Digital marketing used to be easy, at least in comparison to today. In the beginning, there were fewer elements to think about – emails to customers and prospects, your website that you optimized for search, and you may have also had Google AdWords campaigns running. In the early days of digital marketing that’s probably was all that you did.

Today, the original tactics are still here, but new tactics pop up at a dizzying rate. On top of that, everything is much more sophisticated. This all adds up to a more difficult decision on where to focus your digital marketing efforts. With so many choices, it’s no surprise that marketers are looking for the
activity what will get them the greatest benefit. Enter the Pareto principle, aka the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule and digital marketing

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, the quick definition is that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. The Pareto principle as it’s also known was named after Vilfredo Pareto who lived in the latter half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and first observed the 80/20 correlation. Since then it has been applied to a wide range of professional disciplines, from business to computing to sports.

What happens if we apply this principle to digital marketing, what is the 20% of effort that will give 80% of your digital marketing success?

Image result for image of digital marketing

Digital Marketing Today

Here’s a quick list of some of the more common activities digital marketers are doing:

Email Marketing
 It is still an effective tool to market to existing and new clients, but the rules of email engagement are much more complicated now.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
 Still a moving target as Google, still the dominant search platform, refines its algorithm to deliver better results.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
 Google Adwords
 LinkedIn Sponsored Content
 Facebook Advertising
Content Marketing / Inbound Marketing
 Create relevant or useful content to build positive brand awareness, increase website traffic, and generate leads for your sales team.
Social Media Marketing
 Facebook
 LinkedIn
 Instagram
 Twitter
Affiliate Marketing
 Succinctly defined by Neil Patel as “the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.”
Native Advertising
 Native ads are formatted to match the websites in which they appear but take a user to offsite content. They frequently show up at the bottom of a page under the heading of “From The Web” or “You May Like”
Online PR
 Like traditional PR but, as the title implies, in the digital space. This means engaging with social media influencers, responding to online reviews, and engaging with comments on your blog or website.

Ultimately, the mix of digital marketing activities that a business employs will be different, depending on whether it is B2B or B2C, national, regional, local, etc. However, the question remains, what is the one activity that, regardless of the unique requirements each business has, will drive the success of 80% of results.


A digital marketing strategy will help you identify the tactics that are right for your market and how many you and your team can realistically support. Having a strategy will make you and your team more productive and connect your initiatives so that they more cohesive and effective.

The components of your digital marketing strategy, like your tactics, will vary depending on your organization’s business requirements, but here are few that you will want to include:
->Market Research – How big is the market opportunity, who are your competitors
->Personas- Who is your ideal customer?
->Differentiator- What makes your business different and better?
->Digital channels – What digital platform does your ideal customer go to for information?

Whatever your unique strategy looks like, putting 20% of your efforts into developing and documenting it will deliver 80% of your digital marketing success.

If you want to learn more on how this thought process can help your digital marketing efforts, feel free to contact us or call 952.943.3997 and ask for Pat.