Applying an overarching metaphor to a marketing strategy is deceptively easy. You have the net-based favorites like the "dragnet" and the "fishing net." Then you have building-based symbols that draw inspiration from towers, castles, and the like. Then, of course, there’s the more recent favorite: the funnel. Each method works—both on a metaphorical level and in practice. However, a problem arises when a metaphor becomes outdated.
Why the Flywheel Is Needed: The Death of the Marketing Funnel
The shelf life of “the funnel” has been hastened by the emergence of customer-focused marketing. The funnel is a marketing concept that seeks to target a wide array of customers that may or may not have much in common. If your funnel is big enough, you expose enough people to your product or service, and a certain percentage of them are likely to turn into customers. For example, if you send an email out to 10,000 people, and 10% of them click through, and 10% of those folks become customers, you just earned 100 customers from one email.
The concept behind the funnel is relatively sound, but it’s an egregiously inefficient system. It ignores what should be the most powerful asset of your business: your customers. Because customers are thinking, acting, talking entities, they have dynamism, power, and ability. The marketing flywheel seeks to leverage the vitality of customers by using them to attract more customers.
Why Is It Called a “Flywheel?"
A flywheel is a mechanism that generates energy at its center as the blades on the outside are spun. A pinwheel blown by the wind is a flywheel; so is a windmill. In a marketing flywheel, at least one of the blades involves the customer. When the customer is motivated, they add to the energy by helping to attract more customers. Customer reviews illustrate the marketing flywheel concept well.
The Marketing Flywheel at Work: Reviews
The simplest way to demonstrate the marketing flywheel is to look at the effect of customer reviews. In property management, we’ll focus on tenants and owners. Here is how tenant reviews work to create energy in your marketing flywheel, step-by-step:
- You have a tenant and, as a property management company, provide excellent service.
- That tenant writes a positive review and continues to rent reliably. This benefits you and your owners.
- People who see the review online get interested in renting from you or having you manage their properties.
- The interested people become tenants or clients, and you give them a great experience.
- Those tenants and clients write further positive reviews.
- People who see the review online get interested in renting from you or hiring your services.
You get the point: positive reviews generate positive profits. Google reviews carry particular importance since positive reviews drive your business.
This marketing flywheel has three “fins” helping to create energy:
- A new tenant or owner-client
- The impressive experience your property management company provides
- The review the tenant or owner writes.
Each helps spin the flywheel, creating energy that fuels income for your property management company.
Another Way to Use the Marketing Flywheel: Social Media
People don’t use social media to “socialize:” they use it to consume or provide content. Most folks tap into their Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account in order to check out the content of other people. Typically, they want one of the two L’s: to Laugh or Learn. With a post containing an image and compelling content, you can satisfy their desire to learn. If you’re creative, you can make them laugh and use that to attract them to your business and then learn about your business. Here’s how this fin on the flywheel can work for property management companies:
- You provide an interesting article with a catchy title and post it with an image on a social media network.
- A potential tenant or owner-client click on it to learn something new.
- The information is so novel and captivating, the person not only reaches out to become a tenant or client; they then share it further with a friend.
This kind of inbound marketing gives your flywheel energy by producing more tenants and owners who, in turn, generate more tenants and owners. Happy tenants generally equal delighted owners.
How to Maximize the Energy of the Flywheel
The key to getting the most out of your flywheel marketing strategy is to analyze how each element of the flywheel is performing, and then double down on those that are generating the most business.
Consider the social media flywheel as an example: if you find you are getting a lot of new tenants by providing great content, you invest more heavily in that fin to generate more amazing content. On the other hand, if references over social media are producing more new business than the content, you enhance your social media outreach and improve the look and feel of your account.
A marketing flywheel is an excellent tool for property management companies to take advantage of. Several of our clients in the past have had the right "stuff" to get their flywheel started, but they either didn't know how to capitalize on the momentum they had—or didn't even know they had it! Regardless of the size of your property management company, the flywheel method can be put to work for you. At Rent Bridge, we're here to show you how! Get in touch with us today for a consultation to see if we're the right fit for your needs.