If you're a marketer, you probably rely on a well-designed sales funnel, which is great and still applicable to digital marketing. But today, many companies are shifting gears and moving towards a flywheel model for a simple reason...
In a sales funnel, potential customers move through the stages of the funnel in a linear direction. After they make a purchase, they leave the funnel. However, in order to be successful with this model, you have to constantly work on attracting new clients. While this marketing strategy is useful, it doesn't really address how to nurture those newfound customers over time.
An essential addition to the sales funnel strategy
The flywheel is circular and runs off its own momentum, keeping customers at the center. In combination with the sales funnel, this model requires a company to be responsible for three things: Attracting, Engaging and Delighting your customers through every step of their buyer journey.
But don't panic! You don't have to completely abandon the sales funnel. In fact, some people like to think of the funnel as an entry point into the flywheel. In other words, marketers can send potential customers through the funnel and into the flywheel where they continue to build momentum as they move through the Attract, Engage, and Delight stages over and over again.
A great example of the effectiveness of the flywheel is HubSpot, who pioneered the inbound methodology. As HubSpot explains, "Customer referrals and word-of-mouth have become the largest influence on the purchase process, which means the funnel has one major flaw: It views customers as an afterthought, not a driving force."
A sales funnel might produce clients, but it falls short because it doesn't consider how they can continue to help you grow your business. That's where the flywheel can really make a difference in driving business growth and delighting customers for longer periods of time.
One of the most energy-efficient marketing models, the flywheel is excellent at storing and releasing energy. Invented by James Watt, its circular motion for business growth works in the same way as the wheels on a train or car. In contrast, the sales funnel only represents the outcome of the customer; the energy you spent on finding them is not fully utilized, which limits your potential for business growth and customer retention. With the flywheel model, your business keeps growing because you're able to use the momentum of satisfied customers in order to drive referrals and repeat sales.
Making the most of the flywheel model
According to HubSpot, the amount of momentum in your flywheel depends on three things:
- How fast you spin it.
- How much resistance there is.
- The size of your flywheel.
The most successful companies consider all three of these factors when adjusting their business strategies. Keep in mind that the speed of your flywheel will increase whenever you add energy to areas that can have the most impact, such as your customer service department. For example, if you focus your marketing strategy on the success of your existing customers, then they will be more likely to pass on their experiences to potential ones.
Of course, all businesses are different, so the way that you develop your flywheel is all dependent on the needs of your company. The best strategy is to personalize your flywheel by addressing these insights and applying them to the basic model.
One way to ensure an energetic flow of this particular business model is to take a careful look at your team structure and why customers are getting stuck in their journey. Is your website straightforward or is it cluttered and confusing? Are customers required to follow a strict process or do you allow them to connect with your business in a personalized way? These are just some of the questions that might come up in a meeting with your customer service team.
Another effective strategy that can support the components of your flywheel is a well-crafted video. For example, you could create a video to promote your company and attract new customers while also creating a separate video to engage existing ones.
As a HubSpot certified partner and top-rated digital marketing agency, this is a great place to start. Contact us and follow us on social media for more information, tips or tricks.