How to Prioritize Your Startup Marketing Ideas

Marketing a startup is a tough job. There’s a lot of pressure from management to make money quickly to keep the company afloat and growing. So how do you figure out the best way to bring in the revenue?

Segmentation and prioritization will help you know which marketing ideas should get most of your focus. If you like making graphs, you’re going to love this post!

First, you need to chart which ideas are going to be easiest to do, rating them in Low, Medium, and High difficulty of implementation. Then figure out which ideas are likely to bring in the most revenue and rate them in Low, Medium and High potential revenue. Put them on a graph and this visual presentation will make it easy to see — quite literally — what you should be doing. A clear graph shows you that the ideas that which a Low difficulty and a High potential revenue should be your first priority! As for the ideas that have a High difficulty and a Low potential revenue, well, just pretend you never even thought of those.

Of course, the low difficulty, high impact ideas aren’t the only good ones, they’re just the most important ones when you’re just starting out. As your startup grows, you can start to incorporate some low difficulty, medium revenue and medium difficulty, high revenue ideas. Eventually you may start to implement a few medium/medium marketing techniques as part of a broader campaign. And what about high difficulty, high potential revenue ideas? Well, that depends on how much of a risk-taker your company is, but the occasional splashy campaign can have big results – but again, these ideas are best saved for once the company is a little bigger and more secure, financially speaking.

Using a graph to ensure that you’re not just going for the easiest ideas, but the most potentially effective ideas, will help you make sure that you’re not just grasping at the low-hanging fruit of easy marketing solutions. We’ve all seen what happens when people decide to go for the cheapest, easiest marketing solution – in my city, it manifests itself in dubious-looking hand-lettered signs advertising “work from home” opportunities. Obviously no marketing professional would have such a bad idea, but you may have to deal with well-meaning, clueless suggestions from others within the startup. Once you demonstrate where their idea falls on the Difficulty/Potential axis, they’ll hopefully drop their idea to produce a low-budget unfunny “viral” video that ends up reaching 20 viewers.

The benefit of starting with the low difficulty ideas, of course, is that they’re also usually the quickest to implement, which means they’re the quickest way to bring in revenue, allowing you to have more breathing room to start working on some more difficult but impactful marketing campaigns to help the startup grow even more.

Over time, you’ll want to analyze the results of each marketing campaign and initiative, so that you can track whether they lived up to your expectations of Difficulty/Revenue and you can adjust your graph accordingly, to help you make future marketing decisions.

Consider yourself warned, though: you might find that once you’ve started using the Difficulty/Potential matrix to make your marketing decision, you may want to apply it to other areas of your life as well!

-AJ

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