Research shows that the good old 80-20 rule is going out the door (meaning 80% of your business is driven by 20% of your customers). New database and monitoring technology demonstrates that as little as 4 percent of your customers may drive as much as 65 percent of your business.
One recent study showed that just 1 percent of a petfood producer’s customers drove 80 percent of its profits! Your core 4 percent are not consumers, they’re fanatics! What are the implications of this mega-trend?

a) If you don’t know if this trend is applicable to you (hint: it probably is), it’s important to find out! Tap into your existing data to discover core users and trends. If you’re not a data person, I know two people who can do this type of analysis quickly and affordably. Drop me a note or call me and let me know if you need a reference.

b) Word of mouth is 4X more effective than personal selling and 7X more effective than most types of traditional advertising. If your fanatics are driving sales better than any marketing effort you could dream of, what are you doing to make it easy for them? Wouldn’t fanatic-focused marketing be the most effective ad dollars you can spend?

c) Surround your 4 percent with the tools to help them recruit others to your brand. Ideas – special deals, gifts, logo-clothes, programs available for them to pass on to friends.

d) These people want to give back to your brand. How do you engage them, encourage them, and listen to them in a special and personalized way? Ideas: Invite them to special one-on-one sessions with company employees and executives; develop personal portal websites where they can submit ideas, stories, photos; feature them in your ads and promotions.

e) If you are building your brand with a limited budget, don’t focus your marketing dollars on the masses. Start small with your core fanatics.

f) Now that you have identified and nurtured your core 4 percent, how do you replicate them? Do a simple profiling exercise. Click here for a previous article that will give you ideas on how to do this quickly.

g) Here’s the most important point of all – LISTEN to them. These people are your leading indicators of customer satisfaction and a potentially powerful source of innovation who WANT to help you! Dig deep. Spend time with these people! Show them the love!

Illustration: Cheryy8_15

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