Is the Inbound Marketing Funnel Dead?

4 minute read

Is the Inbound Marketing Funnel Dead?

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If you want more qualified leads, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Gone are the days of traditional inbound marketing methods because the buyer’s funnel is no more. In its place is the flywheel, which focuses more on customer service and retention than on closing the next deal.

What does this mean for your business? Simply put: out with the old and in with the new. Savvy marketers will use inbound marketing methodology to attract and convert visitors, as well as monitor and support every aspect of the consumer’s sales cycle with the guidance of the flywheel.

What Is the Flywheel?

Grasping the attention of your customers has become a tough business. The solution is inbound marketing, where you earn the attention of prospective buyers by creating compelling content, nurture them through the buyer’s journey, and delight them with superior customer service.

However, the new buyer’s journey no longer starts at the top and flows down a funnel to the finish; rather it’s a continual cycle that progresses through stages.

The flywheel, introduced by HubSpot earlier this year, features a cyclical, continual journey, the way the buyer’s journey should actually be. This new way of thinking offers a system for scalable, repeatable revenue generation. In essence, the faster the flywheel spins, the more revenue you will generate.

More importantly, the flywheel places customers at the center with marketing, sales, and service revolving around them.  With customers at the center of the process, rather than at the bottom of a funnel, this challenges marketers to focus on harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing and retaining customers.

The key to adopting the flywheel framework is to identify points of friction your customers face when scaling their business and help those customers reduce that friction through reorganization, shared goals, and automation.

Forget the Funnel, Embrace the Flywheel

Today’s consumers are tech-savvy and more educated than ever about their purchasing decisions, which is why the buyer’s journey is no longer linear. Buyers often flip back and forth on their purchasing decision, entering or exiting different stages of the buyer’s journey as they check online reviews, do their own research, and evaluate vendors.

According to HubSpot, 55 percent of consumers don’t trust companies they purchase from as much as they used to, 65 percent don’t trust press releases, 65 percent don’t trust advertisements, and 71 percent don’t trust social media ads.

As trust in business continues to erode, it’s more important now than ever for businesses to adopt the flywheel methodology to support their customers better. Continual support and superior customer service will better the odds that those customers will offer a good review, refer the company or product to their friends, and remain loyal.

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