The 80/20 rule

When you consider the web you think of it as an immense amount of endless possibilities and, in many respects it is. We talk to clients about a multitude of ways they can use to digital to in their brand strategy, the vast amount of specialist niche sites that see their audience demographic index in a way that no other media could replicate and we push that it’s this diversity, and this targeting, that makes digital so effective.

This chart, produced by Hitwise is particularly interesting to put this fragmentation into context: –

It depicts well that despite the diversity of the web it’s actual a core number of properties that are delivering the reach – something not that disimilar from the more traditional media planning we’ve seen for years in ATL.

But for marketers what it (hopefully) does is refocus that digital plan. Whilst finding out the small niche properties that deliver results, and running small tactical campaigns is undoubtedlly going to return results, creating multiple campaigns, for multiple channels, is a production nightmare in comparison to working some of these bigger players well.

The chart is dominated by Google, Facebook , MSN, Ebay and YouTube but also reminds us of those other properties that we almost forget to remember as trends come in (and out) of fashion.

Myspace falling just behind Twitter , and AskJeeves higher than Flikr.

Its quite easy to get side tracked in digital by trends and the “press friendly” crazes that come and go over time. These vehicles, whilst tactically important at specific points in time, shouldn’t distract from your overall strategy. Work out the key channels that your mass audience is consistently using and stick to channeling the majority of your energy into building the brand engagement there.

The mass of other sites, and the opportunities that they offer are tactics and syndication opportunities NOT going to deliver the big wins (unless it’s a very specialist product or brand we’re talking about). Dont forget that whilst fragmentation is undoubtedly occuring it’s a costly strategy to be following and diagrams, such as the above, are a strong reminder that whilst the world wide web might have billions of pages – there’s still some variant of the 80/20 rule happening.

Just remember:

the top 100 sites currently account for 42.5% of all UK Internet visits – Robin Goad, HitWise.


Posted on February 6, 2010, in Facts and figures, Think Digital and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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