Last Updated on August 30, 2023
We all know how chaotic product marketing can be. There is an ever-ending list of demands from sales teams that are time-sensitive. There are competitors to keep a tab on. Product marketing campaigns that must go out on time, like clockwork. People also pour over Tons of data to sell the product better and get those user adoption rates inclining steeply.
Needless to say, product marketing is a tough job. You need multiple superpowers, like creativity, strategy, and execution. Prioritizing marketing projects and initiatives is one of the toughest product marketing challenges that marketers face. With a never-ending list of ideas, opportunities, and demands that seem equally important it is never possible to make an easy decision.
How can a product marketer efficiently balance the needs and expectations of your users, your business, and your stakeholders?
How do you ensure that you don’t waste time and resources on low-value or low-impact projects?
It is here that the RICE framework comes in.
Understanding RICE and its working
RICE can be defined as a simple and effective framework for prioritizing product ideas based on four factors: Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. You can use it to compare different projects and evaluate which one to work on first.
Of course, each of these four components stands for something as well:
- Reach: How many people will be affected by the project in a given time period?
- Impact: How much will the project benefit or delight the users or the business?
- Confidence: How confident are you that the project will have the desired impact?
- Effort: How much time and resources will the project require?
Let’s dive deeper.
Reach: How many people will the project affect in a given time period?
Reach is a measure of how many users or customers will benefit from your project within a specific time frame. It reflects the potential size and scope of your project’s impact.
How to measure it?
To measure reach, you need to estimate the number of people who will use your product or service, see your message, or interact with your campaign in a given period.
A new feature for your app that will affect 10,000 users per month. The reach score for that project would be estimated at 10,000.
Impact: How much will the project benefit or delight the users or the business?
Impact is a measure of how much value or satisfaction your project will deliver to your users or your business. It reflects the potential outcome and result of your project’s execution.
How to measure it?
To measure impact, you need to assess how much your project will improve or enhance your user’s experience, behavior, or loyalty, or your business’s revenue, growth, or reputation.
For a newly launched landing page for your website that will increase your conversion rate by 5%, the impact score would be 5%.
Confidence: How confident are you that the project will have the desired impact?
Confidence is a measure of how certain or uncertain you are that your project will achieve its expected impact. It reflects the potential risk and variability of your project’s performance.
How to measure it?
List down how much data, research, feedback, or evidence you have to support your assumptions and predictions about your project’s impact.
A new email subject line that has a 70% chance of increasing your open rate by 10%, your confidence score for that project would be 70%.
Effort: How much time and resources will the project require?
Effort is a measure of how much work and cost your project will entail. It reflects the potential input and investment of your project’s execution.
How to measure it?
Create a spreadsheet of all the resources you will need along with the costs associated with them.
A new brand logo requires 20 person-hours to complete. The effort score would be 20.
Benefits of using RICE
The RICE framework has several benefits for product marketers, such as:
Prioritize high-value projects
RICE takes a logical approach to prioritizing projects and initiatives based on their potential value and impact. It excludes personal preferences, opinions, or biases which are usually subjective and are led by human emotions. It brings upon a data-driven process to support your decisions. As a result, there is minimal wastage of time and resources on low-value or low-impact projects.
Align product marketing and business goals
RICE ensures that marketing resources are spent towards achieving business goals. Also, that the resources are being spent on the projects that will deliver value for the business and its users.
Ensure cross-org sync
It helps you communicate your product marketing priorities and plans to your stakeholders, such as your team members, managers, executives, customers, etc. By using the RICE score as a common language, you can explain the rationale behind your choices and demonstrate the benefits and value of your projects.
Measure product marketing impact
It helps you measure and evaluate the results of your product marketing projects. By tracking the reach, impact, confidence, and effort of each project over time, you can assess their performance and effectiveness. You can also use feedback and learnings to adjust your priorities and plans as needed.
How to Use RICE for Product Marketing
Step-by-step explanation of how to apply the RICE framework with a hypothetical example of a product manager trying to implement a new feature with the involvement of various stakeholders.
There are four main steps to use RICE for product marketing:
- Defining product marketing goals and objectives
- Gathering project ideas from all possible sources
- Filtering and refining project ideas
- Scoring project ideas based on the RICE framework
1. Defining product marketing goals and objectives
The first step is to get a bird’s eye view of your projects and initiatives and to attach priorities to them. You need to define your goals and objectives in terms of the value and impact you want to deliver to your users and your business.
These goals must also align them with the overall business strategy and vision. Otherwise, product marketing could be spending time and resources on projects that are not going to help the business scale growth.
For example, imagine the business goal is to become the leading music streaming app in the market that is identified for its personalized and social experience. In such a scenario, the product manager’s goal should be to increase the user engagement and retention of the music app. This requires increasing the average session duration by ~10% and the monthly active users by ~15% within six months.
2. Gathering project ideas from all possible sources
The next step to defining product marketing goals and objectives is to create a plan to achieve these goals. Customer feedback, market research, competitor analysis, industry trends, etc. can help you with that.
Do not be restricted by existing practices, mediums, and processes. Apply creativity to consider new angles and perspectives that could help you generate more project ideas. Don’t forget to document and organize these project ideas so that they can be revisited at a later stage for evaluating success rates.
Some examples of documenting and organizing the project ideas are:
- Creating a tutorial or a guide that shows users how to use the new feature
- Launching a referral program that rewards users for inviting their friends to use the app
- Sending push notifications or emails that remind users to create and share their playlists
- Featuring user-generated playlists on the app’s homepage or social media channels
- Partnering with influencers or celebrities who can promote the app and the new feature
3. Filtering and refining project ideas
Be informed that not all project ideas listed as part of the previous step are going to be worthwhile investments. You have to filter and refine them based on several factors such as relevance, feasibility, uniqueness, etc.
Some of these projects could even be impossible to achieve within your timeframe and budget. In such cases, eliminate or modify any project ideas that are not aligned with your goals and objectives. You also need to clarify and specify any project ideas that are too vague or broad, so that they are easier to score later.
For example, the product manager may decide to discard or revise some of their project ideas such as discarding the idea of partnering with influencers or celebrities who can promote the app and the new feature, because it is too expensive and risky for their budget and brand image.
4. Scoring project ideas based on the RICE framework
Once you have filtered and refined your project ideas, you need to score each of them using the RICE framework as explained in the previous section. One needs to assign a score for each factor (reach, impact, confidence, effort) for each project idea based on your estimates or assumptions.
You also need to calculate the total RICE score for each project idea by multiplying reach, impact and confidence, and dividing by effort. Use tools such as spreadsheets or software applications to help you with this task.
How to calculate the RICE framework score?
To make a decision using the RICE framework, you assign a score to each factor for each project idea, and then calculate the total score by multiplying reach, impact and confidence, and dividing by effort. The higher the score, the higher the priority.
For example, let’s assume two project ideas are being considered:
Launching a new feature for your app that would perform as below:
|Reach10,000 users||Impact10%||Confidence80%||Effort40 person-hours|
Creating a new landing page for your website that would deliver as below.
|Reach5.000 users||Impact5%||Confidence90%||Effort10 person-hours|
In such a scenario, their RICE scores would be:
- RICE score for A = (10,000 x 10% x 80%) / 40 = 2,000
- RICE score for B = (5,000 x 5% x 90%) / 10 = 2,250
Therefore, based on the RICE framework, project B would have a higher priority than project A.
For any product marketer, prioritizing the right project is going to make a big difference to their function. Prioritization could turn product marketing into a strong lever that can maximize growth for the business.
By using the RICE framework, you can prioritize your product marketing projects and initiatives with confidence and clarity. You can deliver more value and satisfaction to your users and your business. You can grow, compete, and succeed in today’s dynamic and competitive environment.
So, how do YOU plan to implement the RICE framework in your product marketing efforts?
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CEO & Co-Founder of Kommunicate, with 15+ years of experience in building exceptional AI and chat-based products. Believes the future is human + bot working together and complementing each other.