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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

It’s Time to Exchange Your Funnel for a Flywheel

Marketing Strategy

Jan 15, 2020

Customer ExperiencesHave you heard about the Customer Experience (CX) flywheel? You will! Much of what we’ve been telling you on this blog contributes to this new model for driving customer engagement: AI, influencers, social media, content marketing, and more. MarketingProfs has put together a clear, straightforward explanation of why many businesses are now moving away from the traditional sales funnel to the CX Flywheel.

The flywheel concept is surprisingly easy to grasp. Rather than a gradual outreach effort to prospects through sales and marketing efforts resulting (hopefully) in an eventual conversion, the flywheel approach puts the customer at the center of the model. On the outer edge are all of the touchpoints that you create as you acquire more customer data. This seamless model allows customers to become part of the outreach, evangelizing for you.

Savvy integrated marketers regularly consider what their customers want and look for ways to transform their experiences through various touchpoints. The flywheel is a customer-centric approach to identifying, targeting, and communicating with audience segments. Rethink your customer outreach to continue to acquire customer data, continually improving your understanding of your audience, enhancing personalization, and getting a greater return on your investment in each customer/prospect.

RIP Funnel

For 100 years, the funnel model has provided a linear customer journey through sales and marketing to eventual conversion. Typically, a prospect learned about your product or service through marketing (ads, commercials, direct mail), and then talked with salespeople to discover why they should make a purchase decision. This could go on for some time.

But today’s customers are much more empowered. They learn about products in several ways—research on their phones, word of mouth from friends or family, online review sites, social media, chatbots, and more.

Welcome the Flywheel

A consumer nowadays may not come into your system until they’ve made their purchase. This changes the goal from getting the customer to make that initial buy to retention, growth, and evangelism. Integrated marketers can now engage with customers across physical and digital platforms, rapidly collecting more data and building stronger audience personas. By working together, across the company, in-house teams can attract and engage with customers holistically, providing a more satisfying experience at every stage and encouraging them to promote your company, product or service.

Building Your CX Flywheel

Putting the customer at the center of your flywheel model makes it easier to engage with and inspire them. Think of it as a wheel with the customer at the center and your touchpoints as the spokes. With each touch, you are gathering and synthesizing more data.

You Need the Cloud

Flywheel success starts with that data. Collect, store, manage, and categorize data in the cloud for better targeting. Take all of the most relevant information including customer purchase history and geographic location, and combine it with second- and third-party information for more robust data.


The more data you are dealing with, the more important privacy and security are for the customer. Be sure you are clear with prospects and customers about how you are using data, how you are protecting that data, and what types of outreach they can expect from you.

Make Your Touchpoints Meaningful

Do what you can to drive engagement using your customers’ preferred outreach methods. Let them easily make a purchase from your app or site; use AI, nurture campaigns or digital assistants to smoothly move customers through the purchase experience.

Be Trustworthy

For customers to share their data with you, they need to believe that they can trust you with it. Be transparent and respectful about how you will be using their information—if it’s only to help them find information that is critical to their decision-making, tell them that.

Next Steps?

MarketingProfs advises that rather than “reaching the right person with the right message at the right time” (as marketers have long championed), the flywheel depends on “using the right strategy, with the right data and technology.” Similarly, Hubspot advises that “the biggest threat to your company’s growth isn’t your competitors. It’s a bad customer experience.”

So, take some time to investigate the flywheel model and how you can implement it within your company for more strategic customer outreach. Utilize some of the tools that are now available to augment the customer experience, and strive to create a human experience with meaningful outreach, greater engagement, and that will allow your customers to become your greatest advocates.

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