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GoKart Labs Method: Traction Marketing

GoKart Labs Method: Traction Marketing

We don’t know what we don’t know.


This is one of the first lessons I learned while working for a software company directly out of college. Because we were creating new products people had never experienced before, the only way for us to get feedback was to ship the latest version to our existing customer base and hope for the best. The more iterations we pushed out, the more we learned. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. But we did know what we had created was good enough to get the feedback we needed to be great.


Nearly 15 years later, I believe this mindset remains core to the anatomy of a modern marketer. A relentless focus on doing everything possible to get a good enough idea to market ASAP. Whether you’re a strategist, designer, writer, technologist or media specialist – we all carry the responsibility of getting meaningful experiences to people on the double.


At GoKart, we take this mindset to market through a method called Traction Marketing. In short, the Traction method enables us to co-create our assumptions about an idea with our partners, and test those assumptions in the real world. By using the simple framework, “We believe X because Y ,” we’re able to generate hypotheses that we test in-market via quick and actionable tactics like a social media post, published article, paid media placement or a simple landing page on your website.


Let me be clear. Traction is not an advertising campaign. Its purpose is to build our intuition based on assumptions we have about the future. In other words, Traction can be used as means to help us craft more insightful briefs for advertising agencies to get more remarkable creative. Subsequently, Traction allows us to resist the urge to spend money focus-grouping creative concepts. Just get the basic idea in market and see how people react to it.


Typically we facilitate intense co-creation sessions with our partners to create Traction plans.  But, there are basic things you can do to get this intuition-building method started on your own.


Embodying the belief that progress is better than perfection, set aside just an hour and follow the 4 action steps below,. If you do, you’re on your way to Traction. Call us if you get stuck. 😉


#1 Identify 2 Inspirational Brands (15 minutes)

Think of one brand in your industry and one outside of your industry. What do you like about them and why? What can you borrow from their inspiration that will make your product/ service/brand better?

#2 Create a Facebook Graph Search Persona (15 minutes)

Head over to Facebook Graph Search and run a few queries that help you get to the interests of your target audience. Write a sentence that explains their state of mind and another that describes how you can help him/her.

#3 How Might You … + Hypotheses (15 minutes)

Inspired by your quick brand research and the persona you’ve created, write down two or three ideas you have and the assumptions that go along with them. “I believe X because of Y .”

#4 Develop a Testing Plan (15 minutes)

Based on your hypotheses statements, sketch out how your idea would come to life in market. This should include the message you want to communicate, who it’s for and where it would be distributed.



At GoKart Labs, we specialize in Invention & Business Strategy, User Experience & Design, Web & Mobile Software Development, and Digital Marketing. To find out more about becoming a client, call 612.454.4012.


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