Keep Your Marketing Sanity: Two Essential Decisions To Avoid Going Crazy | Part 1

Todd Jensen

Written by: Todd Jensen | Snoball Editorial Team

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024

Marketing Insights

Marketing day-to-day is a whirlwind of tasks, tools, and strategies. With limited resources and small teams, marketers often find themselves spread too thin, trying to be everywhere at once. But there’s a better way to keep your sanity and still achieve outstanding results: first, pick a marketing framework and then, select an order of operations. In part 1 we'll break down the first of these essential decisions. In part 2 we'll take a look at the second decision.

Decision 1: Pick a Marketing Framework

Choosing a marketing framework is like picking a map for your journey. It provides structure and clarity, helping you visualize and plan your efforts. There are several frameworks out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore a few of the most popular ones.

The Traditional Marketing Funnel

The traditional funnel is a classic and straightforward approach. It’s an upside-down triangle where you start broad at the top and narrow down to a point. Actually, most other models borrow elements from this model, and its concepts have penetrated most of the marketing world. This is partly because it’s been around so long and partly because it’s so straightforward.

Traditional Funnel Image


  1. Awareness: Make potential customers aware of your brand.
  2. Interest: Spark interest and desire in your product or service.
  3. Decision: Encourage a decision to purchase.
  4. Action: The customer makes the actual purchase or conversion.


  • It is simple and easy to understand.
  • It aligns with how many organizations naturally think about marketing.


  • It doesn’t address post-purchase stages.
  • It has a limited focus on customer retention and advocacy.
  • It over-simplifies the customer journey.

The Bow Tie Model

The bow tie model is an evolution of the funnel, extending it and flipping it on its side. It’s very popular right now in marketing circles as it tries to be a more comprehensive view of a customer's journey.

This model emphasizes equal effort on both sides of the purchase decision.

Traditional Funnel Image


  1. Pre-Sale: Attract, nurture, convert, engage
  2. Sale: Learn and improve feedback loop
  3. Post-Sale: Adopt, loyalty, advocate, and ambassador


  • This model highlights the need for balanced efforts across the customer journey.
  • It stresses the importance of post-sale activities.
  • It also communicates that people don’t naturally flow, as if aided by gravity, from one stage to the other. Instead, effort is required to move them along.


  • It can be challenging to communicate and implement.
  • It is still linear, implying a straight path which isn’t always realistic. Most customer journeys are a windy path through each stage.

The Flywheel

The flywheel model puts the customer at the center, emphasizing continuous engagement. Also, it highlights how success at one stage directly impacts the effectiveness of the next. Both are legitimate reasons for it being commonly used by marketing teams. Let’s take a closer look.

Traditional Funnel Image


  1. Attract: Draw customers to your brand.
  2. Engage: Build relationships and provide value.
  3. Delight: Ensure customers have a positive experience, leading to advocacy.


  • This model has a customer-centric approach.
  • It emphasizes ongoing engagement and retention.


  • It can be abstract and hard to implement.
  • It is less intuitive for linear thinkers.

I’m tempted to use the flywheel framework at Snoball because of the obvious similarities with our brand. Not just that, but our platform helps companies get new customers, more referrals, reviews, and video testimonials, which all lead to more customers, and the cycle continues. However, this is not the general marketing framework I’ve chosen to wrap our strategies around. 

Each of these marketing frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I favor a model that's a nice balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness. 

So, what do we use at Snoball?

The Snoball Hourglass Marketing Framework

I’ve picked out parts that I like from each and gone with the hourglass approach. It’s popular in the marketing world because it acknowledges that the journey doesn’t end at the purchase. Instead, it extends to turning customers into advocates, which is crucial for sustainable growth.

The hourglass framework breaks down the customer journey into distinct phases. Notice that each stage rhymes. This isn’t just my attempt to be cute and clever, but is a mnemonic device that actually helps people remember the purpose of each stage. Let’s take a look at each.


  1. Aware: At this stage, potential customers become aware of our brand and what we offer.
  2. Care: Here, prospects engage with our content, start to care about what we have to say, and begin to trust us as a thought leader.
  3. Compare: Potential customers compare our Snoball platform with competitors, seriously considering making a purchase.
  4. Sign Right There: This is the critical point where our prospects make a purchase and become customers.
  5. Wear: Customers who are satisfied with their purchase start to wear our brand proudly, sharing their positive experiences. Additionally, they’ll post our platform’s badges on their website on social media. 
  6. Share: Happy customers spread the good news about Snoball and engage with our content on social media. Essentially, they start helping our top of funnel marketing. But most importantly, they send us high quality referrals.

Although this hourglass framework works for us, select a model that works for you. Then, use it as a scaffolding to hang your strategies on. This will help bring structure to your ideas, improve communication throughout the org, and aid in getting your team on the same page. 

However, it's not just about picking a model; it's about how you execute while using it, which brings us to the second crucial decision you'll see in part 2.

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