When we first started HubSpot over nine years ago, I didn't know much about marketing; I only knew I didn't like being marketed to. I didn't see what good it did to interrupt people just to push a product on them. It's not the sort of thing you'd wish on yourself, so why put it on others?
It was that observation -- that flaw in the way that marketing traditionally worked -- that laid the foundation for inbound marketing. Inbound became a new approach that prioritized attracting people with quality, search-friendly content and converting them with more tailored and relevant communications. It was, we thought, a more human way of marketing.
It resonated with people. This week, more than 13,000 people have come to our hometown of Boston for the annual INBOUND event -- a week of inbound talks, parties, and announcements. Over the years, while we have leaned into this philosophy of marketing, we have also worked to develop tools that make the hard work that marketers do a little easier.
Today, on stage at INBOUND15, I got to announce a collection of new HubSpot features and marketing tools that we believe will make things better for both marketers and their customers. Here's what we revealed.
Ads, the Inbound Way
We have a long history of being skeptical about ads. Too many of them are irrelevant, interruptive, and inane. But an interesting thing happened this year: We learned that 53% of our customers used some sort of paid media in their inbound marketing strategies, and they were having success.
So we got to wondering, can advertising ever be inboundy? What about ads that solve a search query or amplify relevant content? Isn't that customer-centric?
We realized it’s the content that matters, not the format or path to it. When ads include good content or help people find it, they contribute to a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy. So we've built an Ads Add-On that can help marketers create ads on LinkedIn or Google (the latter is in beta) and measure the return they're getting on their investment. The Ads Add-On elevates social posts that are already doing well on their own so you know you're promoting content that will be well received. It also closes the loop between dollars in and revenue out for your ad spend.
A Website Platform Made for Marketing
Your website should be one of your star marketers. It spends more time with your prospective customers than most sales reps do and plays a major role in their research and decision process. The problem with most content management systems, however, is they focus too much on "management" and not enough on marketing. Two years ago, HubSpot launched a website platform as part of our Content Optimization System. This year, we've made some major improvements to help marketers get more value out of their websites:
New Editing Interface: The advent of the content management system (CMS) popularized the term WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) for the editing experience. CMSes allowed you to edit a page and then get a preview of what it would look live. We're trying a new term on for size: WYSIWII (what you see is what it IS). HubSpot has redesigned the editing experience across the Website, Blog, Landing Page, and Email Apps to make editing faster, simpler, and more intuitive. You can see what we mean below.
Built-In Optimizers: To improve your content for search and conversions, HubSpot now includes optimizers on every webpage you create. These optimizers will show you how to rank for the keywords that matter to you and even suggest where to use personalization based on the segments most commonly viewing that page.
SSL for All: It may seem like a small thing, but the little "s" at the end of "http" on URLs can be incredibly important for both your search engine ranking and website security. Beginning October 1, SSL will be included on all HubSpot websites. If you fully host your website on HubSpot, you'll get it. Simple as that.
Predictive Lead Scoring
Lead scoring can be a great way to align your marketing and sales team around a common set of criteria, but it can also be incredibly manual to set up. It requires users to try to find patterns among thousands of possible factors.
Included in HubSpot Enterprise, Predictive Lead Scoring takes the guesswork out of scoring. Our algorithm combs through a company's history of engaged and unengaged contacts to glean which factors indicate a higher close rate. Using this information, we create a custom model that automatically scores each contact based on their propensity to close.
One Dashboard, All Your Reports
One thing we've heard from marketers is that they often feel like they spend more time reporting on the numbers than actually making the numbers. As businesses grow, this need to report on progress from many different angles only grows.
So we wanted to create a Reporting Add-On that would scale with your company. The new Reporting Add-On gives you a library of 20 of the most commonly used reports across marketing and sales teams. If the report you want isn't there, you can easily build custom reports for any data. Finally, users can create their own custom dashboard to help them understand the metrics that matters to them most. You can get a look at that dashboard and its drag-and-drop functionality below.
A Unified System of Record
We've always prided ourselves on being "all-in-one." In many ways, it's true. HubSpot has everything you need to run your marketing and sales strategies -- but that's not quite enough is it? It would be enough if customers only interacted with your company through marketing and sales channels. In reality, customers are engaging with your company through a number of different touch-points across a range of teams, from marketing and sales to billing and customer support.
To connect the dots between all these different interactions, we've opened the platform up to more than 20 integration partners. These integrations bring in data from Zendesk, Eventbrite, Perfect Audience, Teamwork, UberConference, and other commonly used platforms and apps to unite your company around a common view of your customers. We call it HubSpot Connect, and our customers are already starting to use it in compelling ways.
Bonus Launch: Introducing Leadin
One of the things we like best about the conference is that it's not just HubSpot customers who attend. It shares a lot in common with this blog in that sense. Inbound attendees hail from businesses of all sorts and sizes -- not all of which have the budget for marketing software. This year, in addition to all the announcements for our customers, we wanted to do something for the rest of the inbound community who works just as hard to create marketing people love.
We call it Leadin. Leadin is a freemium app that works with any website to convert visitors into contacts. Leadin then automatically finds publicly available information about each of your contacts and tracks the pages they view so you can market to them in a more relevant way. You can set it up for free and don't need to be user of the HubSpot Marketing Platform to use it. It even integrates with MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and other email systems.
Whether you're an experienced marketer or just getting started, whether you're a solo entrepreneur or on a sophisticated marketing team, we're trying to make it easier for everyone, everywhere to go inbound. The launches this year are one step along the way.
If you want more details on any of them, you can find them at hubspot.com/new. Thank you for pushing us each year to get better, and for being the source of some of the marketing that really inspires us. Maybe we'll see you at INBOUND16.
Originally published Sep 9, 2015 4:15:00 PM, updated February 01 2017