Strategic Filtering Opportunities (or Not Every Event is a Good Event for Your Brand)

Have you ever had a client or boss that forwards every marketing opportunity that passes her inbox, asking for your evaluation? I did once, and it was the kind of challenge that could make a low-level marketing grunt pull her hair out. But luckily for me, my super positive mentor presented it as an opportunity for improvement. It saved us time, made our recommendations much more consistent, strategic, and gave the client peace of mind that we were truly working to achieve her business and marketing goals.

In order to quickly evaluate and rank the constant requests, we came up with a “Strategic Filter.” It’s a deceivingly simple, collaborative exercise that gives structure to something that can seem haphazard or random.  We reviewed our goals with the client, and we all agreed on the priorities.

Here’s a sample of how it works:

  • Target: Females, aged 35+, with a high household income

  • Business Goals: Grow sales by 10% annually

  • Marketing Goals: Increase brand awareness, increase brand affinity, drive purchases

  • KPIs: Brand Lift (when applicable), Engagements (Cost per engagement), Leads (Cost per signup), Purchases (Cost per onsite purchase), Social Media (Volume vs Reach)

  • Annual Marketing Budget: Less than $1,000,000

Department Zero's Strategic Filter Example


The charity gala is expensive, on a per attendee basis, with a small audience, and supports a very specific and unrelated cause. It could create strong brand affinity from the small group in attendance, but because it doesn’t offer scalable activations, or compelling opportunities for PR or social sharing, we would not recommend.

The Community Festival is efficient, so if markets, timing and budgets align, we could add it as a stop on the existing marketing tour.  

Sponsoring a nationally touring artist with our target audience would have been a strong fit, if it wasn’t half of the annual budget. Perhaps we can plan for something similar, or slightly on a smaller scale, next year?

I highly recommend enacting a similar filter for every brand, every client, and every project. It’s a simple tool that ensures budgets are achieving goals, and all members of the marketing dept on the same team.