Don’t fall into the “online vs. offline” trap. When done right, so-called “offline media” can be just as experiential and participatory as online media.

For proof, look no further than The Economist campaign. Instead of talking at their audience—“Hey affluent, well-educated and influential people, read the number one magazine in the world according to the L.A. Times”—The Economist has engaged them by adhering to the 80/20 Rule. (The who?!)

Similar to a great joke, the most impactful marketing ideas only take you 80% of the way there. The audience has to go the other 20% to close the loop, fill in the blank, and participate in the solution. If you say too little or try to be too clever and only travel 30-50% the way there, you run the risk of not being relevant. Or mystifying your audience to the point of annoyance—“Wait, come again. What was that ad for? Milk?! Don’t get us wrong, we love Genesis-drumming gorillas, but . . . ”

In summary, follow the wisdom of one of the most successful magazines in the world. Respect the 80/20 Rule. And give your brand a far greater chance of being remembered, and ultimately, selected.

Whether that’s online, offline, shoreline, hairline, any “line,” really. It doesn’t matter to your consumers. Don’t confuse channels and tactics for strategies and big ideas, okay smart guy?


If you’re having trouble closing the loop on this one, we’d love to help. Unfortunately, our lawyers have advised us not to comment. On the flip side, if you say too much and try to spell out everything in dummy-proof marketing speak, you run the risk of . . . zap. Flip. Delete. Unfriend. Keep driving. Turn the page. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.