042 | 5 Points of True Marketing Integration for HealthTech with Nicholas Holland from HubSpot | Studio CMO
The Episode in 60 Seconds
Integration is essential in today’s marketing efforts. All aspects of your marketing must come together in a picture that allows you to have great visibility and control over what you’re doing.
Nicholas Holland, VP of the Marketing and CMS Hubs at HubSpot joins us to talk about the five core aspects of marketing that must work in concert together.
Nicholas also discusses how to manage the breadth, depth, and orchestration of your marketing efforts.
About Our Guest
Nicholas Holland is a product maker, entrepreneurial dreamer, and lover of mixed martial arts. He's the General Manager and Vice President of Marketing Hub at HubSpot.
He founded and exited from several SaaS companies in the Nashville area before joining forces with HubSpot to run their marketing labs endeavor.
HubSpot has refined their product offerings to create remarkable customer experiences. For more information about HubSpot, examine their offerings.
“We believe innovation will lead to marketing leaders transforming from CMOs to CXOs—Customer Experience Officers.” — Nicholas Holland
HubSpot believes the funnel has given way to the flywheel.
The Three Lenses of Marketing Clarity
When was the last time you heard of CEOs shoveling money into marketing efforts? Most of the time, marketing executives have to squeeze out every dime possible then stretch those dimes to produce.
Nicholas discusses (12:30 and later) how every marketer must be able to see, understand, and demonstrate marketing's effectiveness through three different lenses:
breadth—what channels your customers spend time and how you're meeting them.
depth—the data you're leveraging to make sure your messages are on point, relevant, and delivered at the right time.
orchestration—how you've filled your marketing department with the right people and the right tools.
“Marketers are the promise-makers for your company.” —Nicholas Holland
HubSpot's Five “Primary Colors” of Marketing
How do you guide your prospects along a meaningful and coherent buyer journey? HubSpot's platform is built to orchestrate these five aspects for clear marketing. These five aspects of marketing—primary colors—expose themselves in every aspect of marketing.
Data—they layer that powers everything. Data and the way you manage it, store it, and interpret it means the difference between good and bad decisions.
Automation—the ability to do more with less.
Reporting—the feedback loop allowing everyone to be more savvy and to better judge performance.
Content—most pieces of software contain content. Are you doing enough to maximize it?
Messaging—the channels you distribute marketing content (e.g., email, blog, podcast, etc.)
Our complete guide to building and maintaining KPIs for your company is available to you at no cost.
Are your marketing efforts producing the kind of results you need? Companies may put the right tactics in place and desire the best outcomes, but end up flying blind because they haven’t set key performance indicators (KPIs).
You can reach the most aggressive goals if you set KPIs and monitor them weekly (and monthly, quarterly, and annually). KPIs promote higher performance from yourself and your team. And they make project management much more effective. Here’s how to break down the process and write effective KPIs.
Eight Steps to Creating Winning KPIs
- Identify Your Primary Goal
- Highlight the Critical Step to Reach the Goal
- Research the Best Key Indicators
- Map Indicators to Your Funnel
- Determine Focus Areas for Future Growth
- Outline Marketing Plays for Each Focus Area
- For Each Play, Create the Metric—KPI
- Set Up a Scorecard to Track All of Your KPIs
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John Farkas (00:00):
Integration is essential in today’s marketing efforts, your data, your automation, frameworks, your reporting, the content you’re creating and how you’re putting that content out through channels to the rest of the world. All have to come together in a picture that allows you to have great visibility and control over what you’re doing. It’s essential. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today on Studio CMO.
Mark Whitlock (00:43):
Welcome to Studio CMO. You’re listening to the podcast where demand generation and market positioning for health tech companies is our primary focus. I’m joined today by the CEO and chief storyteller of Golden Spiral, the agency, which brings you Studio CMO. John Farkas. John. Welcome back to the mic.
John Farkas (01:01):
Glad to be here, Mark.
Mark Whitlock (01:03):
Anna Grimes, my fellow co-host is with us today, Anna. Thanks for being here.
Anna Grimes (01:06):
Mark Whitlock (01:07):
And today we’re going to be talking about all sorts of things. We’re gonna be talking about colors. We’re going to be talking about promises. We’re going to be talking about all sorts of things with a returning guest, Nicholas Holland.
John Farkas (01:20):
You can never get enough. Nicholas.
Mark Whitlock (01:22):
Nicholas Holland (01:24):
Too much. Saturated overload.
Anna Grimes (01:25):
He is the VP of product at HubSpot. And he also serves as the GM of the Marketing and CMS hubs for the company.
John Farkas (01:35):
Nicholas, I’ll just tell you this little micro story. We just completed a competitive analysis for, uh, one of our clients and going through, we were looking at a number of competitors and the whelming, majority of them, uh, had just performed a major update in the last six months in their, uh, you know, online presence. This was a fairly sleepy market. W e were very surprised to see the amount of time, attention and effort that had gone in uniformly across the competitive arena. And it was no small coincidence that they just happened to get around to that in 2020. So I’m curious, you know, we, we, we are talking all the time about the fundamental changes that, that, uh, the pandemic has wrought across our world. But I know that what that has meant for HubSpot has been pretty significant on a number of fronts. And I would love for you to kind of walk us through what you’re seeing happen from your seat as, as you’re leading development of a lot of these platforms in the context of, uh, of HubSpot, what you’re seeing happen and what you are, you know, what are the conversations that you’re having with your market looking like?
Nicholas Holland (02:52):
If you go back to early part of last year, we had been talking for a little while about delivering like a remarkable customer experience. And I specifically being tasked with having the torch for where the future of marketing is going talked about marketers, being the architect of what we call it, HubSpot, the flywheel, you know, effectively, you’re attracting people, then you’re engaging with them, then you’re delighting them. And if you do a good job, it’s not a funnel where like a little customer, we joke like pops out of the bottom and then you’re done. If you do a good job, then it’s more like a wheel that spins and such that a happy customers are part of a good, healthy marketing org strategy. You’re using case studies and referrals and social proof anyways. So we’re talking about that. We believe it we’re on a, uh, an innovative kind of cutting edge talking about like how marketing leaders should be more like CXOs, uh, customer experience officers.
Nicholas Holland (04:02):
And then the pandemic hit and HubSpot has been phenomenally successful over the years. Uh, but when the pandemic hit, we were, as many companies were in a state of like knowing what’s going to happen. And we did right by our customers. We did a bunch of things to basically weather the storm with everybody. But we started to see pretty quickly that when sales reps could no longer go out and, you know, cold knock or go to conferences, trade shows, events, things like that, that people’s go to market strategies were just dramatically impacted in a world to where people were believing that we would get through this. Uh, they were spending all day at home, working on the internet and zooming themselves. Like we just saw a bunch of interesting things come to this nexus that we didn’t anticipate. We were pleasantly surprised, but the whole world basically recognized that online digital interactions with other people and companies were the new norm.
Nicholas Holland (05:11):
And so, because so much of what we do in business is driven by some of our experiences that we have in our personal lives. Um, e-comm as an example, you know, as we have seen e-com rise, I’m sure businesses will look at doing more of that in the future. But as that happened, people began to get serious. Just like you said, John, about re-evaluating what they were doing. They had idle hands, you know, sitting on the sales floor, they had their own experiences. Uh, they recognize some of the projects or initiatives that they had put off for a while when times were good. And we just saw an overwhelming shift towards people, recognize that they needed to do better. And that was just a really watershed moment for HubSpot, because we had spent a good long while laying the foundation for like, how do deliver a remarkable experience? How do you do something that effectively touches every part of the journey? And specifically in marketing, we had built quite a reputation around like, how do you basically get the go to market engine humming along to feed a sales org versus just some orgs relies solely on sales.
John Farkas (06:16):
So, you know, I, I realized that we may have missed a beat for someone maybe, maybe, but why don’t you just give us the quick fly by on what HubSpot is?
Nicholas Holland (06:27):
Sure. HubSpot is a CRM platform. What that means is that effectively it’s a singular place for all of your customer touch points. So we call it like a front office suite and it covers, um, marketing functions, sales functions, and service functions. So that for the listeners that would be as simply put as like, it has a cloud-based professional CMS and has a powerful marketing automation platform. It has a sales acceleration tools and, you know, kind of quote to cash, things like that. Uh, and then also has a robust kind of help desk service org system. And all of that is built on our, like award-winning kind of world-class CRM. And that has given us like this distinct advantage where whether you use our CRM or you plug your CRM into ours, it’s this kind of cohesive built system, all toward serving that customer experience. It’s not cobbled together. We didn’t buy a bunch of companies and try to string it together. And so that’s what makes us unique
John Farkas (07:36):
For the few folks who may be, are not familiar or have heard about HubSpot, but have never really dove in lots to know here. I mean, it is, it is a remarkable system. They have done an amazing job of very seamless, intuitive integration and bringing all those different elements together. In addition to that, because they don’t all only just empower marketing, but they do it. They also have the defining library of resources about how to engage the modern marketplace. Um, their content strategy is really the standard bearer from my perspective in how to engage a market with, uh, leading content.
Nicholas Holland (08:20):
Two fun facts just for the listeners, I think is, is, uh, always interesting when, when I talk to people about HubSpot. So first HubSpot was the kind of creator of a methodology called inbound catchy name for content marketing and tools that basically go with that and a perspective that says, like give value to get value. Those are kind of the three things that came together and it was really helpful for HubSpot. So that’s why we spend a lot of time doing the content marketing that John you just mentioned. But the other thing, I think that surprised a lot of people is that we use own software. So HubSpot’s site is on the CMS and HubSpot’s marketing automation is on marketing hub and we use our own CRM and our own sales, acceleration tools and our own chat con uh, conversational platform and all that stuff. And so I think that’s really interesting because we are known for serving the mid market, small and mid market. And so a lot of companies, you know, say, well, I have to go to some sort of enterprise platform. I won’t be able to go to HubSpot and, you know, we’re, we’re doing pretty good. We’re over 4,000 employees and still using it. So it’s, it’s a very scalable platform.
John Farkas (09:35):
I'll just say to the progress I've watched HubSpot make over the last five years is unlike anything I've seen in any other platform anywhere. I mean, just listening to the market, responding and providing tools that function the way people need them to function is, has been really remarkable. And, uh, and I hold it up as an example of product development frequently, just because I've seen such dramatic, uh, progress. So, uh, kudos to you all in that regard as well. So the access shifted, we, we saw marketing going from, gosh, it'd be nice if we could do some more to being the essential connection point with the market, you know, in a lot of these enterprises, what have you seen as a result? What are w in, in the context of your engagement and how you're responding to your market and how you're, you're helping to, uh, fill what has now become an insatiable need for a lot of these companies? What, what kinds of activities, what are you, what are the, what's your focus moving toward in improving and continuing to evolve? How you approach marketing, how you approach your solution.
Nicholas Holland (10:46):
Yeah, I think there's a bunch of like angles and strategies at play here. I think that first and foremost, we approach it with the customer at the center. So I think for listeners, you know, one of the things that I challenge prospects and marketers to think about whenever I'm taking them, is that how far down the path are you of creating a unified view of the customer? And, you know, the reality is, uh, there's very, very academic and lofty articles around things that, you know, some of the listeners may have heard of like a CDP, a customer data platform. Um, the reality is a bunch of people just haven't even connected their marketing to their CRM. And so I think the question a lot of times I ask marketers to reflect on is like, what is the data your org has access to today? And without some sort of massive change management or something like that, like how well are you leveraging that data?
Nicholas Holland (11:47):
So for us, um, the way we’ve started moving down that path for the last few years, you know, when HubSpot originally it was a CRM platform, there was some resistance for me because traditionally a CRM is thought of as like a sales tool. A lot of people would, might think of that as a sales tool. And we, over the years have just become, you know, fanatical about the fact that like, it, it literally says what it is, it’s a customer relationship management system, and it is how you basically track all the data in the interactions with the customer. So then you move into another lens, which is, would you like to, in a world of, of, of a equal path, would you like to have all your data consolidated on the customer? Of course. So then we kind of moved on this path of, I mean, I would some people maybe not, but that’s important to you and it is to us, if you think that’s important to a remarkable experience, then the next part is, is that, you know, what do you do with that data?
Nicholas Holland (12:43):
And so with marketing, you know, I think marketing is always undergoing rapid change. You know, it’s, whatever the soup, you know, does your last week is, is different this week. Um, you know, a lot of people were just talking about Twitter, putting out spaces now and clubhouse and all that stuff. But I think what we have kind of pulled back a bit and thought is that really marketing is timeless and that it’s trying to get the right message to the right people at the right time. You know, you’re the promise maker and a company, you make the promise for the company. And so when you’re trying to do that, we kind of look at through the lens of like breadth, depth, and then how in the world do you orchestrate all of that, those kind of three lenses? So the breadth of like, what are the channels that your customers are in and are you meeting them where they are the depth of the data you’re leveraging to make sure that it is a message that’s on point and relevant and being delivered at the right time, et cetera.
Nicholas Holland (13:46):
And then the orchestration, which is marketing departments, aren’t like exploding at the scene with, CEO’s giving them tons of budgets saying, please, please spend my money. So since that’s not happening, you have this constraint. What you have is an ever-increasing amount of customer diversity and the breadth of channels, an ever increasing amount of data. And so it’s becoming more and more important for you to have a set of tools that help you orchestrate that. And that’s timeless. I mean, that’s, if you’re running a print mailer back in the eighties, you would have to basically think through, you know, where’s your lists and all that stuff. You’d still have to orchestrate it. So we spent a lot of time thinking on that as well. So, you know, to summarize for everybody, like, I think a lot about like, what does CRM powered marketing look like? What does that mean for the end user? What does that mean for the marketer? And by our definition, it is about the breadth, the depth and the orchestration.
John Farkas (14:49):
Absolutely. I mean, we talk about it all the time with our clients. I mean, you have to bring all the ends together to the middle to create a coherent journey. That makes sense. I mean, it is, it is important because that is becoming the standard. I mean, in our consumer experience, it certainly is. So when we move into a more business to business framework, it’s, it’s becoming what we expect because it’s what we are conditioned to receive. So if I were to say the word, let’s just do some free association here. If I were to say primary colors, what would that mean to you?
Nicholas Holland (15:22):
We have different personas that we serve. So you think about, uh, we have a marketing persona sales, persona service persona. On top of that, we also have a, you know, a C suite that’s making platform decisions for the company. Um, we also need to take care of, let’s say developers and it people, when you think about like our CMS hub, so we’ve got all of these different personas and on the surface, it’s easy to look at how you talk with them as a set of discrete features that are unique to them. And so if we were going to start a business tomorrow and sell to, you know, it, people there’d be a set of features if you’re going to sell to marketers a different set of features, but we had HubSpot, we built this platform. It’s natively built all unified, same code base. We’re not talking about a lot of acquisitions or middleware or things that you have to buy to stitch it together.
Nicholas Holland (16:19):
Um, and so when we built this, one of the things that we came across was there are five primary colors that effectively expose themselves in every single tool for every persona that we build. Um, and it is, uh, reporting well, first it’s data, you know, data is a layer that powers everything, so data and the way you manage it and, and expose it and store it, transforming all that stuff is a layer. All right, as a primary color too, there’s automation, you know, everybody wants to basically do more with less, no matter which tools you’re looking at, whether it’s a help desk or a marketing automation, um, there is reporting, you know, it’s a critical part of how we assess if we’re doing well in the feedback loop down when people are marketers, especially are getting more and more savvy about how to judge performance.
Nicholas Holland (17:16):
Um, there is content which a lot of people omit, a lot of people omit. Yes, they do. Um, and it’s fascinating. It touches everything we can attest. There’s a content layer and probably most of the pieces of software that we interact with, whether it’s a text editors and, you know, some sort of display layer of the data, uh, and then there’s messaging messaging would probably like, uh, for the sake of this audience, it would represent like, what are the ways that you reach out and engage with somebody? So for HubSpot, as an example, email would be part of messaging. Uh, ads is part of messaging, our conversations platform as part of messaging. Anyways, the, those five primary colors, we just decided a while back, um, to make those great. And what it led to is a world where for customers that are adopting our CRM, they are getting those primary colors at a high performing level, across all their tools.
Nicholas Holland (18:20):
And that’s, you know, for certain customers, that’s proving to be just a game changer. It’s if you’re a very large organization, you have a Legion of developers, you know, a three year path for change management. You can go purchase a CDP from vendor a, you can go purchase a CRM from vendor B. You can go purchase some sort of automation layer from vendor C and onward and onward. And you can stitch that together and your it department and your business apps analyst and your data analysts and all that stuff can help hold that together. But what we’ve found is just that for majority of the people, they just want it all to work,
Anna Grimes (18:58):
But we do run into Nicholas clients who for whatever reason feel exposed, I think by putting all their eggs in one basket and going with one, Hey, you know, we can do it all kind of platform like, like HubSpot. So, so how do you address that when you’re, when you’re selling into particularly marketing folks who, um, are, are obviously they’re, they’re part of a larger organization. So they may be coming into the conversation with you with one hand tied behind their back, because the CFO has said, whatever you do, you need to keep the content management system and the CRM separate.
Nicholas Holland (19:35):
Totally, totally. I think that, you know, again is something that our roots have well-suited us for. And that we started off simply as a inbound marketing platform that was focused on kind of one discreet set of tools. And over time we began to expand into other tools. And so by the very nature that we had, like a bedrock anchor of marketing customers, and then we later on decided to do a CRM. We, on day one, we’re told we’re not going to use your CRM and our marketing tools for years spent time, um, basically working with, you know, we, our marketing tools worked great with other CMSs. And so we would talk to them and they’d say, we’re not gonna use your CMS. And so we’re very comfortable with people who believe that they have to embrace the like best in class. That’s a debate that we have all the time and, uh, and there’s trade offs.
Nicholas Holland (20:39):
You have best in class. Um, that’s true. That is true. There is a winner in each of these categories, and then our core categories, we try to be one of the best, but there is a debate to be had that there’s a best in class. The reality is, is that it comes with the trade-off that you have to get that data into some other system to do reporting. You have to marry that system or data to something else to do automation. And so that’s kind of now where we have found ourselves, like it’s difficult to pull off the primary colors across a bunch of best in class systems. So at scale, and at a certain size, it might make sense, but we’ve built the system to be modular. And so a ton of our customers use other CRMs. And the way we basically kept true to our ethos is that everything will connect back to our CRM. So you keep your CRM, you’re just going to sync it with our CRM. And at the end of the day, you can still have CRM powered marketing, even if your company has chosen another CRM and it works out well for everybody. That’s an example of how we do that.
John Farkas (21:37):
It’s just such a good conversation because from my perspective, uh, you know, as we look at those those five, and let’s just review them again all, again, it’s data, it’s automation, it’s reporting content and messaging. As, as we look at those five every day, that goes by, it gets more important that those are tightly integrated. Again, we’re talking about providing a fluent coherent journey for people that make sense to them and gives you as the entity trying to sell into a market, the information you need in real time to be able to respond, react, and give people more of what they want to help them on the journey to me best in class with everyday, that goes by means best in integration, because if it’s not talking, if it’s not, if it doesn’t have a fluid connection that makes sense and allows you to, to nimbly respond, you’re missing you’re in a situation where you’re, you’re not engaging at the level that some of your competition is likely engaging.
John Farkas (22:44):
Correct. So the best in class argument, it might be true that WordPress gives you a few, uh, capabilities that HubSpot doesn’t in the, you know, in the backside of a website might, might be true. I’m guessing that won’t be too true in a year or so, but when, when we’re talking about fluid integration and the ability to respond in real time to somebody who might be carrying around a six or seven figure budget that they’re interested in spending on a solution, you gotta be there. You gotta be ready to feel that because you don’t, you’ve never met that person before and they’re out shopping and trying to make decisions based on a real need that they have at a real time. And you’ve never had a salesperson meet them. Right. And you’re going to compromise that journey. I don’t understand why.
Nicholas Holland (23:34):
Yeah. You know, it’s the reality is, is that if we step back from software and HubSpot and all that stuff, like some people just suck at marketing. Um, you know, um, that’s just a reality of like where we’re at in terms of, when we talk with certain people who maybe want to phone in a content marketing campaign, they want to, you know, do lightweight content that’s vapid and kind of, um, unhelpful to the customer. Like the tools have really fallen the background at that point because the overall kind of approach is flawed. And I think the same thing goes where we have this debate. You were talking about, um, the CMS, as an example, you know, when we talk to somebody who spends a majority of their time focused on technical requirements, um, they spend a majority of their time focused on some very like specific things that we then ask, you know, how does this tie back to your kind of customer vision?
Nicholas Holland (24:40):
What are you trying to do? Um, it's a real disconnect. And so I was just, uh, on Reddit today. And, you know, I was writing up a post that said, like, if you're looking for a website that like reinforces what, you know, if it basically, you know, works inside of a system that you already have set up for management, it management, hosting plugin. And if it's something that, you know, effectively, you're trying to create a point of presence online that kind of takes care of that particular need. Then you don't need HubSpot. You need HubSpot. Whenever you're trying to create a remarkable experience, you're trying to, you know, scale and grow. And the developers of the website are focused on how do they basically generate more leads, drive more engagement, have more conversations. They want to leverage the CRM suite or the CRM platform that we talked.
Nicholas Holland (25:31):
They want to leverage that through the CMS. I mean, that is a trend by the way that I can talk to every developer in the world. And I know it's hard to learn new tools, and I know they're quite opinionated, you know, tools, tooling and platforms just like religion. But you know, that trend of CRM powered CMS is, is coming. And you can see it through WordPress buying jet pack. You can see it through Salesforce launching, uh, they're kind of, um, headless CMS or their content tool. It's not quite a, it's not a CMS, but, um, you can see it with them. You know, you can see it in the fact that vendors that are out there are literally renaming their contact list manager to a marketing CRM, just so that they can play in the same sandbox. And that's what marketers, uh, I think are thinking about, I think, and I would then just push to the rest of the org, you know, how do you get that customer at the center of everything that you do, and then what's tools support that the best.
Nicholas Holland (26:31):
Um, and then it really just changes your perspective. And I think that we've got some people that we want to work with. And then I think WordPress is, is awesome. And it's going to be there for when we don't solve that need. And so we don't have that matches the customer where they are, what we want to be is that platform that they can plug into to know that it's going to be there for them when they do need it, when we catch up and or whenever they basically are still trying to go for that overall unified vision of, of really kind of scaling their company to deliver remarkable experiences.
John Farkas (27:01):
As I'm thinking about this integration. And you know, when we're talking about the CMSes are buying CRMs and, and pulling all that together, it's all about that, that desire to, to unify and to create more coherent streams of information that we can leverage. And there's not a more important place to do that in many ways than how, how health tech companies end up needing to engage. Because so often we're dealing with a very limited market. We're not going out to the whole world. We have to have engagement that we can pick up on that we can recognize that we can watch, see, respond and interact with. And, and that gets into a big trend. You know, a lot, a lot of our listeners are dealing with limited addressable markets, very specific, thin slices of people they need to find within these organizations and engage with and in the right time with the right message. So how are you seeing, you know, account-based marketing certainly isn't new, but how we're more effectively able to automate that. How were more effectively leveraged tools and integration and, you know, to, to bring that message across, what are you seeing in that front Nicholas as you are, uh, as you're moving in that realm?
Nicholas Holland (28:24):
Yeah. I think if you kind of go back to the, um, the kind of marketing lenses, we talked about the breadth, depth and orchestration. I think that, um, you know, for ABM, what makes it so unique compared to a traditional marketing effort is that you're not talking to the world, you're talking to it for a specific group and you're not casting a net wide you're spear fishing. And the things that come into play when you're doing that is that you need to probably have even better data tooling to be really good at this. Yes. It's one thing to have an account list, a target list. So we've got a hundred that we're working on, but the reality is is that if you're dealing with a segment of just a hundred, there are probably many more ways that you could break that down to get a lot more targeted industry revenue stage of the company, investing level, investment level, you know, where they are in their overall technology adoption curve, which tools they've bought already, et cetera.
Nicholas Holland (29:39):
So the first thing we've noticed is, you know, we've made a big push into ABM this last year. You could already do a lot of it. Like, so again, thinking about our data layer in the CRM, like lots of customers were doing ABM on HubSpot by truly just using the primary colors, meaning like it literally was the primary color. They weren't doing ABM. They were just using the data layer to like define their own stuff. And so we went ahead and federated that, and, and we put in things about target account and ideal customer profile levels and things like that. But ultimately what it allows you to do is bring sales and marketing together with a shared goal. This is a shared target list. We're going to work these as a team, and we're going to get very, very granular in terms of how do we basically segment and target, and then we're going to, and that's the data layer.
Nicholas Holland (30:33):
Then we're going to pick the messaging, the channels that we're going to go down and do that. And so, you know, by and large, uh, people do email, they do cold outreach, phone calls, things like that. What we're seeing a lot of cool things that people do that are applicable to ABM and, and kind of applicable to HubSpot's mission. And it's also just very unique. I'll give you an example. You know, people, I like there's a company I like called [inaudible], it's a company that has basically modernized or digitized gifting in the real world, but in a scalable fashion. And so, you know, what's interesting is if you think about sending somebody a physical gift, you probably wouldn't do that as a broad spectrum marketing tactics, too expensive, right? But on the flip side, when you're trying to get the attention of less than a hundred people or a small subset of accounts at gifting is a really fascinating thing to do.
Nicholas Holland (31:33):
And so gifting can be in the form of a coffee card. It can be in the form of a book. It can be in the form of schwag, all sorts of things that can happen in that. And, uh, and that's a channel, that's a messaging channel. That's effectively. If you think about that, when I think about, that's just, that's just another way to engage with somebody. And so now what you guys think about is the orchestration. So how do you construct a world where you're going after these people, you basically want to work with your sales team. You want to know when somebody changes, you know, one of their, uh, engagement levels. You want the scoring and stuff like that on it. And then you want to know, when do you need to put them maybe in a pool where you target ads against them to hopefully get them to be interested in some of your content, or if you're going to do any sort of like seminars or events, you want to be able to do things where if they engage and they get into where they've had an introductory phone call, he maybe you want to send them a real-world gift, et cetera.
Nicholas Holland (32:30):
And you want to do that in a way that’s like scalable. You want to do that in a way that’s scalable because you want to do that via automation. And you want to do that where basically what sales does is automatically informing what marketing does and vice versa. And then via reporting, you have a way of one, just seeing a state of the world, too. You have a way of understanding the, you know, the impact of what you’re doing. So that’s like with multi-touch revenue, attribution and things like that. Um, and that’s kind of how we brought it together. So we, we, we did multitouch revenue attribution. Uh, about two years ago, we have federated ABMS so that there’s, you know, dashboards. And it’s like out of the box, you’ve got a bunch of ABM, you know, automation reporting, et cetera. And then that unifying data set of how we treat the CRM again, whether it’s where your CRM, where it’s connecting to it. Um, there is a way that you can work really well with the marketing department and, um, and, and the sales department can work together and they can run those playbooks. So that’s kind of how we see that,
John Farkas (33:31):
The thing that is important here and where I think a lot of people struggle as they’re trying to justify a marketing budgets in our world is the lack of a really clear vision of how you can build this type of engagement and the ability to make a really clear case that if we do ABC and put these things in line and link them together and have really good, uh, integrated communication channels between we’ll be able to watch our prospects move through a flywheel, to use a HubSpot illustration. Um, we’ll, we’ll be able to see their engagement and know when is a good time to reach out, know how we can, you know, building a picture of what’s possible. First of all, doing the work to understand what’s possible because a lot of people don’t and then creating that case and showing how dynamic this is right now, how that integration of data of automation, of reporting, and really good well-formed content that sits all on top of a very strong message framework.
John Farkas (34:35):
I mean, that, that makes really good sense. And it’s possible. HubSpot’s always does a great job of providing content around this. Certainly we’ve got some in our own ecosystem, too, but if you have questions around that, if you are wondering what is possible, as we’re looking at a limited addressable market with very specific targets and how we can build meaningful engagement, that we can demonstrate return. I want people to know it’s possible right now. And not only is it possible it’s essential because increasingly your competition is doing, you know, that’s the reality. It’s people are figuring it out. It is going to quickly become the new norm as this technology advances, as our ability to, to watch, listen to and engage increases. It’s, it’s an essential part of engagement. So that’s my encouragement. If you don’t know, you can find out and if you can find out and harness that make a case for it within your organization and implement it, you’re going to be a hero because it’s going to really help transform how your organization engages with the market. For sure, for sure. You know, we’re, we’re talking to marketing leaders here. If you had the silver bullet to buy right now, if you wanted to communicate something that would compel them to run and check out HubSpot, what would it be?
Nicholas Holland (36:01):
You know, I, I asked marketers to kind of aspirational questions, things that mattered to me, and I see if it matters to them. You know, the first question I ask is, do you know how to attribute revenue to the marketing activities that you’re doing? Uh, it doesn’t have to be exact, but it should be roughly directionally, correct in that. Can you yet get to a point where you understand which marketing activities are working in which ones aren’t, which ones are generating some sort of business impact that is basically tied back to, for those who are listening to features like, can you do multi-touch revenue, attribution, and men talk about very difficult to pull off. You have to have your data in a single spot. You have to have it tied to the deal data and the revenue. You have to have all of your touch points, mapped out someplace to do that.
Nicholas Holland (36:55):
And then of course, you’ve got to have, you know, for those listening, there’s like all these crazy attribution models. Are you going to overweight the first touch, the last touch, the middle touch, you know, is that the pre pre for the deal of close? So, so that’s an interesting model where I tell marketers to think through that, because ultimately it comes back to the question, do you want to, you know, do you have an idea of what’s working for your business? And, and if you don’t, what, where are you on that path? I think everybody’s on the path. The second one that I think is, uh, it’s harder to pull off. We don’t, we don’t actually even have, uh, tools to do it specifically. Um, you have to kind of cobble it together in a couple of ways. Um, and it’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about, but it’s actually easier to do from a sit down with your team.
Nicholas Holland (37:37):
Is can you map out your customer journey again, it doesn’t have to be exact should be directionally correct. And does it reflect what you want it to be? And it’s just amazing how many people haven’t done that either. And so the first one is, do you know what marketing is working? The second one is, do you have a vision for what you want the customer experience to be? And it’s amazing how many people don’t have either. And that’s okay. We’re all along the spectrum. But like, think about that. If I were to ask that to somebody and they said, you know, we got, we have an idea, but we’ve never mapped it out. You know? So there’s like not a clear idea as to what you’re working towards and where the friction points are. And then again, what’s working in marketing and say, we have an idea, you know, we just haven’t really mapped it out yet.
Nicholas Holland (38:27):
That’s again, you don’t, you don’t really know what you’re working for. So those are the things where like, if I was in an organism and it takes years to get to this, and I mean, we, we have lucked out if someone adopts HubSpot uses it completely, that it is available out of the box after a while. I mean, you got to still run your business for a while on it. Sure. But man, it’s, it takes years. So whether they’re using HubSpot or something else, those feel like timeless questions that as a marketing leader, I would want to know
Anna Grimes (38:53):
I’m reminded of the old television show where one of the main characters, his signature line was, I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way. And, and, and it, it often can feel like that in, in a marketing context that, that, uh, all we know is we need to default to action and, and everything will be taken care of. And that’s, that’s obviously not, not the way to go. And that’s
John Farkas (39:20):
Maybe why marketing is one of the shortest tenured positions in the C-suite.
Nicholas Holland (39:25):
Yeah, because in absence of, of, uh, go do stuff, you know, think about the marketers out there. I, I feel passionate about helping them do this, because think about a world where they don’t have all that data. And they’re asked to perform, it’s tough. Think about a world where they don’t control the touch points and they’re asked to perform it’s tough. And so, you know, it’s part of the reason why you have to default to a bunch of activities. It’s like, I don’t know, like you said, you know, what’s working was a half of my marketing’s working. I just don’t know which half. Um, but you know, that’s, you have to default to a lot of activities that seem like they’re a directionally, correct. Because it’s tough to kind of go back to the empirical evidence. So that’s kind of where I want to go. That’s where I want to see the world of marketing go. That’s where I want HubSpot customers to go and where I want to take the platform. And I think that, you know, it, it’s a long journey. We’re all on that spectrum, but that’s, that’s what I’m excited about. That’s awesome.
John Farkas (40:19):
Awesome. Nicholas, thank you so much. And Mark, I’ll steal a little bit of what I know your thunder to be. We’ve got some great resources on our website about how to, how to approach KPI building, um, how, how to start that, because it’s got to start there. We have to, we have to clear idea what our objectives are and build the systems that, uh, that you need to put together to achieve that. And certainly HubSpot is a great way to go. There are others,
Anna Grimes (40:47):
But they’re just others.
Mark Whitlock (40:49):
John Farkas (40:55):
Nicholas, thank you so much for, uh, for your time today.
Nicholas Holland (40:58):
I appreciate it. It’s been fun. I always enjoy coming on here.
Mark Whitlock (41:00):
Nicholas Holland from HubSpot has been our guest here on episode 42 of Studio CMO. If you want to check out that guide to KPI building the John was talking about, come on over to our show notes. studiocmo.com/042 that’s studiocmo.com/042. We’ll link out to that complete guide. It’s online. It’s free, no email address, no nothing. Just come on over, check it out and build your KPIs or refine your KPIs based on what you read there.
Mark Whitlock (41:34):
Also, while you’re at that website, we will link out to Nicholas Holland’s information, uh, some information about HubSpot, and we would love for you to do one thing, make one click while you’re at that show notes page, scroll down to the bottom and subscribe to Studio CMO in your favorite podcasting app. That way you’ll be the first to know about the guests that we have coming up soon. Studio CMO is all about helping you the health tech marketing executive to build better market positioning and to deliver better demand generation for your health tech company. Can’t wait to get to know you better as a subscriber, and please tune in again. Next time around, we’ve got a CMO from a population health company who’s going to join us and talk about data among a whole host of other things. That’s next time on Studio CMO.
Mark Whitlock (42:29):
And until then, remember our three core tenants always understand your buyer’s problems, lead them with an empathetic understanding and always, always, always make your buyer the hero. We’ll see you next time on Studio CMO.
Mark Whitlock (42:44):
Studio CMO is shaped by Golden Spiral, an agency providing market positioning and demand generation for HealthTech. We help healthcare technology companies establish and communicate their unique message to the right decision-makers. Realize your market potential. Contact Golden Spiral. Our music is provided by some of Nashville’s hottest studio musicians who make up Human Music, a BMG production music company. Find out more at humanmusic.com.