Bullseye Methodology — Lets Get Tactical
There’s no question about it, I’m a Bullseye fanboy. In my last post about Bullseye, I provided a high level overview of the framework and how it works.
I touched upon the way in which this method forces you to explore a broad spectrum of channels and tactics with a comprehensive brainstorming session.
I discussed the way in which Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares created a ranking system that allows one to objectively prioritize what marketing tactics to implement in order to achieve the immediate goal— what is the best opportunity to grow your audience NOW, not in a fairytale world where your product is pristine and your partners end with the word “cola”.
I also pointed out that the test phase was the crux of the entire framework because of it’s iterative nature.
Now It’s Time to Get a Bit More Tactical
While Bullseye is extremely valuable when developing a marketing plan for a business, I’ve found that it also lends well to more tactical marketing efforts like a new product launch.
Let me explain.
At NewsUp, we’ve been working our tails off for a number of years to get people to engage with current events through quizzes. We built a consumer product where users do just that — playing quizzes ranging from Who Said It: Ben Carson or Eric Cartman to Fact or Fiction: Climate Change.
Over the past couple months, we’ve been focused on taking all the insight we’ve gained, and the tech we’ve built and putting it to work for other publishers and brands interested in interactive content. The culmination of this focus is “Quizzes by NewsUp,” a platform [currently in private beta] that empowers publishers to create, syndicate, and natively embed quizzes on their digital properties.
Implementing Bullseye = No Brainer
When building out the marketing strategy for “Quizzes,” implementing Bullseye was a no brainer. It forced me and my team to be objective. Naturally, we had biases based on prior experience. We also had a ton of concepts and ideas. We threw them all out there and then some to cover the 19 channels during our brainstorming session.
While this may seem tedious (to be honest, it was) it’s also invaluable. Beyond the occasional diamond in the rough, (the Unconventional PR channel yielded a stunt to unleash a streaker onto the field during a baseball game…I know I know: DIAMOND) it provides a comprehensive picture of how your marketing plan can grow longterm. You start to see the picture, to understand how the puzzle pieces will work together, even before the puzzle is complete. While this isn’t the purpose, it is a residual effect worth noting.
Don’t get it twisted, this can be quite the challenge. Let us not forget our diamond metaphor. The process that is brainstorming, ranking, and prioritizing is like working in the mines. But as you chip away, the work is well worth the reward. We went from 19 channels to 8 we were very confident in, and then further from these channels to the tip of the spear, our starting point: Content Marketing.
“Quizzes by NewsUp” Channels:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Engineering as Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Ads
- Public Relations
- Offline Events
Now I could dive into how we brainstormed, ranked, and prioritized every channel but 1. that would take a long time and 2. I think it would be more useful to focus on content marketing and how we leveraged bullseye to determine the best way to implement this channel. Before we dive in I want to reiterate one thing: brainstorm ALL the channels.
As Co-author Gabriel Weinberg puts it:
It is important that you not dismiss any traction channel in this step. You should be able to think of at least one idea for every channel. In practice, a lot of founders mess up this step by not brainstorming long and deep enough to get useful ideas for each channel.
So yea, go all the way and do that shit.
Content Marketing = King
So why did Content Marketing come out on top for us? As I like to say “the crux of the biscuit” for this product launch was in showcasing our expertise. “Quizzes” is a purely B2B effort. Instead of convincing consumers to play quizzes about the news, we were now tasked with showcasing our knowledge and understanding of the quiz format, and how powerful this format can be for other publishers and brands when properly implemented.
For each channel you can brainstorm more than one channel strategy that has a chance of moving the needle. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Specifically running ads on LinkedIn is a channel strategy within social ads.
As mentioned earlier, some channels can be really difficult, and while you need to push through, sometimes you just know something isn’t going to make the cut. On the flip side, sometimes your gut is telling you that a strategy is going to kick much ass. The brainstorming session for content marketing was fast and flowing. Sure, it had to do with the fact that we had individual and collective experience in the field. It also had to do with the fact that B2B and content marketing go together like hipsters and mustaches.
But still, even within content marketing there is a plethora of content types you can leverage to get your point across. Blogs, videos, infographics, ebooks, slideshows, case studies, whitepapers and the list goes on. Once we knew content marketing was the channel, we thought critically about what strategies would work best on this channel.
Here’s an abbreviated version of what we came up with:
- A video that quickly explains the mission and method behind “Quizzes.”
- Blog posts that highlight the interactive nature of quizzes and how they provide a uniquely engaging experience for consumers.
- Case Studies that depict the ability of quizzes to successfully drive virality while maintaining editorial integrity.
- Whitepapers that dive into specific tools, tactics, and methods developed over years of iteration.
Ranking and Prioritizing
Now it was time to put these concepts up against other traction channels and strategies. In order to do so you need a quantitative way to measure. It’s explained in Chapter 4 that “there are some quantitative metrics that are universal across traction channels,” and that you should implement a spreadsheet that “at a minimum, includes the columns of cost to acquire a customer and lifetime value of a customer.” We modified lifetime value of a customer to longterm growth opportunity and added probability of working to our spreadsheet.
- Probability of Working — how likely is this channel strategy going to result in you hitting your KPIs? If your goal is to drive 1000 leads, and close 10% of them, will this channel get you there?
- User Acquisition Cost — how great will the cost of executing this channel strategy be? In general and in the context of your allocated budget? (To be clear, the lower the score = the higher the cost. So if you rank the UAC as a 1 this means that the cost to acquire is high.)
- Longterm Growth Opportunity — how will this channel strategy provide growth right now, and more importantly, valuable customers for the longterm?
As you can see, multiple content marketing strategies outscored other channels based on these criteria:
The Horse Before the Cart
A final key contributing factor to why content marketing took the day over our other channels was because many of these channels depend on content in order to be implemented. SEO for instance, requires the necessary content, keywords, images, links, etc. in order to obtain a quality organic ranking. Blogging, case studies, and other content types living on our website lend directly to our website ranking. The same can be said for some of our advertising and email marketing strategies. Starting with content marketing provided us with content that we then used to power other efforts.
Here We Are
As a pure B2B product, “Quizzes” required a specific set of tactics and methods to reach the desired audience of publishers and brands. In order to get out there and in front of the right people, we knew it was critical to establish a thought leadership presence in the small but rapidly growing quiz-tool landscape.
In particular, our goal was to carve out a place that spoke to our focus on current events. After all, we have been producing quizzes about news and pop culture for over 2 years. No one is more qualified than us to lead the charge when it comes to melding quizzes with the news. And there was no better way to express this than with content that explains this position, delivered to people who have an interest in consuming it.
Bullseye’s value prop plays perfectly within a product marketing plan — there are so many potential channels to market across and there are so many different tactics to implement within those channels. Whether you’re a pure content marketer, a small business owner, or the Director of Product at Major Media Org XYZ, this methodology forces you to focus on what’s important and what you can do now to get traction.
So if you haven’t used Bullseye yet, go do it! And then come back and tell us how it worked out! If you have, tell me: How do you use Bullseye?
Originally published at newsup.com on May 17, 2016.