HubSpot is currently hiring about 30 people a month, so normally a new hire isn't news. But the latest addition to our marketing team is: the remarkable Dan Lyons. The writer and editor formerly known as "The Fake Steve Jobs" will be joining our inbound marketing team from his current role as Editor-in-Chief of ReadWrite.
To me, this news is very exciting for HubSpot because we’ll benefit from having a highly-acclaimed journalist as part of a stellar marketing team. But equally as important, Dan’s arrival is an indicator of a broader paradigm shift in the world of marketing and illustrative of the drastic changes happening in the universe of advertising, marketing, and media.
The traditional advertising model is broken.
It used to be that if you were a top-tier journalist like Dan, you went to work at a world-class publication (like Forbes), and that would pay you a nice salary because they sold a lot of ads at good prices that were placed around your content. Yet newspaper print advertising revenue is currently less than half of what it was in 2006, and losses in print currently outpace digital advertising revenue at a rate of 10:1.
Simply put, the advertising revenue stream that used to support traditional journalism is trending sharply downward. And with consumers tapping into even more tools to block out and avoid advertising, the downward spiral is only growing. This is why Dan was interested in getting out of the media industry and working for a software company.
How consumers digest information is changing, too.
Our parents' generation got their news -- current events, product, and business news alike -- from the daily paper, and did product research by talking to sales reps. When we look for a restaurant to eat at, a car to test drive, or a stroller to purchase, we pick up our mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. A quick Google search can deliver a wide range of options, reviews, and insights, and a social inquiry via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn can generate information from your closest friends or colleagues on the latest, greatest, and most favorited options out there. To that end, your customers fully expect your company to be easy to find and easy to do business with, on their own terms.
Because of this, companies need to change how they market.
You need to use inbound marketing to attract customers to you, not interrupt people with ads they don’t want to see. No one wakes up and says "I want to see an ad." Why do marketers wake up and say "let's make an ad"?
Provide value to your customers. Be helpful. Become the best publication and information source in your industry. This is the core of inbound marketing. At HubSpot, we posted 937 blog entries and published 157 ebooks and offers in 2012 alone. But it's not just about quantity; it's also about quality. We want HubSpot to be the absolute best resource for all marketing professionals in the world. Hiring Dan, a world class journalist (who is also darn funny), is another step along that path. And for the same reason, Dan knows the future for someone like him is in working at a company that values inbound marketing.
PS: If you are a world class marketing thought leader ... I’m still hiring! Tweet me, maybe? (@mvolpe)