1) From the Marketing Funnel to Flywheel
The major theme for HubSpot and CEO Brian Halligan’s keynote at INBOUND 2018 was the idea of “retiring the funnel.” Instead, he urged marketers to create a marketing flywheel. Wait, what?
HubSpot’s VP of marketing Jon Dick defined the flywheel in a blog as “a wheel or disc on an axis, that’s incredibly energy-efficient. The amount of energy it stores depends on how fast you spin it, how much friction there is, and the composition of the wheel itself — how big it is and how much it weighs. Flywheels are used in cars, trains and power plants.”
Funnels won’t help you grow, Dick said, but flywheels “represent a circular process where customers feed growth.”
In his keynote, Halligan said marketers are moving from an era where the best product almost always won to the current state of affairs — where the best customer experience almost always wins. “We filled that darn funnel with friction,” Halligan said of the old ways of marketing. Now, to build great experiences, “you need to build a flywheel that’s free of friction,” and embrace marketing concepts of “attract, engage and delight.”
2) SMBs Will Always Struggle with Execution — or Will They?
The concepts are great, but marketers in companies with limited resources and tiny marketing teams will always have execution challenges. In their latest quarterly report filings, HubSpot said their strategy is to sell subscriptions to their inbound platform to mid-sized businesses. They are truly helping the SMB to do more with less and reduce execution friction.
“I think the biggest challenge for small and medium businesses is execution,” said Laurie McCabe, a partner with research and consulting firm SMB Group who attended INBOUND and analyzes HubSpot. “They are strapped for time, resources and expertise. So, to that point, if HubSpot drinks its own Kool-Aid and makes it easier for people to learn about, try, use, and extend use of HubSpot, that strategy will pay off.”
McCabe noted the “funnel to the flywheel” shift, which she interpreted as recognizing that customers' actual positive experience is increasingly important in marketing and sales. “HubSpot,” McCabe added, “has been a bit behind the curve on this, focused more on lead gen through inbound. This should help HubSpot's customers capitalize on their own customers' great experiences. Customer experience is the best marketing a brand can get.”
McCabe likes HubSpot’s focus on reducing friction, adding, “We all want to get things faster, easier — whether that's information, guidance or products. They want to help their customers take friction out of the sales, marketing process.”
3) HubSpot Product News: Growth Suite Bundle, New Capabilities
HubSpot announced this week new Sales Hub and Service Hub Enterprise offerings and updates to its Marketing Hub Enterprise product. The products included in the bundle are called the Enterprise Growth Suite. HubSpot reps describe it as the most significant expansion the company has made in its enterprise-level offerings to date. The Enterprise Growth Suite software bundle includes an improved Marketing Hub Enterprise and new Sales Hub Enterprise and Service Hub Enterprise products, all built on top of the HubSpot CRM.
The new or updated features found in the three Enterprise Hubs include:
- Quotas, SLAs and other sales and customer service metrics reporting.
- Resources and best practices for sales and services teams.
- Native Slack integration.
The products included in the Enterprise Growth Suite bundle also feature a layer of machine learning for predictive lead scoring. HubSpot’s recently-released Conversations tool is also integrated into all three products.
4) HubSpot CMS Now a Standalone
Not known for its content management system — at least in the world of CMSes like Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore and Acquia — HubSpot is now offering its CMS as a standalone product. It’s also touting HubSpot CMS as the “only CMS that combines the power of CRM and CMS.”
“The CMS system was always a part of inbound marketing and the original capabilities that HubSpot has had.”
“My understanding is that the CMS capability will now be spun off and can be sold as a standalone … and can be used with all other modules, or it can still be bought in a package like previously.”
The differentiation for HubSpot? CMS integrated with CRM under the same vendor. This means, Jakovljevic said, the CMS will be “contextually aware of the contacts and your customers. All of that seems to be a good value proposition because usually when you add on CMS on your CRM, it involves some serious data integration.”
5) Video Is the Victory Route for Marketers
HubSpot debuted new video creation, management and analytics features in the HubSpot growth platform this week. HubSpot Video features include video hosting, in-video calls-to-action and forms and a simple video creation tool. HubSpot Video is powered in part by Vidyard, a HubSpot Connect partner since 2016.
If you’re in Edmonton and are interested to know more, make sure to attend our HubSpot User Group Session on Sep. 19. The Flawless Inbound Team will go deeper into the concepts brought up in the presentation. Register here. It is a free event — with a few snacks!
I am looking forward to seeing you all.