Useful Tools Roundup

Try These

In an effort to be more practically useful, we’ve recently taken to sharing tools and frameworks under the heading Try This. This time out, Try This is taking over. In other words, #75 is all about tools, tools and more tools. What does that even mean? Only one way to find out—let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • First, let’s clarify our terms. When we say tools we don’t mean this stuff.

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  • Instead, we’re talking about the models and frameworks that shape our thinking, inform our decisions and help us work more confidently and effectively. We’ll divide them into three basic categories that are vital to any change-maker.

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  • Great strategy starts with a clear definition of the problem. The Causes Diagram can help you deconstruct the problem you’re facing and uncover the root cause.
  • Our favourite tool for strategy development is simple and powerful in equal parts. Even Over Statements boil strategy development down to its essence: making tough choices.
  • Next up, an old standby. The marketing funnel is often criticized as too simplistic. But Thomas Barta believes that nothing beats it when it comes to setting priorities and convincing the CEO to invest in long-term marketing. We think he might have a point.


  • Speaking of old standbys, never underestimate the power of a great brief. Or the difficulty of creating them consistently. This template is not a bad starting point.
  • Speaking of things that are universally hard to do well, here are some great tips for running more effective meetings.
  • We really love Tim Dolan’s collection of tools to help marketers use lessons from today to create better marketing tomorrow.


  • We shared this recently, but it’s worth sharing again. If you’re a marketing leader looking to demonstrate financial accountability, the concept of customer lifetime value (LTV) can be really useful. HBR offer a simple LTV calculator that does the job well.
  • Decision journals are an easy way to improve your ability to make decisions over time.
  • The Eisenhower Matrix can help you prioritize your time and avoid being overwhelmed by your task list.

Wise Words

We think Confucius has got a point. And we hope you found some value in the tools we’ve shared today.

Pause and reflect

Final Tip

Don’t be Thor. The right tool for the job will shift over time. If you’re dealing with a lot of nails (or the armies of Thanos), a hammer is great. But sometimes you’re better off with a tape measure.

Issue #75
Aug 11, 2019

Further Reading