Sorry, but HubSpot is not “the” Answer

miracle_cure_pillAs much as I love HubSpot, it is not a miracle cure. While this may sound blasphemous coming from someone who frequently preaches the wonders of HubSpot in marketing workshops and speaking engagements, I’ve come to realize that HubSpot sounds so cool, and so useful, and so amazing that it’s easy to believe implementing HubSpot will transform your marketing.

Alas, a successful implementation of HubSpot (one that brings you customers either directly, or as leads) takes a lot of groundwork. And I’ll bet you already know that, just as you know that it takes more than an weight-loss pill to shed pounds. Yet weight loss pills continue to fly off the shelves…

Likewise, even the savviest of marketers are susceptible to the enticing siren song of HubSpot. It’s an alluring proposition – with one big caveat: If your marketing model already works great, then yes, it’s reasonable to expect HubSpot to be additive and improve your results. On the other hand, if results aren’t where you want and you (essentially) move your existing marketing model into HubSpot, chances are you’ll be disappointed.

If you’re looking to improve sales and marketing (and who isn’t?!) the greatest value of HubSpot is likely as a “good excuse” to re-evaluate your approach. All the automation and other goodies HubSpot provides work their magic best once you are crystal clear about the big picture, and where HubSpot fits in.

Ideally, before implementing new marketing systems (HubSpot or anything else), you’ll establish these two big picture items:

  1. What are the overall strategic goals of the company, and what are the roles of marketing and sales in supporting those goals? What are the measurable goals you need to hit this year and each quarter to support those goals?
  2. Who is your customer, and how can you replicate the sales process to recruit more, similar customers? What can you do to reach more like-minded people and move them through a process – your online sales engine™ – that guides them to choose you and creates ease in your sales process?

Having watched hundreds of companies go through this process for nearly 20 years now, let me reassure you that is is truly ok if you look at those two items and realize there’s some work to do. It’s the rare company that has all those ducks already in a row – that’s often why marketing and sales are working so hard to gain traction.  If all of these big pictures items were already in place, you likely wouldn’t be reading this article!

Tackling BOTH of these big picture items takes a big commitment, and is one that frankly few companies are deeply committed to.  For those who are, truly amazing things can happen.  If that kind of  work doesn’t sound daunting to you, and you’re willing to explore that journey, here are a couple of places to start:

  1. Creating measurable goals that marketing and sales can support starts with a strong vision of the company’s future. With that in place, you can align the dots to reach the end goal. The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is the simplest, most clear way of creating and implementing that framework I’ve personally experienced.
  2. Understanding your customer is more complex than it seems. It’s easy to get caught up in what who we THINK the customer is and what they want and what gets them to buy. Steve Blank has some great thoughts on Customer Discovery, and another helpful resource I’ve recently come across is the Buyer Persona Institute. They offer a useful blog and downloadable ebooks free!

Happy to help if you run into any questions along the way. Good luck!

Post By Catherine Juon (52 Posts)

An educator at heart, Catherine enjoys applying her expertise as an executive and long-time online marketer to help fellow entrepreneurs. To that end, she wrote the book on how to put all the pieces of online marketing together called "Internet Marketing Start-to-Finish", and speaks at both advertising industry and entrepreneurial events. Outside of the world of SEO and executive coaching, you'll find Catherine hanging out with her husband and two teenage boys, and triathlon training.

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One thought on “Sorry, but HubSpot is not “the” Answer”

  1. Catherine,

    If you have the time, check out LeadSquared ( http://www.leadsquared.com/ ). It addresses most of the common asks of a marketing automation solution and is priced for small business. LeadSquared works well with WordPress; it has a plugin for Contact Form 7 to get those leads directly into LeadSquared and a plugin to capture blog comments to lead. It also integrates tightly with Olark and Gotowebinar. The landing pages module has been rated very well.
    It also provides customers the option of using their own Mandrill or SendGrid account for email sending. The integration won’t affect lead scoring, link tracking, etc., as they are all captured and reported in LeadSquared.

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