Digital Marketing is an ever-changing and ever-growing field because buying habits keep on changing. What you are reading today might not be relevant after five years. Similar is the story of HubSpot’s Growth methods – The funnel method and the Flywheel method. Let us dig in.
HubSpot is a brand that needs no introduction. The platform has made its position firm in the inbound marketing, CMS, and CRM space. HubSpot has a client base across all levels of enterprises. It keeps on introducing new updates to make your sales and marketing process smoother by eliminating time-consuming tasks and promoting productive ones.
In Inbound 2018, HubSpot introduced the Flywheel growth model and encouraged the marketers to go from ‘funnel’ to ‘flywheel’ – (Funnel was the previous growth model). We will discuss both Funnel and Flywheel models in this article and highlight why the Flywheel method is better for increasing sales.
HubSpot’s Funnel Method of Growth
The model is basically divided into three stages that are ‘Attract,’ ‘Engage,’ and ‘Delight.’
- Attract Strangers
- Engage Prospects
- Delight Customer
Here you use the content marketing strategies to attract strangers to your website or your social media channels. The content created for this stage introduces the brand, its products, and its services to the people. It is the first stepping stone to build a strong relationship with prospects. Blogs, social media outreach, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing are for the Attract stage of the growth method.
Content Approach: You highlight the problems that people face so that their interests and requirements align with your brand.
The next big step is engaging the interested and potential prospects to know the solutions for their problems. This makes your relationship with the prospects a step further. Seeing that your brand understands their pain points and offers the right solutions, they will feel connected and prepared for the next stage. For this stage, you can use email marketing, retargeting ads, and social media outreach through personal messaging to keep the prospects engaged with your brand.
This is the stage that converts them from prospects to customers. So, do not be like a pushy salesman in the messages. Understand their needs and act accordingly.
Content Approach: You mention the offers and solutions to the issues and problems mentioned in the Attract stage. Also, highlight how your solutions are better than the competition.
This stage is for the people who are already your customers. Loyal customers help a lot in increasing sales because they bring in more customers. Delight is the stage where you offer exceptional after-sale service and add your brand value to your customers. This encourages the customers to become your promoters unknowingly. Those delighted customers play a major role in Word-of-Mouth marketing.
Content Approach: Loyalty programs, retargeting, surveys to give a better experience to the customers.
The problem with HubSpot’s funnel method
The Funnel method was going great until HubSpot’s team got the idea to improve it significantly. From that moment, the Funnel became Flywheel.
The Issue was this: The Funnel method is only successful when you have The Top of The Funnel, which is the ‘Attract’ stage filled. Only then The Mid of The Funnel, i.e., the ‘Engage’ stage, will work, and then the ‘Delight’ stage. If the top of the Funnel, i.e. ‘Attract’ stage is empty, there would not be enough prospects to convert to the ‘Engage’ stage.
Also, it put the customers at the last stage of increasing sales. The rise of Word-of-Mouth marketing suggested otherwise. So, the change was needed. The growth method required revision.
From the Funnel to Flywheel Method
The Flywheel is the more advanced and comprehensive version of the Funnel. This is cyclic and gives equal importance to all the stages. The core of the Flywheel is growth.
The content modules and stage definitions remain the same as the Funnel method. The only big difference is that the Flywheel method eradicates the idea of filling the top, i.e., Attract stage first. The Flywheel method reflects that you can focus on any stage to keep the growth wheel running.
For example, if there are not enough Engage stage prospects, you can shift your focus to the Delight stage or the Attract stage to keep the Flywheel rolling. This ideology never stops the growth of the business.
The Flywheel method also connects the ‘Delight’ stage with the ‘Attract’ stage. When the efforts put in the Delight stage pay well and you get new people looking for your business, they automatically come into the ‘Attract’ stage. And, from there, they move to the ‘Engage’ stage. The Flywheel method clearly develops and signifies the connection between the three.
HubSpot designed the Flywheel to emphasize Word-of-Mouth marketing, for which the Delight stage is crucial. Satisfying the present customers, giving them good and memorable experiences contribute to more new customers. And this ultimately leads to more sales. Flywheel came out to be the best method to increase sales as compared to the funnel method. No doubt, the funnel method was successful over the years, but you know, there is always room for improvement. The Flywheel is more flexible and gives the marketers more power and control over the sales process.
Also Read: 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021