This month, our team spent a week in Boston at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, learning from professionals from around the world and adding new strategies to our HubSpot toolbox.
INBOUND has countless sessions focusing on leveraging CRM features, encouraging creativity, building your tech stack and more. So to get the most from our experience, our team split up to dive into discussions that we considered the most relevant and helpful for us and our clients.
Below, we summarized the key tips, tricks, strategies and important reminders we brought back with us:
What’s Your Relationship with Your HubSpot Tools and Tech Stacks?
If you’re a HubSpot user like us, you know just how much it has to offer. And sometimes, it can feel overwhelming. Phoebe Scott and Mike Hart from Avison Young reminded their audience to start mastering HubSpot tools with intention, as opposed to jumping in all at once. Which ones are the most helpful to your company’s needs and offerings? Which ones will best help you mark your territory within your industry niche?
Scott and Hart say their goal was to, “stick to our promise of doing one thing incredibly well and stick to our focus.” After finding success there, they had a strong enough foundation to branch out into new focuses.
Change is hard. From our experience, if you’re introducing a new system to a team that’s used to doing their job a certain way, you’ll almost certainly get pushback.
Several sessions discussed the idea of buy-in from new CRM users, and I think it’s a step marketing professionals often forget. Sometimes, the excitement of finding the perfect platform for a client overshadows how much work is involved in adoption.
It’s a waste of money to pay for a CRM that your employees refuse to use, so buy-in is crucial.
The team from ARC Document Solutions offered some helpful insight by describing their experience switching from Salesforce to HubSpot. They created a committee made up of several different roles – not just a marketing or salesperson – so they could choose a CRM that would benefit every corner of their business. And that’s a helpful tip if you’re looking to sell your team on a new platform. Are you able to demonstrate how this new CRM would have a positive effect on more than just the marketing or sales team?
Something to chew on!
Keep Buyer Personas Fresh
Cheri Hulse from ON24 began her talk with a few questions that had startling answers. She asked how many people had buyer personas for their company; the majority raised their hands. She asked if they had updated them since creating them; people put their hands down. Then she asked if people had updated their buyer personas within the last six months; only a few hands were left.
Buyer personas lose their efficacy if left on the shelf too long, and can impact the success of your overall digital marketing strategy when they go stale. That key information should be informing how you formulate your Buyer’s Journey, your content creation, your paid advertising strategy and more.
ON24 offered this Design to Deliver workbook to help build Buyer Personas and leverage your data more effectively throughout the Buyer’s Journey.
HubSpot admins are the behind-the-scenes heroes of their organizations. They’re responsible for implementing, optimizing and troubleshooting all things HubSpot and they’re usually self-taught in all three areas.
Download this guide for skills and tips that will help you be the frontline resource for your entire team.
Going Beyond “Hi (Contact First Name)”
The theme of this year’s INBOUND was partially focused on how to connect with prospects through more customized experiences. And at the heart of this idea is personalization.
The most effective tactic is to use dynamic web content.
With the help of HubSpot’s CMS Hub (and recently announced customer journey analytics), you can change the copy, images, videos or CTAs on webpages, create personalized ads on social and search platforms and trigger powerful automation based on who the user is to delight individuals and fuel growth.
A Better Way For Content Marketers
Content marketing has become a scary place. We’re creating all this content to educate and engage our audiences, but behind the scenes, it’s duct-taped together and the high-volume workload is hard to manage.
Amplified marketing is a new approach to content marketing. It focuses on putting expert interviews and conversations at the center of your content strategy. Using this, you can amplify those voices by turning them into media that your audience wants most right now: audio and video content.
From there, it becomes a more efficient, unified and cohesive strategy that will deliver a more humanized interaction – the thing customers crave most from brands.
Don’t Lose Out on Referrals
One good piece of advice we got was on when to ask for customer referrals. In many B2B industries, a new client or customer is on a high right after purchasing – especially in the first 30 days. They’re excited about the purchase and inclined to find ways to validate their decision to buy from you.
If you’re going to ask for referrals, this is the perfect time to do it.
And if you’ve got a client who’s a big fan but moving on from their company, don’t lose track of them! There’s always the potential that their new place of employment would invest in your services from their recommendation. Keep track of them on LinkedIn or by dropping a line through email every so often.
Are You Glossing Over Emotions?
Here’s an important reminder – people are drawn to brands that invoke a reaction. That’s why Doritos profits would sail after their hilarious Super Bowl commercials.
So why do we choose to prioritize rational attributes over emotional ones in our branding?
That’s why your branding strategy should contain a set of attributes that are both rational and emotional.
Study after study shows that companies are more successful when they consider the emotional effects of their brands. So don’t forget to put a little feeling into your next branding campaign!
Successful Brand Campaigns
During “The Power of Creativity in B2B Marketing,” speakers from HubSpot and LinkedIn provided a streamlined framework for creating “Remarkable Brand Marketing.”
Ask yourself – is your branding:
Clear: Would my mom understand this?
Persuasive: Do I know why the brand/product is better?
Engaging: Does it give me goosebumps or giggles?
Actionable: Do I know where I can go from here?
Everyone’s Feeling Tech Stack Integration Pains
There were a couple of signals at the conference that we’re all dealing with tech integration headaches.
For one, many of HubSpot’s new features are squarely aimed at making things like syncing and data management easier – i.e. the new data command center, data validation rules and expanded product sync capabilities. I also heard multiple people speaking about scaling back their tech stack.
In any case, it appears we’ve collectively hit the point where “more apps” isn’t the answer.
Dumb Websites vs Smart Websites
When it comes to websites, we tend to think in terms of whether a site is responsive or optimized – I hadn’t thought of websites in terms of dumb vs smart before.
It’s an interesting way to think about it: if your site is powered by a CRM (e.g. if it’s built on something like HubSpot’s CMS), you can deliver a user experience informed by data while collecting data that lets you deliver a better experience. That is smart.
RevOps Isn’t Going Anywhere
It would be hard to get through this year’s INBOUND without hearing about RevOps at least a few times per day.
While a shared definition of what this looks like in the real world is still coming into focus, there seemed to be agreement that there’s a growing need for what RevOps promises: better processes, cleaner tools and data – and revenue team alignment.
We gained a wealth of experience during our week at Inbound, and we’re happy to share the benefits with you. If you’re looking for HubSpot experts to help you get the most from your platform, let’s talk. Contact us today to get started!