what is the flywheel?

Forget the Funnel, It’s the Flywheel!

If you’re in marketing, you’re probably pretty familiar with the marketing funnel. It’s tried and true, right? There’s no reason to look at marketing any other way, right? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

WRONG!

Time to kick that funnel to the curb! There’s a new marketing sheriff in town. It’s called the Flywheel. But what is the flywheel??

What is the Flywheel?

With the Funnel, customers are almost more of an afterthought. It’s a bunch of steps that lead to capturing a sale. The result is a customer with little thought actually being put into their experience. It’s a little like fishing. There’s a reason “hook, line, and sinker” is kind of a cliché phrase for sketchy salespeople.

But with the Flywheel, customers are now the center instead of the result. It’s a way of focusing on the customer experience and using their experiences  to your advantage. It’s built to keep spinning from positive engagement.

Customers don’t trust brands. Brands are giant monolithic entities. Faceless corporations. Customers trust people. 81% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family over corporations.

Customers are also smarter than we sometimes want to give them credit for, especially with the internet at their fingertips. Let’s say Brand X has a commercial out. That alone isn’t going to make a customer trust Brand X. Now if a friend says to them, “Hey, have you tried Brand X? They’re really good!” the customer is more likely to check out Brand X. But if they’re told the opposite, the customer will probably immediately write off Brand X.

Parts of the Flywheel

So we’ve started establishing the basics of “What is the Flywheel?” And we’ve established that customers are the center. But what are the other components? Well, the wheel around them is all about how you attract, engage, and delight them. This fuels the outer part of the wheel that has people going from Strangers to Prospects to Customers to Promoters. And there are some basic ways to fuel those stages and engagement:

  • Marketing – You’re probably already familiar with this piece. How are you marketing to potential customers? What’s your message look like? Maybe your brand stands for something that really resonates with potential customers.
  • Sales – Another piece that’s pretty self-explanatory. These are your sales tactics and how you work with potential customers inquiring to learn more.
  • Service – This is one of main reasons the flywheel exists. You need to be thinking about the customer service you’re providing your customers once the initial sale is complete.

Because the service component we talked about is so good, that’s enticing people to essentially be promoters for your brand and will help you spread by word of mouth (like how we talked about people trusting their friends and family).

the marketing flywheel

Keep It Spinning

The goal of the Flywheel (or any wheel, really) is to keep spinning with the least amount of resistance. So once you’ve broken your marketing plan into parts of the flywheel, it’s going to be a lot easier to keep the wheel spinning and figuring out any pain points that might slow it down.

For example, say you have lackluster customer service. That’s going to slow your wheel down. So you can see that you need to put more resources into your customer service, like upping your staff to handle calls or making your policies more consumer friendly. Think about how many brands have gotten popular over the last few years with 100% satisfaction guarantees (you can even send underwear back!). Now something like that might not be applicable to your company, but you can look at whatever post-sale services might need a second look.

Is It Time to Spin the Wheel?

Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the question, “What is the Flywheel?” But remember, not all companies will work with the Flywheel so it’s important for you to map everything out in detail before making the transition. Jumping right in could actually cause you even more problems. So if you’re ever looking to discuss some marketing ideas feel free to reach out to us here.

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