Why HubSpot Acquired Social Media Marketing Software Co, oneforty - #Hub140

by Brian Halligan

Date

August 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Today I am just thrilled to announce our acquisition of oneforty . We did this acquisition for three main reasons. 

1. Talent

I have been admiring oneforty for a couple of years now. Laura Fitton ( @Pistachio ) has been a leading thinker/actor in the social media space for some time now, and I’m looking forward to adding her into the mix with our other thinkers like Dharmesh , Mike Volpe , Dan Zarrella , David Cancel , David Meerman Scott , etc.

As part of the deal, we are picking up some world-class development chops. When I floated the idea of acquiring oneforty internally, I found out that three separate folks at HubSpot had been trying to woo their CTO, Mike Champion, for some time now.

This acquisition is part of an ongoing effort to attract the best and the brightest technical minds to HubSpot. We have very ambitious goals, and we want the R&D talent to be able to deliver on those goals. We have grown our R&D organization from 29 people a year ago to 68 today. Most of this has been organic growth, but we have augmented it by picking up some real rockstars through this acquisition and the earlier Performable acquisition .

2. Social Media Functionality

social media leads When Dharmesh and I started HubSpot five years ago, it was to help companies transform their marketing to match the way humans actually bought stuff today. As part of that effort, we have been building social media functionality throughout HubSpot from day one. For example, we have an application for tracking your reach in social media over time, an application for tracking your reach in social media relative to your competitors over time, an application that helps you track the shape of your sales funnel through each social media channel, and an application that listens in social media for conversations about your business (and keywords). We have a feature that social media matches incoming leads , a feature that allows you to automatically syndicate your blog article to social media , and a feature that allows you to put a “follow me” button on your site. We also social media optimize our customers' emails for them, we set up Facebook pages for our customers, etc. As you can see, social media is really throughout the whole system, and that’s probably not including a bunch of stuff that I’ve forgotten.

So, if you’ve got that much social media stuff going on, why buy oneforty? Well, they have two valuable things. First is a marketplace for social media applications that is darn slick. We are going to take that application and merge it with our existing app marketplace (think Apple’s app store for marketers). Second is a marketing project management application that is kind of like 37 Signal’s Basecamp for marketers with a heavy social bend. This application was actually available on our app marketplace where I first played with it. We really like where they are going with this and are going to figure out a way to implement that concept into our new dashboard application and/or our new ToDo List application. The opportunity for HubSpot to “watch” everything that is going on in your marketing world and propose your to-do list or work with you (think Pandora-style training) to figure out your to-do list could be really interesting for our customers. 

3. Our Customers

We are up to 5,000 customers now and are thrilled they have entrusted us with helping them grow their businesses. We are investing heavily in the product organically and through acquisitions like this because we feel like the best way to build a historic business is on the shoulders of successful customers who end up spreading the word for us. 

-- Brian Halligan


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