Jul 172009

Marginal Returns of Exercise

We've written fairly extensively on the topic of diminishing marginal returns in PPC, in catalog circulation...in most things in life.

At some point the benefits of doing more become less and less and less to the point that it isn't worth the investment of time, energy and money. Unfortunately, it's rarely clear where we are on that curve at any point in time, nor what the rest of the curve looks like.

However it can be empowering to realize that by wisely pursuing the most cost-effective path, the first 50% of the effort gets you far more than 50% of the benefits.

Take exercise for an example. When the Institute of Medicine proclaimed that people need to get an hour of moderately intense exercise every day of the week I wouldn't be surprised if a number of people gave up in defeat.

Undoubtedly more is usually better, but health experts should point out that just walking for a half an hour 3 days a week provides tremendous benefits. {At least, that's what I'm telling myself, and I'd appreciate it if none of you disabuse me of that notion.}

We all have more to do in a day than we can do to the nth degree. The most "effective" people are the ones who don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Generating 90% of the benefits from 10 different projects generates far more benefit overall than sweating the last details of 2 projects in the same amount of time.


2 Responses to "Marginal Returns of Exercise"
Marc Adelman says:
George, The stars must be aligned, because this week, 15 very fine gentlemen from the web dept here at B&H started a 6 week weight loss challenge. Conversation quickly ensued regarding which techniques of exercise would be the most effective technique for weight loss over these grueling 6 weeks. An interesting technique was mentioned that I never heard of: The Tabata Interval Method: http://www.ehow.com/how_2123381_tabata-intervals.html Apparently - one can basically run like they have a gun to their head for just 4 minutes - a few times a week and loose more weight then hours of traditional exercise. PPC equivalent..... not sure. There has been a metric that have been keeping me focused on the balance between PPC work on the floor and it's return. Revenue Per KW. Simple and easy. IF this # goes up for your portfolio(and your portfolio hasn't drastically shrunken in # of KWs of course) - several things are going right. If the # goes down.... the following questions need to be asked: 1. Did we add KWs of low or even negative value and decrease the efficiency of our spend? 2. What are the Campaigns or adgroups that have the most significant drop in this metric? Let's dig deeper, analyze, , diagnose and attempt to correct the problem.
The Tabata technique sounds intriguing! However, if I have a heart attack my wife will never forgive you! I'm a big believer in the notion of spending time on the projects that are most likely to produce the greatest results, and shifting tasks when it gets hard to raise the bar in one particular area. Good luck to the men of B & H!

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