marketing flywheel

The Marketing Flywheel Updates the Sales Funnel Model

HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan has a fresh idea that is shaking up the sales, advertising and marketing industries all at once. His new “marketing flywheel” concept is a major update to the sales funnel model, which has been widely used for decades to illustrate a consumer’s purchasing process.

What is the Sales Funnel?

The sales funnel is used to describe the four stages—awareness, interest, decision and action—of a typical buyer’s journey. Companies often structure their business strategies around the sales funnel model.

A picture of what the sales funnel looks like

What is the Marketing Flywheel?

The marketing flywheel takes into account the increasing importance of word-of-mouth buzz and recommendations. Halligan found that customers were becoming a more crucial part of business growth. His theory is that a business can grow more efficiently if they are able to harness the energy of their customer base.

In this video, members of the HubSpot team describe the marketing flywheel and explain why it should replace the sales funnel.

How the Flywheel Works

According to, a flywheel is “a heavy revolving wheel in a machine that is used to increase the machine’s momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine.”

The marketing flywheel works on this same principle.

Customer Energy Moves the Wheel

For example, companies today often leverage the momentum of happy customers to increase referrals and repeat sales. With the power of the internet and social media, one sale can grow into two and two into four and so on.

In essence, a spinning flywheel represents business growth. The faster it moves, the more a business is theoretically able to grow.

However, if the flywheel slows down, it could indicate that enthusiasm in your brand is decreasing. In the marketing flywheel model, businesses are urged to reduce “friction,” such as poor online reviews, which can slow down brand momentum.

A finger touches the center of the target

The Marketing Flywheel Gains Momentum

Since Halligan introduced the idea last year, the flywheel concept has gained many early adopters. By looking at marketing differently, the flywheel enables you to make different decisions and strategic adjustments. Advocates of the new concept have said that it is a more comprehensive method for representing the factors that drive or detract from business growth.

Only time will tell if the marketing flywheel is adopted as a replacement for the sales funnel.

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Marketing, marketing flywheel, sales funnel
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