TL:DR: This post on using the 80/20 Rule in Marketing is from our recent Rethink Marketing interview with bestselling author Perry Marshall.
Perry Marshall was a laid-off engineer and failed salesman eating baloney sandwiches and trying to support his wife and small child in Chicago.
“It was pretty slim pickings for a while,” he said.
Perry managed to get his second sales job before his new employer learned he’d been fired from the first. But something was different. The second job started working.
“And one of the reasons it started working was, during this horrendous baloney sandwiches, ramen soup, cold calling, and all that phase, I had discovered direct marketing,” Perry said.
He’d attended a Dan Kennedy seminar, spent the last $300 he had on a credit card, and bought a set of manuals about direct mail for small businesses.
“When I went to the next job, this was 1997, and they had a website, and they were using the website to attract new customers,” he said. “And I realized without anybody telling me that the same things that work in direct mail work on a website. I realized that a webpage and a direct mail letter weren’t really all that different from each other. And I started learning how to do online marketing.”
And to make a long story short, what happened was the first commission check he got from that second job was the biggest check he’d ever gotten. Four years later that company was sold for $18 million. He cashed out some stock options and started the business he continues to run.
“And I said to myself, all right, I’m OK at marketing now,” he said. “What if I got really, really good?
Twenty years later, he’s authored bestselling books on Google and Facebook advertising, and most recently the 80/20 Rule for Sales and Marketing.
“And 80/20 is really the lever,” Perry said. “If there’s anything you can master, it’s 80/20. So yeah, let’s talk about that.”