Setting Priorities

My last entry presented the process I was working through with the team at Good Life Gifts as we prepare to assure our success in sales during the Christmas gift-buying season. The tactics (or activities) we’re considering include publishing a newsletter, weekly email blasts, blogging, producing podcasts and participating in social networks.

My business partner, Steve Hoeft, asked me to rank each marketing activity to help in determining the priority we will give them. His assignment was to rank them using two criteria: potential sales resulting from the activity (1 = low, 2 = medium, and 3 = high), and by effort or cost needed to pull it off (1 = high, 2 = medium, and 3 = low). The final ranking would result from adding these two values together. The highest result would be activities we’d expedite, and the lower would be the activities we’d delay until later. If the score was low enough, perhaps we wouldn’t do it at all.

Working with this ranking system for a while, I realized that there was a big factor missing—the accuracy of the message we broadcast in the execution phase of the activity. A high score for accuracy (3) would be one in which we could deliver the exact message to a specified target market, or persona, like a carefully written email message to an existing customer. An example of a low score (1) in this ranking category would be a message written by a blogger who may have come across our site through a general PR or buzz campaign. Who knows what they’d say about us.

After ranking each activity for potential sales, effort, and accuracy, I came up with this order of priority: email, newsletters, blogging, social networks, and podcasting. I’ll break each of these down in the upcoming blog entries.

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