How I Used Bullseye Methodology to Boost Our Marketing Strategy

As a marketing guy, I’m always looking for new ways to reach and engage with people. How do I get customers to my product?

Enter: "Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers" by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. The distributed web allows for unprecedented access to content across a multitude of channels and formats. It also makes the internet extremely noisy. So how do you determine which channels to use, when to go for it, and how to leverage them? Traction provides a framework to do just that, and it’s called Bullseye.

The Bullseye methodology helps you prioritize and implement marketing strategies efficiently and systematically. The goal of Bullseye is “to get traction no matter what business you’re in.” Using Bullseye, NewsUp has succeeded in gaining both B2B and B2C customers.

I’ve been in the marketing world from almost 10 years now (woah..) starting in the events marketing game with ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment and expanding my digital marketing knowledge and experience at Baltimore based marketing agency Tivilon. While I had accrued a solid amount of knowledge, I had never built a full marketing plan from scratch. For NewsUp, I knew the market landscape and how we differentiated from the competition. I knew we would be implementing a mix and I had tons of ideas regarding how to do it; but didn’t know exactly where to start. That’s where Bullseye comes in, providing you with a framework for identifying, prioritizing, analyzing, and refining your marketing efforts. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or are writing your first marketing plan, Bullseye empowers you to maximize existing channels and inspires you to develop new channels altogether. Allow me to demonstrate…


  • Brainstorm
  • Rank
  • Prioritize
  • Test
  • Focus


This framework forces you to look at nineteen channels and how you could, would, and/or should utilize them via a brainstorm session. Some are obvious channels that you’re already implementing, but others are less obvious and that’s a good thing. As a result, you’re required to come up with strategies that you probably never would have considered otherwise, leading to some really interesting concepts.

We came up with our email newsletter The NewsUpdate during our first brainstorming session and it’s still going strong.


Once you complete the brainstorming phase, you rank according to a formula that takes into account the probability of an idea working, expected costs, timeframe, and the customer acquisition opportunity.


This leads you to prioritize each channel based on whether it’s compelling and ready to go now, something interesting but probably not immediately implementable, and finally something that is more of a long-shot. Hence the Bullseye image above.

We identified social media and email marketing as our first two high potential channels with a focus on our Facebook Page.


Test I found the test phase to be the crux of the entire framework. The key is quick sprints with the goal of validating or disproving a channel’s opportunity. As my friends and co-workers can attest to, I tend to be a bit meticulous. This phase proved to be profound for me and has increased the agility of our marketing department exponentially.


After you validate a channel, it’s time to focus. Once you invest your time and efforts into your most promising channels, testing and optimizing these channels is what it’s all about. Another thing to keep in mind, and something we’ve learned over the years — the best channel at one stage will be different at another stage. When we were hyper focused on growing our consumer audience, channels like Facebook and Reddit were integral in getting our product into the right hands. Now that we’ve established active communities on these channels, we’re focussed on promoting our new B2B offering and thus have invested much more heavily in our Blog and LinkedIn.


In my assessment, Bullseye can be executed by an individual or as a group. We’ve done it both ways and I’ve found it very helpful (and really fun) to execute with a small team. Beyond the fact that it gets everyone involved and bought in, it’s a great way to crowdsource concepts and capture creative ideas from various individuals. You never know what ideas Eli the IT guy might have about Snapchat!

Bullseye is an iterative process with endless applications. Even when you arrive at a successful channel strategy, there is always another campaign you haven’t thought of or the next channel that can be better utilized. Bullseye forces you to examine and reexamine your efforts and is a great way to crisp up a stale strategy. To this day Bullseye continues to be super helpful in prioritizing the most optimal channels for every stage of NewsUp’s growth. So keep an eye out for more posts on how we continue to leverage this awesome methodology.


Written by Coleman Anderson — CMO