Time to Prioritize

Have you set your communications and marketing goals? Check. Written out your strategy for how you’ll accomplish your goals? Check. Brainstormed all your tactics for the next steps you need to take? Check. The hard part is over, or so you thought. After looking at page after page of tactics, how do you even know where to start?!


Let’s be honest, actually executing on your tactics can be just as hard as coming up with all of them. How do you know if you should start whipping up that Twitter campaign? Or brainstorming your website launch quiz? Or start on the next round of social media graphics? Before you shut your laptop and wonder why you even wanted to write a strategy in the first place, let us introduce you to your new best friend:

The Magical Matrix of Value vs. Complexity

You ready? Get excited for your new favorite tool for setting your marketing and communications priorities. 

1. Take out that never-ending list of tactics. As a friendly reminder, tactics are the specific steps you plan on taking to achieve your goals. Think of these as clear activities such as executing a Twitter campaign, engaging a specific number of influencers, writing an op-ed, etc.

2. Make your matrix! Your matrix is a simple 2X2 grid with “organizational value” on one axis and “complexity” on the other. If you still don’t speak Pre-Algebra, an example of what it should look like is below! 


3. Start divvying up your tactics based on their value vs. complexity. Look at your list and start thinking about where they fit in on the matrix. Classify each tactic by both how much value they bring to the organization and how complex they are to do. Think of complexity as how difficult the tactic is with many steps you have to take, time you’ll spend, people you’ll coordinate with etc. just to accomplish the one task. A high complexity task might be creating a series of videos with all of your partners versus a less complex solo Facebook live session. Your organizational value is simple. How much value will it really bring to your organization and goals? This one separates what might be a super fun yet impractical for your goal ideas from those that more directly tie to your organization.

4. Analyze. Notice how each quadrant corresponds to a number? That’s your tactics new number on the priority list as you figure out what you should do first and which might get crossed off forever. Your #1 quadrant tactics are those that are more complex, but totally worth it for the goal you’re trying to achieve. Since they take the most time you want to start on these first before tackling the others. The #2 tactics are easy wins, basically the least time with the most bang for your buck. Tackle these next. The #3 are the tactics that eh, maybe you should just save for later if you have time. Think about these tactics as those benchwarmers you might call in as alternates or you might want to revisit in the future. The unlucky tactics in the #4 quadrant are just not worth your time or effort. So go ahead and consider dropping those from your to-do list for good!

Wondering where the magic is?

Not only do you now have a prioritized to-do list of your tactics, you have a much clearer picture of what tactics are actually worth the effort! Everything you do is directly tied to organizational value, which is the best kind of to-do list. And as you’re ranking your tactics, it’s a great way to come together as a team to more objectively discuss the merit of each tactic in shifting the convo away from “you just don’t like my idea” to "it might not make sense for right now, but let's save it for later". Let’s face it, there will always be ideas you (or your team) likes more than others, but this helps give you the lens you need to see what makes the most sense for your business. So basically, better priorities, less team conflicts, and a new business tool. What more magic could you want? ✨