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As marketers, we’re inundated with so many campaigns and channels running at once that it can be difficult to focus on the campaigns actually driving results. Additionally, it can feel like we’re running a never-ending series of campaigns, leaving little or no time to think strategically and come up with new ideas.

However, we have a tool that helps us understand what we should be focused on that will help us increase the results while spending less time. It’s called the 80/20 rule.

We recently implemented the 80/20 rule in our marketing campaigns and saw great results. If we all started looking for the 80/20s in our marketing, we’d all be more efficient and effective.

For B2B marketers, the most impactful way to see this is to do a long-term look back.

This look back will give you a clear picture of which channels are performing best and which you should drop. The goal is to understand at a high-level what’s moving the needle for your business and what can be eliminated. For us, that was understanding which campaigns and channels were generating the most pipeline.

At Honest Buildings we did a 6 month look back after Q3 2018.

At the time, we were trying to identify which channels and strategies were the most effective as fast as possible. 

We were sending dedicated vendor email, sponsoring paid search, retargeting ads. We thought these channels were working well because we were seeing a significant lift in conversions.

Once we looked back at our data, we found out that two channels were driving 75% of the pipeline and only 7% of our marketing spend. Although we were seeing conversions from our other channels, these contacts were ultimately not converting into pipeline for our business.

The data was shocking, and once we saw it, we knew we had to cut back aggressively on certain campaigns and double-down on the ones driving the results.

Once we eliminated the strategies that weren’t working,  I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to hit our goals, and I was worried. In the past, we were launching or tweaking a new campaign basically every week.

We actually increased pipeline by doing more of what worked. For example, we sent double the amount of direct mail which was a strong channel for us.

This extra time gained from dropping ineffective channels led us to think more strategically and test new campaigns what we’d wished we had the time to do in the first place.

Now that we understand the 80/20 rule, here are 5 steps on how to perform your analysis:

  1. Pull all your marketing campaign data from the last 6-month
  2. Look at the spend, number of MQCs, number of opportunities, pipeline, and revenue generated from each campaign.
  3. Graph the pipeline by channel on a pie chart to give yourself a visual representation of the data.
  4. Graph a second pie chart of spend by channel
  5. Try to look for an 80/20 relationship between spend and pipeline generated. This might not always be exactly 80/20, but you’re looking for a couple channels that are producing the majority of the results. 

But what about those other 20% of opportunities?

If you can double down on the channels that are working well, it won’t be a problem. Ultimately if you’re spending more than you’re making, then is it really helping your business? Use the time being saved to find new ways to generate engagement.


Now it’s your turn
Take a data set and conduct your own 6-month look back. Try to find an imbalance in your data. Use that imbalance to double down on what’s working.

Let me know if you discover efficiencies in your marketing.