flywheel-marketing

What Is Flywheel Marketing? Flywheel Marketing In A Nutshell

Flywheel marketing was first introduced in 2001 by Good to Great author Jim Collins, who likened the strategy to a flywheel. For those unaware, a flywheel is a mechanical device designed to store rotational energy in an efficient way. It can be difficult to spin at first, but once momentum is built, the flywheel can perpetuate its own motion and spin by itself. Flywheel marketing has become a critical component of growth for platform business models.

Understanding flywheel marketing

Flywheel marketing is a model that helps explain the momentum that results when an organization unites around delivering a superior customer experience.

In the context of business, Collins noted there was “no single killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment; rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough and beyond.”

Unlike the traditional marketing funnel, flywheel marketing suggests the sales process is never truly complete. The wheel will slow down to reflect a disconnect between sales and customer success and speed up to reflect improvements in customer experience and conversion rate. 

When the flywheel is in motion, so to speak, clients are retained and will recommend a product or service to others via word-of-mouth marketing. Since the focus is on customer retention, flywheel marketing is relevant to any business regardless of industry, size, or type.

The four stages of flywheel marketing

Like the traditional marketing funnel, flywheel marketing comprises several stages:

1 – Activation  

In the first stage of flywheel marketing, the business endeavors to attract new customers in several ways. 

Typically, this encompasses a high-converting website showcasing the relevant expertise and case studies. Some businesses will also choose to entice leads with coupons, discounts, or free trials and track the results of their efforts.

2 – Adoption 

Once a customer has been acquired, the business must determine how to keep them coming back. In the second stage, newly acquired customers start using the product or service and are constantly searching for more value

Product tutorials and walkthroughs can be used to foster a sense of realization among consumers that the product they are using is precisely what they need. 

3 – Adoration

The adoration stage focuses on creating users who love products and services and look forward to using them regularly. For the business, the best possible outcome is a cohort of customers who act as brand ambassadors and set the stage for brand advocacy. 

Customer adoration can be facilitated by:

  • Sharing resources via social media or a newsletter, such as a free webinar.
  • Conducting surveys to determine which product features fans would love to see incorporated. 
  • Compelling customers to upgrade to premium plans and reap the hidden benefits.

4 – Advocacy

During the advocacy stage, happy and satisfied customers become brand advocates via user testimonials, reviews, referrals, and user-generated content. Each is a potential source of new leads, with brand advocates essentially acting as a marketing team for the business itself.

While many brand advocates will need no motivation to speak well of a product or service, affiliate programs and other rewards can help incentivize some users to help keep the flywheel spinning.

Key takeaways:

  • Flywheel marketing is a cyclical and self-sustaining marketing model that generates a steady stream of qualified leads
  • The flywheel marketing sales process is never truly complete. The wheel slows down to reflect a disconnect between sales and customer success and speeds up as a result of improvements in customer experience and conversion rate.
  • Flywheel marketing consists of four stages: activation, adoption, adoration, and advocacy. Each stage helps the business attract qualified leads and turn them into brand advocates that will promote its products and services.

Other Types Of Marketing

Email Marketing

email-marketing
Email marketing leverages a set of tactics to build a stronger brand, drive traffic to your products, and build a solid funnel for converting leads into loyal customers. While email marketing isn’t new, it’s still one of the most effective marketing strategies to build a valuable business.

Affiliate Marketing

affiliate-marketing
Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Influencer Marketing

influencer-marketing
Influencer marketing involves the marketing of products or services that leverages the popularity, expertise, or reputation of an individual. Influencer marketing is often associated with those who have large social media followings, but popularity should not be confused with influence. Influence has the power to change consumer perceptions or get their audience to do something different.

Sustainable Marketing

sustainable-marketing
Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

E-commerce Marketing

e-commerce-marketing
E-commerce marketing is part of the digital marketing landscape, and beyond, where e-commerce businesses can enhance their sales, distribution, and branding through targeted campaigns toward their desired audience, convert it into loyal customers which can potentially refer the brand to others. Usually, e-commerce businesses can kick off their digital marketing strategy by mastering a single channel then expand for a more integrated digital marketing strategy.

Buzz Marketing

buzz-marketing
Buzz marketing leverages the power of word-of-mouth advertising to create products or services with enough novelty that they go viral. In many cases, buzz marketing leverages on versatile content that can easily scale and be readapted to various contexts and fear of missing out (FOMO) to amplify the effect of word-of-mouth campaigns.

Shotgun Marketing

Shotgun Marketing
Shotgun marketing is a form of above-the-line (ATL) marketing, where popular mediums such as TV and radio are used to market to a mass audience. This technique of marketing targets as many consumers as possible. Also known as mass marketing, the technique attracts a large number of leads that, on average, might be of lower quality in nature.

Multichannel Marketing

multichannel-marketing
Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Inbound Marketing

inbound-marketing
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Partnership Marketing

partnership-marketing
With partnership marketing, two or more companies team up to create marketing campaigns that help them grow organically with a mutual agreement, thus making it possible to reach shared business goals. Partnership marketing leverages time and resources of partners that help them expand their market.

Growth Marketing

growth-marketing
Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

guerrilla-marketing
Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Ambush Marketing

ambush-marketing
As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Relationship Marketing

relationship-marketing
Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

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