There is an unfortunate trend going around in online marketing circles around the desire to always want more.
- we need more traffic
- we need more leads
- we need more prospects
- we need more likes
- we need more followers
It seems to me like there is less emphasis on what the real target of any business is. The purpose of any business should be “more customers.”
A Story of Why “More” Is Not Always Better
Three years ago, we worked with an adolescent drug rehab center located in West Palm Beach Florida. After signing a contract with one another, they made it clear to us that they viewed success as volume.
“It’s a numbers game. If we know our closing percentage, then we simply need to increase the volume, keep our closing percentage the same, and we back into our census.”
So that’s what we did.
This facility was in a perfect position for growth. Their website had been around for a long time, they had a unique selling proposition, and they had a good reputation in the area. We just needed to pour some gasoline on it.
Within 4 months, our efforts were driving 300 new calls per month with an additional few hundred chat inquiries to the admissions department.
What happened? The admissions team became completely overwhelmed. They missed hundreds of calls, had no follow up process, and completely dropped the ball.
If, in the beginning, we would have taken our time and strategized on specifically who we wanted to target and in which way, the campaign would have been an overwhelming success.
Granted, this client did eventually pull it together and catch up to the influx of leads, but at what cost? In the end, they had to hire additional staff, build additional processes and increase their overhead.
Was it a successful marketing campaign? You bet it was, our efforts lead to an exit for the company. However, there was a better way to do it.
ROI Focused Marketing with the 80/20 Rule
20% of the efforts yield 80% of the results.
This is not some random statistic that we use to sound fancy. The 80/20 rule is built on empirical data and can be seen in examples in business, marketing, nature, physics, human interaction, etc. It’s everywhere.
In 1897, Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, observed that 20% of pea pods in his garden produced 80% of the peas. He then applied the same logic to land distribution in Italy and found that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population. In 1949, George Zipf, American economist at Harvard, rediscovered this rule after World War II. Then in 1979, British author, Richard Koch, wrote the best-selling book, The 80/20 Principle.
We see examples of the 80/20 rule everywhere.
- 80% of social media shares involve 20% of posts.
- 80% of a company’s output is produced by 20% of its workers.
- 80% of software bugs are caused by 20% of bugs.
- 80% of search visits involve 20% of keywords.
- 80% of promotions are given by 20% of bosses.
- 80% of budget overruns are caused by 20% of expenses.
Using the 80/20 rule, we can accurately determine that 80% of the success in your marketing is going to come from 20% of the efforts.
The trick to an ROI focused digital marketing strategy is to experiment, discover and then FOCUS on finding that 20% and going all-in on it.
It’s a simple process that requires thoughtfulness, analytical data, and a bit of creativity, but once we discover what the 20% is, it can completely transform the way your business operates and scales.
How to Get Started with ROI Focused Digital Marketing
The first step is to change your mind frame. Understand that more of everything is hardly the answer.
Is it better to get a million hits to your website a day or 1000 hits a day? What if you closed the same amount of leads from both of those scenarios? It’s much more cost-effective and practical to have smaller visibility with higher revenues? Right?
That’s what we want. We want a high conversion rate. To get there, we follow certain steps…
Step 1 – Put our feelers. Every business is different. Some markets have a good search presence. Some markets and industries have a strong social media presence. Some brands have a strong inbound presence and email sign-ups. We never know until we do some testing. We dedicate time to accurately testing what the most practical strategy for your business would be.
Step 2 – Refine. So let’s imagine you have a healthcare business that sells courses on health and longevity. With that, we have discovered that email is the best sales mechanism for you. That information is not good enough. Now, we want to get more specific. What kind of emails do your prospects respond to? Do we give away free content? Do we offer another upsell through webinars? We need to refine the approach to know FOR SURE what the best approach is.
Step 3 – Go All In. Once we have the target in our sights, we fire away. We don’t fire little shots. We fire the big shot. We fire the cannonball. Why wouldn’t we? We’ve already determined that this 20% of efforts will yield 80% of the results. So we want to get as much as we can out of it while it lasts.
Bam. We did it. We nailed the 20% rule. We went all-in on ROI focused digital marketing. Why would we waste time with anything else? With this strategy, we get the most results out of the most intent-driven efforts.
It’s Not About Working Smarter, It’s About Being More Efficient
When I’ve gone through this strategy with people before, I’ve had a few instances in which people assumed that I was trying to avoid the hard work.
It’s quite the opposite. Hard work and effort is exactly what we are after.
The idea is that if we are going to bother with putting our efforts towards driving a result, why would we want to put any of that effort into something that isn’t going to add any utility?
Why run around in multiple directions when you could go straight to the finish line? If your objective is to get from point a to point b, why would you take the long way? Just walk in a straight line.
That what an ROI focused digital marketing strategy is all about.
Maybe you love what you’ve read but you are overwhelmed with the process, that’s okay.
To get started, simply take two data points and test them. Make it simple. Make it broad and refine your process as you go.
For instance, how much traffic comes to your website from SEO? Compare that to how much traffic comes to your website from social media. Use a call tracking source to determine how many phone calls comes from each source, and then determine how many clients or customers came from each source.
Run the numbers and come up with a conclusion. Where did 80% of your results come from?
Refine and repeat. Eventually, you will back into an efficient, specific and intent-driven marketing strategy that puts your marketing dollars for the best use.
Don’t wait. Start now.