A key to success in business — and in marketing — is to know what to focus on. Focus, or more appropriately, the lack of it, is probably the BIGGEST challenge my clients face. According to Harvard Business Review, this problem isn’t unique. And, I must admit, it’s a challenge for me too. With the marketing field changing so quickly and so many new options for marketing via social media, mobile technology, etc. it’s hard to know what to concentrate on.
HOW TO DECIDE WHERE YOU SHOULD FOCUS
We all have a finite amount of time available, so what should we do with that time? This is where I use the Pareto Principle or the Law of the Vital Few. Most people know it as the 20-80 rule (though many are now saying it should be the 10-90 rule). I LOVE this principle and live by it.
In a nutshell, the principle says 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your results. Apply the principle in two other ways:
- 20% of your audience will love you/your product/your service and 80% will be lukewarm or not care at all.
- 20% of your customers will make up 80% of your sales revenue (you’ll be amazed at how often this is true).
FOCUS ON THE VITAL FEW OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
So who should we focus on serving? It’s pretty easy to say the 20%. But the reality is the vast majority of people in business don’t spend time (or enough time) figuring out who their 20% is. They don’t identify and speak to the customers that love them, love their product, love their service.
Why not? It’s pretty simple really. We often set an impossible standard. We want EVERYONE to like us. I understand this … who doesn’t want to be liked by everyone? But it’s not smart or realistic.
While we all want to be liked by everyone, we must realize we need to serve the audiences that make up the foundation of success. We must find and serve our 20%.
When I work with clients, one of our first tasks is to identify the 20%. It amazes me how infrequently people DO NOT take the time to do this. It’s not easy to do it but it’s always worth it. It gives you focus, purpose and magnifies your impact.
So, my questions to you … do you know your 20%? If so, I’d love you to hear how you determine your 20% and serve them.