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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Episode 43: HubSpot Inbound Agendas, HubSpot updates, HubSpot Tips, Latest Content Marketing Research

Welcome to Episode 43 of HubShots!

Recorded: Wednesday 20 July 2016

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Shot 1: Inbound Thought of the Week

Only 111 days until Inbound 2016: http://inboundcountdown.com

Inbound Training > http://www.inbound.com/inbound16/trainings

Agendas: https://www.inbound.com/inbound16/agendas
Executive Leadership agenda has an image of Daenerys Targaryen – lol

Some good tips starting to appear in this Inbound.org thread: https://inbound.org/discuss/what-should-be-a-must-do-when-attending-inbound-2016


Shot 2: HubSpot Feature/Tip of the Week

Using the Keyword Tool: https://app.hubspot.com/keywords/

A quick tip for people who may have forgotten about it

The XEN agency site ranks #27 for the term ‘ryan bonnici’

Searching for Ryan Bonnici

Check the difficulty score for Ryan – 97!

Shot 3: Challenge of the Week

Too many HubSpot updates to choose from 🙂

Page Performance updated – now labels External versus COS pages clearly

Contacts (and Companies and Deals)
Property history – now clearly see all a full log of property changes eg: https://app.hubspot.com/contacts/306227/contact-beta/10723127/history
Inline editing of notes in the timeline
Review email interactions in the timeline, including sent, delivered, opened, clicked, but doesn’t show what they clicked – but the next items in the timeline will show if they are on the site (but external links you won’t see)

Shot 4: General Tip of the Week

Dealing with HubSpot bounced email contacts
Fix the email, and then contact HubSpot support
Create a new contact and merge the bounced one’s timeline history the new contact

Shot 5: Opinion of the Week

Is content as a strategy ultimately doomed?


Take away: need to have content strategy in place, depends on the industry you are in.

Shot 6: State of Inbound Item of the Week


Based on a survey of 1091 global internet users.

Consumer interests

Latin America likes Interactive Articles or Tools, but it’s not in the top 5 for any other region.

Take away: Focus on news articles, social, video and research content. Research content can often get synthesised and then presented to ultimate end users.

Shot 7: What’s Coming in HubSpot Item of the Week

In BETA currently:
Is it really updated??

Shot 8: Listener Tip of the Week

Social media tools – what other options are there

Shot 9: Podcast of the Week

The Andrew Hansen Show: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-andrew-hansen-show/id1120687982?mt=2

Shot 10: Lol of the Week

Behold the rise of Marketing with Pokemon related blog posts…

Shot 11: App of the Week

Canva for iPhone: https://about.canva.com/iphone/


HubShots Episode 43

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Episode 42: HubSpot Competitor Manager, Marketing Qualifications, HubSpot BETA items, Latest Content Marketing Research

Welcome to Episode 42 of HubShots!

Recorded: Thursday 14 July 2016

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Did you know that we had slides in episode 38 and episode 39?

Shot 1: Inbound Thought of the Week

Only 117 days until Inbound 2016: http://inboundcountdown.com

Inbound Training > http://www.inbound.com/inbound16/trainings

Prediction: Ellie Goulding for the main entertainment event: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellie_Goulding

Shot 2: HubSpot Feature/Tip of the Week

Using the Competitor Manager: https://app.hubspot.com/competitors/
A quick tip for people who may have forgotten about it

HubSpot has a ton of tools that are easy to forget about. We might look at the Keyword tool in a future episode

Shot 3: Challenge of the Week

HubSpot COS scenario – wanting to have 2 web sites using the Website Add-on

HubSpot COS = HubSpot Website Platform
On average, customers who use the HubSpot Website Platform to power their inbound marketing generate 10-20% more traffic than marketers using another CMS. Find out how.

Shot 4: Opinion of the Week

Mark Ritson: Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t an ‘expert’ in marketing be trained in marketing?

Brilliant example of creating buzz – this is an example of using content to drive reaction, and then push to an upsell to his mini-MBA offering

Shot 5: General Tip of the Week


Example of a HubShots promotion where we spent $100. It got 169 post likes – yay, but only 4 link clicks! Goes to show the trap of vanity metrics:

Facebook Marketing Fail!

Shot 6: State of Inbound Item of the Week


Notice the increase in use of Facebook as a news source:

Consumer behaviour

Notice that people consume video thoroughly, but not podcasts:

Consumer behaviour

One interesting benefit of podcasts – it’s one of the few content sources you can skim and do other things (eg drive, work out, commute in general, walk, have on in the background)

Shot 7: What’s Coming in HubSpot Item of the Week

In BETA currently:

  • One-click to add received email to CRM > Currently you can forward emails from any mail client into the CRM using the address @forward.hubspot.com.
  • Ability to add Blog Author Bio module we can add to the blog page
  • Add the ability to have captions on photos in blog

Shot 8: Podcast of the Week

Congrats to the HubCast on their 100th episode! https://www.thesaleslion.com/hubcast-podcast/

Shot 9: App of the Week

Facebook Pages App: https://www.facebook.com/help/463079013702512/

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HubShots Episode 42

Interview with HubSpot Expert

Episode 41: Smart Marketing with HubSpot’s Niti Shah

Welcome to Episode 41 of HubShots!

Interview: Smart Marketing with Niti Shah (@NitiFromBoston) – Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot Southeast Asia

Recorded: Friday 26 June and Tuesday 05 July 2016

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In this episode we interview Niti Shah (LinkedIn), Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot Southeast Asia and discuss her experiences, learnings and advice from being part of a larger marketing team through to setting up HubSpot’s Singapore office.

There’s tons of useful takeaways on all stages of the funnel (top, middle and bottom) as well as advice for understanding cultural differences, and her insights on running HubSpot’s Product Hunt campaign – one of the most successful lead generation campaigns ever.

Ian Jacob, Niti Shah, Craig Bailey recording episode 41 of HubShots

Full transcript of the interview:

Niti Shah: Sure, so I have been at HubSpot for three years now. I started in the headquarters office in Cambridge, when all the marketing team fit into one little room. And since then, we’ve expanded, and I have been along for the journey. So I helped the Sydney team get off the ground last year, and then I just moved to Singapore to do the same there and build the marketing out.

Ian Jacob: Excellent. Now, a lot has changed in three years. What has been the biggest thing that you’ve seen change? I know you’ve traveled pretty much across three continents.

Niti Shah: One of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed is that I don’t recognize every face anymore on the team. There’s always an influx of new people every time you go back to Cambridge or even when you come back to Sydney. It’s really exciting, because it shows how fast the team’s growing and how the company’s growing.

Craig Bailey: The growth has been massive here. We’ve just noticed in the last year. Because your office, you’ve changed… Suddenly, all these empty desks we saw a couple months ago are all filled. It has been massive, hasn’t it?

Niti Shah: Yeah. It was so quiet here last year, but it’s amazing that now we’re already starting to grow out of this space.

Ian Jacob: Have you seen a change in your role in the way that you’re focused, perhaps?

Niti Shah: Yeah. As we get more teams, people get more specialized. So I have noticed that it gives you the chance to get deeper into a skill instead of trying to always wear multiple hats. So there’s that pro. My role has been interesting, because I have been in startup mode with the new offices. So you’ll notice that they’re at the beginner HubSpot phase, where all the marketers are doing multiple things. And then in some of the more mature offices, they’re quite specialized.

Craig Bailey: Interesting. And so when you say you’ve become more specialized, are there particular areas that you have been particularly drawn to?

Niti Shah: Recently, I’ve been specializing quite a bit in organic search and top of the funnel, and that’s just reacting to where we are in the market. As I was talking to Ian before, I was saying that Singapore in terms of adoption for digital strategies is about two and a half years behind where the U.S. is with marketing. Not to say that they’re not on top of technology. In some ways, they’ve actually completely bypassed it by switching much faster to one-to-one apps. And they’re using more advanced technology, but then the marketing side of it is still a little bit behind. So we realized that the first thing we have to do was get found, “search and be found”. And so I needed to start really get honing in on the SEO strategy, yeah.

Ian Jacob: Yeah, that’s really interesting. Now, if people are starting off, like you had done, it looks like a few times, tell us some of the key things that people need to account for.

Niti Shah: I would say the biggest thing is what we call smarketing at HubSpot, and that’s sales and marketing alignment. If you just go off in marketing land and say, “I’m gonna do X, Y, Z,” even though it’s very valid and very important, the first thing in any new business is to talk to sales and make sure that their immediate problems are solved for before you start solving for the endgame.

Ian Jacob: Okay, that’s really interesting. Now, what if people don’t have a sales team?

Niti Shah: So, for example, for agencies, you really need to do the research first. Know your market. One thing we learned in Singapore that was a little late in the game was that the government offered so many types of grants to small to medium-sized businesses for improving their companies, so everything from grants to work with agencies, get consulting, a ton of grants for software. And not knowing that actually held us back a little bit, and now we’re making up for lost time. But that would’ve been a really good edge for us. When we’re entering a market, it would have helped close more deals if we had been able to leverage those tools that the government had out. So even though that doesn’t necessarily fall into, say, marketing, it’s something that you have to think about as an overall strategy first.

Craig Bailey: That’s a fantastic tip. And most marketers wouldn’t. They’d be just focused on, oh, what’s the next social channel, and you’re looking at, yeah, geographic and, yeah, governmental effective subtext. Can I come back to an earlier question? Talking about specializing and focus, you mentioned top of the funnel, and in the Grow with HubSpot event, that was really clearly defined, your marketing is broken up into top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, and you’ve got specialists across that. Now, is that something that you have to get to a particular size before you can really think about, or is it something you should be thinking about early?

Niti Shah: I think it’s early. As soon as you have even three people, you can specialize. That’s a lot of times how we break up our new teams. We’ll start with one or two people that do all of it. And then we’ll hire people who start specializing in each of those, because it helps to have someone with that experience bringing that into our team. So we just made a hire to really attack the bottom of the funnel, and we call that sales enablement. And so that person is really responsible for that smarketing piece that we were missing – talking to sales, making sure that we have the right materials for that, making sure that the government grants are well-defined and across so that reps can then leverage them, things like that that we weren’t specialized in or couldn’t have done without someone that we bring onto the team. I think even if it’s just a one-person team, you need to still think about your activities in top, middle, and bottom. But you don’t necessarily have to do it all. You need to pick what’s important first. And they’re all valid, but you need to prioritize. And I think that’s the biggest lesson for small teams.

Ian Jacob: That is really good. Now, can I ask you, how do the three people doing top, middle, bottom…do they interact every day? What’s the interaction like? Do you all kind of just do your own thing? And obviously, you all talk together. But how closely is that interaction?

Niti Shah: Well, let me tell you, it was just me in Singapore. So I’m a marketer talking to myself. And everyone else was based in Sydney or abroad somewhere else. You do end up still talking to everyone quite a bit, especially on the smaller teams. I will say that I noticed in Cambridge, people at the top of the funnel might not necessarily be talking to sales enablement very often. Their paths just don’t cross, because there’s so much being done at each stage that there’s not necessarily day-to-day communication. But people are pretty good about… The managers will stay in touch and make sure that everyone’s across projects that maybe affect both teams, for example, yeah.

Ian Jacob: All right, so in your experience, what things that you’ve done have been successful?

Niti Shah: One interesting thing that we did, we launched a tool on Product Hunt. So, sometimes, even at HubSpot, you get into this bad habit of just sticking to what you know. And it was the same old, “Hey, let’s run a campaign. Email, and we’ll do some social media, and we’ll do cold marketing, and we’ll do influencer outreach,” which is all great. But we were holding ourselves back. And so I fell into that trap, and my manager actually was like, “Niti, there’s a thing called Product Hunt. I know you use it. Why don’t we do something with it?” I said, “No. That’s not my job. I’m here to get more leads for ANZ.” And I pushed back quite a bit, but eventually, it was like, “Okay, let’s just do this.” So he decided… Basically, what I did is I researched the heck out of Product Hunt. And with any newer platform, there wasn’t actually much out there. So we had to go off of a couple inferences and say, “Okay, there’s not necessarily KPIs. I don’t exactly know what to expect, so I’m just gonna set a bunch of metrics, and maybe it’ll happen,” and hopefully, I understood it well enough.

So then, with Product Hunt, we had to pick the right tools. So a lot of times in marketing, you just kind of do the same playbook, and it’s not always a good fit. With Product Hunt, it was the right product, the right person launching it. We had Dharmesh Shah launch it. I knew that for him this would be pretty special, because it’s something that he built ages ago, and then now it’s been revamped. He’s also quite a big fan of more organic communities like Product Hunt. And then we just made sure to get everyone bought in on it across the company. And the day of just completely…even though it’s actually a one-minute thing, right? Dharmesh just posted something up. Spent about a month and a half planning it on top of every other campaign I was doing. And we got 100,000 visits in 3 days. We completely smashed the lead gen records. And it was really exciting, because here’s something that if we hadn’t done it, we would have probably not noticed. But this tool wasn’t getting as much traction, and then this was that big push that was needed to then get it started to get more regular traffic.

Craig Bailey: That’s fantastic. Can you talk a little bit more about, because there’s the setting up a strategy on Product Hunt, and then there was getting to vote on it? And how did you promote that side, getting support?

Niti Shah: So the thing with Product Hunt is that you can’t just lead someone to a link and then get them to upload it. They have to find it themselves. So if people were uploading it from the link I sent them that went straight to that Product Hunt, they would actually be discounted in the algorithm. So things like that that we had to kind of figure out ahead of time, what I did first is I reached out to our CTO, and when you’re reaching out to upper levels of management, it can be a little scary and tricky, but I was lucky enough that I’ve been there for a while now. And I felt comfortable being like, “Hey, do you wanna do this thing?” And with the planning, when you have a stakeholder like that, you need to be flexible. So I built in some extra time knowing that we might have to reschedule a couple of times.

The other people we had to buy in, we had to get buy-in from our campaigns team that controls all of our email channels, all of our customer communications. I reached out to all of my co-marketing partners that I had good relationships with. We got our channel consultants… Maybe they sent you an email, and they’re like… Yeah, so we got them reaching out to partners and anyone that we had goodwill with. We don’t ask for sharing that kind of stuff too often, so we thought, “Okay, there’s only so many times you can do this, and we’re going to use up one of our goodwill cards right now.” And so it was just getting almost everyone across the company that usually we wouldn’t have gotten done, gotten in on the same thing.

Biggest thing was actually working with the product team. We got them on board right away, and they cleared out the servers and made sure that they could integrate traffic. We put some CTAs up there that made sense for the day, like, “Liked us? Go to Product Hunt and give us a vote,” and they could then just take that extra step if they wanted. The product team was actually fixing bugs for 12 hours straight. They didn’t sleep. It was midnight in Sydney. They were in Dublin. We had Dharmesh over in Cambridge. And, yeah, everyone was just in on it, and that’s why it was such a success, yeah.

Ian Jacob: Okay, now, talking about success, we often get asked about ROI, return on investment. How has that evolved over time in your role, being a top-of-the-funnel specialist?

Niti Shah: Yeah, sure thing. It’s not always about the leads. And that’s something that I found out. At the top of the funnel, there’s nebulous things like brand awareness as well. And then that gets into the world of PR.

We realized that people in Singapore, and even ANZ, search differently. So I was measuring myself on “inbound marketing” and realized that people were searching for “digital marketing”, and so we need to change that. And then it was, “How many contributed content articles can we get up? How many co-marketing people can I meet up with?” I actually measured myself on how many coffees a week I had with complete strangers in marketing, because that is such a big part of Singapore and Asia, is that networking. And it came in very handy, because the day of our Grow with HubSpot event, one of our customers had to back out last minute, about two hours before. And I went through, basically, a Rolodex on my phone, which is like, okay… and I called up a couple people. One person just jetted out there, 40 minutes away, showed up. Reuben was one of our customers, and he just completely blew it away. But it’s a huge thing, and then they really remember that, and we do, too.

Craig Bailey: So when it comes to sales and marketing alignment, the smarketing piece, do you think culture in a company has an importance or is a factor on how well it’s adopted?

Niti Shah: Yeah, I think so, especially when you’re coming into a newer office. When we make our sales hires, they’re probably coming from more corporate backgrounds. There is this distance between the employee and their manager that can close off communication until they feel comfortable enough. So being cognizant that they are not coming from another place like HubSpot most likely and adapting to their style helps actually open things up a little bit. So I had to observe a lot. I couldn’t just go out there and be super American. It really helps when you’re not as brash, I guess, is the way I would put it. That can be off-putting if that’s not how you’ve been brought up or how you are culturally. There’s a little bit more in terms of gaining someone’s respect by following a couple customs, for example, even something as simple as handing someone your business card when you meet them. I now, actually even in Sydney, when I meet new people, I accidentally do a little bit of a bow. It’s just little things like that that are really appreciated. And when someone in the office notices that you’re adapting to them, and you’re not asking them to adapt to your culture, it just completely opens things up both ways.

Ian Jacob: All right, one pearl of wisdom have you learned in the last year? I know because your year just transcended to Sydney and Singapore.

Niti Shah: So many, yeah. One pearl of wisdom is prioritize everything. Before you just take on a project, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Is this going to be helping hit immediate results, or is it going to be long-term?” And then rank everything, because you only have so much time on a small team, and every minute matters of your time.

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HubShots Episode 41

2 Interview with HubSpot Expert

Episode 40: HubSpot’s CMO Kipp Bodnar on Work/Life Balance, Marketing Strategy and Tactical Involvement

Welcome to Episode 40 of HubShots!

Interview with Kipp Bodnar (@kippbodnar), CMO of HubSpot

Recorded: Friday 26 June 2016

Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of HubSpot, was out in Sydney recently as part of HubSpot’s Grow With HubSpot events.

We were lucky enough to get some time to chat with Kipp in the HubSpot Sydney office.

Together with Moby Siddique, host of the fantastic InboundBuzz podcast, we got to ask Kipp his thoughts on a range of personal, strategic and tactical topics.

We hope you enjoy it – please let us know in the comments!

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Listen to the interview on Soundcloud:

Ian Jacob, Kipp Bodnar, Craig Bailey recording HubShots episode 40
Full transcript of the interview:

Craig: Kipp, thanks for joining us on the HubShots Podcast today.

Kipp: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Craig: All right, so the first question we wanted to ask you, Kipp, is around career paths. So, most marketing managers are very busy. They have long days, long hours. Personal life often gets squeezed. So as a CMO of a large growing company, how do you balance work and personal life? And what advice would you give to marketing managers who are considering their career growth?

Kipp: Yeah, it’s a good question. So I have and eight-month-old son so I don’t have much choice but to absolutely have to find balance because I love him. And I wanna see him and spend great time with him.

You know, I think it depends on your personality, the best way to do that. I’m somebody who is fairly good at compartmentalising. So when I’m at work, I’m at work. And when I come home, when I’m with my son, you know, the phone goes away, the computer goes away. And I try to be really locked in and basically make the most efficient use of your time.

And a lot of work/life balance comes down to actual time management, and people just spending time on stuff that is… doesn’t meet the bar… the bar of importance. Like they’re just spending extra time on stuff because they think they need to versus that it’s actually important. You have to have the ability to say no to have a good balance in life. And so, there’s some things that I just won’t weigh in on or I will just say no to because I’m trying to stay very focused on what’s important to my team and to HubSpot. And so that’s kind of how I’ve approached it.

And that’s my advice to everybody is think about what makes up your life and makes up your time. And figure out where you can maybe push back a little bit to get a little bit more balance into it but it’s hard.

Moby: Hey Kipp, I often get asked as I’m sure Craig and Ian do, how do I stay on top of digital? Who are the thought leaders I should be following? I’m curious to know who is Kipp Bodnar following and why?

Kipp: Yeah, sure. So I’ll answer the first part of that question. So like how you stay on top of marketing trends, my advice to you is you kind of need a system. Like you need a way to quickly and easily capture a lot of knowledge and information. I read stuff all day, every day but I have my system. I have like a very specific list of email newsletters that I subscribe to. I have a very curated… I use Flipboard, you could use Pocket, whatever type of online reader you’re using, where I have curated all of the feeds and all of the streams to basically give me the best knowledge there.

I also read a lot of stuff on our inbound.org community where there’s a lot of discussions and you can often really valuable commentary around something that’s happening. So I really do those three things. So, when you think about specifically who to follow in the marketplace, you know, I read a lot of folks in the technology industry and in the venture capital industry like David Skok and Tomasz Tunguz and some of those folks.

But on the marketing side specifically, I think there’re a whole host of amazing folks from Seth Godin, to David Meerman Scott, to all the content we create at HubSpot. But what’s great is that there’s great content and leadership no matter where you are in the world or in the region. Like in Australia, I’ve met tons of awesome marketing experts since I’ve been here. And just even connecting with those folks on Twitter and connecting with all of you is a great way to actually do that and pull that off.

The other thing is to make sure you have a diversity of the continent you consume. Because sometimes when like sitting down and reading a book, even though there’s the depth to it, it allows you to think and process things in kind of a deeper way. As if you’re always just always reading quick-hit articles online, versus a book, versus white papers, versus videos. So you’re going to absorb information differently. So kind of have a variety in the content you’re thinking about.

Ian: How much time do you spend Kipp going and reading all of this content and educating yourself?

Kipp: I probably spend an hour to 90 minutes a day but like I’m a dork. You know when Facebook had F8, I read all through the new Facebook Live API. If you added documentation… like I think a marketer’s job is to know what’s possible. Right? Because once you know what’s possible technically, once you know what’s possible strategically, you can then like really start figuring out what you can do and how you can differentiate you and your company in the marketplace. And so for me, learning is just about figuring out what’s possible and what I can maybe do that somebody else isn’t doing yet because maybe they haven’t taken the time to learn about this stuff yet.

Ian: That’s fantastic. Now, this leads really well on. So marketing managers often get conflicting advice about how many channels to use. On one hand, there is the focus on these three key channels and on the other hand though, you should be testing across all channels and re-purposing content. What do you think is the balance here with that advice?

Kipp: Yeah. Just focus on your goals. Like what are you trying to achieve? There are a lot of people that I know that are in business situations and certain scales where like they can just run a blog and do a little bit of email marketing, and crush their numbers. And so think about the problem and understand what’s the kind of scale, what’s the kind of growth that I’m looking to achieve based on other people that I talk to, benchmarks in the industry. What can I expect from various channels for my business?

And then basically, okay, it seems like I need to do these 3 or maybe I need to do these 10, right? And from there, then you focus on those and work and iterate and improving on those. But there’s nothing that says you have to do anything. It’s what is your business need, what is the problem that is at hand and just focus on that.

Moby: Awesome. Kipp you’ve famously and successfully said in the past, context marketing respects the habits, goals, and devices of the people. Can you explain why this is important and how it ties into the practices of inbound marketing?

Kipp: Yeah. When you think about inbound marketing, it’s an approach that is centered around who you’re talking to, your audience, what they need, and driving real value for them. And one of the ways you drive value for people is respect them and understand how they want to receive things.

We like to think of it as, “Don’t make your prospect do crap work.” Right. Like don’t make them take an extra step. Don’t make them give you information that you’re not gonna use. Don’t make them do all of those things. Once you can remove those, not only have you reduced friction and you’re gonna achieve better marketing results, but you’ve actually created a much better experience for that prospect. They’re going to have a much better sentiment towards your company and your brand. And so, that’s really how I think about it.

The bottom line is when we have meetings it’s like, “Hey, we wanna do this, but this is really for us. This is not for the prospect. This is gonna make the prospect do crap work. We can’t do it, guys.” Like we talk about that all the time.

Craig: So Kipp, we wanted to ask about marketing attribution. Is this a practice that marketing directors and CMOs should be pushing more in the organization, in your opinion?

Kipp: So, you know, marketing attribution and attribution models, it’s a really complex topic. You’ve got first action attribution, you’ve got multi-touch attribution, you’ve got last action attribution. There’s a bunch of different attribution models that exist. We could do a podcast for our entire lives around attribution models if we wanted to.

I think what’s most important actually, and sadly it fails to happen often, is that you pick one model and you understand the pros and cons of that model. You communicate that model to your team and to your company. And so, even though that model may have some weaknesses, you are all aware of that. And you are all, what we would call “playing from the same sheet of music,” right? You’re singing the same song, you know what’s going on, and you’re measuring apples to apples in everything you do.

And then as you go through in your report if you’re using first action attribution, there’s some weaknesses that come with that, and there’s some challenges that come with that. And you need to kind of double click and double check data sometimes to make sure. But for the most part, that’s what’s important is actually just making a decision, not trying to do all of them. Or have one team using one type and another team using another type. Just be clear and consistent across the board.

Craig: So, as your marketing career takes off, you naturally focus on more strategic areas and less on tactical. As a CMO, we’re interested in how much, if any, tactical involvement you still take part in. And especially given your expertise and passion for social in the past, and your background?

Kipp: I’m a marketing nerd so I’m still heavily involved. You could make the judgment if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know. But I’m heavily involved at probably…it’s been like five or six tactical related Slack messages or emails in the past like 12 hours. So I’m heavily involved from across the board in how we’re thinking about conversion rate optimization, to blog content, to search content strategy, whatever that may be.

Like I don’t know. It’s my passion in life. It’s what I think is interesting. So, whether my team likes it or not is a question you’d have to ask them. But I try to make sure that we’re focused on the right areas, especially tactically. And that we’re solving for the right things, and that we’re drawing inspiration tactically from other people who are doing interesting and potentially really cool stuff.

So, yeah, I think I probably am a little bit more tactical than your average CMO. But in my mind, that’s a good thing. I think it’s for everybody who’s listening to determine what the right balance is that works best for their company.

Moby: Okay. Kipp, it seems there’s always some sort of shiny object distracting marketers from strategy.

Kipp: Sure, sure.

Moby: Case in point, a very popular one at the moment, Snapchat and marketing. They’re trying to figure out how to make it work. There’s something that’s distracting them. What’s your advice for markets to avoid that distraction and focus on strategy on whether it’s the right fit for that strategy?

Kipp: You know, there’s some companies where Snapchat is an awesome fit. It’s a really rapidly growing platform. They and Facebook are doing the best jobs in terms of rolling out new features and innovating the platform. They’re doing a really, really amazing job and I think we should all, as just students of communication and marketing, appreciate that and take notice of that.

But I think if you’re a marketer and you’re just trying to prioritize, it comes back to like the idea of kind of first principal thinking. Like what is the problem at hand, what is the problem with my marketing following? If you have an awareness problem and you’re trying to get people to learn more about you then Snapchat might be a valid platform, right?

But, at the same time, if you’ve got a sales enablement challenge, or a lead to MQL conversion rate challenges, there’s a whole host of middle to the bottom funnel challenges. Then as awesome as Snapchat may be, it’s not what you need to focus on right this minute. Right? You need to solve the most urgent problem at hand. And anytime you’re working with the sales and marketing funnel, you get more leverage when you solve from the bottom up. Right? When you fix the leaks at the bottom and you work your way up to the top.

And so, it’s really easy to be distracted sometimes too because that stuff’s hard. Like getting more leads to become MQLs is hard. Sometimes you’re just like, “Oh, I wanna go and do the Snapchat thing”, because even though it’s hard, it’s hard in a different way and maybe a more interesting way to some people. Right? And distracts me from the stress of that current problem. And I think that’s what, you know, I’ve done personally in the past and I think you find it happens sometimes.

Moby: Okay. So, as the rise of ad blocking moves, more…

Kipp: Lots of ad blocking. Like 50% of Australia’s gonna be on ad block listing, dude.

Moby: Kipp, you know, I think it’s because… The reason why it’s high is I think people have figured out how to do it.

Kipp: There’s still a little bit of technical friction in doing it, absolutely. But, I don’t know, keep going.

Moby: And I’ve kind of learned more and more people are looking to native media and native marketing. And a great example of that is influence on marketing.

Kipp: True.

Moby: And now more recently, micro-influencer marketing. And it’s an area that’s grown so fast, marketers are struggling to figure out what to do in it as well. So what are your thoughts on influencer marketing and micro influencer marketing? And, do you have any suggestions for markets looking to employ those?

Kipp: Yeah, there’s a couple things. Your marketing is always better when you have fewer dependencies. So it’s always better if you can be the influencer instead of having to work through some other influencer. If you can build a great content strategy, you can build a great blog content on your site, become an influencer yourself, your marketing is going to better. It’s going to be more efficient but all that stuff takes time.

So in the meantime, you might have to work with and leverage other influential folks within the industry within the market. And when you’re thinking about doing that, most people approach this as like a bad sales rep would approach a problem. Which is like, “Hey Mr. or Ms. Influencer, I need you to do this thing for me,” which is not helpful to anybody. It’ more instead of… I’ve got some value to this influencer because I run an event and this person wants to speak in my event or some other…you know, one of another hundred things. Right?

And so how can we develop a true partnership where we can align our brands, we can align our audiences to work together to some common goals that help the both of us. And I think sadly, people are really good at identifying influencers. They’re really good at thinking what they want the influencers to do for them. They’re a little weak when it comes to getting that alignment and understanding what the influencer wants and how to create value for both themselves and that influencer.

Moby: Can’t take any shortcuts to that…

Kipp: No. It’s part of the challenge of influencer marketing and micro influencer marketing is that people are like, “Oh, great. I don’t have to do this stuff myself. I’m just gonna get these other people to do this for me.” And they think it can be a shortcut. Quite frankly it’s harder. It takes a longer time. You have dependencies on other people’s schedules, other people shifting priorities. It’s hard to do that.

Ian: …talking more about the future…

Kipp: I love the future. It’s gonna be awesome.

Ian: We’ve seen voice research change the way people that interact with content.

Kipp: Yeah.

Ian: How do you see this as unfolding and what can marketers do to take advantage of it?

Kipp: It’s a great question. You know, I think there’s a lot of things that happen in the market right now that I would call kind of precursor actions. Where the technology is there and visible, but it hasn’t evolved to the next step that really makes it open for marketers. So if you think about voice search for example, you know, when I think most people think of voice search… When I think of voice search personally, I have an Amazon Echo at home and I have Siri in my pocket and on my Apple Watch. And so I ask them questions and I dictate through them and I search through stuff, which is really cool.

But, there’s really no open APIs for that platform. There’s no ways for me to like incorporate that voice search on to my website, for example. And so if somebody comes to my website on their mobile device, they just can’t like click a quick mic button and do voice searches and input. Because there’s no real good back-end technology and stuff. Like the market hasn’t kind of caught up to that.

And you have to keep your eye on technology and as that evolves, new opportunity’s going to come up. I think the trend though, especially with voice search, is that whenever I ask Siri or Alexa or anybody a question, I get one answer back. I don’t get a list of answers back, right? And search is moving from this long-tail model to this kind of fat head, you know, first true answer discovery more similar to a Facebook news feed, or an Instagram news feed, or a Twitter feed, or something like that, right? And, you’re seeing that happen a lot now.

And so if you’re a marketer, you have to think about really doubling down on what we’ve always thought about, which is like being the best answer or what we’d often call the canonical answer, like the original source of truth on a topic. Because that’s how you’re going to be that one answer as that market evolves. And that’s something that you can focus and execute and do right now, right? But should pay off long term as we see trends in the industry move that way.

Ian: So, we get this question quite a bit. Is that inbound, so when we say inbound in Australia, people are like, “What is that?” Whereas we come to inbound in Boston, and we go to the U.S. and we say, “We do inbound marketing,” people go, “I’ve got what you’re saying.”

Kipp: Took us a decade to get there.

Ian: And I think we’re in that in Australia.

Kipp: Yeah, Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ian: We used to be like you are obviously… You’ve been to Singapore. You’ve come to Australia. You’ve seen this…

Kipp: What this part of the world look like…

Ian: Yeah. What does it look like?

Kipp: … when it comes to inbound marketing.

Ian: And how can we make the world a better place?

Kipp: Yeah. So, if you think about this market, right, especially like southeast Asia and Japan, and to some degree Australian and New Zealand, they’ve always been innovators in how you communicate. Mobile technology, messaging, all of these things. And so I think there’s one, there’s a lot of things that the rest of the world can learn from this part of the world.

When I think specifically about inbound marketing, and I’ve gotten the chance to talk with tons of marketing professionals from startups, to established brands and companies. And I think that adoption and understanding of inbound techniques is growing pretty rapidly: People here I think come from a channel based mindset. The idea of maybe thinking just solely about email or solely about social versus integrating those for an amplified result. And also approaching those in really a true inbound way where you’re really going to focus on value, not yourself, not your products.

And so I think that’s the shift in mindset that folks are going through right now. I see it happening probably a little faster on the startup side of things than I do the established company side. But I think this part of the world is probably, my estimate, somewhere between 12 to 18 months behind kind of the leading edge of adoption around inbound. But I think that everyone here’s gonna make up that time pretty quickly. You know, I’ll probably be back in Sydney in four to six months and I expect to see a lot of change even in that amount of time.

Moby: If HubSpot events are anything to go by, like the Grow With HubSpot Sydney, and the HUG. It used to like 200 people.

Moby: That grew and now grew into 600, probably so very much more. In a very quick time, the word’s getting out there.

Kipp: Yeah. One, it’s a culture that’s super engaged and wants to learn. It cares a lot about doing work better and doing really great marketing, which is fantastic. And two, you know, we’re trying our best to help and educate the market, and spread the word. From whether it’s our free inbound marketing certification, whether it’s our events, whatever to do that.

And fortunately, we started the business 10 years ago. We’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last 10 years. So when we’re in a newer market, like we are today here in Australia and across the broader Asia-Pacific region, we can learn from those mistakes. And we can actually help people learn at a much faster rate. So I would expect it to grow and go much faster than it did originally in the U.S.

Ian: Well Kipp, thank you so much for your time. We really do appreciate that you could spend time with us to share some of your knowledge and wisdom.

Kipp: It’s an honor to be here. Thanks so much. I’ll take any and all excuses to talk about marketing. It’s great.

Moby: Kipp, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it and we can’t wait to have you back in Sydney at Inbound 2016 in November.

Kipp: Yeah, I hope that lots of folks from Australia will join us at Inbound 2016 in November. Excited to see you there and I’m excited to talk with everybody again when I come back to Sydney.

HubShots Episode 40