February 25, 2016

The Organic Percentage

If there's one concept that has been alien to many in my reader base, it is the concept of the "organic percentage".

Specifically, if I polled the readership base, it is entirely possible that more than half of you disagree that demand happens without marketing.

Certainly, attribution vendors have a vested interest in proving that demand must be generated by marketing.

Certainly, marketing employees have a vested interest in proving that demand must be generated by marketing.

Google has a vested interest in proving that demand must be generated by marketing. So does Facebook. Some use the term "micro-moments" ... to suggest that the customer is touching 29 channels 73 times before purchasing ... and therefore, you must pay the 29 channels 73 times for each purchase. Who benefits from that?

In fact, the entire vendor / trade journal / conference / research brand ecosystem is designed to get to you to believe that every order touches 29 channels a total of 73 times. This ecosystem gets paid when you believe that the customer touches 29 channels a total of 73 times.

Is it any wonder, then, that so many of you struggle with the concept of the organic percentage? Every message you hear out of the vendor / trade journal / conference / research brand ecosystem runs contrary to reality.

Reality is, of course, that orders happen without the need of marketing. You drive past an Olive Garden, you are hungry, you stop by. Somebody will demand that an Olive Garden commercial from 1997 caused you to hold Olive Garden in high regard. That may be true. It's probably not true, but fine, I'll concede. But you are hungry, and they are open, and you turn in and order something. You like the breadsticks. And two weeks later, you drive past the Olive Garden again, and the breadsticks are on your brain. You stop in again.

See? The merchandise (breadsticks) cause you to visit. That is the very definition of the organic percentage. The better the merchandise is, the better the customer experience is, the better the price/value relationship is, the higher your organic percentage is.

Stop mailing catalogs, stop sending emails, stop retargeting campaigns, stop paid search for a month, stop your Facebook ads for a month. What happens? If this customer segment continues to spend money, then you have just proven that the organic percentage is alive and well at your brand, like it is for the vast majority of companies I work with.