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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

2 Rules to Rightsize your Marketing

Getting your marketing program right is hard.

A surprisingly small number of B2B businesses are actually satisfied with the results of their marketing program. One of the main reasons for this is that they're trying to do too much with their marketing.

Here are two rules to help you figure out how to right-size your marketing program.

The 80/20 Rule

80% of the value of your marketing program comes from 20% of the activity. This is about prioritizing your work, choosing the right things to do.

The mistake that people make with this is they apply it too soon. You need to go back to the beginning, before you start doing anything, step back and understand your business's purpose. Make sure you all agree. Understand exactly who you can help and then look at all the ways marketing can and can't help you do that.

Look at that big picture. At that point, apply the 80/20 Rule. Too many businesses feel like they have to check all the boxes with marketing. They have to do this piece. They have to do this branding. They have to do this email. They have to do this website. They have to do this social media. On and on and on. And you can prioritize in each of those buckets, but you still have too much to do.

Courageous businesses are willing to not do some conventional things because they're not really moving the needle. They're part of the 20% of the return that takes 80% of the effort.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Rule number two: it's another version of the 80 20 rule, actually. It essentially says that 80% of the value of a program comes in the first 20% of the work. So the idea here is if you are too focused on being perfect, perfect is the enemy of good.

You get wound around the axle and spend a lot of energy and effort and resources, fine-tuning something that was good enough for the results you need.

This may seem counter to one of my favorite books, which is Good to Great by Jim Collins. We want to be great, right? But if you really look at what Jim Collins is saying, one of the things he's saying is it's the combination of the right things - the right things, good enough, that create a great business, a great outcome. You need to think of your marketing that way as well. Great is the right combination of the "goods" that can make a difference for your business.

This is so important in marketing because one of the biggest failures of marketing organizations is that their marketing programs don't get followed through, to finish. They don't complete. And so all the effort you put in doesn't even see the light of day.

If you are willing to stop at the 80% good enough level for the right projects, you end up completing your work and getting more from your marketing for less, more efficiently.

Do the right things, do them well, but not perfectly and finish what you start and you'll see that your marketing performs better for actually less effort.

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