Rethinking customer engagement: HubSpot's Flywheel

16 November 2018

Whatever industry you're in, customer demands and behaviour are changing all the time. Your marketing strategies need to evolve with them.

Today's digital consumers are wise to traditional marketing techniques. They pay for ad-free TV experiences and tune out advertisements they're meant to see in papers and by the roadside. They also have high expectations and don't trust companies that don't prioritise the user experience.

If the buyer's journey feels like a conveyor belt – taking people where you want them to go and forgetting about them once the transaction is complete – they're not going to have the most positive experience of your brand.

This is the problem with old marketing approaches such as the time-honoured funnel model. While these models still produce some conversions, their one-way approach also leads to plenty of dead ends.

Once the buyer makes a purchase, all the momentum gained during their journey down funnel is gone and you have to tempt them back all over again. That's if they haven't already been distracted or found a better offer elsewhere.

What if you could rethink your inbound marketing strategy so that momentum keeps going and your customers actually help you to grow? That's what HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan has done, throwing out the company's tried-and-tested funnel for a more customer-focused flywheel model that places engagement right at the centre.

Introducing the flywheel

At the recent Inbound 18 conference in Boston, HubSpot's co-founder explained the advantages of the flywheel concept for attracting, engaging and delighting customers in a more holistic approach to doing business.

Customers are no longer fed into a production line and deposited out of the other end. Instead, attention is paid to giving them the best possible experience every step of the way so they'll keep returning and feeding your growth.

Unlike a one-way funnel that applies downward pressure to the end, the flywheel is a circular process that can keep building momentum when pressure is applied equally to add value to every segment. We will be divulging the flywheel approach in a 4 part series of blog posts that starts here:

1. Attract

Who do you want to visit your websites and how do you get them there? You don't need to invest heavily in indiscriminate advertising to get your name out there when you can reach your target audience with specialised content.

Free, high-quality content such as videos, blog posts and ebooks that offer value to customers will attract people to your website and interest them in learning more about what you do.

Through SEO-optimised content and targeted ads on social media, you can put your brand in front of an audience with an interest in your offerings.

Find out more about how to attract customers in our next blog post.

2. Engage

Satisfied customers are the goal of every business. You can make your customers or users happy by solving their problems or helping them to reach their goals. When they're ready to make a transaction, offer them a quote or make it as easy as possible for them to buy your product or sign up.

Once they're on your site, you need to give them a reason to interact with you. Depending on what your product or service is, you may find that you don't get immediate conversions, but instead customers want to know more about you or their problem.

You then want them to interact with you. Whether that's signing up for an ebook or calling your office, this is where the power of a strong and clear call to action shows its worth.

Read more about engaging customers in future blogs.

3. Delight

Long-term relationships and customer loyalty are better than a quick sale. Keeping customers engaged with your brand and coming back is the key to keeping the flywheel spinning. Plenty of studies have shown that it's cheaper to entice a repeat customer than it is to attract and convert a new customer.

You can do this by providing more of the content and services they need. Free trials and optional upgrades can work wonders when you have a high-quality product, as can video tutorials or active blogs and social media accounts.

This isn't the end of the conversation either. You also need to give good reasons for customers to come back and recommend your service to their friends and family. Keep your brand in their mind with newsletters and by being proactive with help for new features and customer-specific discounts.

Read more tips about how to delight customers in our final blog post of the series which is due for publication just before Christmas!

Making the flywheel work for you

Getting out of old habits and adapting to fresh ideas is necessary in business, but it's often a challenge. To find out how to make inbound marketing work for you, call our strategists today on +61 2 4961 1166 or fill in our enquiry form.

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