No matter how great of a product or service you may be offering, it is essential that customers are aware of what you’re providing and the value you are delivering. This is why gaining traction is essential.
Traction is defined as “how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users),” stated by Penguin Random House, “Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path.”
Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares’s Bullseye Framework breaks down what could be chaotic, finding fitting marketing channels, into a step-by-step systematized process.
This framework is best used to identify the most effective channel for customer engagement, no matter the development stage of the organization. Let’s explore their methodology:
Understanding the Three Rings
The Bullseye Framework consists of three concentric rings, what is possible, what is probable, and what is working. For your convenience, the nineteen channels are listed at the bottom of this article.
Outer Ring: What’s Possible
In the initial step, the team will embark to brainstorm and explore every conceivable traction channel. This process involves traversing each given channel and envisioning what success might look like in each. Then document how these approaches might look.
What if you made a billboard with your product?
What would your ideal speaking engagement look like? Who would be in the audience?
It’s important not to dismiss any traction channel during this stage. The outer ring serves as a counterbalance to any preconceived biases, ensuring that all channels are considered. By thoroughly brainstorming ideas for each channel, leaders can overcome the tendency to prematurely eliminate potentially valuable avenues.
For every channel, it is crucial to identify at least one viable channel strategy that has the potential to drive significant results. This could include specific tactics within social ads, search engine marketing, or any of the other nineteen traction channels.
To inform your brainstorming process, it’s essential to conduct research specific to your industry and company. Understanding successful marketing strategies in your field and analyzing how similar companies acquired customers can be invaluable in this stage.
Middle Ring: What’s Probable
The second phase of the Bullseye Framework involves practical experimentation. Team members promote the most promising traction channel ideas from the outer ring to the middle ring.
Often, some channels will stand out as particularly exciting and promising. Focus your efforts on these channels, avoiding those where enthusiasm diminishes rapidly. Then, conduct multiple experiments concurrently, optimizing efficiency. This is different than shotgun marketing as channels are tested and measured in parallel, as opposed to trying multiple avenues blindly.
For each traction channel within the middle ring, create cost-effective traction tests that address three critical questions:
a. How much will it cost to acquire customers through this channel?
b. How many customers can be acquired through this channel?
c. Are these customers aligned with your current goals and target audience?
The specifics of how to test each traction channel can vary significantly from one business to another. The Bullseye Framework emphasizes the need for smaller-scale tests that yield quick results and insights. Speed is paramount at this stage, as the goal is to gather data and validate assumptions on the effectiveness of a channel.
Inner Ring: What’s Working
The final step of the Bullseye Framework focuses on the most promising channel, the “core channel.”
“If all goes well, one of the traction channels you tested in your middle ring produced promising results. In that case, you should start directing all your traction efforts and resources toward this most promising channel. You hit the bullseye! You’ve found your core channel,” as Weinberg said, potentially alluding to why it is called the Bullseye Framework.
The key objective in this phase is to maximize growth within the core channel through continuous experimentation and optimization. Every effort is directed towards extracting the maximum value from this channel.
A common pitfall at this stage is the temptation to maintain efforts in other traction channels that showed some success. However, it’s essential to prioritize the core channel, as it is likely to deliver the most significant impact on growth.
This framework is robust. Although it could be intimidating at first as it incorporates nineteen channels and categories to sort through, with a team involved in the process and eliminating options in the second round, the list will quickly turn into a manageable endeavor.
Gaining traction allows customers and clients to be effectively informed of the value you’re delivering. Using measurable results and proven methodologies attracts growth in a reliable and predictable way.
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