In June of 2006 Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan started a marketing revolution when they founded HubSpot in Cambridge, MA and they have been crushing marketing agencies ever since. As matter of fact they have put the pedal to the floor over the last couple of years with the launch of their new COS – Content Optimization System and Smart Content which I personally believe will be the nail in the coffin for those that don't adapt.
Context for this Article
I have been fortunate enough to be along for most of the ride as I became a customer of HubSpot's in February of 2008 and have been drinking the Kool Aide ever since. So much so that I sold the company I originally purchased HubSpot for after growing it from $750,000 in annual revenue to $4,000,000 in less than five years using HubSpot and inbound marketing which led to starting Inbound Marketing Agents just over two years ago.
I classify myself as two things.
1. A born again redneck as I relocated to Nashville, TN from Southern California 11 years ago and love it here. Great people, city, food, and no state income tax.
2. I'm a recovering outbound marketer. I used traditional outbound marketing for my first 21 start ups.
Why HubSpot is Crushing Your Agency
This is a simple answer at a high level. Because you are not willing to adapt and change.
The more complex answer is the technology and the sales process.
Now, I know some of you are thinking... I know technology is evolving quickly, but how has sales changed since 2006?
Mass adoption of the internet!
Over the last few years more and more information is available online and the internet is in everyone's pocket and only a click away. Heck your most likely reading this on your smart phone as we drive 64% of our overall traffic from mobile.
Paradigm Shift in Sales
Think about the last time you made a purchase. A pair of nice shoes. A car. A computer. Where did that purchase start. Online or in a store? My bet is online.
15 years ago when you wanted to purchase a new car, you would drive to the dealership unprepared to buy. You didn't know the trade-in value of your existing car. You didn't know what MSRP or Invoice cost was for the new car you are interested in.
Heck, you probably didn't even know the MPG until you looked at the sticker or the salesman ran out of the office to grab you before you could get out of your car. And what did that salesman start doing immediately. He tried to sell you.
The salesman had a script, pitch, all of the vehicle information, and the so called sales manager in the back room that he had to get approval from for each step of the negotiation. This is why car dealers and sales people used to win. They had all of the information.
Today is a different story. The salesman has lost control of the sale as all of their competitive advantage - the information, is now online and easily accessible.
If you made it this far congratulations. The really good stuff is coming.
The consumer now has all of the control which has created a paradigm shift is sales and in marketing because marketing used to be sales, but the problem is - people don't want to be sold to anymore.
Adaptive Marketers Are Winning
Do you like being sold? I don't. I want to make my own decisions when it comes to a purchase and if I need assistance then I will ask for it and it usually starts with Google.
Consumers don't want to be sold to anymore because they have access to information and marketers have had to adapt there marketing pitches, channel utilization, and timing just so a consumer will give them a chance.
They have to be more informational. More personal. They have to actually care about the customer.
No more disruption. Unless it is the Super Bowl of course, but even these high dollar commercials are getting tired.
This is really where HubSpot comes in as they provide marketers with all of the tools, technology, and education needed to achieve success in connecting, converting, and acquiring customers. Did you see where I mentioned education?
HubSpot is drinking their own Kool Aide. Why? Because it works. They are a content machine cranking out 5-7 blog articles per day, multiple videos and webinars each month, and countless ebooks and white papers all created to educate you, the marketer about inbound marketing, SEO, social media, lead generation, design, etc, etc.
They are providing you with the exact resources you should be providing your clients and they make it easy with their all-in-one marketing automation software.
As I stated earlier I have been a customer and now a Platinum Parter Agency with HubSpot for over six years. I have seen the good, bad, and ugly form HubSpot and believe most of it has been good. Really good.
If your still with me hopefully you can see why HubSpot is impacting traditional agencies and even the new age of inbound agencies like mine. There doing it because there software is so easy to use, efficient, and effective. HubSpot allows a sole proprietor to morph himself into a one man sales and marketing machine and it scales as an enterprise solution for large sales and marketing teams.
But, most of all everything inside of HubSpot is integrated. This means you have metrics for almost everything you do as marketer to track, measure, and learn from. I don't think you can get that with TAPSCAN, Nielson ratings, traffic passing your billboard, or via circulation which is the entire point of this article.
Sure you can host your site on Wordpress. Use Hootsuite for your social media and Mailchimp as your ESP. Add Unbounce for landing pages and even Salesforce, Highrise, or another CRM to track your prospects and sales.
But, how much time are you going to spend exporting, importing, and sorting spreadsheets to integrate your data?
Or, you can try Infusionsoft. If you go this route let me know how long it takes you to code a responsive landing page or even just a web form. Did someone say Infusionsoft "tags". If I have to set up another one of these I will be tweeting to ask for a bullet.
Disclosure: We have one client that is on Infusionsoft. Now we know why we here people call it Confusionsoft at least compared to HubSpot. We will not take another client that uses the product. Not because it is a bad product, but because it takes three times longer to perform the same tasks in Infusionsoft then it does in HubSpot and this is with a staff member that is Infusionsoft Certified with two years experience on the platform.
This type of time suck is why we charge more for non-HubSpot clients to the tune of 30%. Simply because we have to invest this amount of additional time above and beyond what we would if the client was using HubSpot. Once we inform the prospect of the price differential they typically elect to use HubSpot because of the robust capabilities, ease of use, and the time savings.
As a marketer you know you can't corners. If you do your campaign will suffer.
As with any software HubSpot has issues at times, but the pros far outweigh the cons.
Inbound marketing is not a fad. HubSpot is here to stay. Get on board and joing over 1,300 agencies that have adapted and now have a competitive advantage over traditional agencies.
If you're not familiar with the new HubSpot COS here is a short video you should check out.