The 2% rule

2% is a starting point for shooting in the dark with marketing. If you know nothing else, assume a 2% response rate.

It also ends up being the generally accepted value of the number of innovators. People who like to go first on new things.

I’ve mentioned picking an audience and there are a lot of thoughts out there, but as I mentioned recently, no one is really average, and if you apply enough criteria to define your audience, you may find out it’s actually tiny. So how can you flip this on it’s head?

There are a couple thoughts here: first, wouldn’t it be great if we could just engage those 2% and not have to filter out (read: annoy) those other 98% of the population? Why don’t we start there? What if we apply enough criteria to narrow down to 2% of the population.

To give an example if the target audience is women, that’s 51% of the population. If the audience’s age is important too, for example they should be young, but you can’t think of many other criteria, then you should pick what consititutes young. What age range fits that? Well if we’re trying to get to a 2% of the population audience, then the age range should represent 4% of the population because 4% age range*51% women = 2% population target audience.

The average lifespan is 74 years for women, so 74*0.04 = 2.96 years. This assumes an even population distribution across all ages, but it’s fine for this situation. Let’s round to 3 year age range. So perhaps your product is for women aged 22,23,24. This gives you a nice specific audience to think about. They are just out of college. They are likely unmarried. So when you think about marketing, you have something to shoot for, and know who you can ask if it resonates.

Getting a 80% response rate for a 2% audience is much better than a 0.5% response rate for 100% of the population. It’s worth at least thinking a bit about.