Good marketing requires focus. And that means making trade-offs.
Trying to do everything at once will move you an inch in all directions. You won’t get anywhere like that.
One way I help create my clients focus is by looking at the 4 stages of the buyer journey together. We choose one area at a time with ~80% of our resources and ~20% on everything else.
I do this for a quarter or two depending on the situation, then reevaluate where to focus after that.
The four stages of the buyers’ journey usually look something like this:
- Awareness (total exposure to new audiences)
- Consideration (earned and engaged audience)
- Conversion (sign-ups and purchases)
- Retention (repeat purchases and lifetime value)
So how do we decide where to focus?
Well, there’s no point in building broad awareness of your consideration engine isn’t strong. People need to consider your offers before they even think about purchasing.
Which means you need to get your website right and support it with good content marketing to keep people’s attention.
There’s also no point in focusing efforts in building conversions if nobody is even aware of you, so once you have your consideration engine figured out, you might want to work mostly on awareness.
This could be ads, sponsorships, podcast appearances, influencer marketing, or a range of other tactics. The key is exposure to new audiences.
And there’s no point in focusing on retention if you have no/very few clients or customers! You might need to revisit the other steps to build your client base before you double down on retention efforts.
But here’s the caveat: you might also decide to flip this entire process on its head if that’s what your strategy dictates.
For example, you might be a product- or experience-centric company, meaning delivering the best possible product or client experience is the way you plan to grow. Word of mouth would be your core channel in this case.
And that’s where strategy comes into play. Knowing where to focus your efforts to get the best results is the shared responsibility of marketing strategist and CEO together.
If you try do everything at once, you won’t move the needle very quickly.
Better to focus 80% of your resources on one general area and 20% on everything else until you’re ready to move into a new focus. How long you spend on each period depends on what needs to be done.
Focus is the fastest way to meaningful results—even if it takes months or years to come to fruition.
There’s nothing like the 80/20 principle to help you get there.