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MARKETING: Forget the Marketing Funnel it’s Time for the Flywheel
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Forget the Marketing Funnel it’s Time for the Flywheel
By Andy Marsh

BT 201912 MARKETING 10HubSpot Inbound 2018 Keynote Brian Halligan Sales Flywheel

The marketing funnel is the mechanism that, for the longest time, has been used to convert leads to customers. Well, it was quite effective, but now the customers want to be part of the process, rather than the outcome, and that’s where the flywheel comes in.


What is the Flywheel?

BT 201912 MARKETING 02Invented by James Watt, the Flywheel is an efficient marketing strategy that focuses on storing and releasing energy. You use the momentum of a happy client to drive referrals and generate more leads. By and large, your business keeps on spinning without overexerting yourself.

The flywheel presents the customer journey in three stages as:


All the while, the customer is at the centre of the wheel and not an afterthought.





1. 重量


2. 转速


3. 摩擦力


Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel

BT 201912 MARKETING 03The funnel and flywheel are two different mind sets, and here we discuss the inherent differences between these ideologies.

Customers as Input as Opposed to Output

With the funnel, customers are nothing, but an output, and there is a ton of energy wasted in the process. Many come in, but only a few make it out of the funnel as most are filtered out. Moreover, those who become customers are not part of getting new customers, and thus, all the energy put into getting these clients is wasted.

The flywheel methodology, on the other hand, considers the client to be input, and the most crucial input. Unlike the funnel, where customers are passed on to the support teams and are no longer a concern of the marketing team, customers are treated as stored energy in the flywheel. They also remain a top concern of the marketing team.

The flywheel relies on customers to drive brand awareness and continue the cycle.

Delighting People vs. Creating Awareness

One primary goal of the marketing funnel is to widen the funnel, and they do this by creating awareness. Massive amounts of investment are put trying to drive awareness. This is unlike the flywheel, which focuses on delighting current customers.

The delight stage consists of quality policy, excellent after-sales services, and anything that brings customer delight. By doing so, you get repeat customers and brand advocates.

Ongoing vs. Endpoint

The momentum at the end of each chapter when working with the marketing funnel is wasted. You are back to square one, which is quite disheartening. With the flywheel, as illustrated in the image, the customers store energy, and they keep growth going.



SaaS明星公司Hubspot的CEO Brian Halligan认为客户是飞轮的轴心,并将飞轮分为三部分,分别代表客户旅途中的吸引、参与和愉悦三个阶段。每个阶段创造能量并传递给下个阶段,如愉悦阶段最终会反哺吸引阶段。



The Three Stages of the Flywheel Explained

BT 201912 MARKETING 05The flywheel is designed to continue spinning on its own. However, each stage has to be done well for it to work. Here I will break it down what each step entails.

No.1 Attract Phase

The attract phase is all about bringing customers in. But it does not end there, and you should not forget the goal which is satisfying the customer. Some tactics you can use in the attract phase include SEO, content marketing, social media, word of mouth, and customer testimonials.

By and large, you are trying to convince people to begin the customer journey by providing helpful content.

No.2 Engage Phase

The engage phase can take many forms, as you have to address different potential customers with different needs and pain points. However, one thing sticks out, and that is the need for an open line of communication with the customers. Investing in call centres allows you to communicate with your customers, and only then can you empathize with them.

Other ways to engage are by creating different blog posts for the segmented audience, helping potential customers get solutions for their problems, podcasts, and interactive posts.

No.3 Delight Phase

As pointed out earlier, the delight phase is where the flywheel sets itself apart from the marketing funnel. Unlike the funnel where you hand-off the lead to a salesperson, the flywheel considers this as a potential to get another lead.

If you have helped a customer come to a solution with extra-ordinary customer service, you have a happy person, and this is more precious than gold. You can use these people to get referrals through creating referral programs. You can also try upselling them or creating a members-only plan.

Finally, you can work with the customers to create customer-generated content, and now you have a slew of promotional material. This momentum is what drives the flywheel.

BT 201912 MARKETING 06飞轮的三个阶段



BT 201912 MARKETING 11Though the flywheel sounds like industry jargon, it is a simple concept and one with phenomenal results.

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