ideas ice box and know when and what to move into WIP.
Because if you prioritize everything then you prioritize nothing, right?
I personally struggle with this all the time, but with experience, I’m getting better and better at it.
I’m still in the process of refining my processes so I can better prioritize and project manage the most important growth initiatives first and in the right order and I’m sure there’s a lot that I could learn from other expert growth marketers!
That’s why I tried to pick the brains of some of the best growth marketing experts I know, and asked them this one hypothetical question:
“What’s the most helpful piece of advice you’d give to others for prioritizing marketing ideas?”
Let’s face it, knowing how other people prioritize can give you perspective on how you prioritize.
So if you have the nagging feeling like you are chronically biting off more than you can chew, maybe you can learn something from these people.
Note: This expert roundup includes perspectives from mentors on Growthmentor. Jump on a 1:1 Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts call with any of these growth marketing experts.
My mission is to help bootstrapped & funded SaaS companies with marketing to drive real, sustainable growth. I specialize in early-stage traction, finding and establishing growth channels, content marketing, customer research, positioning, messaging, and copywriting, and own and operate digital marketing efforts at Cordial.
Start from the bottom.
So often, marketers start with top of funnel acquisition like website traffic, impressions, and email subscribers.
However, if your funnel is leaky down funnel and you’re not optimizing for user growth, retention, activation, or even conversion, top of funnel acquisition will have far less effect than it should.
Corey Haines - Marketing Manager at Cordial.com
Focus first on bottom of funnel activities that optimize conversion and expansion, then work your way up the funnel to acquisition.
That’s when you can “pour gasoline on the fire” and scale up top of funnel marketing efforts.
5+ years of combined experience in field sales, Sales Development & Account Executive roles. I have helped grow startups to 1 Mn in ARR and am currently on a goal to reach $100k ARR on my own startup Ecomply.io. Am also responsible for driving growth at Userpilot.com.
My framework to prioritize marketing ideas is very simple. What’s stage are you at and what’s the end goal?
For example, your stage is early stage SaaS and you’re looking to get the first 10 customers. You will have a lot of marketing ideas. You could be trying Facebook and Google ads, doing some growth hacking or going to exhibitions to get customers.
To prioritize, I’d suggest choosing the end goal first. Secondly, the framework. These are the four options that I can assign any marketing task that I do.
- Important and Urgent
- Not urgent, but important some day.
What’s the most urgent marketing/sales idea that could get you first 10 customers? Think about it, then, prioritize based on these ideas. Using a framework like this has worked wonders for me.
Aazar Ali Shad - Head of Growth at Userpilot.io
To maintain focus always be mindful of what stage you are at and what is your end goal.
The north star is your end goal and then priority.
I’m a French Entrepreneur, Software Engineer turned Growth Marketer. I have started my entrepreneurial journey in 2016, and it’s been a success so far. Co-Founder of Feedier, the gamified feedback survey software. I have grown my SaaS from 0 to 3K+ users in 5 months, along with other businesses.
We are all busy, all competing for time, and we always want more, right?
How do we keep up with it and make the right move?
By setting rules and goals.
Those will ultimately make up your prioritized tasks. Objectives are what you want to achieve at the end of the week or the month. The rules are what led you to prioritize.
For instance, if one piece of content requires 15 hours of work, plus two hours of design, and you are not much confident about the conversion of this piece (~10%). While, on the other hand, if you have two deals in the pipeline that requires two hours of work to move forward, but you’re highly confident about closing the deal, then, don’t hesitate! Go for the latter.
Baptiste Debever - Co-Founder of Feedier.com
Setting rules and goals will ultimately make up your prioritized tasks. Objectives are what you want to achieve at the end of the week or the month. The rules are what led you to prioritize.
The point is to focus on what is the most urgent now – and work you way down.
We have used an Airtable sheet at Feedier, and we will be happy to share it on our blog page soon. Look out for it!
After years of working with CEOs, Heads of Growth, and Marketers from all over the world, I now help organizations adopt sustainable & ethical growth practices to make positive impact on humanity & the environment.
Start with a clear goal. If you have no idea what you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s acquisition, activation, or engagement related, you will never know how to prioritize ideas against one another.
I’ve seen a lot of teams try to prioritize any and all ideas that come up. This leads to team burnout if the ideas are scattershot, half-assed, and without a clear goal in mind.
Instead, provide your team with an idea framework that includes the idea name, a description of the idea, what goal it will achieve, what effect it will have on the goal (impact), any supporting data as to why the idea is a good one to test (confidence), and how the idea will be implemented with any necessary resources described (ease).
Dani Hart - Former Head of Growth at Growthhackers.com
If you have no idea what you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s acquisition, activation, or engagement related, you will never know how to prioritize ideas against one another.
Our world is changing quickly and new ideas are easier than ever to come up with. If you don’t map your ideas back to business goals, you’ll be running in circles with little progress.
Yasmine is a Hybrid T- Marketer working as a growth strategist at Market8. In the last + 15 years, she has built extensive lateral knowledge across multiple industries and marketing channels, offline and online, fine-tuning a data-driven methodologies and building integrated marketing plans.
When it comes to marketing, one of the most common mistakes I see happening with startups and smaller businesses, is them jumping the gun and implementing a bunch of marketing ideas, because they are on trend.
Let me illustrate, a new social media channel gains traction, and everyone thinks their brand should be on there.
The truth is it doesn’t. Or at least, not necessarily.
10 years ago, mobile apps were THE thing, and every brand wanted one. Some thought it was a great investment, reading the number of downloads… but was it, if the app showed no engagement?
A rule of thumb: strategy precedes marketing channel implementation. Marketing is contextual. What works for a brand, will very likely not work for yours. The key is to acknowledge your business challenges, understand your ideal buyer persona and it’s buying cycle, and then turn your business and sales goals into marketing objectives.
You will soon find that your marketing plan is not a myriad of ideas, but an integrated mix of channels that work towards the same goals. And the more integrated your channels, the more robust your plan is.
So, before you put the cart before the horses, here are a few tips:
- First, think of your business goals
- Translate them into marketing goals
- Think of your ideal buyer persona
- Are your ideas founded on insights from data analysis?
Yasmine de Aranda - Growth Marketing Strategist at Market8
Strategy precedes marketing channel implementation. Marketing is contextual. What works for a brand, will very likely not work for yours.
Now? Do you still have too many great ideas? Do you have the resources and the budget to implement?
If you do, I find that one of the best way to help you prioritize your marketing ideas, is to always work by the impact on your business. What will have the highest impact (exposure + time), but is the easiest (fastest + cheapest) to implement. It is based on Conversion XL’s prioritization framework for A/B tests (AKA PXL).
Co-Founder/Principal at MH Digital Group. Former Engineer turned Marketing Technologist. Formerly ran Customer Success at Net-Results Marketing Automation.
Start from the business as a whole, and figure out where bottlenecks are in your processes. Whether they be friction between steps in your marketing/sales funnel, or if you have a gap in attribution.
Adam Moncrief - Co-Founder/Principal at MH Digital Group
Finding bottlenecks makes measuring your efforts easy and allows you to pivot if the thing you previously prioritized doesn’t turn out to be all that valuable or successful.
Then, use tools like marketing automation to solve those areas in order of how big the bottlenecks are. It’s nice to be able to have the time and resources to use every feature available in all the tools at your disposal, but it’s important to prioritize what fits your business first and foremost.
Danilo is an experienced growth manager for fast-growing US & EU Tech Startups and mid-size companies. Former VC backed Startup CEO & Founder and former Head of Experiences in a leading EU OTA travel firm.
I had often this issue with many of my clients and projects.
As long as it is a common issue to find a shared ground on which to build the marketing strategy for international teams, I often find that the average team is often looking for a “shiny object” app to solve all their creative ideas in an efficient execution.
Danilo De Rosa - Growth Marketing Manager
Teams often look for a “shiny object” app to solve all their creative ideas in an efficient execution. But sometimes an efficient combination of multiple tools can help to prioritize marketing tasks at no cost.
While I used several tools to complete the brainstorming phase (the last is realtimeboard.com for shared mindmaps or sketchapp.com for flowchart design) I have completed my best projects through the Google suite apps because it’s browser based and always-live-in-the-cloud.
An efficient combination of Google Suite tools can help to prioritize marketing tasks in any project:
- Google Sheets, planning framework, research
- Google Slides, brainstorming ideas through a focused presentation
- Google Hangouts + Google Calendar, an useful combination to plan and execute meeting calls on a daily/weekly basis
- Google Docs, they help to boost productivity through an advanced use of their “notes” feature, that permits to any member to give their feedback on specific topics
- Trello – Great shared tool to plan daily, weekly activities with remote teams.
- Slack/Discord – Great to have a daily conversation and update the whole teams about the ongoing tactics.
- Jira – I use Jira only on projects that include +4 members and are mostly based on a daily execution.”
Entrepreneurial developer. Currently building DULO, an apparel company where we want to focus on creating products and content for entrepreneurs.
Don’t overthink content and test, instead of guessing. Looking for perfection is the quickest way to lose, given that speed is king and the more you do, the more you will learn and get better at it, hence achieving an overall higher quality and results in the long-term.
Julian Samarjiev - Co-founder Dulo
No one bad piece of content will ruin your company/brand, but one random thing that you thought wouldn’t index as well, might make it. Reference: You can’t name Michael Jacksons worst songs. But you sure remember his best.”
Don’t overestimate how much you think you know about the marketing channel/platform/creative/target group, always measure your guesses against reality by forming a habit to create a process that pushes out a lot of content, distributed well across a variety of platforms.
I am an entrepreneur, CEO and founder speaking English, French, Spanish and Chinese. I help SMBs and startups grow, generate leads and increase revenue on a daily basis. I have worked with hundreds of companies from 70+ countries. Currently busy running Growth-hackers.net
When you’re running a business, marketing a product or service or founding a startup, you’ve got a million things to do. But, how should you prioritize?
I recommend you to classify the tasks you need to do by importance. Do you need to improve your landing page, increase your CRO, post on social media, write a blog post, answer your emails, etc…
Jonathan Aufray - Founder of Growth-hackers.net
Find what’s the most urgent and start with it until it’s done. Once you finish that task, go to the 2nd one.
If a marketing task isn’t that urgent, keep it for later.
A tip to prioritize your task: think about the goals of your company. Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to generate leads? Do you want to make sales? Do you want a positive ROI?
If you know the objective of your marketing campaigns, you will be able to prioritize your tasks by importance.
Talking through your marketing ideas out loud is a cathartic experience for many marketers and unfortunately, is not done often enough. By vocalizing your growth marketing strategy to another expert growth marketer, you’ll be able to get 3rd party perspective of the health of your marketing backlog.
You might be spreading yourself too thin, you might not be experimenting enough with other channels, you never know what insight you might uncover after a 30 minute call with a growth mentor!