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The 80/20 Principle has been a dominant principle througout history and even explains historical events in our nation’s past. It is a vital principle for Interenet Marketing. The Internet Marketer who recognizes its proper use has a distinct advantage- an edge- over his competitors.

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Internet Marketing, Paul Revere, 80/20 Rule

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I’ll bet you thought you knew all about Paul Revere. He was, of course, responsible for inventing the Internet…uh, no… sorry, wrong turn.

Not that he couldn’t have used Internet marketing principles, however, had the Internet been available. Putting an ad up on Google sure would have made life a lot easier than, say, getting captured by the British…not to mention a greater impact, as Internet marketing goes.

But, his famous ride to awaken the colonists has historians – but not marketers – utterly baffled. Why? Let’s see first the problem … then how marketing (particularly Internet marketing principles) solves the problem.

Most historians don’t understand the 80/20 Rule. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of people don’t understand the implications of the 80/20 Rule. They don’t understand its recursive nature, the “64 – 4 Rule,” the “51.2 -0.8 Rule,” “Sierpinski Triangles,” and so on.

But, it’s really not necessary to understand all of that, anyway. What you should know is simple: the 80/20 Rule simply means 80% of your results will flow from 20% of your efforts. That’s the simplicity of the 80/20 Rule for Internet marketing…or anything else.

Paul Revere understood the 80/20 Rule well, in concept. I bet he would have taken to Internet marketing too.

You see, historians can’t understand why Paul Revere’s ride produced a word- of –mouth- epidemic (“buzz”) and why fellow yeller William Dawes’ ride did not. After all, Dawes traveled 17 miles on horseback that night. But, almost no one from the southerly circuit of towns he visited – towns like Roxbury, Brookline, Watertown, and Waltham – responded to the call.

That’s the reason he goes as an unsung hero in our history.
I am a wandering, bitter shade,
Never of me was a hero made;
Poets have never sung my praise,
Nobody crowned my brow with bays;
And if you ask me the fatal cause,
I answer only, “My name was Dawes”
‘Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and well, God wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear —
My name was Dawes and his Revere.
History rings with his silvery name;
Closed to me are the portals of fame.
Had he been Dawes and I Revere,
No one had heard of him, I fear.
No one has heard of me because
He was Revere and I was Dawes.
(The Midnight Ride of William Dawes
by Helen F. Moore -Century Magazine, 1896).

Seems unfair. Many historians lament Dawes, the unrecognized hero. But, then again, the 80/20 Rule shows us that life is disproportionate in its results.

That wasn’t Paul Revere’s only ride:

You see, the 80/20 Rule teaches us one simple lesson and …several very powerful ones. So don’t go away.

The simple lesson? That’s easy. Focus and prioritize on what you do best. Each of us is, or should be, a specialist in a particular niche. In other words, very good in one area – and a “duck out of water” elsewhere.

That was Paul Revere. As renowned historian David Hackett Fischer put it, unlike Dawes, Revere had an “uncanny genius for being in the center of events.”

• From the Boston Tea Party to the Revolution, committees and congresses sprang up all over New England. Revere rode from one city to another, bearing messages and linking to each other. Consequently, he was well known.

• He rode to Philadelphia from Boston regularly carrying organizational messages. He rode from Boston to New Hampshire, from Boston to New York, and from Boston to just about anywhere in New England.

• He connected people to people, and people to news and events. And he did it well. While 80% of the leadership belonged to but one committee, he was only one of two men who served on almost all of the committees in Boston. (80/20 Rule: The most accomplish the least. The least accomplish the most.) More popularly known as: “If you want something done well, give it to a busy person.”

• He was a clearinghouse for information about the British. In other words, if you knew something and didn’t know who to tell, you went to Paul Revere.

So, when the stable boy overheard the conversation of the two British officers, he went to Paul Revere.

When Paul Revere mounted his horse that fateful night, his travels were strategic…He knew who the town fathers, militia commanders, Minutemen officers, key ministers, opposition lawyers, merchant leadership, and other strategically placed individuals were… and where they lived.

Dawes did not have that gift. He was not well known. He had not traveled widely. Consequently, his efforts that night were spent on arousing common folk, no doubt, but most people didn’t know where to go, or who to contact, or what the next step should be.

Paul Revere knew the leadership. What they needed was what we all call in Internet marketing, a “message to market match,” (when and where specifically the British were moving).

Paul Revere supplied that match. The 80/20 Rule is a filter for precision matches between effort and result. He supplied that filter:

• Preparation and research? His “Post tags” were people, places and events learned over three years…
• Key knowledge? The information from the stable boy… and when the British would move …
• Strategic “niches”? Most “profitable” towns to alarm in the shortest amount of time…
• “Pre-qualified traffic”? The individuals who were prepared to respond to his call, did so, like clockwork.
• “Message to market match”? They would act in direct response to his focused message… and …
• Call to action? “The British are coming. Resist them…now.”

Revere was less a rider and more a “guided missile” that night. Specific. Targeted. Effective. Those are the ingredients for successful Internet marketing…and the call to Lexington Green that next day was an 80/20 Rule “in play”.

Every Internet marketer knows from the 80/20 Rule, that Internet marketing is a process, broken down into steps, each step catering to the comfort zone of different kinds of individuals. The days of “one stop, one purchase” are over. Most people will NOT purchase in one stop…so devise other kinds of response (email follow-up, mini-courses, opt ins, surveys, etc.)

As any Internet marketing specialist knows, if people are confused, they take no action, except to leave the issue (or website) alone.

If Dawes had had a website, they would’ve left it confused with no way to respond to any call to action.

So, people didn’t act under his call … until days later, after Lexington and Concord were history.

Yes, William Dawes was a hero. But, his ride took so much more effort, accomplished much less, and took much longer to finish … Mixed results, at best.

History and Internet marketing turn on hinges produced by the 80/20 Rule.

About the Author
Wayne Sedlak is an Internet Marketer and Radio Talk Show host. Hear archived shows on Internet marketing, 80/20 Rule, Ebay and many other subjects at . For Internet marketing training: Questions? Email: Call Toll Free: 1866.735.5871

Post tags: Internet Marketing, 80/20 rule, Paul Revere 1147 words poem