Craig: Ian, how are you?
Ian: Good, Craig.
Craig: Welcome to episode 627 of HubShots.
Ian: Yes. It is a good episode, 627.
Craig: No, we should say “welcome to episode one everyone.” That’s a bit of an in-joke because we discovered last night that some podcasts don’t start at episode one with the aim of making them sound like they have a lot of history.
Ian: Yes. I think it’s a bit like invoices. You can start from whatever number you like, Craig.
Craig: Fair enough. So let’s get started. We’re recording on October 6. That’s been a nice evening here in Sydney. Let me ask you Ian, are you still on a high from inbound?
Ian: Absolutely. I think it’s really pushed me to take HubSpot and what we do as an agency to the next level.
Craig: I would say it was similar to me. Would you say that you’re all-in on HubSpot now?
Ian: Absolutely. I always have been all in. I think it’s really propelled me along and made me believe that anything’s possible. I think that’s the power of the community and it’s the power of the system we basically help people use and use on a daily basis to help their businesses grow.
Craig: Well speaking of community and talking about inbound still, one of the things that I really like about inbound, I’ll just get your takeaways in a second, is the way that it was all organized and the lead up to the actual conference. I wanted to give a bit of a shout out to some of the HupSpot team. Especially Ryan Bonnici and Niti Shah here in Sydney who organized the pre-inbound conference Asia-Pac made up in New York.
Now this was a great time for community and a whole bunch of people from HubSpot user groups, customers, and partners all got together in New York. And I found it really useful for getting to know people so that when we actually got to the conference, I felt like I wasn’t isolated. I knew a whole bunch of people, and it made it a far more enjoyable experience.
Ian: I would definitely agree. It was a far more enjoyable experience. I think when you know people, anything is more exciting. It’s like when you hang out with your friends and you have great conversation. That really is the key to all of this.
Craig: Yeah, so well done Ryan and Niti for organizing that and a whole bunch of sessions before hand. What were some of your key takeaways from inbound this year, Ian?
Ian: I think the key takeaways, what I love are all the product updates. Some will be controversial but in saying that, it’s always progressing. I think what I love about HubSpot is that they’re agile and that they actually listen to what people are doing and actually looking to always improve themselves.
Craig: There’s always something cool about when you log in to HubSpot each morning and you see it up in the top right, there’s ding some kind of new little feature that they’ve added to the system. So it’s cool to check that out.
Ian: Yeah, you know what? That, I think, is an amazing thing. When you really think about how it evolves and how they’re there to make things better. It’s never staying the same and I know because I use other platforms. The level of change and the level of feedback that they implement definitely far outweigh anybody else that I know about.
Craig: I agree with that. Any other key takeaways from inbound?
Ian: I loved all the speakers, and I loved understanding more about sales. I think there was a real sales focused. But were there a lot of different sales people there? I kind of couldn’t tell but lots of marketers. But what was a really interesting point, Craig, was that one-third of 14,000 people there did not even use HubSpot.
Craig: That’s amazing isn’t it? It’s a testament to how well HubSpot has developed this whole inbound marketing and now this whole sales approach that they’re attracting a huge number of people just to learn about the systems and the process even if they’re not using the software yet, shall we say?
Ian: Yeah, and I think the key thing is that they are concepts, right? You can take them and apply it. The question is, how efficiently do you apply it? I think that’s one thing the platform does really well, is helps you apply those key principles in everyday business.
Craig: Speaking of some of those principles, I was actually going to talk about a few other takeaways I had from inbound were just constant reminders of things that work. These principles such as persona, lead scoring, buyers journey, just a reminder to always get that under control or be reviewing them, revisiting them, making sure they’re up-to-date. Especially something like personas. I know we’re going to talk a little bit later about a tale [SP] related to personas. I find with even myself and my clients, often personas are left ’til later or they’re only half worked out, they’re not fully prepared. And so the whole content strategy that flows from them is less than ideal. Is that something you find with your clients as well?
Ian: Absolutely Craig. I think the biggest thing is, especially if you’re the person creating content, it’s a really key element to understand. If I’m writing to somebody that I can visualize and that I know who they are, I know what they love and what they get up to, it makes a massive difference. And one thing that I’ve discovered is that the people that we talk to on a daily basis, a lot of them seem to like cars. And they like nice cars. That seems to be a common thread that I tend to find. And it’s an interest of mine. So I go, “okay, I can write about that or share some interesting information that I found about a particular European car.” So I think that’s a really take away because that really helps you shape and fashion the content.
Craig: Right, okay. Give me some more examples of how you’d use personas with your clients.
Ian: So I think for us the best thing that we’ve done…well if we think about it we always ask people, ” What do your clients that are buying this product…” Let’s say they’re buying a house, right?”
Ian: What do they look like? What questions do they ask you? Do they have kids? Do they have other mortgages? Do they send their children to private schools?
They’re all valid questions because you’re building a profile of this person. I think that all helps you talk to them in their language and get to them so that it feels like someone at their level is talking to them.
Craig: Right. So personas are definitely very important and also part of the buyer’s journey. This is something that we’ve chatted about recently. Did you want to mention a recent experience we had the Google Partners’ event?
Ian: Yes. I’m sure most people might not have heard, but Google has coined a term called “micromoments.” They’re moments in time where someone interacts with your content be it video, audio, blogpost, even pages on your website. So they have researching products and services all through their time and different devices. So they could start up on their phone. They research coffeemaker. Then they’re on the bus on their way home and they use their iPad. They do a bit more research. They maybe now start looking at specific models.
So a really great example. I have a friend who was looking two different types of Dyson vacuum cleaners. So she said on the group chat, “Does anybody know these two models?” It wasn’t a model that I had, so I just said, “look I don’t really know.” But one thing I did do, I wouldn’t have typed in Google, can you…I think it was a DC44 verses a DC35, and someone actually wrote an article comparing the two together. And I literally just found, I sent it to her, I share it with her, and she said, “Wow thank you so much.” So it made her buying choice so much easier.
Craig: That’s amazing. I mean, if you ever think about vacuum cleaners, coming up with fit content strategy for vacuum cleaners it sounds like, “Wow that must be such a boring topic.” I hear this a lot in B-to-B industries, “oh, how can we make a particular topic or industry interesting?” And there you have vacuum cleaners and just that example with a piece of content specifically tailored for that particular instance, and it’s been really valuable to you or to your friend. So it’s probably highly influenced the buyer’s decision or the journey that they’ve been going down. One of the things coming back to inbound and I guess all these terms and buzzwords, there was a number of sessions on the topic of growth-driven design. Have you come across this term before?
Ian: No. To be honest, I haven’t.
Craig: I haven’t either. Sorry, were you going to say something?
Ian: But in saying that, I’ve probably talked about it in different versions but not with that particular term. I’ve often believed that your website is never finished because if you think about the journey we all gone, we all grow, we all travel a path, and I always tell people your website is like living plant. If you feed it or you water it, it will grow. It will blossom. It will bring fruit. And I think your website is like that. If you think about all of the things that you do, that analogy would suffice, I would say.
Craig: Yeah, I think that’s pretty good. I’ll just explain for people who aren’t familiar with the term because I wasn’t familiar with this term either. But like you, it’s kind of something that’s intuitive once you hear. You go, “Oh yep yep. That’s a good idea.” It’s this concept versus traditional website design, growth driven design is much more of an incremental approach.
So traditional design is typically once the site goes live that’s when the project finishes. Growth driven design is the opposite. When the site goes live that’s when the project is ramping up because every month or maybe shorter periods of every week it’s been analyzed to improve conversions and leads and engagement and the user experience that visitors are having on the site. So growth-driven design, it’s almost seemed from what I was hearing at inbound, it’s always the mainstream understood concept in the U.S.. In Australia, not many people seem to have heard about it.
Interestingly enough, in the HubSpot user group that’s on this week…we’ll talk about that in a second. That’s going to be a topic that I’ll be covering. So I’m looking forward to that. But the rise of growth-driven design, I think, it’s very important concept for a lot of agencies and a lot of companies to understand and to embrace in their whole philosophy process when it comes to maintaining their websites.
Ian: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more Craig. And I think that that’s going to be a key for the people that win in the market today. I think one of the key thing that people might be concerned about is losing their brand or watering their brand down because people don’t know what they’re doing. They’re testing all sorts of things. I think the key thing is to have some brand guidelines and to stick by it. So people know the boundaries they’re working within, and I’ll use a great example.
I used to work at Macquarie Bank and they had this loose-tight model. They gave you the freedom to go and do what you wanted to do but there were always boundaries to what you had to do. They never told you what to do so it gave you the opportunity to test and try new things. But there was always a boundary so you knew not to step over the line.
So moving right along. There is a new feature that was released a few days ago. Probably a week now. And I believe you used it Craig to do e-mail marketing.
Craig: Yeah, so let’s call this our tip of the week. This is the new quick heat maps in e-mails that came out on the 30th of September and I was it lucky because we send out our newsletter on the 30th of September, so just in time to get this feature. And it’s really cool. Basically what it provides is after you’ve sent out a newsletter or any email and you’re analyzing it later to view click-throughs and what people were clicking on.
Before you could get a list of what got the most clicks and their order, what it does now is provide a nice visual heat map representation overlaid over your email where you can see where they clicked. It also highlights the top three and you basically get a sense of what’s working. What I found interesting in our newsletter is wasn’t that our…heat map didn’t progress down the page as you’d expect. You might expect right at top you’d get the most clicks and it kinda tapers off as you get to the bottom.
We actually found our third link in, which is finally enough was about growth driven design, got the most clicks through. And then other links to, for example, our social properties Facebook, Twitter page, things like that got zero click. So none of our readers are interested in following us socially, but they were interested in the topics that we include in the newsletter. So I think it’s a really cool feature and I really encourage people to look at that as part of their email analysis.
Moving on to great tools though, we’ve been talking about personas before. And you’ve been playing with a neat tool related to personas.
Ian: Yes, and I think it came out of one of the newsletters that came out of HubSpot last week. It was to do with the HubSpot persona generator. So if you go to makemypersona.com you’ll see that their. You can sign up and try it out. But I think one of the best thing about it is which I’ve often struggled with is when you’re making that persona is giving this physical identity to that persona or that person. I think this is something that helps us do it quite easily and build that character of that person. So what do you think about that Craig?
Craig: Oh I loved it. I was impressed by how comprehensive this tool was. So it guides you through every single question and I find that useful because as I mentioned early I’m like most people. I try to cut corners at times. This really just guides you through so you do it properly. So great tool, I very much recommend it.
All right, should we move on? We’re going to call this next section opinion of the week. This week it’s my opinion. I’m just going to put this out there and get your thoughts on this as well.
Craig: What I’m going to say is that my opinion is that the U.S., this came out of inbound as well, the U.S. seems to be way ahead of Australia when it comes to marketing and probably the whole sales enablement processes as well. It seems like they’re a good couple of years ahead of Australia. I find this puzzling because it’s not like there’s a technology barrier. It’s the Internet after all. I’ll just explain how I think they’re ahead.
They seem to be focusing on much higher levels of service when it comes to content strategies and preparing content pieces or content experiences. The agencies and many of the companies and brands, they tend to be focusing much more on investing and much more on providing those key content pieces at various points along the buyer’s journey. They seem to be mapping them out well. They seem to be applying a reasonable or a strong level of resource to producing them. And of course part and parcel of that is the whole budget that companies are willing to put into these areas as well.
So I was kind of struck by that as well because as an agency, I know myself and you’re in the same boat, I kind of felt like, “wow I’ve really got to lift my game because they’re ahead.” So it’s a good motivation for me. I think it’s going to be good for Australian businesses down the track as well. They’ll be getting higher levels of service. So I was struck by that. Is that something that you agree with or disagree with?
Ian: I would tend to agree with you Craig. I think that people level of understand tend to be a lot further than what we are in Australia. I don’t know if it’s not being taught. I think one of the biggest things that has really been on me is to really educate people because again, I think people still think very traditionally around here. I think as agencies, we need to be those educators in the market place and educating our customers.
It’s one thing delivering a marketing-qualified leader. Getting someone through the funnel to talk to somebody on the other side, but then what happens then? Have the sales people actually looked at all the data that we have within the system? Have they looked at the social profiles? Do they understand who they are?
They can’t even see what they look like. Do they know who they’re talking to? I think that’s really the next step. It’s like what happens once we deliver this person to this customer or this business what do they do next? I think we’ve got a long way to go, and I think we’ve got to educate people in that whole process. So I definitely agree with you.
Craig: Interesting. So you think it’s an education piece there? I think that is definitely what HubSpot is bringing to the market locally. They have phenomenal resources when it comes to education and they’re definitely moving into the sales pieces there as well. So it’s interesting that you mentioned what happens once the leader or the customer has been delivered to the business how sales takes over. So Ian, let’s move on. What’s our challenge of the week?
Ian: I think our challenge is that we’ve had a lovely long weekend and really for us trying to do five days of work in four. But in saying that, one of the things I’m always trying to do it, “what are the processes that I could implement that would make that better.” I kind of figured that out today when I was talking to a customer and they said, “look if something happens in our business and someone takes a particular action, can I inform person X and person Y that they’ve done this so I can actually start the process?” And you can actually do that in HubSpot. I think that’s one of the things that if we are going to have a better quality of life, what can we automate? So I challenge people to think about that?
Craig: So how would you do that in HubSpot when you’re talking about notification? So you mean like workflows?
Craig: What did you have in mind?
Ian: Absolutely. So you know, someone has just signed up. What the next action? What can we automate to inform people in our team that we’ve got a new customer? Do we send a gift out to them? Do we send a welcome pack saying, “hey. Welcome”? Is this the next step we’re going to take?
So even for us I’m think about our own business. I’m thinking so what can I do to standardize this process or process engagement with people that we serve on a daily basis? And then in turn, how do we help them do the same for their customers?
Craig: Right. I love it. It’s like challenge of the week is we’ve had a public holiday so we’ve got to do five days’ work in four days. Solution to challenge of the week: HubSpot workflows.
Ian: Yes, I agree.
Craig: All right, and you’ve got a big weekend coming up I think?
Ian: Yes, we are on for Bathis [SP] 1,000 this weekend. It’s a race that I’ve watched all my life as a kid. This year I will actually get to attend the race. I’m really looking forward to that. I don’t know what it will be like to actually attend the race in person because I’m so used to watching on T.V. But I no doubt will share next week what it was like.
Craig: All right, well enjoy. I’d love to hear about it. All right, community recommendation of the week. What’s on this weeks….
Ian: Tomorrow night, which is Wednesday night, the 7th of October, we’ve got the HubSpot user group in Sydney run by Chris Fells and the team. I think they’re focusing on growth there and design. It’s actually a great place to come and learn more. I think if you’re potentially one to use HubSpot, you’re using HubSpot, or you don’t know what HubSpot is, it’s a great place to come to come and learn and meet people that are actually doing it and implementing it. Another thing I really love about it is that HubSpot actually sends some great people along that you can meet and talk to.
Craig: Yeah, you can meet Mads. Looking forward to meeting Mads tomorrow night. You know one of the things I’m impressed with the user group, or one of the many things I’m impressed with the user group, and Chris has organized this and they’ve done it previous, is just how they’ve managed to cater to a number of different audiences. And you alluded to this.
There’s the people who are researching HubSpot. So they’re not even using it yet. There’s the people who are customers. So they are actually using it, and they might be at various stages. They might have just started. Many of the people I see there and chat with, they’ve just taken on HubSpot.
And there are others there who’ve been using it for years. Last time I met a person who’d been using it four or five years, so much longer than myself. And then there’s also people like us who are partners who would probably call ourselves power users in a sense. I really like how the user group content the speakers they have and the topics they cover appeal to all audience segments. So I think it’s a really impressive user group.
If you haven’t yet been, I very much encourage you to head along. They’re every three months, so look out for them and book in. They do sell out. They’re free, but they do…get registered out early so make sure that you sign up. So I’ll see you there. Ian, that’s going to be a great night, tomorrow night.
Craig: All right, moving along. So the final topic we’re going to cover in this episode is just to introduce the topic of sales and mostly because it is getting such focus from HubSpot. Do you want to mention a few things around the sales platform?
Ian: Sure, so I think one of the key things around sales is we all do it every day. I think even people who say they don’t do sales do it on a daily basis because they’re trying to convince someone in their household how good a particular bar of soap is or how good the drink is. We all do it in some shape or fashion. I think the key think was a lot of the statistics that I heard and one of the reasons that HubSpot has the CRM is that only about 20% to 25% of businesses use a CRM to track their activity.
Craig: That seems very low, doesn’t it?
Ian: Very low. And you know what? I think this is the thing that I have discovered, is that as you grow, if you don’t have a system in place, things get lost very quickly in those conversations. I’ll give you an example.
We’ve been talking to a business for coming on 12 months now. We’ve had some good conversations. We’ve sent an estimate. We’ve spoken to the director of sales, and he’s had things that he’s been doing. And every so often, we’ll touch bases with him and he’ll say, “Can you call me back on the 1st of October? Can you call me back at this particular time?”
And all we do is we put a reminder in, and we forget it. And then we go back to that. When we get the reminder, we actually make the call. One of the things that’s been interesting is that he goes, “You’re not pushy like other people. You actually listen to what I say and then you do what I ask you to do.” And I thought, “Hmm, that’s rather interesting.” So that’s what the CRM helps you do.
One of the great things I love about the CRM is the CRM map that goes with it. It runs on an Android and an iPhone. One of the best things is that you’ve got access to your database wherever you are. One of the things that I really do like about it is that you can actually start a call from the app. And when you stop the call, it will log how long the call was and what time it was made. You can put it any of your notes against it and that goes directly into the CRM. Another great feature, and this is a round conversation that we’re having, is that if you use Sidekick for business which is another tool that HubSpot has–
Craig: — I was going to ask you about Sidekick for business, yeah, go on.
Ian: I think we’ll talk about Sidekick for business in another call. But Sidekick for business will actually record and you can invoke the calls directly from the CRM while you’re on your computer and it will keep a log of that. So you can actually listen back to that call for future reference. So even if someone on your team made the call you can actually have a listen to the conversation. It’s another time saving feature that, I believe, is that you don’t have to write notes down. You can actually listen to the call and figure out what’s going on.
I think it’s a great tool for sales managers because they’ll be able to understand what people are asking them and then create additional content. So one of the great things that I always ask people is that, “what is something people ask you all the time that’s actually not on your website?” Believe it or not, I think 9 out of 10 times, there are questions people ask which are not answered on their website. It’s a great tool, and I think as a sales platform, we should all be using it. Even if you’ve got one customer use it because I guarantee you it’s like a habit. If you do it, you can only stand to grow and when you grow, you actually have a system in place to manage that growth.
Craig: Yeah, I really like that approach and you mentioned it. Have a process and then the process just grows with you. I think that’s really good. So we’re going to have to wrap up. We’ve hit time. But what I’m really looking forward to hearing about next week is Sidekick for business because I know you’ve just recently purchased that and have enabled that for your agency. I don’t yet have Sidekick for business. I’ve just got the Sidekick pro version, whatever it was. So I’m interested to hear about how you’re using it. Let’s leave it there for tonight, and I’m looking forward to covering that next week. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow night at the HubSpot user group.
Ian: Will do Craig. Thank you.
Craig: All right, mate. See you.
Craig: Hey there. Thanks for listening to this episode of HubShots. For show notes and latest HubSpot news and tips, please visit us at HubShots.com.