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The Traction Outlets for Explosive Customer Growth - A Guide to the Bullseye Framework

The Traction Outlets for Explosive Customer Growth: A Guide to the Bullseye Framework


In the highly competitive business world, poor distribution, not the product itself, is the first cause of failure. The only way to combat this is to build out traction outlets while you develop your product so that you can launch with a strong product and distribution stream. However, most people try too many traction outlets and fail.

The best approach is to test streams, determine the most optimal traction outlet for your business, and then focus.

One highly recommended framework for determining traction outlets is the Bullseye Framework outlined in the book Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. In this article, we'll outline the traction outlets defined in the book to gain customer acquisition (with a few extras that have come about since the book was published).

  1. Content Marketing:
    This strategic marketing approach centers on crafting and dispersing useful, pertinent, consistent content to entice and maintain a well-defined target audience. Content marketing can bridge you with your audience through the educational content you offer, offering the potential for massive engagement with your audience since you are offering value your audience is interested in.

  2. Email Marketing:
    Utilizing email as a marketing tool can be a highly effective way to convert potential customers into actual buyers and maintain and generate revenue from existing customers. Since it takes numerous touchpoints before people purchase, email marketing keeps your business relevant and visible in people's inboxes. Additionally, email marketing allows you direct outreach to your audience since it's a personal traction option without being dictated by platforms you don't own (like social media).

  3. Business Development:
    This involves building and fostering strategic relationships that benefit your business and your partner. Although it shares some similarities with sales, the key distinction is that sales involve direct selling to a customer. Business development is all about forming partnerships that enable both parties to reach customers in a mutually beneficial way. Partnering can be a powerful way to build connections with key players in your industry that can help you increase your outreach and visibility.

  4. Community Building:
    In a time when we are isolated and separated more than ever due to COVID, community building can be a powerful way to support your audience's needs and gain trust in the marketplace. This strategy entails dedicating resources to cultivate and strengthen the connections between your customers, nurturing these relationships, and enabling them to expand your startup's reach by introducing new people to your circle. Remember to keep your networking and community building authentic and not just focused on the outcome.

  5. Sales:
    Sales primarily create processes to exchange products for dollars directly. Sales require between 5-10 touchpoints to make a sale, so brand consistency is essential in the sales process. SGenerating revenue is a critical aspect of any business, and sales play a crucial role in achieving that. To drive sales, companies create a well-structured sales funnel that generates leads, nurtures them, and converts them into paying customers.

  6. Existing Platforms:
    Existing platforms utilize websites, apps, or networks with huge numbers of users that you can leverage to get traction. Major platforms include the Apple and Android App Stores, Mozilla and Chrome browser extensions, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and newer rapidly growing platforms (Tiktok, etc.). Focusing on existing platforms means focusing your growth efforts on one of these mega-platforms and getting some of their hundreds of millions of users to use your product.

  7. Targeting Blogs:
    Blog articles that provide useful information for your customers can effectively attract cold customers online. When working with blogs, consider targeting a specific niche so you can speak directly to the type of prospective customer that you want. Many startups have used this strategy to gain thousands of customers before launching.

  8. Search Engine Optimization:
    SEO refers to optimizing various aspects of your website and online presence to increase your visibility and ranking in search engine results pages. By utilizing techniques such as keyword research, content creation, and link building, SEO aims to attract a more specific audience to your website and ultimately improve your online presence. The higher your web pages rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), the greater the chance of attracting potential and current customers to your company.

  9. Search Engine Marketing:
    SEM is a digital marketing strategy that involves promoting websites by improving their visibility on search engine result pages. This is often accomplished through paid advertising methods such as pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. By targeting relevant keywords and creating compelling ads, businesses can attract more potential customers and increase their online visibility. SEM drives website traffic and improves online presence through paid advertising.

  10. Speaking Engagements:
    Speaking engagements can be an effective way to engage with your target audience and build brand awareness and credibility. With the advent of virtual communication tools, hosting webinars and online speaking events can help you reach a larger audience and still deliver a powerful message. In the age of COVID, this traction channel has taken on even greater importance as virtual events can help you connect with a wider audience.

  11. Affiliate Programs:
    An affiliate program is a mutually beneficial arrangement where individuals or companies promote your product or service in exchange for a commission on any sales or leads generated. This approach can be especially effective for e-commerce stores, information products, and membership programs. With a strong network and community that believes in your product, you can leverage the power of affiliate marketing to increase sales and brand awareness.

  12. Viral Marketing:
    Viral marketing involves growing your customer base by encouraging your existing customers to refer others. The aim is to create a chain reaction where every new user you acquire brings in at least one other user, leading to exponential growth. While viral marketing can be challenging to sustain, it can also help you grow rapidly and gain significant publicity. To be successful, you need to be creative, understand your audience, and leverage the right platform for your campaign.

  13. Engineering as Sales:
    Similar to engineering as marketing, engineering as sales involves using technology to create tools that help sell your product or service. For example, a financial services company could create a calculator that helps customers determine their retirement savings needs and then offer their services as a solution. This approach can help position your company as an expert and trusted advisor in your industry.

  14. Direct Sales:
    Direct sales involve face-to-face interactions with potential customers. This approach requires strong interpersonal skills but can effectively build relationships and close deals. To further build trust and credibility, direct sales can also be used with other traction channels, such as community building or speaking engagements.

  15. Offline Ads:
    Offline ads include billboards, flyers, and other physical advertisements. While this approach may seem outdated, it can still effectively reach local audiences and build brand awareness. It's important to carefully target your audience and choose the right ad location to maximize their impact.

  16. Trade Shows:
    Trade shows allow you to showcase your product or service to a targeted audience. These events can be expensive but provide valuable face-to-face interactions with potential customers and partners. Be sure to carefully choose the right trade shows for your business and prepare thoroughly to maximize your investment.

  17. Content Syndication Content:
    Syndication involves republishing your content on other websites or platforms to reach new audiences. This can include guest blogging, syndicating your content through social media platforms, or partnering with other websites to feature your content. Be sure to choose the right partners carefully and ensure your content is high-quality and relevant to their audience.

  18. Publicity:
    Traditional media outlets like TV, magazines, and newspapers can help you get your name out there. Take advantage of the rapidly evolving media landscape to gain traction in this area. Consider working with a PR firm or reaching out to outlets on your own. Platforms like Help a Reporter can help you submit your expertise to a reporter in need.

  19. Unconventional PR:
    Unconventional PR includes publicity stunts and customer appreciation. Publicity stunts are engineered to get media coverage, while customer appreciation actions like sending Christmas gifts or holding a contest increase goodwill and generate press coverage.

  20. Social and Display Ads:
    Banner ads on websites can be effective in targeting specific audiences. However, channels that build connections with audiences beyond display ads may be more effective in today's market.

  21. Online Communities:
    Online communities offer a valuable opportunity to establish meaningful connections with potential customers and cultivate a loyal following for your brand. This approach involves creating or participating in online communities related to your industry or niche and actively engaging with members to provide value and build relationships. Be sure to avoid spamming or self-promotion and focus on providing useful information and building trust with your audience.

  22. Influencer Marketing:
    Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals or companies with a large social media following to promote your product or service. This approach can be effective in reaching new audiences and building credibility. Still, it's important to choose the right influencers carefully and ensure they align with your brand values and messaging.

 In today's crowded marketplace, it's essential to have a strong distribution strategy to effectively reach your target audience and grow your business.

By testing and optimizing different traction channels and focusing on the ones that work best for your business, you can maximize your marketing efforts and achieve explosive customer growth. By applying the Bullseye Framework and leveraging the traction channels discussed in this article, you can efficiently connect with your intended audience and expand your business.

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