The 80/20 rule is the flexible idea that basically stands for the fact that 80% of your success will come from 20% of the investment. You can think of it in this manner with regard to your marketing and growth: 80% of your profits come from 20% of your best sellers; having this rule in mind often allows you to maximize your efforts when you see opportunities. Instead of endlessly dumping time and resources into a wide array of techniques—you refine your approach and capitalize on what works.
When I talk with small business owners about their entry to the online world, it begins to come affray because there are so many ideas and thoughts they want to explore. That’s not to say all of the ideas aren’t viable but when you trim the fat and get to the fundamentals on what matters for being successful in online marketing efforts (after applying the 80/20 rule), it becomes this:
- Finding a niche (and niche audience)
- Leveraging tried-and-tested strategies & resources
- Delivering stellar customer service, experience, and networking potential
There are thousands of new websites being created each day and although only a fraction are competitors in your marketplace, you still need to realize there could be a new player that overcomes your placement at any given moment.
Building a strong online brand should be at the forefront of your efforts in marketing. A great marketing campaign will do nothing if people are landing on a site or hearing a message for a product/service that doesn’t live up to the hype.
The fast route to branding is through a niche which is simply finding your place in the industry based around unique features, focus, and tone. When you find your niche, you essentially cut out the clear majority of generalized competitors in the marketplace. Now you’re working on an 80/20 scale where it’s you versus a same-tiered business instead of going after the mega corporations.
By niching down you are able to scale your investments accordingly; you have a greater understanding of your core audience, a focus on what value your product/service provides for that very individual, and know what exactly to say to reach these individuals versus taking broad strokes at the board.
Another factor in play is staying on track with strategies in your branding, marketing, advertising, and customer service. Yes, there are tens of thousands of potential sites which are semi-related to your niche you could try to leverage for driving leads to the business but that scatters the efforts. Your best bet is to apply the 80/20 rule to these efforts in growth by examining the analytics and understand what truly drives leads to the business.
A combination of SEO services, daily social media outreach, content marketing, and paid advertising is far better than constantly trying a new platform or method that hasn’t been proven. The 80/20 in this regard is this: create great content, share it on major social feeds like Facebook and Twitter, interact with those that respond, and be willing to pay for a promoted/campaign when you see a decent reception to what you’re doing.
The final element that leads to large growth and excellent marketing is the communication you develop between interested parties, customers, and those likely to network with you on a higher business level. There are many players in the market and many opportunities; not everyone needs to be a competitor nor do they need to be a customer to have value for the business. A great endorsement from an industry leader or glowing review from a person that simply loves what your business does can be just as rewarding as making a sale. However, not all individuals are worth the effort; would you want to spend a few minutes on the phone and make a sale to someone that backs your brand or all afternoon, going back and forth, with a customer that’s squeezing every penny and resource to get their way?
The application of the 80/20 rule needs to come into play by firing customers. By removing the negative individuals that do nothing but eat up time (and money), you give your employees additional resources and time to work with those that are passionate about your efforts. Satisfaction will be a natural outcome when employees are happy due to the additional time they can spend building relationships. The same goes with those you network with on a business level; some may only be out to use you as a stepping stone while others are truly invested in your success because it it’s a symbiotic relationship.
All-in-all, it’s best that you look at the analytics and make your judgment based on logical data; through this, you’ll be able to make the big moves with relatively low risks to wasting time and resources. Focus on the fundamentals and you’ll find success.