How to calculate your customer focus

How to calculate your customer focus

decorative image of a woman with hand raised as if to stop you.

There is a simple way to calculate the customer focus of your content. This article explains how to do it.

decorative image of a woman with hand raised as if to stop you.

No time for you, too busy thinking about me. (Source.)


If your content is online, stop here

If your content is already online, take a shortcut. Go to the Customer Focus Calculator (props to Hilary Marsh for sharing this find last year!) and follow the prompts.

To calculate customer focus in everything else, keep reading

The Customer Focus Calculator doesn’t let you test not-yet-published material, or offline material. But this methodology does. It’s fast, easy, and doesn’t even really require you to think.

Step 1: Find all the words focused on you

The words that are focused on you include:

  • your company name
  • all abbreviations of your company name
  • the name of your staff
  • we
  • us
  • our
  • I.

Here’s how to find them:

  1. Put your content into a word processor (if it’s not in one already)
  2. Go to Find & Replace
  3. Check Match whole words only or similar. Remember, for a phrase, you’ll need to find the whole phrase
  4. In your status bar, look at how many words it found.


Make sure you write the numbers down. You don’t need to keep them separately. A simple running equation (such as 18+4+6+15) will work.

Step 2: Find all the words focused on them (the customer)

You know that by ‘them’ we mean ‘the customer’, right?

The words that are focused on them include:

  • you
  • yours
  • your.

Follow the same method as in Step 1 for finding them. Then, make sure you write the numbers down in a simple running equation (such as 1+6+3).

Step 3: Tally the numbers

What you want to get to is the total of each section, and the total overall. Otherwise, you won’t get to your percentages. Based on the numbers above, we’ve now got:

  1. Us-focused:  44 words
  2. Them-focused: 10

This means that the total number of words is 54.

Step 4: Find your percentages

If you haven’t worked out percentages since high school, it’s ok: You are not alone! Here’s how it works:

Us-focused words and phrases:

44 words / 54 words = 0.81

Multiply by 100 = 81%

Them-focused words and phrases:

10 words / 54 words = 0.18

Multiply by 100 = 18%

Step 5: What was your customer focus? What does it mean?

In the example above, the supposed content was focused on “us” 81% of the time! Whoa! The customer only got attention 18% of the time.

Please don't interrupt me while I'm ignoring you. Meme image.

(For the mathematically minded, the missing 1% in the total is in the decimals, which have been removed for simplicity. You need a guide, not an exact.)

Content is more effective when it’s focused on the reader. In this situation, it’s a good idea to rework the material to do exactly that.

Wait! This means that my structure has changed *sadpanda*

Yes, it’s common that the structure of your writing will change when it’s customer-focused. It becomes more direct, more actionable. Sometimes, it makes you make your points faster, or higher in the material.

This is all good change. If you need help, give us a shout on Twitter @brutalpixie or send us an email.

Leticia Mooney

The Brutal Pixie is Leticia Mooney. Race: Eladrin, Class: Publisher. --- Leticia is Australia's foremost authority on publishing in a business context. She ghostwrites for, and advises, entrepreneurial individuals in the professional services.

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