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Still using the funnel to engage with and manage your customers and prospects? Get ready to retire the static funnel for its replacement, the loop – or as Mick Rigby, Founder and CEO of Yodel Mobile calls it, the Infinite App Growth Loop. If the loop concept is new to you, read on for Rigby’s reasons why the funnel is tired and the loop is wired.
In this episode of the Mobile Presence podcast, our host Peggy Anne Salz interviews Rigby about his new model for the customer lifecycle. Rigby has been immersed in the mobile space since before the app economy even existed, and his leading app growth consultancy helps his clients navigate all the challenges the future brings to app creators.
“In the mobile space, there really has been a collision of two perfect storms—huge demand and new privacy rules,” says Rigby. “Many marketers are still adjusting to the new realities. Before, we had transparency into what acquisition costs would be, but now there’s a big gap in understanding what to expect.”
What used to work when attracting and retaining customers, Rigby says, now falls flat.
“Existing customers are like gold dust,” he says. “There’s an assumption that if I’ve acquired a user, they’re going to stay with me and the product, but that’s no longer the case. To make sure you retain those users once they’ve gone to the app and registered, you should be spending 80% of your time making sure that those users love that product.”
Rigby believes the standard marketing funnel model needs a refresh. Instead of a beginning-to-end funnel, his concept is based on a continuous loop. The loop idea means that marketers evolve relationships with existing customers as they also work to acquire new ones.
“There’s an element of finality with a funnel—you get to the bottom of the funnel, and that’s it,” Rigby explains. “We’re not linear anymore. The reality is that customers, including existing ones, are always evolving. Technology is always evolving. So there’s a need to continually reinvent both the product and the communications that go along with it. Then there’s no friction or other reason for a customer to drift away.”
Rigby calls his concept the Infinite App Growth Loop. While some of the elements are familiar to followers of the funnel approach, the important difference is that the process needs to be continuous, even when engaging with existing customers. Here are the growth stages, as he views them:
The beauty of the loop model is that it allows for self-correction and self-optimization along the way. As Rigby explains, the Infinite App Growth Loop also helps redefine the retention process. Existing customers who reach the Advocacy stage can be routed into the Retention stage, from which their experience is further refined with each trip around the loop.
Rigby’s idea may be new, but it’s built around a perennial requirement for strengthening customer relationships: deconstructing user decisions and behavior.
“You need to be able to answer the ‘why’ questions,” he says. “No details should be overlooked. Why did they click on that button, why did they watch that video, why did they close the app down at that particular point? I think now, in the current environment, it’s going to be necessary to find even more detailed answers to these questions.”
To hear more from Mick Rigby about the challenges of converting and retaining app users, tune into the entire interview below.