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    The PIE framework: a prioritisation framework for growth marketers

    The PIE framework is a prioritisation framework designed to help marketing and growth teams determine the order in which to work on experiment ideas.

    What are the key scoring frameworks?

    Opportunity evaluation is an important skill for any high impact growth team that will improve over time. Working on the right projects instead of the wrong ones has a huge impact on team results. These scoring help you to determine what to prioritise and the best places to start.

    A number of frameworks existing for evaluating opportunities and prioritising your marketing resources. Some of the most popular are shown below.

    FrameworkDeveloped byScoring factors
    RICESean McBride at IntercomReach, Impact, Confidence, Effort
    ICESean Ellis at GrowthHackersImpact, Confidence, Effort
    PIEChris Goward at WiderFunnelPotential, Importance, Ease
    HiPPOn/aHighest paid person’s opinion
    BRASSDavid Arnoux at Growth TribeBlink, Relevance, Availability, Scalability, Score
    HIPEJeff Chang at PinterestHypothesis, Investment, Precedent, Experience
    DICETJeff Mignon at PentalogDollars (or revenue) generated, Impact, Confidence, Ease, Time-to-money

    PIE framework history

    The PIE framework (developed by Widerfunnel) is a popular prioritization method that ranks tests based on three criteria: potential, importance, and ease. Using the PIE score, you can rank and prioritise all of your experiment ideas based on the average score of each of these criteria.

    FactorDescription
    PotentialHow big of an uplift do we estimate that the change will bring?
    ImportanceHow much traffic does the page get and are you investing a lot to get those visitors?
    EaseHow simple is it to implement the fix?

    The PIE framework is very similar to the ICE framework (Impact, Confidence Ease) with the only change being the ‘Confidence‘ factor is substituted for ‘Potential‘.

    How to use the PIE prioritisation framework

    The PIE framework was initially developed for conversion optimisation (CRO) projects, so whilst it is applicable to wider marketing and growth projects, it particularly lends itself well to identifying and prioritising underperforming pages for CRO activities.

    The are 3 criteria used to score a page, or growth idea.

    1 The potential factor

    How much improvement can be made?

    Potential takes into account analytics, customer feedback & heuristic analysis of user scenarios in order to understand the potential for improvement.

    2. The importance factor

    How valuable is the traffic to these pages? What is the importance to the business? How could this impact revenue?

    The importance element considers the importance to the business of the page(s) and how they could impact revenue. In general, the most important pages have the highest volume, the most conversions (or most relevance to your offering) and the costliest traffic.

    3 The ease factor

    How complicated will the test be to implement on the page or template? How much effort is required?

    Ease takes into account any potential political and technical issues relevant to the page(s) or test. Internal politics and technical complexity can kill good conversion opportunities so it’s crucial to keep in mind where you are likely to be met with the most resistance internally.

    The PIE prioritisation formula

    Ease factor in the framework – potential, importance, and ease – is assigned a score between 1 and 10 which is used to calculate the overall PIE score.

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    Resources

    Recommended additional reading on the RICE scoring framework and prioritisation in general.

    Final thoughts

    For marketing and growth teams, the specifics of the various different scoring frameworks, and their pros and cons matters far less than picking one and implementing it within your team.

    Creativity combined with rapid iteration are the keys to making progress on user growth. Remember that you can get to 10X growth by a combination of 2Xing a few different metrics, hitting one out of the park, or getting 10% increases across the board. They all multiply together to be 10X. If you can brainstorm a lot of ideas, going for quantity over quality, you’ll have a lot of ideas to evaluate for impact versus cost.

    Andrew Chen

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