The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.
|Bullseye Framework||The Bullseye Framework is a strategic planning tool used by startups and businesses to identify and prioritize marketing channels for growth. It encourages a systematic approach to finding the most effective channels to reach a target audience and achieve business goals.|
|Three Rings||The Bullseye Framework consists of three concentric rings, each representing a different stage of the channel selection process: |
1. Outer Ring (Awareness): Identifying all possible marketing channels.
2. Middle Ring (Validation): Testing and prioritizing the most promising channels.
3. Inner Ring (Scaling): Focusing resources on the top-performing channels.
|Awareness Stage||– Brainstorm Channels: List all conceivable marketing channels without evaluating them. |
– Rank by Reach: Estimate the potential reach and exposure of each channel.
– Rank by Cost: Determine the cost of testing each channel.
|Validation Stage||– Test Top Channels: Select a few top channels from the Awareness stage and run small-scale tests. |
– Gather Data: Collect data on the channels’ effectiveness, conversion rates, and costs.
– Iterate and Eliminate: Based on results, iterate on strategies and eliminate ineffective channels.
|Scaling Stage||– Double Down: Allocate more resources to the channels that perform best in the Validation stage. |
– Expand and Optimize: Optimize campaigns and strategies for scaling.
– Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitor channel performance and make adjustments as needed.
|Benefits||– Efficiency: Focuses resources on channels with the highest potential. |
– Data-Driven: Encourages data collection and analysis.
– Flexibility: Allows for adjustments based on real-world results.
– Cost-Effective: Minimizes wasted resources on less effective channels.
|Challenges||– Data Collection: Requires accurate data collection and analysis. |
– Resource Allocation: Deciding how much to invest in testing and scaling.
– Competitive Landscape: Channels may become crowded with competitors.
– Changing Dynamics: Marketing channels can evolve rapidly.
|Examples||– A software startup using the Bullseye Framework to identify the most effective customer acquisition channels. |
– An e-commerce business testing various online advertising platforms to find the best-performing one.
– A mobile app developer experimenting with different app store optimization strategies.
|Application||The Bullseye Framework is particularly useful for startups and businesses looking to make informed decisions about where to allocate their marketing resources. It helps in avoiding the “spray and pray” approach and focuses efforts on the channels that yield the best results.|
|Iterative Process||The framework is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing, iterative process. As market conditions change and businesses grow, they should revisit and adjust their channel selection strategies.|
|Strategic Growth||By systematically identifying and prioritizing marketing channels, businesses can achieve more efficient and strategic growth, ultimately reaching their target audience with the right messages through the most effective channels.|
The premise is that when you grow a company from scratch, in most cases, you don’t have a massive marketing budget.
This requires a scientific method for marketing experimentation to prioritize those channels that have the highest potential.
Often, this marketing prioritization process will bring you to experiment with new marketing channels which might still be underutilized by your competitors, and for such reason also the ones with the highest potential.
The bullseye framework was manufactured by Gabriel Weinberg, and Justin Mares, in their book, Traction.
Let me give you a bit of background about the story of one of the authors, Gabriel Weinberg, and how they came up with this framework.
Gabriel Weinberg is the founder of DuckDuckGo (DDG), a search engine that offers private navigation on the web. Over the years, DDG has evolved into a set of tools that provide privacy for users around the web.
DDG’s business model revolves around a value proposition that emphasizes privacy.
This value proposition is quite powerful as it offers an alternative to Google, which primary business model is based on data tracking which enabled the search engine from Mountain View to build a multi-billion dollar business.
DuckDuckGo itself has used a bullseye framework that prioritized on several marketing channels when growing.
But what are the primary marketing channels available to founders when first launching their company?
According to Weinberg and Mares, those can be traced back to 19 primary channels.
The bullseye framework in a nutshell
The bullseye framework follows three simple steps, intending to hit one target: traction!
- The first layer is about what’s possible. In other words, this is a brainstorming phase in which the team starts to gather at least a strategy per channel that may be used to start “moving the needle of growth.”
- The second layer is about what’s probable. In short, this is the phase where you start experimenting and testing the strategies that were brainstormed in the first step. Here it is crucial to start with inexpensive tests. That is not the phase where you have to go all in. Look at it as a testing phase. Where you start testing the market to see what works and what does not.
- The inner ring is the bullseye. That is where you identified the channel or channels that are fueling the growth. Therefore, focus on them at least until they will bootstrap your startup to the next growth phase. Eventually, you’ll restart the process to identify which channel or channels will work for the next growth stage.
In the book, Gabriel Weinberg identified 19 channels for growth:
- Targeting Blogs.
- Unconventional PR.
- Search Engine Marketing.
- Social and Display Ads.
- Offline Ads.
- Search Engine Optimization.
- Content Marketing.
- Email Marketing.
- Viral Marketing.
- Engineering as Marketing.
- Business Development.
- Affiliate Programs.
- Existing Platforms.
- Trade Shows.
- Offline Events.
- Speaking Engagements.
- Community Building.
Each of those channels will be able to propel your organization into a specific growth stage.
It is important to understand that marketing prioritization isn’t a process that you do once, and it stops there. It is a continuous process.
The bullseye framework requires continuous tuning
When you finally master a marketing channel that propels you to the first phase of growth, that channel might lose efficacy over time, for several reasons:
- Certain marketing channels are well suited for a specific reach. For instance, using niche blogs to propel your growth in the first phase is a great marketing strategy. Over time this channel might become not sufficient to bring you toward a second growth phase.
- As your competitors find out that you stumbled upon an effective marketing channel, they will start to copy your strategy. Until that marketing channel becomes saturated, thus losing efficacy.
- While growing your company, you might also be expanding the customer base and the audience you talk to. Thus, a marketing channel that worked to deliver a specific message to a niche might not work to spread that message further as your audience might not be there anymore. Thus you will need to figure out where your audience hangs out to expand the reach of your marketing message and trigger a further growth phase.
The bullseye framework is a straightforward methodology – presented in the book “Traction – to prioritize the marketing channels that can help to grow your business.
According to Weinberg and Mares, the authors of Traction, this framework can be used to understand what of the 19 potential marketing channels can trigger the growth of your organization throughout the several growth stages.
Startup Tech Company
Situation: A new tech startup wants to launch an innovative app for pet owners.
Bullseye Framework Application:
- Brainstorming Phase: They brainstorm marketing strategies such as reaching out to pet blogs, starting a viral challenge related to pets on social media, and offering referral bonuses for current users.
- Testing Phase: The team runs a small ad on a popular pet blog and monitors the app’s downloads. They also start the viral challenge on Instagram and see an uptick in user engagement.
- Bullseye: After analyzing the data, they find that the viral challenge brought in the most new users. They decide to invest more resources into social media marketing, specifically targeting pet lovers.
Local Coffee Shop
Situation: A local coffee shop wants to stand out in a crowded city.
Bullseye Framework Application:
- Brainstorming Phase: They think of hosting local art events, offering loyalty programs, and advertising in local newspapers.
- Testing Phase: After hosting a couple of art events, they notice a slight increase in foot traffic. The loyalty program also sees a decent sign-up rate.
- Bullseye: Realizing the positive response from the art events, they decide to host these events more frequently, even incorporating art sales into their business model.
Online Fashion Retailer
Situation: An online fashion retailer wants to increase sales on their website.
Bullseye Framework Application:
- Brainstorming Phase: They consider influencer partnerships, SEO optimization, and email marketing campaigns showcasing the latest fashion trends.
- Testing Phase: After partnering with a mid-tier influencer, they see a surge in website traffic and sales. The email campaign also results in a decent conversion rate.
- Bullseye: The influencer partnership proves to be the most effective. They decide to collaborate with more influencers in the future, focusing on those with audiences interested in fashion.
Situation: An online platform offering courses in digital marketing wants to increase its student base.
Bullseye Framework Application:
- Brainstorming Phase: Ideas include hosting free webinars, collaborating with colleges for credit courses, and offering affiliate programs to current students.
- Testing Phase: The free webinar attracts a lot of participants, many of whom sign up for paid courses afterward. The affiliate program also sees good traction.
- Bullseye: The webinars prove to be a hit. They decide to host them regularly, covering various topics in digital marketing.
Health and Wellness Blog
Situation: A blog focusing on health and wellness wants to increase its readership.
Bullseye Framework Application:
- Brainstorming Phase: The team thinks of guest posting on popular health websites, starting a YouTube channel for fitness routines, and collaborating with nutritionists for expert advice.
- Testing Phase: Their YouTube channel gains subscribers quickly, and the videos drive traffic back to the blog.
- Bullseye: Seeing the success of their YouTube channel, they decide to produce more video content and even consider starting a podcast.
Key Highlights of the Bullseye Framework
- Prioritizing Marketing Channels: The Bullseye Framework helps businesses prioritize marketing channels that have the highest potential to drive growth and traction.
- Three-Step Approach: The framework consists of three steps: brainstorming, testing and experimentation, and focusing on the most effective channels identified.
- 19 Primary Marketing Channels: The Bullseye Framework provides a list of 19 primary marketing channels, including social media ads, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and more.
- Continuous Process: Marketing prioritization is an ongoing process as channels may lose efficacy over time or become saturated. Companies need to continuously reassess their strategies.
- Small-Scale Experiments: The framework emphasizes starting with small-scale and inexpensive experiments to test different marketing strategies.
- Focus on Efficacy: The inner ring of the bullseye represents the most effective marketing channels that should be the primary focus to drive significant growth.
- Tailored Approach: The Bullseye Framework allows businesses to tailor their marketing strategies to their unique target audience and business objectives.
- Gabriel Weinberg’s Success: The framework was inspired by Gabriel Weinberg’s success with DuckDuckGo, where he used a similar approach to achieve traction and growth.
- Identifying Growth Stages: The Bullseye Framework helps identify which marketing channels are suitable for each growth stage of the business.
- Adapting to Changes: Companies need to be adaptable and willing to explore new marketing channels as the business evolves and the audience changes.
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