Top critical review
18 people found this helpful
I was disappointed
on 7 March 2014
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 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 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, 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.
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.
About my book reviews - I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 3 stars is worthwhile.
Paul Simister, business coach