We all know Pareto’s principle: 80% of results come from 20% of effort. For the most part the 80:20 rule holds its weight across many areas of our personal lives and work lives. It really holds true in many facets of digital marketing. Sometimes, it’s more extreme like a 90:10 or 95:5 rule but I’d be willing to be that 80% of your website traffic’s coming from 20% or less of your pages AND that 80% of your revenue comes from probably 20% of your products AND that 80% of your search traffic comes from 20% of your keywords. I could go on.

But, if this is true, then why aren’t more marketing leaders laser focused on cutting the wasteful 80% of effort or spend and then redeploying those resources to more innovative, high-impact areas? Look, if something is paying off – really high returns – you double or triple down for as long as you can until those returns start to diminish.

Far too often we see companies check the box with their annual marketing budgets and they operate business-as-usual across channels….with the same investments year over year, the same vendors, the same people with the same skills. The problem is that when your market changes, when your customers change behavior, when the platforms change or when major algorithms change….the 80:20 rule can get flipped on its head and begin to work against you….that’s when brands get left behind.

Are you checking the box or reinventing the box? Don’t be a victim of the 80:20 rule.