Mike Volpe’s Marketing Strategy Highlights from INBOUND14

Hubspot's lead generation model

Hubspot’s lead generation model


I just attended Mike Volpe’s session at Hubspot’s gigantic conference in Boston. Over 10, 000 professionals and artists convened to learn about inbound marketing, content, and media.

Here are excerpts from his “Marketing Lessons from Hubspot” presentation:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to your competitors; compare yourself to big media companies. Think Oprah or Martha Stewart. When you think like a media company, you look at JetBlue, Wired, Vogue, Coca-Cola, etc and notice HubSpot gets more traffic than they do! Hubspot does not compare its results against other software companies, ever.
  2. Process matters. Mike’s team generates 50,000 leads a month. 2/3 of them get nurtured and 1/3 are sent to sales. Hubspot uses a variation of the Sirius Decisions Waterfall demand creation model.
  3. Diversify your inbound marketing strategy, and keep paid advertising under control: Their sources of leads include branded, blog, SEO, social, free tools, opt-in email, and paid ads. The paid ads category only pays off if you continue to do it. If you stop, so do your leads. A good blog post can reap rewards for years. Today, HubSpot Marketing allocates only 15% of their funnel generation budget to paid ads.
  4. Build a “GST” approach with your team. Volpe says “Get Stuff Done!” He is not interested in hearing cool ideas, proposals or plans; he is interested in someone trying something new–testing, learning and reporting results.
  5. Hire people who are natural content creators. Volpe hired a young professional who was blogging during her sophomore year. Today, over 150 HubSpot team members have contributed content.
  6. Check progress against your goal frequently–even daily. Hubspot checks their actual leads against their leads goals every day. Once they see those numbers, they can respond accordingly by creating new offers, publishing more, promoting more, or increasing paid ads.
  7. Do not tie commissions to marketing. He finds that incentives tied to a specific metric, such as “number of leads,” has four negative consequences. It lowers lead quality, it reduces creativity and big thinking; it reduces collaboration, and it focuses the team on short term, not long term results. Volpe asserts that “If you want first mover advantage behavior,  you cannot focus your team exclusively on short term leads.”You can read more about the marketing compensation plan here. While Hubspot are big incentive-based compensation fans, they eschew lead metrics.

Here is my 2012 video conversation with Volpe. Who knew the company would grow to nearly 700 people and 12,000+ customers since that time?

They are clearly seeing some exciting results from their marketing plans.

Hanging out with Romeo, son of Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan.

Hanging out with Romeo, son of Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan.

Let’s see how these denizens of marketing thrive in the coming years–we are in the age of marketing, sales and IT convergence, and HubSpot has boldly chosen to take on Salesforce with their new Hubspot CRM product. I’ll be posting more updates from INBOUND14 soon.

copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

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