It’s around this time of year that a lot of marketing teams (including ours, BTW) begin to think about next year. They’ll start working on their budget and headcount projections. They’ll identify a number of tactical things they want to do differently moving forward. And, they may even try to get clear about their priorities.
Though budgeting and tactical planning will tend to receive the most attention and time, I would argue that defining priorities is likely the most important aspect of this annual ritual. After all, it’s a marketing team’s priorities that drive everything else, from where they choose to invest their resources to the metrics they use and the tactics they employ.
It’s said that you can tell a lot about a person by simply examining their priorities. Well, the same is true for marketing teams. And the most effective and impactful marketing teams have really “meaty” priorities, oriented toward addressing the most significant drivers of overall performance in the marketplace.
What’s the difference? To help illustrate, let’s compare and contrast the stated priorities of two different marketing teams going into next year:
Now, Alpha Team’s priorities aren’t bad. If you looked at them in isolation, you’d probably conclude that these are all worthwhile things to focus on. But I think you’ll agree that Delta Team’s priorities are much “meatier” and more substantive.
And at the end of next year, it’s a safe bet that Delta Team will have had a much more significant impact on their company’s performance.
So think hard about your priorities. You can choose to focus on important things, or you can choose focus on really, really important things. Choose the former and you’ll probably get by. But by choosing the latter, you’re much more likely to actually get ahead.
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