I’m here in Boston for #Inbound12, with 2800 HubSpotters, customers and partners at the World’s largest gathering of Inbound Marketers, for 3 days of meetings, presentations, tutorials and networking with the HubSpot community.
View from my hotel of the Charles River and Cambridge
Keynotes from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of HubSpot on Wednesday highlighted the momentum that HubSpot is building in the market and the increasing velocity of the Inbound Marketing movement.
Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah took the stage for 90 minutes to announce HubSpot3 and demonstrate the new product capabilities that will enable marketers to easily create marketing that people will love.
The First 6 Years
HubSpot is just 6 years old and has been the leader and visionary in the movement to transform marketing from the traditional interrupt-driven marketing forms of direct mail, advertising, email marketing and telephone solicitation to opt-in, individual inbound engagement.
Halligan stated that the first 6 years of HubSpot were all about building a software platform for inbound marketing that would pull people into the sales funnel with great content. In just 6 years HubSpot has created a customer base of nearly 8,000 customers, a partner and services market-place that is now selling and supporting 25% of the HubSpot revenue stream and through the API, delivering nearly 80 value-added applications and completing more than 5,000 service projects.
In the next 6 years, HubSpot is focusing on how to use context to pull people through the funnel and create marketing that people love, - in the same way that Amazon does… relevant messaging at the right time. Amazon achieves this through the integration of front and back-end processes and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building the capability.
Halligan highlighted the problem in the marketing software industry and the reason why marketers were still using old methods and it's because the software required for doing this is not connected and runs on different systems and it’s just too damn hard to make it work. Then he announced the fruit of the past 12 months of development effort, HubSpot3 and handed the stage to co-founder Dharmesh Shah.
Shah likens Hubspot3 to an iPhone for marketers , everything you need, beautifully integrated at your fingertips, (he also announced HubSpot for the iPhone and demonstrated 3 of the most important HubSpot applications).
HubSpot3 boasts 100 new capabilities, some of which were demonstrated in the 6 new applications that form part of HubSpot3. The central capability being a single new contacts database that captures everything about a contact. I have been using a number of the these new capabilities for the past several months as part of the HubSpot Beta program and I love the elegance, ease of use and integration of HubSpot3.
My message to marketers who are on undecided as whether to jump into the inbound marketing water is, now is the time and HubSpot is the platform.
Core applications in HubSpot3 are;
Capabilities from basic information, CRM and importing data, custom fields, drag and drop, visitor tracking, a Facebook inspired timeline, email and social interactions.
New capabilities include bookmarklets, ability to publish from multiple accounts to multiple networks, suggested times to publish and schedule posts, social analytics, social contacts, retweets, likes and the ability to see who in your customer base is interacting.
The Landing pages module is elegant and creating new landing pages takes minutes, with pre-populated, beautifully designed templates or the ability to import your own, require no coding, are optimized for conversion and development is drag and drop with live preview. Smart forms that remember if you have completed a field in the past and remove it from the conversion form, enabling a visitor to get your offer with just their email address.
Calls to Action Buttons
I have been using the new CTA module and it is really easy to create or import CTA’s that look professional. CTA's are located in a central dashboard, with A/B testing that’s super easy to build, along with click and lead tracking analytics. A neat feature if you discover from testing that one CTA converts much better than another is the ability to change out all of the CTA’s you have developed that could be resident on dozens of pages from the dashboard with one click.
The email tool is completely new and better than any of the competitive toolsI have used recently. No more exporting lists to run in someone else’s email tool. The email tool comes with dozens of beautifully designed templates, it’s designer friendly, and features a single page view and floating live preview, it enables easy personalization, uses the same Calls to Action buttons and makes social sharing easy.
The new workflow module is a killer-app that will really appeal to users of the traditional marketing automation platforms. Users want marketing programmed email and offers that are relevant, insightful and that create value, - they are receptive to the right offer at the right time. While traditional marketing automation platforms have promised this, they are too hard to use and customers have typically spent in excess of $50K on consulting to try and make them work. The new workflow module enables, development of workflows based on behavior from simple form submissions, email interactions, social engagement, offline engagement and will enable you to update the CRM, update a lead score, set a lifecycle stage, or change a call to action.
There are plenty of competitors to HubSpot that mimic HubSpot’s language and do pieces of the inbound marketing puzzle - and you can get the job done by cobbling all of them together. But it takes time, effort, coding, developers and I don’t care how much money you pour into your old marketing automation platform, it’s not going to give you what HubSpot does today.
Bottom line, HubSpot enables marketers to get more done in less time, with less effort and lowers the cost per lead.
HubSpot is innovating faster behind a powerful vision – “create marketing people love” and delivering software with the power that you need and the ease of use to make it easy. Time to get on board.