When it comes to marketing and sales automation platforms, our agency could have chosen any digital sales and marketing platform to implement an inbound methodology on. We chose HubSpot.
Here is my personal "Why" behind being a HubPartner and attending HubSpot's Partner Day 2017 (North America).
“You see, there are over 3,000 HubSpot partner agencies, and only the top 10% are invited to HubSpot headquarters for Partner day. I was honored to have been one of the 230 individuals in attendance."
The last week of April, I had the honor of attending HubSpot’s Partner Day North America. It’s a special event for the Partner community where the top Gold, Diamond and Platinum partners are invited to HubSpot headquarters in Cambridge, MA to attend sessions on upcoming advancements in the world of inbound sales and marketing. Many of us take it all in then take back to our agencies to begin strategizing how to implement the new advancements in the HubSpot tool with our customers. It’s one of my favorite events of the entire year. There’s something humbling, inspiring, and infectious about being invited to join the top 10% of inbound agencies in such an intimate setting. It’s rejuvenating and inspirational.
You see, there are over 3,000 HubSpot partner agencies, and only the top 10% are invited to HubSpot headquarters for Partner Day. I’m honored to have been one of the 230 individuals in attendance. Some self proclaimed “inbound agencies" offer a variety of different services (think traditional marketing like print ads, tv, and radio)and work with various different marketing automation tools like Market, ActOn, and Pardot so they can throw "inbound" as a service on their website. Most of the HubSpot partners at Partner Day are there by invitation only because each of us has embraced the inbound methodology of lead generation and customer delight as created by HubSpot. We know inbound strategy. We bleed orange. We know the tool inside and out. We believe in HubSpot’s message of delighting the humans, not pushing hard sales. Remember, if you build your site with quality information to educate your target audience, they will come.
When I first arrived at #HubHeadquarters on day one, I immediately felt like I had arrived to a family reunion. Having been a part of the HubSpot community for over 5 years, I’ve come to know and be friends with so many partners and HubSpotters in the partner program. The community HubSpot has built for partner agencies is truly remarkable. These people are my friends.
If there was one resounding theme from Partner Day this year, it was that change is happening and we are constantly adapting as agencies. We have to in order to keep our clients relevant in the rapidly changing landscape of buyers. With so many tools and technology, how can we keep up? How can HubSpot help us keep up? There are a lot of great new tools coming out to help us better attract, convert and delight our prospects, but overall, what I was able to take away was an all over battery recharge. HubSpot when I first knew it back in 2013 was a much smaller, more personal start-up. Their annual conference, INBOUND, was just 3,000 people. Last year, it was over 20,000. That should tell you something. The way buyers want to be sold to has drastically changed over the course of the past decade, and people want to learn what to do to reach them. So they go to events like INBOUND to learn.
Just being at headquarters made me reflect on how much we have grown as a HubSpot partner agency in the past two and a half years. We’ve learned from our customers, we’ve learned from each other as a team, learned from HubSpot, and we’ve learned from the HubSpot partner community. HubSpot believes in their community, so they are constantly giving back to it. The amount of resources and individual support we have from HubSpot is tremendous. And we’re already a customer! They’re purely “Delighting” us in the true fashion of the inbound methodology as it relates to Attract and Convert, as well as Close, and Delight.
Inbound is Constantly Changing
It changes because of the buyer. As they evolve, the inbound methodology becomes more fluid. It’s foundation remains the same, but new ideas and strategies are introduced. Video has been a hot topic for the past couple years. Partner Day sessions helped us think about new ways to incorporate different content (blogs, videos, podcasts) into the methodology to match the buyer’s desired path.
One thing I had really not considered with great seriousness is AI - Artificial Intelligence (think Alexa and Siri). One session dove into the realm of possibilities that AI can bring to inbound have producing a more delightful experience online for the visitor… which leads to conversions and ultimately to sales. This session opened my eyes to just how ingrained AI is already in my daily life.
Each morning my Echo Dot tells me the news and weather for my local area. My Nest thermostat automatically adjusts itself to a lower temperature in the morning because it has learned when we’re not going to be home and has adjusted based on what it has learned from our behavior. The instructions literally say that the first week with your Nest, it LEARNS from you and will automatically adjust based upon what you tell it the first week you own it.
It learns! What?!
Then, I get in the car each morning and immediately have a pop up alert on my Apple Watch that traffic on the way to my daughter’s school is slow. It knows where I am going because of my habits and behaviors. I haven’t asked it for this data, it has learned that each morning at 7:20 a.m., I get in the car and drive to my daughter’s school. All of this is just the beginning.
The HubSpot Partner Community - A Powerful Resource
HubSpot’s top tired partners are a giving community who support each other. At Partner Day, I love getting the opportunity to talk with other agencies to see what they’re doing to help their customers and share success stories from our customers.
It's about thinking differently, coming up with new ways of delighting our client’s prospects, and the strategies HubSpot and other agencies have tested to find new growth. Having a day to get out of your agency and focus on working ON the agency to grow and help clients grow is a pivotal part of Partner Day to me.
It’s an opportunity to learn new approaches to how to serve customers better.
It’s also an opportunity to meet new partners and foster relationships with them. For example, Google AdWords and Social advertising is not our area of expertise, however, we have a fellow HubSpot Partner who specializes in it, so we work with them on our customer’s PPC campaigns to get them better results..
Here are a few pics of the HubSpot Partners from Partner Day from the past two years I have attended:
HubSpot Partners are Going Vertical - How Did We Do It?
I glow with pride when other partners ask us just how we did it. How did we go vertical? How did we succeed at focusing on office technology and imaging companies as a HubSpot partner? It's not an easy thing for a partner agency to do. Working with the copier dealer customers in their inbound marketing and sales strategies is enjoyable. It wasn’t always that way. We took on some of the wrong fit customers in the beginning. We’ve since parted ways with these wrong fit clients, and now have clients who we are proud to say, “get it.” They see the value, they put in the time to help us help them succeed.
I left Partner Day feeling recharged in our inbound efforts and with a variety of new ideas to help our clients grow in their inbound journey. There is no intense competition between partners. There is collaboration and a general sense of being helpful to each other. So not only are we lucky enough to have an amazing and talented inbound team here at Prospect Builder, we have an entire network of amazing people to work and grow within the partner and HubSpot communities to make inbound a better way to connect and convert buyers.
And for that, I am truly grateful.