Patrick Spenner at the Marketing Leadership Council presented a great variation on the Pareto Principle (also called the 80/20 rule) when it comes to trying new marketing tactics: (Beat the Social Media Investment Catch-22, November 9, 2009)
Spenner suggests any marketing plan should be follow the 70-20-10 spending rule: Roughly 70% of your marketing budget should be on the “tried and true” marketing channels — areas that you know absolutely have succeeded in the past.
The other 10% should be on experimental or new channels “for which there is no in-year expectation of ROI.” In other words, don’t expect to see an ROI within the fiscal year. Look for growth and results, but don’t expect things to pay for themselves.
The middle 20%, says Spenner, is for the most successful of last year’s 10%. “These touchpoints are incubating — we should manage them to develop benchmarks for success,” wrote Spenner. “These touchpoints eventually move over into the 70% as the organization accepts them.
Where could you find some new traffic? It may not always be on social media (said the social media company). It may be something new like trade shows and non-industry conferences. It may be a new website. Or email newsletters. Or a strategy of participating in discussion forums. Or telemarketing. And it just may very well be Twitter and blogging. The point is that you look at at least one new strategy and give it a year to see what happens.
Take some of the money you’ve been spending on newspaper and radio advertising, and try a new social media campaign. Pepsi Cola just did it, forgoing the multi-million Super Bowl ad buy, and putting $20 million into a social media campaign instead. Toys ‘R’ Us saw some explosive growth on their Facebook fan page. And even the Cincinnati Bengals have joined the Twitterverse and have over 15,000 followers.
Finding new marketing channels is important. Media consumption by your customers is always changing, and they’re going to places you didn’t have in your 70% bucket a few years ago, or even last year. Two years ago, I thought Twitter was the stupidest thing ever. Today, as much as one-third of my personal blog’s traffic comes from Twitter, but the largest portion comes from StumbleUpon.
So what’s your new 10%? What are some new channels you could explore for 2010?