Bumps on the road to Scrybe, and the risks of Flipping the Funnel

January 8, 2007 1:23 am 0 comments

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Scrybe recently mentioned on their blog that they will be delaying the next beta phase by a bit.

Whats more interesting is the comments, and it shows Scrybe’s hype plan backfiring just a bit. Their eager customers seem to be losing their patience after 3 months of waiting for a beta invite and no clear communication from the company to address their concerns.

This is perhaps one of the biggest risks of the “Flipping the Funnel” technique promoted by Seth Godin and I will try to briefly outline it.

Flipping the funnel is an edge-centric way of marketing in the new world. It involves finding people who get passionate about what you believe in, and empowering them to market your product for you. It involves using innovating marketing channels such as YouTube, blogs and Digg to get the word out about your product.

This can also happen in Pakistan even without YouTube and Digg being a central focal point of culture — look at what the “Captain Safeguard” campaign is doing for children all over the country, it’s pretty amazing.

However, the trouble is that once someone has ‘joined your army’ in promoting your product, you had better take care of him or her. I will detail this more in my next post, and I’ll just summarize it here.

The risks of Flipping the Funnel include the following:

  • People will certainly promote your product to their friends for free. But they will only promote their perspective of your product. Your efforts should thus ensure that your lead customers get an accurate picture of your product.
  • More importantly, if you are unable to recognize them and keep them in the community, they will conciously demote your product.

The second risk is much bigger than the risks of traditional advertising, but so is the ROI if you do it well. The important thing to remember is that if your marketing plan relies on building passion among a niche, keep track of your community’s emotional vested interest in your product.

As for Scrybe, I hope they can communicate quickly, and I hope that those comments represent the minority.

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