One client's path to the Hubspot platform and Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) inbound marketing services
For 18+ months search engine rank rose, leads rolled in, webinars were full, readers subscribed, and customers volunteered to be in case studies. Increasingly, we coached while staff on the client side executed. And for 60-90 days results were up and the cash investment to get them was down. Then, for the first time in about 2 years, rank dropped and leads slowed to a trickle. I got called in to explain it and fix it... balancing their desire to in-source with a pressing need to re-jumpstart leads.
Many marketing tools hooked together can work
In 2009 we were helping an awesome client -- a technology company with $250M in annual sales and a fire in its belly. A few years before, in 2007, we'd helped them build a new website using ColdFusion. With search optimized content that featured their brilliant expertise, awesome customer service, and thrilled clients, their profitability increased. We nurtured clients and prospects using a private-labeled version of the IMN email marketing service. We used SEMrush, Wordstream, and Google Trends for keyword research and Google Analytics to see visitor sources and behavior.
And for 18+ months search engine rank rose, leads rolled in, webinars were full, and readers subscribed.
Perhaps best of all, end-customers volunteered to be featured in case studies.
Shifting work from pro marketing consultant to staff member can work too... for a while
We got relatively stress-free processes in place too. Producing content and events involved many steps, but it was no longer a fire drill. So the client shifted marketing tasks that used to be on my team's plate, to in-house staff members' plates. Increasingly we coached while staff on the client side executed. Our client dialed up their staff and dialed down their marketing consultant. And for two to three months results were up and the cash investment to get them was down.
Then, for the first time in about two years, rank dropped and leads slowed to a trickle. Fewer came to webinars and subscribed to email updates. Management called me in to explain it and fix it.
It appeared to me that most marketing tasks were still getting done, but more slowly and with less compelling (mediocre, to be honest) content. Where customer success stories, industry forecasts, and subject matter expert profiles used to be, for example, there was now content supplied by OEMs.
The "voice" had changed noticeably, too: Before, the organization came across as smart, confident (blunt, even), and occasionally funny. Now it came across as shallow, sales-y, and pleading (so many exclamation marks!!).
Search engine optimization wasn't woven into planning and production, it was an afterthought. The advantage our client had built by being a first class publisher of its own expertise, was shrinking.
With the start of 2010 coming up, they needed a roadmap. Was the goal to become completely self-sufficient at marketing? Or was the goal to get back the lead generation momentum they'd had before?
One way to increase their self-sufficiency and possibly their effectiveness at DIY marketing, was to help them migrate their website built in Coldfusion and managed by my team, to Hubspot. This was 2009, and the costs and benefits of migrating looked like this:
Migration cost estimate
- Migration to Hubspot: $3150 (one-time fee covers reproducing website design as closely as possible; moving 315 pages of content and forms; creating 301s if page URLs changed; 4 hours of marketing consulting from Hubspot; and final changes, testing, client reviews, and discussion)
- Hubspot software subscription: $250 per month
- B2B Communications coaching-only services: $1,250 per month
Our client would get dozens of badly needed features and benefits from migrating to HubSpot software. Among them:
- Easy-to-use content management system (CMS): no IT or web developer needed to update content or create landing pages in minutes
- Keyword Grader: to identify high volume, relevant, attainable keywords to use when optimizing your site to get found more easily online
- Integrated lead nurturing: to sales conversion rates by sending drip campaigns to new online leads on a pre-defined cadence
- Marketing Analytics: to get up to the moment reporting and ROI analysis that helps you make decisions about where to invest marketing efforts
- Success Customer Community: an exclusive customer resource where 7000+ marketers and HubSpot experts share advice and support
We looked at three possible paths for 2010 internet marketing. Roughly, they were:
|Course of action||Pros||Cons|
|1. Don't migrate; continue low level outsourcing (10 hrs/mo) to coach in-house staff and tweak existing website as needed.||Relatively low cost. Consultant guarantees you follow best practices and get professional results in a timely way. Low time investment from in-house staff to coordinate with consultant. No ramp up -- familiar marketing process.||Probably won't jumpstart leads or improve long term outlook for lead generation. Rank will likely continue to slide. Dependent on consultant to make changes.|
|2. Don't migrate; increase to moderate (25 hrs/mo) outsourcing to raise your marketing game.||Use of consultant guarantees you follow best practices and get professional results in a timely way. No ramp up -- familiar marketing process.||Requires more cash investment in outsourcing. Still dependent on consultant. Staff needs to coordinate much more with consultant (tasks + training).|
|3. Full migration; allocate one staff member to do marketing full time||Rapidly build marketing skills, knowledge, capabilities. Brings website management in house, lowering costs over long term. Staff is doing more marketing, less coordinating with consultant.||Upfront costs to migrate. New marketing processes. New tools to learn; learning curve may delay results. May still need consultant for strategy, content.|
My perspective was that, used together, B2B Communications and Hubspot would help our client get more sales leads, lower the cost per lead, and turn more leads into sales. The migration would more than pay for itself as a result.
Could these things be accomplished without HubSpot and without B2B Communications? Of course! But having the right tools and a knowledgeable advisor can certainly make a job easier.