Every time you look up (from your mobile device), another new way to reach consumers and a new digital mechanism to drive brand messages seems to emerge. But with more than 307 million people in the U.S., and nearly 74 percent of them using the internet, how are we supposed to find success using the Pareto principle and target the 20 percent of consumers who drive 80 percent of the revenue?
Well, you can, but that's not being smarter, faster, or more efficient. In fact, that's traditional advertising. In my world, you achieve results by discovering one-fifth of those people, or 4 percent of your most influential consumers, and targeting them.
This significant digit -- what I like to call the 4-percent factor -- is a strategic targeting principle that forces you to drill deeper into your influencer base to discover the most significant consumers who have the greatest impact on your brand and then speak to them. Through the use of information already available via customer databases, profiling and enhancement data, real-time research, and predictive modeling, it is easier than ever to find those customers who can take your business to the next level. The information is voluminous, and so are the results when you use it to your advantage.
Just imagine being able to weed through a 40,000-person database, only to discover that 4 percent of your taco eaters drive 75 percent of margarita sales. How fast can you hit "send" on their free taco night email?
But why 4-percent? That's the significant digit that rises to the surface in countless studies and program measurements. For instance, Iams Pet Food discovered, via a Catalina Marketing study, the huge impact of just 1 percent of its customer base. LaRosa's restaurants learned about the substantial value of a small universe of its calzone customers.
These examples and others prove time and again that the customers who truly impact your brand (typically characterized as volume, margin, or advocacy) tend to be a relatively smaller number of the whole customer universe than we once believed them to be -- certainly less than 20 percent.
Brands like Yahoo, Pepsi, GNC, and CubCadet are beginning to discover and take advantage of this phenomenon, using transaction and behavior data to sort out their best consumers. In the process, they are targeting specific types of messages via specific channels of communication, from online video and mobile marketing to email and social media. They are using existing data to mine their consumer data stores and find the customers who matter most, because those customers will help build communities around your brand. It's doing business smarter and faster.
So then, how do you find this significant digit?
What you'll find is that the 4-percent factor goes well beyond a loyalty strategy. It is really a penetration strategy designed to be a competitive approach to cutting through the quagmire of less influential customers to protect and grow your business. Simply put, start smaller to get bigger faster. It also tends to be a much more sustainable approach than the typical strategy of casting a wide net and going through trials hoping to retain a percentage of new customers.
Today, one thing we all agree on is that brands are built by communities of like-minded individuals who share their brand experiences with friends and those with whom they have some connection. By truly pinpointing those communities -- your markets of business opportunity -- and finding creative ways to get them to help recruit your next customers, you will see more significant and sustainable results.
As fast as digital channels evolve and change, so too do the ways that consumers engage with your brand. The Pareto principle doesn't cut it any more in an age where above- and below-the-line communications have blurred into an infinite number of digital consumer channels. Dive deep into those one-to-one approaches, such as social media, mobile marketing, and proximity marketing, to optimize brand and business building. Soon you will reap the benefits of the 4-percent factor with a smarter, faster and more targeted approach to online consumer engagement.
Scott Morgan is president of Brunner.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet.
Not a People Connection member?
Enlightening article, Scott. It's so nice to see someone is taking the initiative to simply tell it like it is - I can never stress enough to my clients (even on the small biz sector that I cater to) it's QUALITY over QUANTITY regarding reach and message - quality message to quality custoimer base will lead to increased quantity of sales, period. Thanks for the starting the week with the most genuinely helpful article I've seen in a quite some time!
Full Summit Calendar | Request Invite
1 5 things great bosses always do
2 9 Facebook hacks that will blow your mind
3 7 stupid mistakes brands make as publishers
4 6 people on LinkedIn you should follow
5 The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn