More on the Marketing Bullseye: What does it look like?


Have you ever been asked to launch a strategy, project or
campaign that you knew wouldn’t make a big impact to the business? I have, many
times over. Why does this happen?

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

  • The CEO saw an idea work in a previous company and wants you
    to do the same thing.
  • The sales leader insists a certain strategy is required to
    close sales
  • A meeting created momentum for an idea, which came out of
  • Consultants have come in and presented their strategy
    (enough said)
  • There’s pressure to copy what competitors do

If you’ve been pulled off course from prioritizing the most
impactful activities to drive business, you’ve shot an arrow and missed the
bullseye. Hopefully your actions impacted something relevant to the
P&L…otherwise you missed the target all together.

I’m not suggesting ideas and initiatives from these origins
are doomed to failure, but in a world of limited resources, you have to
separate truly impactful ideas from the rest. And usually the sources of many
ideas don’t have the measurement, wisdom or rigor to determine if it’s a
“bullseye” idea. And by “bullseye” I mean impact to the income statement –
revenue and margin dollars. Not advertising awards, not making the CEO happy, not
looking like the competition, or checking a marketing tactic box.

The bullseye is reserved for marketing strategies and
tactics that make the biggest impact to the business, before all overs. And if also proven as such,
you will make the CEO happy.

What does the marketing bullseye look like (or feel like)?

  • Bullseye marketing has a logical and/or empirical basis
  • Bulleye marketing plays to win – mediocre marketing is for
    the outer rings
  • Bullseye marketing views all ideas and opinions through the
    lens of the customer, the business capabilities, and a Six-sigma like DMAIC
    approach (Define, Measure, Analyze…)
  • Bullseye marketing understands and addresses the processes,
    policies and culture that have a large impact on the inputs and output of the
  • Bullseye marketing communicates to customers in a way that inspires
  • Bullseye tactics are measureable and optimizeable — so you
    can get better and more efficient over time.
  • Bullseye marketing feels frugal, pragmatic, and purposeful.
    It is not glamorous or fanciful.
  • Bullseye marketing points creativity towards a objective,
    purpose and goal.
  • Bullseye marketing is the art and science of balancing
    between the P&L and the customer – with a penchant for demonstrating

Recently AdAge reported (via MarketingProfs) the average CMO tenure is down from 23.6 months in 2004 to 23.2 months this
year. And here’s the sobering statistic in a world of cause and effect:

Only 10 percent of respondents to the CMO Council survey
said their marketing groups are "highly influential and strategic"
within the company. Less than half said their teams are "well regarded and
respected," even though two-thirds of CEOs polled in a separate survey by
Chief Executive magazine said their marketing groups are "mission critical"
for creating top-line growth.

Conceptually speaking, the Marketing Bulleye concept at
10,000 ft, 30,000 ft, and 100,000 ft should help the CMO tenure problem. After
all, the CEO is the one ousting the CMO. Bullseye Marketing is focused on results, and this is the CEO’s #1
objective. So the CMO who hits the Bullseye with his marketing resources will
stick around (stock should appreciate)…otherwise his tenure is also short
because he’s heavily recruited!

Following this post, I will begin to share ideas, principles
and tactics that can help a marketer hit the Marketing Bullseye.

One Response

  1. Ann Handley says:

    Interesting idea for a series, Sam. I look forward to reading it.

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