While the origin of marketing lays in a thorough situational analysis and a creative approach reaching your defined target groups, the foundation of marketing has changed tremendously in our internet age, backed by zettabytes of data. Today, prospects can be contacted easily by digital channels such as e-mail or other push notifications, at a moment when we think they are ‘open’ to receive our message.

In order to scale this approach towards large customer groups, we automate specific repetitive tasks. Most of the times, this type of marketing automation is initiated by behavioral triggers (like abandoned shopping baskets) or specific moments (such as birthdays).


From sales funnel to flywheel

Traditionally, marketing and sales are using funnels to monitor their efforts. However, funnels display an end point, down at the bottom of the funnel. The viewpoint of funnels is that prospects move from one stage to another, while in practice many micromoments together contribute to a purchase. Down the funnel we do find customers, but since these funnels are an end point, they don’t consider how those customers can help a business grow.

A flywheel is an energy-efficient disc on an axis. The amount of energy it stores depends on how fast you spin it, how much friction there is, and the composition of the wheel itself. Think about your bicycle wheel: you spin it, and even when you let it loose, the wheel keeps on turning. Flywheels represent a new approach towards customer acquisition, suitable in a marketing automated world. They represent a circular process in which every customer contact feeds growth. You are able to spin it faster by activating several triggers (in parallel) and you can remove all potential friction by optimizing your customer’s UX.

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Starting with marketing automation

Marketing automation is not a matter of quickly installing a plugin or other tool. Using the flywheel as a reference, marketing automation starts by identifying the triggers relevant to your target group’s needs. Once identified and prioritized, the actions for these triggers can be implemented step-by-step.

Often, because starting volumes are relatively low, the effect of actions based on your defined triggers will not be visible directly. These effects can however be monitored closely and, over time, you will have enough data to optimize your efforts. In parallel, adding new triggers/actions will allow you to scale up, spinning the flywheel with more force.

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