The full title of this book by Perry Marshall is
80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More
In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Three Stars.
Here is my review, which has been slightly extended.
I was disappointed
I’m on Perry Marshall’s email list and it’s one of the few that I regularly pay attention to. I also enjoyed his book on Adwords but I was disappointed in this book.
I believe in the 80/20 principle and it’s something that I’ve used for years as a way to help business owners focus on the few things that really matter. I hoped the book would reveal plenty of new concepts to me that I could use with my clients but it didn’t.
One of the big ideas in the book is that the 20% that produce the 80% can be further divided. That means that 4% (20% of 20%) of customers can produce 64% (80% of 80%) of revenue. And then divided again and again until there is a tiny number of customers who individually spend a fortune.
If you have a business, does that sound likely to you? Does the 80/20 principle keep doubling up?
If not, can it be made to? Can you find customers who will buy an ultra high priced version of your product or service, 10, 100 or even 1,000 times more expensive than normal?
It naturally works in Perry’s business as an information marketer and business advisor. The book is a low cost product, recorded courses, live courses and then one to one consulting escalate prices rapidly and naturally provide opportunities for people who want to trade up. The book at the moment costs £9 for the Kindle version and Perry will have plenty of clients who will pay him 1000 times that £9 (i.e. £9,000) and even much more.
This 80/20 escalation principle will work in some other markets but I don’t believe it applies to across the board because brands are often not transportable across vastly different market segments.
At a certain price for a car, you’ll want to move from a Ford to a Ferrari and so will your customers.
I also know the 80/20 is more generalisation than fact. In my experience, sometimes it is closer to 70/30 and other times 90/10 or 60/5 (it doesn’t have to add up to 100). This varying split is also likely to apply to the continuing divisions.
The book goes on to cover some general direct response marketing ideas which are useful for new readers but much better covered elsewhere before other ways that the 80/20 rule can help you outside of marketing.
It’s not a bad book. If you’re not familiar with the idea or thought through practical issues like “how can you get more of the high spending customers?”, then you will get some aha moments.
Unfortunately I expected much more and I was left feeling disappointed. I advise you to read the original 80/20 books by Richard Koch in preference to this book.There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).