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Using the 80/20 Rule to Prepare Your Marketing Plan!

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

Similar to other small businesses, we at mdi have struggled with trying to put together an effective marketing plan with a limited budget. We've found that using a variation of the 80/20 rule is a simple method to compose a good marketing plan.

Basically, it is very likely that 80% of your revenue, comes from 20% of your customers. Using this premise, we compile and sort our list of customers for the past two years from worst to best in terms of revenue. From this sorted list, we can determine the top 20% in terms of mdi's earnings. We then determine the characteristics of these top 20% customers and design our marketing plan to find and actively reach out to prospects with similar characteristics. Using this information, we would allocate around 80% of our marketing budget towards finding similar customers.

The balance of our budget would then be allocated to maintenance efforts with our existing customers, using less expensive methods such as email, phone calls, site visits and so on. Most of this effort is focused on the next 60% of the sorted customer list. So in essence, we don't waste much effort marketing to the types of customer that make up the bottom 20% of earnings potential for our company.

This approach is simple and effective and provides a good starting point for our annual marketing plan. Our course, along with this approach, we perform regular reviews and the return on investment for our marketing dollars to determine whether changes need to be made to improve its effectiveness.

Contact us by calling us at (513) 563-4900 of email us at You can also visit our website at

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