Marketing_Projects_Make_The_CutThe CEO is cutting the marketing budget. Which projects stay on the list and which ones get cut? This post is part 2 of a 3 part series. The focus is dealing with a marketing structural redesign based on budget cuts. In part 1  we dealt with your marketing teams work capacity. Part 2 focuses on marketing project prioritization.


Project prioritization is not just a budget cutting exercise. Prioritizing projects occurs during every annual budgeting process. The annual planning process will be here before you know it.


Whether it’s in-year budget cuts or justifying the existing marketing budget, you need a structured approach. Download the Marketing Project Prioritization tool here, and you’ll be prepared to justify every line item.



When performing a marketing assessment, we typically find 2 project areas of concern:


  1. Lack of project prioritization. The marketing team is a mile wide and an inch deep. They are trying to be everything to everyone and they still have the same staff they had 5 years ago.
  2. Too many projects. Projects seem to evolve year to year. They add new projects to the list but rarely remove legacy projects. It’s difficult to say “Let’s stop doing that.”


During the good times and bad, you’re constantly trying to justify expenses. The project-specific questions you need to be asking are:


  • What lift can I expect from this project?
  • How does this tie to the business goals?
  • Will this help the company make the number?
  • Does this project fit my timeline?


The difficulty in any structural redesign is where do you start? We recommend the following 3 phase approach.


  1. Marketing capacity assessment (time study)
  2. Project prioritization
  3. Marketing team optimization or structural redesign


Let’s do a deeper dive into Phase 2:

The marketing project analysis starts with the “Marketing Project Prioritization Tool”. The output of the marketing capacity assessment in Phase 1 measured the capacity of your team. Now you have the total marketing work force capacity. Which projects do you apply that capacity against? The Marketing Project Prioritization Tool provides the answer to that question.


Why Use the Tool?

The tool is divided into two parts.


Part 1 is the “Project Attractiveness Score” or PAS. In this section you list the requirements for a successful marketing project. The tool provides you with thirteen (13) requirements you should consider (add/remove as required). Each of the requirements provides a weighting option you input with the total being 100%. The next column is the “Project Opportunity Rating.” In this column you provide a rating of 1 to 10 with one (1) being the lowest and ten (10) the highest. The relative value in this column indicates how important the requirement is to project success. The tool automatically totals the values of each requirement. The totals are used as inputs in the next section.


Part 2 is the “Total Project Value” or TPV. The goal now is project prioritization based on TPV. The PAS is automatically loaded onto the TPV tab. The two columns to be completed are: 1. the estimated business value, either cost reduction or revenue lift. 2. The probability of the project success. These ratings are defined as high (>75%), medium-high (50-74%), medium-low (25-49%) and low (0-24%). The output is a TPV for each project and a prioritization rating that is automatically adjusted.


How This Tool Helps

The tool provides a wide range of benefits. Here are top reasons to take advantage of this tool:


  • Allows you to rate and compare all marketing projects
  • Provides quantitative assessment of some qualitative values
  • Includes a weighting and scoring to each primary project requirement
  • The output includes a Total Project Value in dollars
  • Includes a probability of success metric, so that the TPV is adjusted based on the project’s risk factors
  • All projects are rated, scored and prioritized from greatest impact to least


Results of Utilizing the Marketing Project Prioritization Tool

Here are the results you can expect to achieve when you leverage the tool:


  • A clear understanding of which projects to focus on
  • The total return expected from each of the projects
  • A risk factors that adjusts the TPV based on the likelihood of project success
  • A project list that when applied to the team’s capacity assessment yields the team’s primary projects


Getting Started

Download the Marketing Project Prioritization Tool. Provide a copy of the tool to each of your direct reports. Schedule a meeting with your team to list all current projects. Have the team assess each project with the prioritization tool. Have each manager work with their team to adjust the requirements if necessary. Complete the prioritization tool for all projects and analyze the results. You now have the first 2 phases complete. Start preparing the team for the marketing team optimization / structural redesign. I’ll cover that topic in more detail in my next post.


If you have any questions or can’t wait for the next project phase, connect with me via a LinkedIn Inmail at: We’ll spend 30 minutes to get your team and projects moving in the right direction.


John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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