Quick-start guide to effective flywheel marketing

27 September 2023
13 minutes

In short

Looking for a fresh and innovative business strategy to propel your growth forward? Hang onto your hats, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for lift-off, we’re about to revolutionise your customer engagement with flywheel marketing.

As every ambitious brand knows, the business landscape is evolving rapidly. To thrive, you must not only adapt but also harness the most innovative strategies. Flywheel marketing is the secret sauce that can help you not only stay relevant but also surge ahead.

Imagine your business as a flywheel—an intricate system of interconnected parts, each contributing to a perpetual motion. Every customer interaction, every effort and every engagement adds momentum to this ever-spinning wheel. In this guide, we won’t just introduce you to flywheel marketing; we’ll equip you with the knowledge, insights and practical steps you need to master it.

Unlike traditional linear models that focus on one-off transactions, the flywheel model revolves around continuous energy generation through customer interactions. This energy isn’t wasted; it fuels your business’s growth, propelling it forward with increasing speed.

The importance of flywheel marketing goes beyond theory—it offers tangible benefits such as sustainable growth, unwavering customer loyalty and resource optimisation. By tapping into the power of delighted customers, your business can transform into a self-sustaining force in your industry.

What awaits you in this flywheel marketing guide

This guide is your go-to for navigating the world of flywheel marketing effectively. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • In-depth insight: We’ll dissect the flywheel model, from its fundamental principles to its real-world applications, ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding.
  • Actionable strategies: While theory is crucial, it’s the actionable steps that drive success. We’ll provide you with a toolkit of strategies and techniques you can implement immediately.
  • Real-life stories: Dive into success stories from businesses that have harnessed the flywheel model, illustrating its transformative potential across a variety of industries.
  • Expert tips and best practices: We’ll share insider tips and best practices to help you navigate common challenges and optimise your flywheel marketing approach.
  • Measuring progress: Learn how to track and measure the impact of flywheel marketing on your business, ensuring your efforts yield the desired results.


As you can see, we’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get those wheels in motion and start our journey into the art of flywheel marketing!

A vector that shows how a business retain customers by using flywheel marketing

What is flywheel marketing and how does it work?

At its core, the definition of flywheel marketing in business is a customer-centric approach that revolutionises how businesses attract, engage and retain customers. It turns your customers into advocates, driving your business’s growth in a sustainable way.

Close your eyes and picture a flywheel, a powerful, ever-revolving wheel that represents your marketing efforts. Instead of considering customers as the endpoint of your journey, the flywheel model views them as the driving force behind your business.

The more energy (value) you put into the flywheel, the faster it spins, propelling your business to greater success and sustainable growth.

Flywheel marketing vs. funnel marketing: what’s the difference?

To truly comprehend the essence of flywheel marketing, it’s vital to recognise how it distinguishes itself from the traditional marketing funnel. This shift in perspective can significantly impact your overall marketing strategy, ensuring it remains not just relevant but thriving in today’s dynamic landscape.

The flywheel model: a paradigm shift

Unlike the funnel, where customers move linearly from awareness to consideration to purchase and then (fingers crossed) advocacy, the flywheel envisions customers as perpetual motion machines. Their interactions with your brand generate energy and this energy fuels your business’s growth.

In the traditional funnel, the focus often shifts away from customers once a sale is made. However, the flywheel places customer delight at the heart of its strategy. This means that even after a purchase, your efforts continue to engage, satisfy, and enchant your customers. Considering that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70%, this is 100% a strategy that is worth pursuing!

While the funnel might primarily emphasise converting prospects into buyers, the flywheel sees every customer as a potential lifelong promoter. Satisfied customers don’t just fade into the background; they can actively propel your business forward by advocating for your brand.

What are the benefits of flywheel marketing?

The flywheel funnel model offers a host of advantages for businesses that embrace it. Let’s delve into the benefits of flywheel growth and marketing in greater detail:

  1. Sustainable growth: An incredible 92% of customers trust word-of-mouth recommendations. By continually delighting customers, you create a self-sustaining growth engine. The energy generated by happy customers propels your business forward, reducing the reliance on expensive, one-time customer acquisition efforts.
  2. Enhanced loyalty: Customers who are turned into promoters become loyal advocates of your brand. They not only stay with your business but actively recommend it to others, amplifying your reach and credibility and building that all-important trust.
  3. Boosts efficiency: Resources are utilised more efficiently in the flywheel model, leading to reduced customer acquisition costs. As the energy within the flywheel builds, your business becomes more adept at converting prospects into customers without exhausting valuable resources.
  4. Increases adaptability: One of the flywheel model’s notable strengths is its adaptability to evolving market conditions. In a rapidly changing business landscape, the flywheel allows you to pivot and adjust more seamlessly, ensuring your marketing efforts remain aligned with shifting consumer needs and preferences.

So, which is the best approach for your business? Funnel or flywheel marketing?

While both the funnel and flywheel models have their merits, the choice between them often depends on your business’s unique goals, industry and customer base. Funnel marketing is characterised by a linear approach, guiding customers through distinct stages, while flywheel marketing focuses on harnessing the perpetual energy created by delighted customers.

When deciding which model to adopt, consider factors like customer behaviour, the complexity of your sales process and your long-term growth objectives.

What are the main types of flywheel models?

Flywheel marketing comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its unique components. Let’s dissect these models and see how they function within the broader concept of flywheel marketing.

  • Customer-centric flywheel: This model focuses on delivering exceptional customer experiences.
  • Content-centric flywheel: This approach emphasises creating valuable, personalised content.
  • Service-centric flywheel: Prioritises delivering top-notch customer support and post-purchase engagement.

If you aren’t sure what model will suit you, don’t worry. We’ve only just started exploring the world of flywheel marketing and you’ll soon have a clearer idea of the best fit for you.

a photo of a person that is starting to implement a flywheel marketing by starting to identify the goals and objectives of the business

How to implement the flywheel business model

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into how you can implement the flywheel model in your business, step by step.

Step 1: Identify your goals and objectives

Your journey begins by setting clear, SMART goals and objectives, a savvy way of working that was the brainchild of George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham. These goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Pro Tip: Don’t just set vague goals like “increase sales.” Instead, aim for specifics like “boost online sales by 20% in the next quarter.”

Step 2: Understand your target audience

Knowing your target audience inside out is critical. In fact, according to Hubspot, organisations with a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or customer persona achieve 68% higher account win rates than their peers. Dive deep into their needs, preferences, pain points and behaviours. This knowledge forms the bedrock of your personalised approach.

Practical tips:

  • Conduct customer surveys to gather insights.
  • Analyse website analytics to identify browsing patterns.
  • Utilise social listening tools to monitor online conversations.

Step 3: Develop an engagement strategy

Crafting a compelling engagement strategy tailored to your audience’s preferences is essential. Explore various channels and touchpoints to interact with your customers at every stage of their journey.

Practical tips:

  • Create a content calendar to plan your messaging.
  • Automate personalised email campaigns for effective outreach.
  • Establish a social media posting schedule for consistent engagement.

Step 4: Optimise your content for each stage of the flywheel

Not all content is created equal. Learn how to create content that resonates with your audience at different stages of the flywheel, from attracting potential customers to delighting long-term advocates.

Practical tips:

  • Segment your email lists to send tailored content.
  • Personalise content recommendations on your website.
  • Use data-driven insights to inform your content strategy.

What is the HubSpot flywheel marketing model?

One of the most well-known examples of the flywheel marketing approach is the model pioneered by HubSpot. In this section, we’ll delve into the HubSpot way of working, breaking down its three key stages: Attract, Engage and Delight.


As every marketer knows, attracting potential customers is a big challenge. HubSpot tackles this challenge head-on through a potent combination of content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media strategies. Here’s a closer look at how HubSpot works its magic at the “Attract” stage:

  • Content marketing: Like your friends here at Contentoo, HubSpot understands that valuable, informative content is the cornerstone of attraction. By creating high-quality, relevant content tailored to their audience’s needs, they draw potential customers like a magnet. Their blogs, ebooks, videos and webinars aren’t just informative; they’re designed to engage and educate.
  • SEO: Getting found online by the right people matters. HubSpot’s expertise in SEO ensures its content ranks well in search engine results so it reaches its prospective audience when they need it the most. By understanding the algorithms and staying up-to-date with SEO trends, they maximise their content’s discoverability and visibility.
  • Social media: Social media platforms aren’t just for cute cats and houses that appear to have faces — they are also hubs of interaction and engagement that can be marketing gold dust. HubSpot leverages these platforms effectively, using them not just as broadcasting channels, but as arenas for meaningful connections and conversations. They actively engage with their audience, sharing valuable content, answering questions and building relationships.


Once you’ve attracted potential customers, the next step is to actively engage them. HubSpot excels at this stage by providing personalised experiences that convert prospects into loyal customers. Let’s take a look at their performance at the “Engage” stage:

  • Personalisation: HubSpot knows that one size doesn’t fit all. They use data-driven insights to personalise interactions, ensuring that each prospect feels valued and understood. Bespoke emails, recommendations and tailored content create a sense of connection and relevance. By the way, if your marketing personalisation efforts need some improvement, don’t fret. Only 35 per cent of surveyed business managers were satisfied with their overall level of omnichannel personalisation in 2022.
  • Conversion optimisation: Engaging prospects is essential, but conversion, naturally, is the true goal. HubSpot employs persuasive strategies, such as well-crafted call-to-actions (CTAs), landing pages and lead nurturing, to guide prospects through their journey, from initial interest to becoming valued customers and advocates.


Delighting customers is at the core of their strategy. As we have already mentioned, happy customers become loyal promoters, fueling the flywheel’s revolution. Here’s how HubSpot sustains the flywheel’s momentum through the “Delight” stage:

  • Exceptional support: HubSpot’s commitment to customer success is unwavering. They provide exceptional support, resolving issues promptly and offering guidance when needed.
  • Content continuity: The value of informative content doesn’t diminish after a sale; it grows. HubSpot continues to provide valuable content and resources to customers, helping them make the most of their purchases. This continuous support fosters loyalty and advocacy.

P.S. If you’re struggling to produce enough content to achieve your marketing goals, contact our team today. They would love to help!

Challenges and best practices for flywheel marketing

While the flywheel marketing model offers an impressive raft of benefits, it’s not without its fair share of challenges. In this section, we’ll explore these challenges in-depth and provide you with best practices to overcome them effectively.

Challenge 1: Resistance to change

The challenge: Implementing the flywheel model often requires a significant shift in mindset and processes. Some team members or stakeholders may resist these changes, especially if they’ve been accustomed to the traditional funnel approach. However, if resistance to change persists, it can hinder the successful implementation of flywheel marketing, causing missed growth opportunities and inefficiencies in customer engagement.

Best practices:

  • Provide education and training: Provide comprehensive training sessions and resources to help your team understand the advantages of the flywheel model.
  • Highlight success stories: Share case studies and success stories from companies that have successfully transitioned to the flywheel model.
  • Make it a gradual transition: Implement changes gradually rather than abruptly, allowing your team to adapt more comfortably.

Challenge 2: Integrating data and systems

The challenge: Effective flywheel marketing relies on seamless data integration and sharing across departments. Siloed data or incompatible systems can impede the flow of information. Without effective data integration, your marketing efforts may lack the necessary insights to engage customers at the right time and with the right message, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

Best practices:

  • Invest in a great CRM: Implement a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to centralise customer data and insights.
  • Data governance: Establish clear data governance policies to ensure data consistency and accuracy.
  • Take a cross-functional approach: Create cross-functional teams responsible for data integration, ensuring alignment between departments.
a vector that uses a content calendar to maintain consistency in flywheel marketing

Challenge 3: maintaining consistency

The challenge: Consistency is key in flywheel marketing. Maintaining a seamless customer experience across various touchpoints can be challenging, especially as your business grows. Inconsistent customer experiences can confuse and frustrate customers, potentially driving them away. It can also dilute your brand’s identity and weaken its impact.

Best Practices:

  • Create unified brand guidelines: Develop and communicate clear brand guidelines to ensure a consistent brand voice and image. If you’re new to brand guidelines or simply need a fresh approach, take a look at this free brand guidelines template from Pitch.
  • Use a content calendar: Create a content calendar that maps out content for each stage of the flywheel, ensuring a consistent flow of valuable information.
  • Conduct regular audits: Periodically audit your marketing touchpoints to identify and rectify inconsistencies.

Challenge 4: Alignment across teams

The challenge: Effective flywheel marketing necessitates alignment among different departments, such as marketing, sales, product development and customer support. Misalignment can result in fragmented customer experiences.

Best Practices:

  • Organise regular meetings: Schedule regular cross-departmental meetings to share insights and align strategies.
  • Share metrics: Establish shared key performance indicators (KPIs) that encourage collaboration among teams.
  • Ensure unified communication: Foster open communication channels to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Challenge 5: Data-driven decision making

The challenge: Flywheel marketing thrives on data-driven decision-making. However, many organisations struggle to gather, interpret and act on data effectively. Without data-driven decision-making, your marketing efforts may lack direction and may not effectively address your audience’s evolving needs, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

Best practices:

  • Data analytics training: Invest in data analytics training for your team to enhance their ability to interpret data.
  • Data visualisation tools: Utilise data visualisation tools that make complex data more accessible and actionable.
  • Regular reporting: Implement regular reporting practices to monitor key metrics and adjust strategies accordingly.

By recognising these challenges and implementing best practices, you can navigate the flywheel marketing journey more effectively, maximising its potential benefits for your business. Remember, overcoming these challenges is not only vital but also a continuous process as you refine your flywheel marketing strategy over time

Measuring success with flywheel marketing

No marketing strategy is complete without robust measurement. Almost two-thirds (61.2%) of marketers say marketing effectiveness measurement has become more prominent in making marketing/business decisions. So, if you aren’t taking time to monitor your performance, make it a priority going forward.

Read on to discover the metrics and KPIs that will help you gauge the success of your flywheel marketing efforts.

Infographic about how marketing effectiveness measurement has become more prominent

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

The Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score is a metric that measures the satisfaction level of your customers with your products or services. Typically, customers are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale, often from 1 to 5.

CSAT is crucial because satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal customers, advocate for your brand, and provide valuable word-of-mouth referrals. A high CSAT score indicates that your marketing efforts and customer interactions are positively impacting your audience.

How to use CSAT surveys: CSAT surveys can be sent after specific customer interactions, such as making a purchase or interacting with customer support. Analyse the scores and comments to identify areas for improvement and areas where your marketing is excelling.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood of your customers recommending your products or services to others. It categorises respondents into Promoters (loyal enthusiasts), Passives (satisfied but unenthusiastic) and Detractors (unhappy customers). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

NPS is a valuable indicator of customer loyalty and the potential for organic growth through referrals. It helps you understand how your customers perceive your brand and whether they are likely to become advocates.

How to use NPS: Send NPS surveys to your customers and analyse the results to identify trends. Focus on converting Passives into Promoters and addressing Detractors’ concerns to improve your overall NPS score.

Customer churn rate

Customer Churn Rate, often expressed as a percentage, measures the number of customers who stopped using your product or service over a specific period. A higher churn rate indicates a higher rate of customer attrition.

Churn rate is a critical metric for flywheel marketing because it directly affects your customer acquisition efforts. A high churn rate can offset the gains made through attracting new customers, making it essential to focus on customer retention.

How to measure and use churn rate: Calculate your churn rate regularly (e.g., monthly or quarterly) to monitor trends. Identify common reasons for churn, such as poor customer experiences and take action to reduce it.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) predicts the total revenue a customer is expected to generate throughout their entire relationship with your brand. It considers factors like purchase frequency, average order value and retention rate.

CLV helps you understand the long-term value of your customers and guides your marketing strategies. By increasing CLV, you can justify higher acquisition costs and prioritise efforts to retain and upsell existing customers.

How to use CLV: Calculate CLV for different customer segments and analyse which segments contribute the most to your revenue. Tailor marketing campaigns to maximise CLV for each segment.

Referral rate

The referral rate measures the percentage of customers who refer others to your business. It quantifies the effectiveness of your referral marketing efforts. Referrals are powerful in flywheel marketing as they bring in new customers at a lower acquisition cost. A high referral rate indicates that your existing customers are not only satisfied but also actively promoting your brand.

How to use referral rates: Track referral rates through referral programs or by asking customers how they heard about your business. Encourage referrals through incentives or by delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Key takeaways

Phew — we’ve covered a lot in this guide to flywheel marketing! Here are a few handy takeaways to refresh your memory and help you focus on the first steps of your strategy.

  • Prioritise customer-centricity: At the heart of flywheel marketing is a deep understanding of your customers. Make them the focal point of your strategy, and continually seek ways to delight and engage them.
  • Consistency is key: Flywheel marketing is a continuous cycle. Regularly revisit your strategy, adapt to evolving customer needs and keep the momentum going. Consistency and persistence are your allies in this journey.
  • Keep an eye on trends: The marketing landscape is ever-evolving so take the time to stay informed about the latest trends and technologies that can enhance your flywheel strategy. Be open to innovation and willing to experiment. While we would hate to blow our own trumpet 😉 we recommend following Contetntoo on our socials and checking in regularly with our blog for the latest insights.
  • Monitor and measure: Robust measurement is essential. Regularly track key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the effectiveness of your flywheel marketing efforts. Use data-driven insights to refine your approach.
  • Customer loyalty matters: Building long-term customer relationships should be a priority. Loyal customers become advocates and contribute to the organic growth of your business.
  • Referral marketing is powerful: Encourage referrals from satisfied customers. Referrals bring in new customers at a lower acquisition cost and can be a significant driver of growth.
  • Adapt and thrive: Embrace flywheel marketing as a fundamental shift in how businesses approach growth. It’s not just a trend; it’s a strategy that’s here to stay in the modern marketing landscape.

Start your journey today, effective flywheel marketing is within your reach. Start by identifying your goals, understanding your audience, and developing an engagement strategy. The journey to mastering the flywheel begins now and the sky is the limit!

Transforming your brand with flywheel marketing

Now that you’ve uncovered the secrets of flywheel marketing, it’s time to infuse your endeavours with this exciting and innovative approach. Keep in mind that the power of the flywheel doesn’t manifest with a single isolated push; it thrives through continuous refinement, adaptation and unwavering dedication to delighting your audience.

Gather your team and take some time to decide what is the right approach for your people and your business and start hatching your plan. As you steer your business toward new horizons, remember that the flywheel’s perpetual motion is fueled by your dedication and your audience’s unwavering loyalty.

Embrace the flywheel, persist in your efforts and you’ll find that the path to lasting marketing success is not only attainable but incredibly motivating and rewarding.

And don’t forget if you need support with creating content that attracts, engages and delights, get in touch with our team today. We have access to some of the best content marketing freelancers out there who are just waiting to hear how they can help you achieve your goals.

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