The Smarketing Flywheel: Setting the Context –
The concept of the sales and marketing funnel has been in use for a very long time. Typically, it has been used to indicate the customer journey through four linear stages of the buying process: awareness, interest, desire, and action (AIDA).
Most of the time, effort, and resources were spent attracting potential prospects at the top of the funnel. However, only a small percentage of them converted into customers. And the majority of them dropped off as not interested along the various stages of the funnel.
In other words, most of the time, the money and effort spent on the marketing funnel were spent on prospects that would not buy readily.
The effectiveness of such a traditional sales and marketing funnel has declined significantly, over the last decade or so.
Evolution of the Smarketing Flywheel
The smarketing flywheel was introduced by HubSpot in 2018 as an alternative to the conventional funnel.
It has evolved with the changing marketplace and consumer behaviour. The term ‘flywheel’ typically refers to a spinning wheel in various machinery.
Just like its mechanical counterpart, the smarketing flywheel is energy-efficient, providing continuous power output at optimal efficiencies and with minimal intervention.
The smarketing flywheel model has customer experience (CX) at its core and the future of any business today depends on the quality of customer experiences along the customer journey.
As a small business owner, you’re constantly seeking effective ways to not only draw potential customers but also to keep them engaged and satisfied.
The smarketing flywheel is designed to create momentum and drive business growth, with each stage feeding into the next.
In this blog, we’ll explore the six stages of the Smarketing Flywheel in a way that’s easy to understand and implement.
Stage 1. Creating Awareness and Visibility For Your Business Entity:
Many micro and small businesses face the challenge of obscurity as they fail to market their brand efficiently and relevantly.
The challenge of not being visible or known to target audiences is real and requires consistent, sustained smarketing strategy and efforts.
In other words, as a small business owner, it’s your responsibility –
- to reach out to your target audience to inform and educate them.
- to articulate clearly, your understanding of their problem, pain point, or aspirations, so that they connect with you for the solution(s) you have on offer.
- to highlight the key differentiators with the other players or solutions in the marketplace
Every journey begins with a single step, and for your business, it starts with creating awareness and visibility.
Imagine your business as a beacon of light; the brighter it shines, the more attention it attracts.
Utilize social media, content marketing, and online advertising to showcase your products or services.
Engage with your audience, share valuable content, and let the world know who you are and what you do.
Consistent visibility builds trust and credibility, making it easier for small businesses to compete in the market.
Therefore, creating brand awareness and visibility is the first crucial stage in the smarketing flywheel model.
Stage 2: Attracting Potential Prospects: Like Bees to Honey
Once your business is visible, it’s time to attract potential prospects like bees to honey.
Craft compelling content that addresses your audience’s pain points and provides solutions.
A well-designed website, search engine optimization (SEO), and captivating visuals can act as magnets, drawing prospects closer to exploring what you offer. Remember, an attractive and user-friendly website is your virtual storefront – make it inviting!
This stage in the smarketing flywheel is crucial as it:
- Helps in lead generation: The word ‘lead’ refers to collecting the contact details of people who show interest in your brand and are open to hearing from you about your products and services.
- Attracting potential prospects helps in direct engagement quickly and cost-effectively, as you have specific individuals to communicate with.
- Helps in relationship building: Attracting potential prospects helps in relationship building which is crucial in establishing trust, credibility, and a sense of connection, which is vital for any business.
Therefore, at this stage, focus on providing great value-based content and resources and engaging your target audiences.
Stage 3: Pre-framing: Setting the Stage for Success
The third stage in the Smarketing Flywheel is to engage & nurture leads. To engage with those who showed interest in your high-value content offer and have opted-in to hear more from you.
Pre-framing, therefore, is the process of warming up your potential buyers, who are eager to hear from you. It is the art of shaping perceptions before direct interaction.
Start by narrating your story and create a narrative that showcases your expertise and reliability.
Use testimonials, case studies, and positive reviews to back up your claim and build credibility as your trusted advisor.
Once they are convinced that you have the clarity and depth of understanding of their problems or pain points, they will be interested and open to buying from you, at the price and quantity you recommend.
Stage 4: Lead Conversions and Generating Sales:
Acquiring new customers and generating revenue is the primary purpose of any business. Turning Interest into Action
This stage of the Smarketing Flywheel involves selling and is therefore the supercharger that helps accelerate business growth.
Nothing is bought until something is sold. Selling to convert the qualified leads into paying customers, can create a continual cycle of sales and business growth for small businesses.
Selling is a learnable skill and a must-learn skill for business owners who are looking to sustain, grow, scale, and thrive.
Micro and small business owners must learn selling skills to become more effective in their day-to-day work
There are different methods to sell like online, offline, retail, sales team, telesales, wholesale, commission agents, etc. Choosing the right business model and methodology that’s right for your business and optimizing it for the best positive results, is the responsibility of the small business owner.
Now comes the pivotal moment: converting leads into customers. Make your prospects feel valued, understood, and supported throughout their decision-making process, and eventually, you can be assured of consistent sales and cash flows.
Stage 5: Exemplify in Delivery and Delighting Customers
Keeping promises and exceeding expectations – Delighting your customers by exceeding their expectations at every stage of their purchase journey and beyond is a critical stage in the smarketing flywheel, that fuels the other stages.
It is therefore important for every micro- and small business owner, to have a deeper understanding of your customer’s preferences in relation to every aspect of their customer journey.
The better your understanding of your customers’ likes and preferences, the better you will be poised to delight your customers.
Delighting customers in every aspect of the customer experience will not only earn you customers for life, but will also enhance business goodwill and brand image.
Thus, delighting customers is a critical stage in the smarketing flywheel that feeds into the next step and keeps up the momentum of the flywheel.
Focus on delivering exceptional value and outstanding customer service. Keep your promises and, if possible, exceed expectations.
Happy customers are your best brand ambassadors, and their positive experiences will echo far and wide.
Remember, exceptional service leads to customer loyalty and repeat business.
Stage 6: Community Building:
Fostering Long-lasting Connections – Community building is at the heart of the Smarketing Flywheel.
It’s about creating a tribe of loyal customers who not only love your products but also advocate for your brand.
Community building around a brand involves creating a forum or a common place where you can invite your customers as a starting point for building business relationships for the long term, rather than keeping them only transactional.
Thus, if a company can transition from simply delivering a product to building a community, they can unlock extraordinary competitive advantages and create a superior business model.
In fact, strong communities help support the ideal business model. Specifically:
- Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs.
- Members of a community support other members in that community, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service.
- Members of a community are generally loath to abandon it, resulting in increased member retention and therefore improved lifetime value.
- A thriving community not only strengthens your brand but also acts as a magnet, attracting new prospects through word-of-mouth referrals.
Consumers today are looking for a deeper interaction with the company and with other fellow buyers of the product or service, not just a support email ID/phone number, or newsletter.
Consumers need communities to belong to, and brands need communities to help them cut through all the noise.
Engage with your customers through community-building platforms, social media, exclusive events, loyalty programs, and interactive campaigns.
Community building can be a more sustainable approach to engaging and nurturing your customers because it helps you connect with your customers on a more personal level and drive meaningful conversations for your brand.
Conclusion: Your Smarketing Flywheel Journey Begins Now
Incorporating the six stages of the Smarketing Flywheel into your business strategy can lead to transformative results.
Remember, it’s not just about making a sale; it’s about building relationships, fostering trust, and creating a community of satisfied customers.
By following these stages, you’ll not only attract new prospects but also retain them, ensuring a steady flow of business growth and customer loyalty.
Embark on this journey today and witness your business soar to new heights, one satisfied customer at a time.
Your Smarketing Flywheel adventure awaits – let the spin begin!
Until next time,