Has the flywheel replaced the funnel?

During her talk at the Digital Branding Analytics Miami 2019 Conference (#DBAMiami), on May 11, 2019, Kathy Mayor spoke about the concept of the marketing flywheel. She elaborated on how BoxyCharm capitalizes on this notion in the relationship between its brands, influencers, and subscribers. Much like the mechanical flywheels used in ancient potter’s wheels and in the steam engines of the Industrial Revolution, the marketing flywheel uses rotational energy to increase efficiency. The flywheel also has to be self-perpetuating.

For instance, it’s BoxyCharm’s exciting and trendy brands that cause influencers to want to work with them, and it’s the influencers who make people want to subscribe and become “Charmers”. Consequently, the more subscribers BoxyCharm secures, the more brands want to work with them…and so the cycle goes. Until brands call BoxyCharm requesting to collaborate instead of BoxyCharm reaching out to them. To quote Mia Hamm, “Success breeds success.”

Some experts would contend that the marketing flywheel has replaced the marketing funnel. They say the funnel focuses too much on the individual close and not enough on the consumer experience.  Businesses need to center their efforts around delighting customers to succeed in today’s retail climate. Technology seems to support this same shift. Now more than ever, with the help of social media, consumers are connected and engaged with brands. They’ll even organize and promote the products they love – at no cost to the brand. Therefore, not only is the flywheel fast and efficient, it is incredibly lucrative.

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