The Latest from the ABM Experts
April 3, 2016
The Funnel Flipping Rocketship
Written by Nikki Nixon
Category: Account-Based Marketing
Whenever I fly, I often compare the takeoff, cruising and landing to building a movement or a company. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that analogy really doesn’t make much sense because the goal is to keep climbing higher and gaining altitude. Airplanes eventually land while rocketships keep going higher and higher.
I’ve began to think of the #FlipMyFunnel movement in this way. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, #FlipMyFunnel is a rapidly growing vendor-neutral account-based marketing community dedicated to connecting thought leaders and practitioners through online and offline channels.
So what do rocket ships and funnel flipping have to do with each other?
Let’s walk through it step-by-step:
The first thing you have to do is build the rocketship, or in our case, develop the idea. Sangram Vajre, Founder of #FlipMyFunnel, wrote “Creating The First Ever MarTech Customer Experience Stack” a little over a year ago bringing this idea to the market. At this point, Sangram was simply laying the blueprint for the rocket ship.
When he came to me ask me to help turn this into a movement, our next step was figuring out what the rocket ship would look like. What exactly was a flipped funnel? How could we visually communicate that in a way that the market could easily understand within a few minutes?
We started out with a simple whiteboard video for our designer.
And fortunately, she was able to decipher our whiteboard vision into something we could be proud to take to market.
Our next step in building the rocket ship was to create the #FlipMyFunnel Account-Based Marketing Framework to help B2B marketers choose the best marketing technologies to execute ABM.
But having a rocket ship isn’t enough. You need fuel to get it off the ground. For us, the fuel was the belief in the movement that came our from our early supporters. We were fortunate to get a lot of love from the very beginning from great people like:
- Jill Rowley (Queen of #SocialSelling)
- Megan Heuer (Vice President and Group Director at SiriusDecisions)
- Scott Vaughan (CMO at Integrate)
- Dave Rigotti (Head of Marketing at Bizible)
- Brad Gillespie (Global VP of Marketing at SiriusDecisions)
- Adam New-Waterson (CMO at LeanData)
- Jon Miller (CEO and Co-Founder at Engagio)
- Sean Zinsmeister (Director of Product Marketing at Infer)
- And even the original funnel flipper Joseph Jaffe (Author of “Flip The Funnel: How To Use Existing Customer To Gain New Ones”).
Once you’ve built and fueled the rocket ship, you need to fire up the engines and get that thing off the ground. For us, that was our first #FlipMyFunnel event in our hometown of Atlanta in August of 2015. We started planning this event in June of 2015 with a lunch at Farm Burger in Buckhead (where ironically all ideas of the #FlipMyFunnel movement have been born). We weren’t sure if we could pull it off in two months time, but Sangram and I agreed to give it all we had and hope for the best.
We developed an A-list, a B-list, and a C-list of speakers we wanted to speak at the event and then made them each a personalized video inviting them to speak.
To our surprise, we never even got to the B and C lists because everyone on the A list graciously accepted our invitation.
Our first speaker lineup included:
- Megan Heuer
- Jill Rowley
- Joseph Jaffe
- Brad Gillespie
- Adam New-Waterson
- Scott Vaughan
- Dave Rigotti
- Sean Zinsmeister
- Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft
- Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at MongoDB
- David Raab, Analyst at Raab Associates
- Allen Gannett, CEO at TrackMaven
- Alex Turner, Head of Sales Development at Wrike
- Jacqui Chew, CEO at iFusion Marketing
- Jeffrey Rohrs, CMO at Yext
We didn’t even have a web site at the time, so we stood up a landing page on Unbounce. I remember how excited we were when someone actually registered for the conference. Big thank you to Pam Hege for believing in us enough to be the first one to pay money to attend a #FlipMyFunnel Conference.
It was an amazing sold-out event at the W hotel with an incredible lineup of speakers. The moment we knew the rocket ship had left planet Earth was when we out-trended Kim Kardashian on Twitter that day.
Once we realized that we had enough lift and momentum to get the rocket ship moving, we knew we had to give #FlipMyFunnel a proper home on the internet. It was important for us to not have this live on the Terminus site as vendor neutrality was crucial for this movement to gain traction. Sangram bought flipmyfunnel.com and we built the site that we have today.
Our first event gave us the lift we needed to get off the ground, but we needed thrust to keep the rocket ship from crashing. For us, thrust was taking the #FlipMyFunnel message beyond Atlanta. Our first venture into this galaxy was our first #FlipMyFunnel Virtual Summit. We put all of our Atlanta session videos online for 24 hours and invited anyone in the world who was interested to come watch. We also held not one, but two tweet chats that day to help drive the conversation and human-to-human interaction. We also had lunch delivered to offices in Portland, Vermont and Atlanta for companies who hosted viewing parties.
From there, we took our show on the road to Boston, Chicago, and most recently San Francisco. The reception to this movement has been absolutely amazing and many of these events have also sold out. We’ve also managed to gain more supporters and speakers along the way.
Additional shoutouts here go to:
- Jon Miller, CEO at Engagio
- Adrienne Wiessman, CMO at G2 Crowd
- Daniel Gaugler, VP of Marketing at PrintingForLess.com
- Julia Stead, Director of Demand Generation at Invoca
- Jessica Cross, Director of Audience Marketing at Everstring
- Shari Johnston, VP of Demand Generation at Radius
- Tommy Jenkins, Director of Global Demand Generation at SevOne
- Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at InsightSquared
- Christopher Engman, CEO at Vendemore
- Tyler Lessard, CMO at Vidyard
- Jason Jue, CMO at Triblio
- Monica Koedel, Senior Marketing Manager of Global Customer Success at Cisco
- Nadim Hossain, CEO at BrightFunnel
- Adam Needles, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal at ANNUITAS
- Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive
- Saad Hameed, Director of Marketing Technology, Analytics and Operations at Sumo Logic
- Megan McConnell, Senior Manager of Marketing and Customer Communications at InsideView
- Sharmini Berwick, Senior Director of Marketing Demand at Kapost
- Hans Bunes, Global Account Director and Senior Advisor at Vendemore
- Mikael Flygh, Director Channel Marketing Enterprise Group EMEA atHewlett Packard Enterprise
- Eric Walschmidt, Marketing Director at Savi
- Justin Gray, CEO at LeadMD
- Jason Lemkin, VC and Trusted Advisor at SaaStr
And an extra special shout out goes to Ken Wincko, SVP of Marketing at PR Newswire and Danielle Capriato, Manager of Strategic Communications at PR Newswire who helped us get #FlipMyFunnel in Times Square. This gave us a lot of extra thrust to help take us to the moon and beyond!
Here’s a fun highlight reel of the best moments from the roadshow:
Even with all the thrust in the world, a rocket ship can rarely get to where it’s going without people. To further the human element of this community, we knew we needed an online component where people could connect with each other on a daily basis. Knowing this, we created the #FlipMyFunnel VIP Club and Slack Community. It is only a few months old but has over 500 B2B marketing and sales professionals who connect with each other on a daily basis to share insights and wins in addition to helping fellow members solve the most perplexing ABM challenges. In addition to the practitioners, we also have many of the most notable thought leaders sharing their expertise as well.
We are humbled by all the thrust the community has given to this movement and the rocket ship is showing no signs of slowing down. We never take for granted that some of the greatest names and companies in the B2B marketing world have added a ton of fuel to our rocket ship. We also have a ton of appreciation for the #FlipMyFunnel community, which is growing by the day. And last, but certainly not least, I have to give a huge thank you to the Terminus team members who have given countless hours to making this possible.
We’ve got some exciting announcements that will be coming up in the next few weeks and months. If you want to be part of this rocket ship and ride with us to infinity and beyond, you should definitely sign up for the #FlipMyFunnel VIP Club and Slack Community. We always share our biggest news there first.
See you on board!