How To Be A Smarter Marketer

April 17th, 2014

Today we’re going to riff on a topic that could save you a lot of hours and lots of heartburn.

Take a sec and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your sales & marketing approaches not getting the ROI (return on investment) you expect?
  • Do you feel torn about where you should focus your marketing and ad budget?
  • Are your marketing and advertising activities disorganized?

If you said “yes” to any one of these then you share many of the same sentiments as the majority of business owners.  

Why it pays to focus your marketing dollars

Without focus we tend to dilute the power of everything we do. Think about it.

  • When we’re only half committed to a workout plan we fail.
  • When we’re only partially paying attention to our kids we miss most of what’s happening.
  • When we scatter our marketing budget across various channels without really understanding what works best for our business we waste money.

Being only partially committed to any form of action vastly reduces what’s possible. This statement couldn’t be truer than when it comes to your marketing efforts. Wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work or kicking your ad dollars toward the latest social media craze isn’t going to get you closer to your business goals.

How to narrow your focus

Every heard of Vilfredo Pareto? Pareto was a 19th century Italian economist. Unsettled by the wide gap between the rich and poor in his country, Pareto decided to research the matter.

Pareto observed that 80% of his country’s land was owned by 20% of its people. He later validated his hypothesis through empirical testing and other surveys. This observation was later dubbed the “Pareto Principle” and the “80/20 Rule.”

Simply put, the 80/20 Rule states that for many events, 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes.

For example:

  • 80% of the wealth on our planet is owned by 20% of the population
  • 80% of NBA championships have been won by 20% of the teams (think Lakers, Bulls, Celtics)
  • 80% of insurance claims come from 20% of those insured
  • 80% of cars travel on only 20% of the roads

This list goes on and on….

So what’s the point of the 80/20 Rule?

Simple, identify the 20% of your marketing activities that yield 80% of the results.  EVERY business follows the 80/20 pattern. There are no exceptions because it’s a law of nature, not just business.

Once you find these activities double your marketing focus on them. For instance, if Google AdWords is a major source of internet traffic for you, consider doubling your dollars there and reducing spend in less effective channels (example: the Yellow Pages).

The more you take this approach the better you’ll at finding the marketing channels that give you the most bang for your buck.

Wrapping it up

Identifying the major marketing levers for your business isn’t as complicated as you might think. Most business owners I consult with don’t take this approach when evaluating marketing/advertising options. Not because it doesn’t work, rather they just don’t think of their marketing activities in this context. Often times, there are clear winners and losers.

Your friend,

Dennis Paresa

Got other solid marketing ideas? Drop a comment below and share it with other readers.

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