Beyond the 20% Smart Mark

the-80-20-rule

It’s a common belief that most people using a particular application really only use 20% of the system’s capabilities. Glance around any application you use – Word, Evernote, Excel… can you really claim to know more than 20% of what the system has to offer? People who go beyond, well beyond, this mark are referred to as Power Users. I believe the 20% Mark is applicable to nearly everything we do.

Imagine if in our lives we were Power Living. At work we could be Power Performers. We would be Power Friends and Power Parents. Of course, we do not need to excel at everything we do, but in the areas that count, it is best to be the Power Person. This concept applies to marketing more than ever before. Being a ‘user’ of digital marketing tools does not define an expert.  Nor does the mere frequency of use. It’s going beyond the 20% that moves someone beyond a user with the can-do ability.

There are two ways that the 20% Mark applies to marketing – First, the ability of the person executing marketing; and second, the extent of efforts being undertaken when executing a marketing plan. These are very different scenarios, but each is extremely important.

We’ve all encountered the 20% in expertise. Whether it was a purchasing experience for our home or business, we have encountered absolute experts in their field, as well as the not-so-expert, but claim-to-be expert. I do believe that the digital space, just as many new industries, has created the perception of expertise. This is easily achieved through two methods – early adopters and frequent users. Digital advertising encompasses everything from Mobile to Social, Apps and Email. If someone was an early adopter of any of these technologies, and continues to have frequency in at least one – most commonly social because it is easy, then they will have the perception of expertise. Be sure to test their capabilities beyond he 20% Mark.

The second method mentioned is the extent of execution. Imagine a professional athlete. If they invested in only one part of their sport, such as fitness training, muscle building, nutrition, mental capacity, or even just practice. they would probably not be as successful as they could be. Think about only a single area that we just mentioned, building muscle for instance. If the athlete only invested 20% of what they could into their weight training routine, they would not be experts or top of their field.

It is the same thing with marketing. You must be sure to invest beyond the 20% Mark. This may mean identifying other channels to use, just as the professional athlete has many areas of concentration or it could be how hard we work within each area. It is all too often we pick up a client at wedu who tells us, “I tried Google pay-per-click advertising, but it didn’t work for us.” They proceed to list a litany of reasons (or shall we say excuses) as to why it didn’t. We then go on to run successful campaigns for that client. Why? Because we went beyond the 20% Mark. We dove deeper into research and testing. We pushed our analytics to the max.

There are “professionals” in social media who post pictures and cute sayings. Let’s just say they’ve achieved the 20% Mark. Unfortunately, they never make it beyond that. As a single example, Facebook let’s you create questions and polls, find other aligned partners to Like and share content, build apps for contests, education and entertainment, and you can even advertise. An expert doesn’t stop at 20%.

Next time you are embarking on an adventure in digital marketing make sure you recognize the 20% Mark and keep your eye on the 80% of Opportunities.

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