I read for you: 80/20 sales and marketing

October 10, 2017 | Elke Steinwender
2 min
Blog eMARK: J’ai lu pour vous : « 80/20 sales and marketing »


I love reading and have a huge library of books – half of them read and the other half impatiently waiting for me ;-).

There are a lot of marketing and business books out there and about once a month I’ll share with you a brief synopsis of the latest business book that I have I read.

This month’ book is: 80/20 sales and marketing by Perry Marshall.


How to apply the Pareto principle (or 80/20 rule) where approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes or in business terms “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.”

What I liked

Everyone knows the Pareto principle but very few actually know how to apply it. This book provides a great framework to do so. Here are the top 3 reasons why I think this book is worth reading:

  1. I LOVE the fact that Perry integrates marketing and sales. Too many organisations view them as distinct functions. Companies can definitely accelerate their growth by integrating the two rather than having them work in silo.
  2. The book breaks down marketing tactics into a science experiment what the author calls “Loading the shot-gun”. Basically, he’s suggesting that you test before you launch. This seems obvious but it’s not often done systematically. For example, in digital marketing, many companies don’t take the time (or don’t know how) to read their digital marketing reports which contain extremely valuable information about prospect and client behaviours that can help you far beyond the optimization of the current campaign.
  3. A simple description of the Power Law and how to integrate it into your product mix. In my experience, it’s very rare that product lines and services are reviewed in this manner. Doing so could positively, even exponentially, impact a business.


Internet marketing, whether it’s SEO, banner ads, AdWords, Facebook, etc., changes extremely rapidly and depending on your industry, or the size of your competitors, may not be as easy to implement as described in the book. It can be done but requires a very solid value proposition, some serious segmenting, and creativity to achieve the described results.

Greatest takeaway

For me, the greatest take away is the very short chapter where he addresses the concept of fractals.

What are fractals?

Here is the simplest definition that I found, written by the Fractal Foundation:  “A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.”

I must have read this 5 page chapter at least 50 times. Not because it’s complicated but because there are so many marketing and business implications to explore (Perry, I would love to discuss or write more about this with you)!

The entire chapter talks about harnessing natural forces, how positive feedback, or understanding your point of leverage, can put the 80-20 rule into play for exponential growth.

For the purpose of this blog, I will stick with one of the ideas put forth in the chapter and ask you one simple question to launch your own reflection.

Fractal show that if you zoom in by a factor of 10, 100 or 1,000 you see the same pattern over and over again and that macro patterns or actions imitate micro ones.

A question for you to ponder:

If your results are not what you were expecting, what is micro pattern or set of actions that are affecting your macro results?

Would love to hear your thoughts!




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