Have you ever wondered why some e-commerce businesses thrive and others don't? You might think it has something to do with the quality of products, pricing, or even customer service. While these are all factors that impact e-commerce performance, struggling brands almost always have major marketing problems.
Most e-commerce businesses struggle with getting the right people to know they exist. That is where the High Beam Marketing Flywheel comes in. In this guide, we'll take you through the High Beam Marketing Flywheel and how you can use it in your business. This will give you a blueprint that you can use to connect with and sell to as many customers as you can handle.
Origin of the Flywheel Analogy
The first time I heard of the flywheel concept was in Jim Collins’ book "Good to Great." A flywheel is a heavy wheel that requires significant effort to start spinning. Once the wheel is in motion, its own weight and momentum keep it spinning. In fact, the wheel continues to spin with very little extra effort needed.
Collins connected this to business growth. The initial effort builds the momentum any business needs to be sustainable. You can tell a flywheel is spinning when you hear someone has become an "overnight success."
We applied Collins' flywheel concept to the world of e-commerce digital advertising.
Marketing Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel
The marketing flywheel reimagines the marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is a linear journey for customers. The hope in a funnel model is that a ton of people see your ad and then self-select themselves into the next stage. A flywheel focuses on building relationships with people first by providing value. Then as value is extracted more value is created. This creates the self-sustaining momentum that makes the flywheel better than the funnel.
Want to know the real secret of the marketing flywheel? The focus is on positive customer experiences. The positive experience creates a satisfied customer. Satisfied customers not only return but also bring other people with them. This is the self-perpetuating loop that makes the marketing flywheel so successful.
The High Beam Marketing Flywheel
At High Beam Marketing, we've adapted the marketing flywheel specifically for e-commerce businesses. This is the exact model we take our clients through. It works so well that we're averaging a 6x return on ad spend for our entire portfolio of businesses.
The Self-Determination Theory is a fancy way of talking about what motivates us to do things. People are most motivated when they have three things: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Relatedness is the factor I want to focus on. It simply means that you feel connected to others. Humans are tribal creatures by nature. Our tribes assembled around a central set of values and practices. This is hardwired into the deepest parts of our brains. Knowing what helped your elders survive often meant the difference in life or death for you.
At the core of your company's marketing flywheel is the company's purpose. Why does your business exist? Without knowing why you exist, you'll never be able to attract your own tribe.
Need help discovering your company's purpose? Check out this article.
2. Target Market
Now that you know why your business exists, you need to figure out who it exists for. Our businesses have to solve specific problems. We have to solve them for specific people. We have to do that with a specific product or service.
I can't tell you how many e-commerce business owners I've met with over the years who say that they serve everyone. The sentiment behind this statement is great. You should have a desire to help everyone. The truth is that you can't. You have to focus on someone or you will get lost in the noise.
Need help defining your target market? We offer marketing consulting services that will help you through this process.
3. Brand Building
The internet is a crowded place! Great branding sets you apart. Your brand is the lens through which your customers see your business. So, what is a brand? A brand is the story (good or bad) that your customers tell themselves and their friends about you. The size of your brand is determined by how many people you have telling the same story.
The elements of a well-branded business include:
Brand Standards (Logo, Fonts, Colors, etc.)
Need help branding your business? Answer these three questions and you'll be on the right track.
4. Organic Advertising
Great marketing plans incorporate the things we can spend time on when we don't have money. The greatest organic advertising tactic is word-of-mouth marketing. Are your current customers recommending your products to their friends? If not, you're in a world of trouble and no amount of marketing is going to save you.
Social media is a great way to help encourage word-of-mouth marketing. Engaging content on social media is easily shared. Don't focus on selling your products on social media. Focus on building an audience.
Want more advice on social media marketing? Check out this YouTube video. We interview a social media expert responsible for millions of impressions.
5. Paid Advertising
Unlike organic marketing efforts, paid digital advertising uses complex targeting algorithms. These algorithms make sure that your ad reaches the right audience at the right time. Here are the key aspects of paid digital advertising:
Paid digital ads can be displayed on a variety of platforms. This includes search engines, social media networks, websites, mobile apps, and more. Each platform offers unique targeting options and formats.
Search Engine Advertising
Also known as paid search advertising advertising. Advertisers bid on keywords, and the ads appear at the top or in line with the search results for those keywords. Google Ads is the most prominent platform for search engine advertising.
Social Media Advertising
This utilizes social media platforms to target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. Ads can be tailored to fit the format of each platform, such as sponsored posts, stories, or banners.
These are visual ads (banners, images, or videos) placed on websites, apps, or social media platforms. They can be targeted based on user behavior, demographic information, or retargeting through your own 1st party data. We can even use geofencing tactics to make sure that we find the correct users to show your ads to.
Video ads are increasingly popular, especially on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Meta. They can range from short vertical clips to longer-form content on popular streaming platforms.
Metrics and Analytics
Digital advertising provides the ability to track performance through various metrics. Specific metrics allow advertisers to optimize campaigns to specific goals.
Need help scaling your digital ads? We offer a free digital advertising audit to any qualifying e-commerce business owner spending at least $10,000 a month in digital ads. We'll dive into all of your ad platforms and provide you with a unique breakdown of your ads, your account’s setup and security, your MarTech Integrations, and more. Essentially, we will show you where your ads are doing well and where they can improve. Apply for your free digital ad audit here.
6. Content Marketing
This is the newest form of marketing available to e-commerce business owners. The world has shifted away from traditional channels for user entertainment. We're now seeing that burden placed on the backs of businesses.
Content marketing can be complicated. Watch this keynote where I break down what content marketing is and what it isn't. After watching this, you will have a clear content marketing plan for your business.
7. Public Relations
A business of any size can use PR in its marketing strategy. Local TV, local radio, local print, online reviews, and industry events can all be places your business advertises.
You need to start developing relationships with people who work at these places before you need them. Too many businesses want a press release talked about without first having a relationship with a potential press partner.
The key to a successful public relations campaign is to understand what the other person wants. For instance, let's say you're trying to get booked on a local news station to talk about your products before a big holiday. Ask yourself, "Why would this producer want to put me on to talk about this?" If the answer is focused on you then you'll never get on. If you can frame it in a way that benefits the station’s viewer then you've got a great chance of getting on.
The final piece of the High Beam Marketing Flywheel is the amplification piece. This is where the momentum of the flywheel really starts to take off. You need to ensure that you have enough budget allocated to your marketing efforts, the data collection tools to let you make more informed decisions, and the right team in place to execute the many different pieces of the marketing flywheel.
The flywheel then rolls back over and we start back at the target market piece. Essentially, you want to review the data you've received every quarter from your marketing activities and ensure that you still have the correct target market, brand, organic strategy, etc.
The more revolutions you can make the more momentum you will build.
Scale Your Business
Are you an e-commerce business owner looking to sell more products or services online? Imagine a marketing strategy and team that not only attracts customers profitably but also turns them into loyal advocates for your brand!
With High Beam Marketing, this dream can be a reality. Our marketing flywheel will make it a reality. Stop struggling to scale your business. Contact us today and schedule a discovery call to see how we can help.