What’s New, What Sticks —Sherburne
While there is a lot more to the book than we can cover here, let me spend a little time on what I found to be one of their most interesting strategies. They called it the 70/20/10 Solution.
They actually got the idea for the 70/20/10 Solution from a talk delivered by Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. In the speech, he shared the classic Silicon Valley mix of spending 70 percent of their time supporting existing products, 20 percent of their time extending their existing products with “sustaining innovations,” and 10 percent of their time working on “wild skunk-works ideas” for new products.
Briggs and Stuart realized that model has a lot of relevancy to marketing and, in their translation, they recommend that 70 percent of your marketing budget be dedicated to marketing strategies and tactics that are proven to work, and that you know work. Maybe it is direct mail postcards with a telephone followup. Maybe it is advertising in your local business journal. You know what you have been doing, and you probably have a pretty good idea of which of those things have delivered the best results.
They then recommend that 20 percent of your marketing spend be dedicated to what they call “sustaining innovations.” These would be similar to what you have been doing, but different enough that you may be able to get a better ROI. So instead of following up those direct mail postcards with a telephone call, perhaps you offer the recipient a personalized Web URL where they can go get more information about a specific offer and, in the process, begin a dialog with you.
The remaining 10 percent, in their estimation, should be dedicated to “disruptive innovation.” In this case, you would try various new models of marketing and advertising with intensive measurement of results. You learn from these experiences, and you learn what sticks. Once you find some new methods that work, you can move them into the 20 percent or even the 70 percent, using the 10 percent to go after more ideas.