• Sam Decker

What Does Hitting the Marketing Bullseye Look Like?

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

  1. The CEO saw an idea work in a previous company and wants you to do the same thing.

  2. The sales leader insists a certain strategy is required to close sales

  3. A meeting created momentum for an idea, which came out of nowhere.

  4. Consultants have come in and presented their strategy (enough said)

  5. 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)?

  1. Bullseye marketing has a logical and/or empirical basis

  2. Bulleye marketing plays to win – mediocre marketing is for the outer rings

  3. 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…)

  4. Bullseye marketing understands and addresses the processes, policies and culture that have a large impact on the inputs and output of the marketing.

  5. Bullseye marketing communicates to customers in a way that inspires action.

  6. Bullseye tactics are measureable and optimizeable — so you can get better and more efficient over time.

  7. Bullseye marketing feels frugal, pragmatic, and purposeful. It is not glamorous or fanciful.

  8. Bullseye marketing points creativity towards a objective, purpose and goal.

  9. Bullseye marketing is the art and science of balancing between the P&L and the customer – with a penchant for demonstrating results.

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.