Is the 80:20 Rule A Ceiling for Your Adoption?

May 2nd, 2013 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

If you define buyer market adoption as the intersection of your technology solutions adoption in the market with the buyer’s need to fix a painful problem, then your adoption rate for your technology solution is the conversion number in your available universe who actually recognize the pain to the number of buyers that you actually helped solve the underlying cause of that pain with your technology solution.


Number of Buyers Solved Pain /Total Buyers in Pain = Adoption Rate as %

If that is the case, then your solution marketing is capped at a ceiling of 20% at best. Why?Because 80% of the conversations in the market are peer-to-peer without vendor participation. We have seen that consistently in the hundreds of markets that we have analyzed. We also confirm it with the hundreds of firms that we have spoken with in the Social Executive Council.

It makes sense, if you take the marketing conversion numbers of reach, awareness, and interest to unqualified leads; the numbers vary, but we haven’t seen many that are over 20% of available market converted. Then take the sales funnel conversion from mouth to  close and we find that 20% of the “no” decisions are lost to competitors; with 80% of the ”no” decisions or non-decisions are because they can’t get agreement to the problem, can’t see the connection to the solution, can’t feel comfortable with the risk/return on investment equation, or can’t get consensus as to course of action (which goes back to pain/problem).

So, let me recap:

  • 80% of conversations in the market are happening without you at a peer level without your input as a vendor to influence their decision
  • 80% of your available market is not responding to your direct marketing and jumping into the sales process
  • 80% of your lead opportunities are cycling or lost due to problem clarity/agreement versus solution competition/price
  • Your adoption marketshare of possible universe is <20%?

Could be a correlation. Food for thought?

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at or contact him directly at