Building Your Strategic Inbound Plan: Prioritizing Initiatives

By Scott Anderson Miller

If you think in terms of a SWOT analysis, your inbound marketing assessment (IMA) was the first snapshot of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Now it’s time to prioritize because you probably don’t have the resources to complete every single initiative, capitalize on every opportunity, or fix every problem. Start with these steps:

  1. List the goals that are most important to achieve, including an estimated timeline.

  2. Create a list of objectives that must occur to achieve each of these goals.

  3. Identify through your Customer Conversion Chain metrics which goals are most attainable. Write down the dollar contribution of achieving that goal as well as successfully achieving each objective under that goal.

  4. Prioritize your objectives by focusing first on those objectives that are easily monetized and that help you reach your goals more quickly.

  5. Determine which of your goals and objectives result in the biggest payout in the shortest amount of time. This is probably your biggest opportunity. Share with other stakeholders within your organization.

  6. Assess the cost in time, money, and energy to achieve each objective. Specifically list barriers to achieving objectives and the cost to bridge the gap.

  7. If you have the resources to bridge the gap for any significant objective, proceed with any given inbound marketing initiative. If not, seek additional resources or focus on another goal; one that is more attainable.

By thoughtfully going through this process and sharing your progress with your company team members, superiors, procurement, sales, and other key internal stakeholders, you’ll have meaningful business conversations. Sometimes these are tough conversations because you may need an increase in budget or you may need to hire people. That’s okay. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t communicate honestly, objectively, and factually to paint a realistic picture for everyone in your company to see.