What Runs First? How to Prioritize Your Marketing | Ep. #648

In episode #648, Eric and Neil discuss how to prioritize your marketing. Tune in to hear what you should be doing before anything else.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: What Runs First? How to Prioritize Your Marketing
  • [00:50] If you are improving every week by 1-2%, this means you are improving by 50% per year, which is a good place to be,
  • [01:16] Look at the funnel first: you can see in Google Analytics what’s working and what isn’t.
  • [01:41] From there, you can determine what to focus on.
  • [01:57] Look at what’s causing the biggest drop-off and run AB tests.
  • [02:38] If you have a leaky bucket, you wouldn’t pour more water in.
  • [02:53] Make sure your funnel is optimized before you drive a lot of traffic to it.
  • [03:00] Both Eric and Neil know a man named Shaun Ellis who was on the growth team for Dropbox.
  • [03:10] He went on to create Growth Hackers. They have since released a growth management tool. North Star.
  • [03:40] North Star uses the ICE model (Impact, Confidence, Ease)
  • [04:36] Average your scores in each category.
  • [04:44] North Star allows you to test different hypotheses.
  • [05:15] The problem with the ICE framework is that it only works if someone in your company knows marketing really well.
  • [05:52] Once you fix your funnel, it’s all about driving traffic to your site/funnel.
  • [06:00] The best traffic is paid traffic.
  • [06:12] For paid traffic, you can try Facebook, Taboola, Outbrain, etc.
  • [06:30] Measure traffic based on the ROI.
  • [07:04] That’s all for today!
  • [07:07] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post What Runs First? How to Prioritize Your Marketing | Ep. #648 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the gile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we are going to talk about what you should prioritize on first with your marketing. This is actually an issue that's been popping up for us over and over. It's a recurring thing. There's always more stuff to do. Where do you start first? What's a framework you can use to go about experimenting on things, and even before we talk about that, here's the thing. If you're improving every week by 1% or 2 or 3% or so, you're at least going to be improved by 50% each year, and if you're able to do that, just running these experiments, every once in a while, you hit a home run. A lot of them are going to be duds. If you're going to think of it that way, think of it in terms of numbers improving, compounding over time, it makes sense to run experiments.
How do you prioritize, Neil? How do you go about doing this? What's your framework?

Neil Patel: I first look at the funnel. In Google Analytics, you can see where the biggest drop-off is. If you want a more thorough funnel, you can use something like Mixpanel, and you can see where the drop-off is for every single step to your signup, to your checkout, whatever you're selling or whatever lead gen you're offering. You can see what's causing people to fall off. From there, you can then determine what you should focus on.
For example, in marketing, if you say your funnel's really amazing and it's converting extremely well and your drop-offs aren't too bad, then you shouldn't work on optimizing it. On the flip side, if your funnel's optimized really poorly or it's really not optimized at all, you have to look at the stuff that's causing the biggest drop-off and start running AB tests. If you're not sure what to do, let's say it's your checkout page, you can just Google for checkout page AB tests, or let's say it's your pricing page, you can do pricing page AB tests, or if it's your contact form or your doing lead gen, contact form AB tests. You'll get a lot of ideas. Then, from there, you can run tests.
On the flip side, if your funnel's doing really well, you want to start focusing on traffic, and Eric and I can get into ways you can drive traffic, but, before you do that, this is the thing that most people don't really think about. It's like a leaky bucket syndrome. If you have a leaky bucket, why would you keep pouring more water in? You wouldn't, because you know it's just going to fall right out. For that reason, you want to make sure there's no leaks in your bucket. In other words, make sure your funnel is optimized before you start driving a lot of traffic first.

Eric Siu: Neil and I have a mutual friend. This guy's name is Sean Ellis. He was on the Growth Team for Dropbox when they were on their way to growth, and Dropbox has since IPOed recently, and he came up with a new product. He has a community called GrowthHackers.com. What he's done is he's released a new project management tool called NorthStar, and that's actually free for the first 20 users or so. What you can do is there's a framework in there. You don't necessarily need to get NorthStar. We're not affiliated at all, but you can get it for free for 20 people, so why not, but there is the ICE model.
The I stands for impact. When you're coming up with a test idea, you score it 1-10. What do you think the impact's going to be? It might be an 8, for example. C is confidence. How confident are you that this test is going to succeed? A lot of you are going to obviously be biased with your own test, so you're probably going to score 8+, but at least score it. Some tests, you might say, "Hey, it's a 6 or a 5 or so," but we should hit some singles instead of trying to go for home runs all the time. Then you have E. E is basically the difficulty of basically ... I forgot what the E means, but E is basically the difficulty of actually implementing the actual experiment. Ease. I believe it's ease actually. If it takes a long time, where it might take you a couple months, it's a big project ... Let's say Neil comes up with an idea of saying, "Hey, Eric, I think this ... If we come up with this widget or this app for marketing school, I think we're gonna get a lot more downloads." That might be an undertaking that costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time to get done, but he's so confident that let's just go out there and do it.
Then you just average the scores, 10, 10, 10, then your average is a 10, and then you just run a test from that way, but the thing I like about NorthStar is that you're coming up with different hypotheses. Because this happened, I think we should do this, and I expect this kind of result. Then you have descriptions, as well, basically, and you can assign the test to people. Basically, it's a whole framework that you can use. Again, you don't need to necessarily get it for free first. Maybe you can copy the framework into a spreadsheet, but using something like this and then getting your team aboard, maybe you're running it initially. It's going to help you grow in the long-term.

Neil Patel: Here's where Eric and I differ a bit. I totally agree with the ICE framework. I love it, but the problem I found is it doesn't work for most companies unless there's someone who knows marketing really well, and I know Eric would agree to this. If you're using data, if you're using your hunch versus data, and you think, "Oh, there's going to be a strong impact," but you don't have a lot of experience running tests, you're doing marketing, you're numbers are going to be really off, and you're going to find that you're not going to get the results that you're looking for.
On the flip side, if you're new to marketing, use the data. If you've been doing this for many years, you ran a lot of experiments, by all means, you can use the ICE experimentation framework.
Once you fix your leaky bucket or your funnel, then it's just about driving traffic, and I don't care what anyone tells you, I know we're big advocates of SEO, the best and simplest traffic to get to your website is paid traffic because you can pick the landing page, you can scale up really fast, and, from there, you just drive the traffic. You can test Facebook. You can test Google AdWords, which are the major two. Then you can get into Bing, Taboola, Outbrain. You can test all these other sites, and you can see what's driving the most revenue per click.
You don't always want to look at it as, "Hey, I'm paying $5 a click and here's my ROI," or, "This place is giving me 20 clicks." Measure it based off of ROI. If Taboola and Outbrain cost a lot less, it's okay. Their conversions will be crap, so it's not that, hey, it's 1/5 the cost, so it's going to be better. It's more so, what's the ROI, and you just look at the whole [inaudible 00:06:49]. I spent X amount per clicks. Here's the total costs that I spent, and here's the revenue, and here's the profit.

Eric Siu: This is just really ... It's a nice starting point for you all. Whether you're advanced or starting out, there's different, couple actionable things you can do here.
Well, before we go, go to SingleGrain.com/giveaway to check out our marketing tools, and we will see you tomorrow.

Announcer: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. Don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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