I love visual models of complex ideas. I'm a visual thinker and I tend to understand things better when I can look at them. This framework - the FiveAxis Marketing Engine, is a valuable tool for visualizing and understanding the marketing process.
Marketing is rife with models and concepts - many of which, when compared, are contradictory and either too complex or too shallow. My military training leads me to believe that models should be as simple as possible and should resonate with the knowledge and understanding that comes from empirical evidence and experience.
So, in the interest of creating a unified model that supports our mission to empower, enable, and energize small businesses, we have created the "FiveAxis Marketing Engine."
This model borrows from the ideas of others and there is probably not a lot of new information here, just our way of illustrating the various elements of marketing processes and how they are interrelated.
The customer journey is a well-trodden path and has been written about in detail elsewhere. Our view on the customer journey can be highlighted by two ideas: 1) that the customer journey and the funnel are tightly connected and directly related; and 2) that the customer journey certainly doesn't end with the sale.
The funnel also does not end with the sale. Here is a traditional funnel:
The FiveAxis marketing funnel articulates the fact that the funnel doesn't end with the sale. On the contrary, the sale is the middle stage of the funnel and much is to be done post-sale. This is true whether the company is selling a software subscription, a service, or a product.
The flywheel is a version that is popular with the HubSpot crowd and it shows the customer at the center with three stages that continually rotate around the customer. These three stages - attract (find new prospects and leads), engage (convert to customers), and delight (provide excellent service) can be matched up with the customer journey and the funnel.
One way to look at this is that the following relationships exist:
- The customer is always at the center of everything that the company does. Being customer-centric is principle #1.
- The journey stage of awareness is related to the funnel stages of prospect and lead.
- The journey stage of consideration is related to the funnel stages of marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead.
- These first two journey stages (and their related funnel stages) drive the attract element of the flywheel.
- The journey stage of decision is related to the funnel stages of opportunity and new customer (sale).
- The journey stage of retention is related to the funnel stages of casual customer and repeat customer.
- These second two journey stages drive the engage element of the flywheel.
- The journey stage of expansion is related to multi-line customer and full-spectrum customer.
- The journey stage of advocacy is related to loyal customer and advocate.
- These last two journey stages drive the delight element of the flywheel.
These relationships are not absolute and there is clearly some cross-over and overlap of some of them in certain instances. But, the relationships are pretty well aligned and the model withstands examination and criticism.
The power of these three components shown together in the FiveAxis Marketing Engine, with their relationships illustrated, is that each informs a unique perspective and a set of principles and values that cover the vast majority of marketing, sales, and service activities.
The customer journey illustrates the path that the consumer or customer follows. It illustrates a linear progression of thought that they go through as they engage with the company and its products or services.
The funnel illustrates the way that the company thinks about the consumer or customer as they interact and attempt to capture (and deliver) as much value as possible in the relationship.
And the flywheel imparts the understanding that continually doing the right things at the right times will result in a virtuous cycle that creates momentum for the business.
We work with small businesses because we strongly believe that they are the heart and soul of our economy. They create tremendous innovation, service, and value to the lives of their owners, employees, vendors, and customers. We also know that these small businesses are challenged by the realities that they often compete day-to-day against larger adversaries with substantially more resources. Small businesses are in a perpetually unfair and unbalanced fight to succeed. Our mission is to work with small businesses to provide them with FiveAxis tools, concepts, principles, processes, and insights to help them not only survive, but to thrive.
This FiveAxis Marketing Engine is a framework that we use to illustrate and to capture all of the core elements necessary for a small business to thrive in its sales, marketing, and service processes.
FiveAxis Marketing specializes in a range of unique and highly-effective marketing, insights, and strategy processes and programs. To learn more about how FiveAxis can help your business win in the uneven battle that you face each day, give us a call at 866-364-3908 or contact us by email at email@example.com.
Mark A. Hope is the founder and CEO of FiveAxis Marketing – a unique agency specializing in building high-performing sales and marketing systems, campaigns, processes, and strategies for small businesses. FiveAxis has extensive experience with machine tool dealers and operators. If you would like some help in implementing ideas like these in this article, feel free to give Mark a call at 866-607-3593 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org