The marketing automation system you implement can have a pronounced impact on everything from lead generation to website conversion rate. Needless to say, this is an important decision. However, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. As you evaluate your options, you just need to keep some key considerations in mind. Then, the right solution for you will reveal itself pretty readily.
As I’ve stated many times in the past, we’re huge fans of the HubSpot marketing automation platform at 30dps. And… full disclosure here… we’ve taken that love for HubSpot to the point of becoming a Certified Agency Partner. One of the reasons we’ve done that is that the system has a ton of powerful tools that are all available from a single interface. When it comes to social media marketing, HubSpot’s Social Monitoring tool is one of our favorites.
It goes without saying that social media marketing can provide tremendous benefits for any organization, but I’ll say it anyway! As one of the top HubSpot agencies in Colorado, we advise our clients nationwide to take advantage of the sales-boosting prospect engagement that you can derive from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. And when they do, we point out that the social media reports in HubSpot are a great way to analyze the effectiveness of your social media outreach so you can continually evolve your strategy for ever-better results.
There's no hiding the fact that we are unapologetic HubSpot fans here at 30dps. So I will make no pretense at this being an unbiased answer to the title question. However, we do occasionally run across folks with whom we have a discussion about the "high cost" of HubSpot. Candidly, we put off our own decision to start using HubSpot for over a year, largely because of the perception that the cost was too high for our meager marketing budget. But since the day we pulled the trigger on it, we've never looked back with anything but satisfaction and gratitude.
While I wasn't watching, something wonderful happened at 30dps—we went from being a local marketing and advertising agency/web design firm here in Colorado Springs, to being a national boutique marketing agency that specializes in inbound and content marketing, growth-driven website design, and HubSpot integration. While we still serve an occasional client here in Colorado Springs (and count ourselves fortunate to do so), increasingly our clients are in the Denver/Boulder area and cities all across the country.
I love people, so I'm still a sucker for face-to-face meetings. But the truth of the matter is that with tools like GoToMeeting and Webex, you can still have a lot of the personal touch you enjoy about meeting in person with your long-distance customers. With the convenience and reduction in cost associated with virtual meetings, they have become a very compelling way to conduct daily business. I have worried in the past that we might lose the human connection that comes from the face-to-face. But with an occasional use of video conferencing, we seem to maintain the personal, high-touch relationships that we so much believe in, and seem to lose very little in the process.
I am often asked, "Why 30dps?" Or, "What is 30dps?" My short answer is always the same, i.e. "It's the speed of dreams!" I've had a multitude of varying responses to that, but my all time favorite was "Oh, that's right! I remember reading that somewhere!" Now I have no doubt that this well-meaning person actually did recall reading or hearing something about dreams, or the rate at which dreams float by in our sleep, but honestly, 30 dreams per second is not rooted in science; rather, its origins were quite unique.
We are often called upon by our clients to help them with branding. And occasionally, we are also asked to help with naming or renaming their company or product line. It is always an interesting and sometimes difficult process to come up with a new name, but none have been more challenging than when we decided that we needed to rebrand and rename ourselves. Our original name was a real mouthful, i.e. Learning Systems Consultants, Inc., and reflective of our roots in instructional technology. As the agency continued to evolve, and as digital marketing become our focus, the old name was simply more of a burden than a benefit to us. So we decided it was time to come up with something new, creative, descriptive, memorable, and hopefully, thought-provoking. Unfortunately, it proved to be a tall order.
Yesterday, a friend and colleague to whom I had long been singing the praises of HubSpot, finally made the leap. Immediately after taking the plunge he texted me and said "You're a great sales rep for them." I didn't hesitate to reply, "Ha! Well, it’s easy to 'sell' something if you believe in it!" Such a simple yet true statement.
While purchased templates and themes can be great time savers, they are inherently cookie cutter solutions, i.e. your website design will largely look just like dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of other websites. Even more importantly though, the selected template may simply not fit your unique needs or really suit your brand. So there is great advantage to being able to develop custom website designs.
Fortunately, in addition to a built-in Marketplace for finding templates and themes, HubSpot also has a powerful drag and drop Design Manager for custom template development. The Design Manager utilizes a 12-column bootstrap responsive-grid system that makes use of canned modules to layout a page template. All of these drag and drop templates automatically include a minimal CSS file that makes the grid responsive across different screensizes. While knowing some CSS is beneficial and will better allow a designer to construct the desired look and feel, the Design Manager creates a significant advantage over other CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla, especially for non-programmers.
Inbound marketing is certainly not for everyone. It is really only for those that are passionate about doing things differently than they've been done in the past—those that are committed to creating meaningful and lasting relationships with customers, not just saying whatever is necessary to close the sale. While almost all of us would agree that the former is superior to the latter, much of traditional marketing and advertising is solidly rooted in the latter.
I'm amazed that there are still marketers out there that don't have a screen full of metrics in front of them virtually every day. As recently as 10 years ago I would have had some compassion for this oversight, but today, it occurs to me that there can only be a handful of reasons why any marketer doesn't stay glued to their analytics. If you are one of the holdout marketers that is not measuring your effectiveness, it is probably for one of the following reasons:
If you happen to be someone who has been, or is about to invest in, reading our blog (certainly a sign of keen insights and wisdom), you undoubtedly recognize that we talk a lot about buyer personas, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion optimization, marketing automation, analytics tools, social media marketing, search engine optimization, custom application development, and growth-driven design. While each of these independently is an important tool for serious marketers today, when they are all employed in harmony, it is truly a beautiful thing.
Growth Driven Design (GDD) is a website design or redesign philosophy centered around making small, incremental, data-driven changes or additions to a website in order to ensure that it is continually adapting to the wants and needs of your target audience and to the operational requirements of your business.
As a marketing pro, you are probably pretty resourceful and self-sufficient. Rebuilding a damaged tradeshow booth with duct tape, sticky notes, and paperclips just minutes before the convention hall doors open? Yeah, you did that. Helping the sales team when they are in a bind by putting together in only 90 minutes a 75-slide presentation deck that would take most normal people days? No sweat.
Now your company is thinking about implementing the HubSpot marketing automation platform to take your inbound marketing efforts to the next level. While you’ve heard that the system is very robust and that you’ll get the most out of your investment by seeking some guidance on getting it up, running, and optimized; you’re nevertheless thinking, “I got this.” Like all complex software applications, there's a learning curve. But the learning curve is just the tip of the iceberg of the challenges you're likely to encounter. Because HubSpot is so comprehensive and feature-rich, you might want to consider a HubSpot Partner Agency to not only expedite your return on investment, but to give you a leg up on your competition by taking full advantage of this dynamic platform.
We frequently discuss the merits of inbound marketing; I won’t waste your time in this post defining it again. While there is clear evidence that inbound marketing is growing in popularity among marketers, I’m convinced that it has the potential to rock your world.
One of the many things we love about HubSpot here at 30dps is that it’s a company that is always looking to improve its product, and consequently it’s a marketing automation platform that is better, darn near every time you log in. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.
John walks out of the restaurant after having lunch with three of his friends. They’re all marketing managers or directors at companies nearby. He pauses before hopping into his car to head back to the office, thinking about their conversation. It covered a wide range of topics, but it’s funny how often the term “marketing automation” made it into the discussion.
Content marketing, though not a brand new concept, is still plenty new to many organizations. If yours is one of them, you’ve discovered that it’s very different from the old approach of force-feeding benefit-bloated brochures to an audience with little or no appetite for them. It’s a much more nuanced skill, and one where it’s easy to make missteps in the early going.
While automation of any kind typically delivers a wealth of benefits including increased efficiency, greater consistency, and higher quality to name just a few, when paired with marketing, as in “marketing automation,” the term gives some people pause. Marketing is considered by many to be an “art,” as there are nuances to the practice that can only be mastered with much time and effort. Consequently, there can be some reluctance to introducing the science of automation to the process.
Generating qualified sales leads can be one of the most challenging jobs of any sales or executive team, and almost always the most important. Historically, filling the sales funnel required either a lot of cold-calling, or a lot of dollars spent on advertising, i.e. outbound marketing. That doesn't have to be the case today, as so much has changed with the way consumers buy. Today, with inbound marketing and content marketing, you can see a great return on investment, as inbound leads cost dramatically less than outbound leads. Here are eleven ideas on how to generate more leads with inbound marketing:
As a long-time agnostic, I always prided myself in saying that everyone was entitled to have their own view, but I was largely undecided and somewhat impartial to one side of the argument or another. I've since come to realize that sometimes there IS one "right" answer, and to ignore it, or to fail to embrace that truth is just, well... foolishness. I stand (or sit) here today as a changed man. And I'm not (in this particular case) talking about my Christian faith, but my changed views on content management systems.