Funnel vs. Flywheel: What’s the Best Way to Visualize Your Marketing Efforts?

Learn about the flywheel marketing model and how it drives company growth.



Forget the funnel. Thinking of your marketing efforts as a flywheel can help you invest time and resources in the right place to drive company growth.

Many marketers think of their process as a funnel. You spend time and resources to attract a large group of potential customers at the top of your funnel, and then a much smaller group of people come out the bottom of the funnel as converted customers. Then you start again with a whole new group of people at the top, wash, rinse, repeat.
But the funnel model leaves out one key marketing reality. Unlike an actual funnel where what comes out the bottom has no impact on what goes into the top, the experience of customers at the bottom of your funnel can have a big impact on whether they come back—and whether they refer other people to your company.

Making the Switch to Flywheel Marketing

Instead of visualizing your marketing process as a funnel, try thinking of it as a flywheel with your customers at the center. Force will make the flywheel spin, and it will keep going until friction slows it down. The force powering your flywheel are all the positive things contributing to the growth of your company: efficient employees, a good product, a strong brand, and happy customers. Friction is caused by processes and negative outcomes that slow down your growth. These can include a bad sales process, marketing that feels like spam, a faulty product, or uncoordinated teams.

In the funnel model, marketing teams spend a lot of time and energy attracting new people to the top of the funnel, even though the majority of them will never come out the bottom. It’s not very efficient. By thinking of your marketing process as a flywheel you can better identify the sources of force and friction affecting your company’s growth. And that can help you better align your goals and processes with the needs of your customers.

The flywheel model is especially useful in industries, such as AV integration, with a lot of repeat customers. Instead of just pushing your customers out the bottom of your funnel and never thinking about them again, the flywheel helps you channel positive customer experiences into ongoing business that drives growth for your company.

The flywheel model is also useful for AV integrators since customers often have a variety of interconnected needs. For example:

  • Customers purchase equipment and need it installed
  • Customers need integrators to install client furnished equipment (CFE)
  • Customers need guidance and recommendation to just purchase equipment

The flywheel marketing model helps you stay in more constant and consistent contact with your customers and enables you to take advantage of follow-up projects.

Choosing the Right CRM to Power Your Flywheel

One critical source of force—or friction—acting on your marketing flywheel is your customer relationship management tool, or CRM. No matter how effectively your teams are working individually, if they can’t see what other teams are doing you run the risk of duplicating efforts or losing customers through the cracks. On the other hand, the right CRM can help you keep track of every customer interaction, capitalize on sales opportunities, and deliver positive results—all of which will keep your flywheel spinning and drive growth for your company.

Here is an easy, three-step test to see if you have the right CRM to power your marketing flywheel.

  1. Choose a recent interaction someone in your company had with a customer. It can be a marketing email, sales call, or help desk ticket.
  2. Have an employee from a different team try to find a record of the interaction using only the tools they normally use to do their job.
  3. Pay attention to how hard it is for them to find the interaction. If it takes a lot of time and effort—or if they can’t find it at all—you need a new CRM.

A fully integrated CRM, such as HubSpot, creates a unified database of customer information that everyone in your company can access. Instead of slowing down your flywheel with duplicated efforts and frustrated customers, the right CRM can help you empower teams, keep customers happy, and keep your flywheel spinning.

Interested in learning more about HubSpot and how it can power your marketing efforts? Get in touch with us today.

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