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Other, SaaS Marketing Strategy

10. 07. 2015

Becoming Hubspot Certified Partner Agency: The Good The Bad And The Ugly

HubSpot is the leading all-in-one marketing automation platform in the world with more than 11.000 clients all over the world. Lets have a quick look at the internet marketing steps during the past decades.


bullet-arrow Traditional marketing methods have stopped working long time ago, when people realized they can get information easily from the web, and not being obliged to turn to various sales reps for help.

bullet-arrow  PPC (pay per click) was introduced some years ago and it worked just fine for some time, when you earned money when people clicked your website/link in the search engine results. But as time went by, the same information started to become available from websites that offered it completely for free, and the PPC system started to collapse too.

bullet-arrow Today, if you want to be successful in any industry, you turn to IM (Inbound Marketing). The idea of educating your customers, helping them solve issues with your content, showing support and engagement simply cannot be ignored and in order to be able to deliver all of this to your audience while proving ROI to your clients as a marketing agency, you need to have the right tools for the job.

Now, I Want to Tell You Our Story

How We Started

Going back 2 years, we were a startup agency providing some parts of internet marketing to our clients. We did SEO, keyword research, social media, etc., but the problem was that we could not calculate neither ROI nor Sales and didn’t really know if our marketing efforts were effective or just a coincidence.

Problems started to arise when coming up with these challenges: Clients wanted to know if their money was put to work as intended and what was their ROI. We could not answer these questions ourselves, since we had no way of tracking and analyzing our work.

In December 2014 we learned about HubSpot Inbound Marketing platform and their partnership program. It offered us a great solution for our problems, since it allowed to track everything we did effectively and analyze our results.

But after solving those problems more were on their way. We had no clear strategy as how we work with our clients, no clear planning or distribution of work: everyone was pretty much doing pieces of everything.

We did not have a clear idea of our focus on the industries that we could and should work with, instead we worked with different clients, any we could find, from completely different industries like IT, Healthcare, Fitness and so on.

These problems were connected with our internal system that was new to inbound and every person should have had his/her own focus including trainings, certification and so on.

Jumping back to these days, we want to share our experience and challenges as an inbound marketing agency and a certified HubSpot partner.

The Good

By becoming a HubSpot certified partner we earned more than a great marketing platform. HubSpot Academy trainings allowed our team members to receive the Inbound Marketing certification after they pass the test, which is solid proof to any of our clients that our agency knows their job, and does it well.

+ We received an all-in-one perfect marketing platform to concentrate all of our work in one place. Social media, keyword research, search engine optimization, landing pages, blog, site pages, leads, customers, visitors and everything else you can think of, including the analytics are at our disposal.

+ The platform is very user friendly and perfect for daily operations. Scheduling social media posts, following engagement, analyzing your reach and visits from all sources, constructing your landing pages, pretty much everything you do day by day is grouped up in one place.

+ HubSpot also offers coaching and mentoring for their partners, which allows us to ask for advice, revise our strategy, discuss any issues we might have and find reasonable solutions for both ourselves agency and our clients. We are never be alone in this, HubSpot’s professionals are always there to help you out.

+ The customer service is also top notch. Any request or question you submit gets answered in less than 2 hours, and they have more than 11.000 clients, pretty amazing right?

The Bad

- As much as this platform is great, it has its drawbacks like any other system in the world. There is so much data that needs to be worked with and analyzed thoroughly that there just isn’t enough time if our resources are limited. The Tools offer all the information, but don’t analyze everything in our stead, so we have to able to devote the necessary time in order to maximize the benefits of the partnership.

- In order to maximize our results via HubSpot, we needed to have a clear idea of responsibilities and tasks that each team member is working on. There is no efficiency if everybody is doing a bit of everything. Each person has his/her own understanding of how should a landing page look like, what should be the content of the social media message or what strategy should be implemented. This is why every person should be responsible for one or two aspects of inbound when working with HubSpot, in order to not waste additional resources and time and maximize results.

- Campaigns play a huge role in our marketing efforts, since they allow to group all the landing pages, blogs, social media messages, etc. that concern the same topic, into 1 piece of information, which is much more easier to work with and analyze. At start, we weren’t utilizing this feature and soon, everything became a huge mess where no one could really tell what belonged where. We had to redo everything and combine all the aspects of the same topic into separate groups.

- Having a good lead generating funnel is great, getting that aligned with your Smarketing goals is even better! – What this means is that we generated a lot of leads, but since we had no clear sales goals, we couldn’t really tell which leads where good for us. The result was that we invested tones of time into calls and meetings with each client, only to find out that our interests do not meet with half of them. I recommend to clearly define your sales goals, to be able to tell the good leads from the bad leads.

The Ugly

* HubSpot’s services are the best around the world, but they are not cheap. The most painful drawback we have had is that if you are a startup company, you usually work with similar startups, and most of them simply cannot afford the wages required by HubSpot. This issue can sometimes can be resolved if you are able to explain all the benefits that your client will achieve using the software, but even with all the understanding, its sometimes simply too much for their budget.

* Not having a specific identification on particular industries resulted in more trouble than we thought. Every industry is different and requires a lot of research, starting from buyer personas and ending with unique offers. Each time we got a new client from a different industry, we found ourselves in a whole new environment, where we had to start everything from scratch every time. This resulted in months of time and resources wasted on research to understand how the industry works. In order to achieve results, you should absolutely define the industries you are going to work with and then go from that spot. You will see how much easier it will be for you.

* What we learned the hard way was not having clear understanding of roles in our company and when we switched to inbound and HubSpot, with all the additional information (tons of information actually) we were completely overrun. It was really a challenge to shift to the new methodology, without really knowing what we are going to do. We strongly recommend to clearly understand and identify your roles and responsibilities, before shifting to inbound and HubSpot.

* Another thing that kicked our feet of the ground was striving for perfection. Too much worry about every single letter on our blogs, landing pages, offers, social media messages, etc. killed the productivity. We spent so much time on every aspect of the project, that it became a problem of meeting time goals and deadlines. The other way around doesn’t work either: if you focus too much on productivity, you most certainly are going to make content that’s useless for users, and that’s the last thing you want to do. 

We have come a long way since 2014 and continue to learn new tricks and tips every day. It all starts with realization: you have to understand that you are in trouble and need to makes changes, and make them fast. Take into account the problems and challenges that we faced, and do not repeat our mistakes. You will be in much better shape than we were once.

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Pavel Aramyan
Content manager at Incredo. I am a doctor who happens to have an MBA degree and generates content for an inbound agency. I am a do-it-all kind of person: When I am not writing, I am busy curing people, when I am not curing people, I tend to kill WCG competitions. Life is fun, and full of wonders: Do what you enjoy most, even if its everything at once
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