A priority matrix is a management tool for determining the development vector where priorities are visually divided into four (or more) quadrants.
There are matrices for personal time management and complex business projects. Most of them have derived from the Eisenhower matrix created to manage personal tasks.
Use an action priority matrix when you have limited resources and you want to distribute them rationally to maximize performance and ROI.
Placing backlog tasks into four quadrants will help you visualize their impact on the main business objectives. Focus the team efforts on one of the four quadrants to have a clear understanding of where you’re heading, what results, and when to expect.
One of the most efficient and easy to use is the 2x2 matrix. It consists of two evaluation criteria: one positive (e.g., Value, Impact, or Revenue) and one negative(e.g., Effort, Costs, or Risk).
Tasks evaluated by the criteria are divided into four quadrants:
Do you have deadlines, and time is critical? Or you must avoid risks at all costs?
Two criteria are enough for a fast and simple prioritization. Yet, they aren’t enough for complex projects where you must consider and juggle multiple stages of user behavior or business objectives. We in Ducalis.io estimate all the vital elements for our product and just filter the matrix by the criteria we need more focus on at some point in time.
What numbers will your team use when estimating the criteria?
Each criterion should be evaluated by the same numbers with prescribed interpretation. We use numbers from 0 to 3 where 0—no impact, 1—low impact, 2—medium impact, 3—high impact.
Who takes part in the project and can bring a unique perspective to the table? Does the project require only engineers or designers and copywriters’ efforts as well?
Considering each task by the whole team strengthens your shared understanding and gives the best prioritization results. In our team, managers evaluate feature Reach and Revenue, engineers and UX/UI—Development Time, and everybody must estimate Activation, Retention, and two product-specific criteria, Speed and Collaboration.
Why have these features made it to the top? Do you all agree they are most valuable now and must be implemented?
Never take the prioritization result into work unquestioningly. Prioritization is a tool to help you make the right decisions and not make them instead of you. Discuss your top priorities with the team at the planning meeting and make sure you all understand what must be done, why this way, and why it’s important.
A priority matrix is simple and efficient. You can make it far more powerful by using automation tools. Ducalis.io allows you to create a complex prioritization framework you can use both as a weighted decision matrix and action priority matrix and switch the criteria focus in no time.
Try our matrix templates. Free to sign up and free to use. No credit cards. Just jump in and prioritize for your growth.
In this article, we want to compare two marketing frameworks, REAN and RACE, find the differences and similarities, and share our method of using them for marketing task prioritization.
REAN is a four-factor framework for mapping and analyzing marketing activities, and goal setting. Stands for Reach, Engagement, Activation, and Nurture. Originally developed by Xavier Blanc for mapping activities. Popularized by Steve Jackson in the Cult of Analytics as a way to analyze the activities’ effectiveness and develop KPIs.
RACE Planning is a five-step framework for mapping and managing engagement activities. Developed by The Smart Insights. RACE stands for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. It also includes Plan—the initial phase of digital strategy creation and objective setting.
If we look closely at the criteria description we can notice some differences:
While REAN’s Engagement speaks only of the overall customer interaction with the brand and a way of understanding visitors’ interest, RACE’s Act wants you to think and focus on the first desired action as well. Thus the second stage can help you be more goal-oriented and gather more valuable data.
REAN’s Nurture speaks of engaging the activated visitors to come back and consume more content. RACE’s Engage wants you to drive repeated sales and build a loyal audience through the re-engagement. Which again makes the RACE’s criterion more goal-oriented.
If we take a step back and look at both frameworks from afar we’ll notice that generally, they focus on the same marketing efforts and customer lifecycle stages:
So basically, there is no huge difference in which abbreviation you choose for yourself. The main point is how you use it for better performance. Both REAN and RACE models will help you map activities, measurements, goals, and channels. Simply ask questions:
Let’s imagine you’ve already created your marketing roadmap, and decided on goals and measurements. Each step you’re going to take will mostly comprise of several options and dozens of tasks your team needs to accomplish. There’s no doubt that you’d want to gain value faster for fewer costs.
Aside from that, you need to equally develop each of the stages, because if your website attracts no visitors, it has no value. If you can’t engage those you reach, you’ll fail to convert them, and so on.
So, when all the plannings and mappings are done, don’t rush your team to randomly complete tasks, write texts, and create designs. Take the time to figure out which of them will influence your objectives more with less work done.
Prioritization shouldn’t take long in the first place. It must save you hours on doing unnecessary work and ensure you don’t jump in with a complex expensive solution when there is a cheaper one. But we won’t focus on how to prioritize fast in this article—we’ve already covered it here.
The best way to keep balance and highlight quick wins is by using weighted scorecard prioritization. This is when each idea is evaluated by criteria with prior determined significance. Transforming REAN, RACE, or any other marketing funnel into a weighted scorecard is simple. We’re going to use REAN for our examples below not to get confused. Here are the steps:
Think of the stages as your goals. Each task must help you achieve these goals. So you can describe your criteria as such:
These are example descriptions of the criteria we have in our REAN template in Ducalis. You can adjust them to fit your marketing objectives more.
Next, you need to decide on scores each task can get. To determine which activity will bring more value, you need to evaluate how strongly it impacts the objective.
First, choose numbers to assign. It might be a sequence like Fibonacci or Exponential. We prefer a range from 0 to 3 for simplicity.
But numbers are just a half of a step. If you leave them as they are, your teammates will perceive them very differently thus making the estimation vague. You need to specify what it means when a task impacts the Reach by 2, 3, or else.
The simplest way is to use the MoSCoW method. We prefer this one when it’s difficult to predict the outcome in numbers. So you can explain the scores like:
Alternatively, we can borrow estimations from RICE’s Impact:
The best way to describe scores for marketing evaluation is to use the exact measurements you expect to track. For example:
Reach → Will this task help us attract more relevant traffic to the website?
Activate → Will this task increase the number of conversions?
In Ducalis you can explain criteria and their scores in the language of your team, and won’t need to memorize them or constantly peep into the notes in a separate doc—everything you write in the description will appear in a pop-up each time you need to assess the criterion.
Prioritization makes no sense if you don’t take into account how much the activity will cost you. You want to work on the most valuable and cheapest solutions first. Thus you must calculate the expected expenses.
As we estimate Development Complexity for our product features, we evaluate Time and Price for the marketing.
Time → How long will it take for the team to complete?
Price→ How much will cost the promotion?
These are our example criteria and scores descriptions. Create your custom efforts criteria and set them with negative weight.
Gather all your marketing tasks in a single place and evaluate them by the whole team. Collaborative prioritization has a whole load of advantages:
You can divide people into evaluation groups and give them specific criteria only they can estimate. Or you can make all the criteria common and evaluate them together even if it’s out of the person’s purview.
Another valuable advantage of collaborative evaluation is the possibility to see where the team has disagreements and misunderstandings. Check your teammates’ scores scatter and discuss the most divergent. You may find that somebody doesn’t understand the task or a specific criterion, or vice versa has a unique point of view the whole team has missed out.
Plan and analyze the complex sequence of inter-related multichannel marketing activities.