How to Make Sure Your Marketing Idea Doesn’t Suck

If you’ve clicked through to this post, you’re probably a visionary – looking to take your business to the next level or potentially start a new venture with some fresh marketing ideas.

This is a really exciting time. There is so much to think about and the anticipation is building, emotions are running high and you are riding the wave to move things forward. At this time, it is so hard, yet so integral to stop and take a moment to take a step outside your business and assess the direction you are heading in with an objective set of eyes.

If you’re anything like me, you will know that just because you get an impulsive idea and you have the passion and drive to take it to market, being hasty and taking some time to think about the pro’s and con’s can certainly pay off.

In other words – not every idea you have is going to be a good one and it would be unrealistic to think otherwise. 

I have worked with a lot of businesses, varying in sizes, across lots of different industries and a common struggle is deciding on the best approach to take moving forward. A lot of the time, the decision-making process is quick and made without too much assessment which is a problem because too often I see businesses investing so much without return.

I use ICE Scores to help identify what lies ahead if we were to take a particular direction. I like this approach because it’s quick and dirty and can be applied to both marketing practices and business ideas in general, in any industry.

What is ICE?

Whether it’s testing out a new marketing channel or launching a new product, ICE can be used as a set of criteria to test the viability of your idea. Developed by Growth Hacker Sean Ellis, it’s simply three questions that require a score out of ten, with ten being the highest.

Here are the questions:

  • What will the impact be if this works?
  • How confident am I that this will work?
  • How much time/money/effort is required?

Let’s test it out.

We are a real estate agency, Rumble Estate Agents. At this morning’s meeting, one of the team members suggests looking into marketing on ‘shopper dockets’, the ads on the back of receipts from stores like Coles and Woolworths.

Without any other information about this business, let’s apply the ICE scores:

Impact Score: 1

The impact is low because it’s on a disposable piece of paper, crowded with multiple advertisements all screaming for attention. It would be difficult to cut through the noise without an offer.

Confidence Score: 1

This channel lends itself to urgent and essential or impulse purchases, not high involvement purchases like selling or buying a house. Think ‘2 for 1 pizza’s’ and ‘50% off dry-cleaning’.

Effort Score: 3

The effort involved would also be low but would involve more of a time investment, liaising with a graphic designer to develop the creative for the ad.

After looking at the numbers, it seems like Rumble Estate Agents should move on to another idea.

If you are a Real Estate Agent looking for marketing ideas, I’ve shared a few here.

Who else uses ICE Scores?

ICE Scoring is a widely used concept around the world. Airbnb used ICE scoring to identify if they should integrate with Craigslist in the US. They were confident in the idea because they had the team members to pull it off and the site was already getting the traffic, however, it would require a high amount of effort to build the integration. They ended up going with the idea because they knew it would have a high impact and they were confident they could do it – and they did successfully.

Airbnb is just one name on a list of thousands of companies around the world that use this process to drive growth.

We use ICE Scoring a lot, as well as many other frameworks to help businesses take a more strategic approach to their marketing.

Contact me via if you think I can help you.

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