A good marketing plan should be as much about defining what not to do, as it is about deciding what you should.
When in the planning phase, one of the hardest things is to decide which action to take going forwards. You’ve brainstormed lots of ideas, but if you chase them all, you’ll likely be doing lots of things poorly and none of them particularly well.
If like me, and you find it easy to succumb to shiny object syndrome, you need a way to keep yourself, and your marketing on track. Fortunately, there are ways of doing this, and you don’t need to figure it out on your own. The very kind Sean Ellis of Growth Hackers has done this for us.
Want to reduce overwhelm, increase focus and bring the team with you? Here’s how to do it.
- Be clear on your marketing goals.
- Make sure you are clear on your goals for your given time period – I recommend working in timeframes of 90 days. It’s long enough to get things done but not long enough to lose momentum and focus.
- What outcomes do you need to move the needle on your growth? More sales from existing customers, more customers?
- Once you are clear on what you want to achieve, brainstorm ideas that may help you achieve that goal.
The ICE method – score your ideas to achieve them
The next step is an important one. Score each idea (individually or as a team) on a scale of one to ten; one being the worst and ten the best. Ideas are scored based on the following criteria:
- Impact: how much impact is this likely to make in moving your business towards its goals?
- Confidence: what is the certainty that the project will have the impact you’re looking for?
- Ease: how much effort is needed to execute it?
Following this, using the three scores you have completed using the criteria above (impact, confidence & ease), give each idea an ICE score.
An ICE score = Impact + Confidence + Ease / 3
Now, simply see which ideas score most highly, and focus your efforts and attention on them. This is where you begin to avoid being distracted by the other ideas. To stay optimally focused, I recommend concentrating your efforts on no more than three things at a time.
Although, this method isn’t perfect. The scoring is pretty subjective and that’s OK. Any method that helps me focus on knowing why I am doing something and cuts out the crap that costs me time and money… That’s good enough for me.
Remember, the most common reason for a marketing strategy to breakdown is that your plan fails to get executed or focusses on the wrong things. Try the ICE method in your business and see how it works.
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