Why the 80/20 Rule Is So Important to Marketers

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I’ve spent the past couple of days deep in my blog post analytics and they have reminded me of a very important principle that marketers must adhere to if they want to be successful.

The Pareto principle (often referred to as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from just 20 percent of the causes. For marketers, this means, rather depressingly, that 80 percent of what you do will have very little impact on your business.

Sadly, too many marketers focus on this big, ineffective number (80) instead of concentrating on the 20 percent that makes things happen.

Consider this: If marketing is a “numbers game,” why do so many marketers abandon strategies before they have reached a critical mass to judge whether a strategy is successful or not?

Content Marketing — Don’t Give Up

If you’ve tried blogging or email marketing and have given up after only a handful of posts or sends, you really haven’t got the data to make any assumptions regarding its success.

If only 2 out of every 10 posts or sends will yield a positive result, you really should try a minimum of 10 — although 20, 50 or 100 posts/sends will give you a much clearer indication of success — before you make any judgment regarding your success.

You already know that marketing is a marathon and not a sprint — so don’t be too keen to quit.

Rules Were Made for Breaking

The great thing about building critical mass in your marketing strategy is that you will start to see patterns. Learn what works and what doesn’t, and optimize accordingly. The 80/20 rule isn’t set in stone. It can be broken. If, as a species, we can overcome problematic issues like the laws of gravity and send people into space, a little problem like maximizing your marketing efficiency shouldn’t be a big problem for a smart marketer.

Imagine how much more successful your marketing could be if you tipped the scale of balance from 80/20 to 70/30 or 50/50.

No Such Thing as Failure

Remember, there is no such thing as failure in marketing — as long as you learn from the experience. Every piece of content you put out there will work for you in terms of SEO or reputation. This is why I think of my content marketing efforts as little foot soldiers being deployed to win a battle. Some soldiers will return as heroes; others (the majority) may not be so fortunate — but every one will have played its part.

Have you given up too easily? Is it time to look toward creating critical mass in your marketing output and challenging the 80/20 rule? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile: https://amzn.to/2OO5DR5

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