In its original vision, Hubspot wanted companies to reimagine the way they performed marketing. They recognized that buyers were tired of getting interrupted by marketing and harrassed by sales people with tactics such as advertisements, direct mail, email solicitations, and cold calls. Technology had advanced to where customers were able to filter out many of these interruptions with caller ID, voice mail, spam filtering, and DVRs. Hubspot’s vision was to stop the aggressive outbound techniques and instead let prospects find you when they are in a purchasing cycle. Hubspot’s vision was the concept of inbound marketing. Instead of interrupting customers, draw them in with useful content that helps them do their job.
Hubspot does a great job of comparing the “froms” and “tos” (i.e. the “befores” and “afters”). For example:
“With inbound marketing, prospects find you instead of you finding them.”
“Inbound marketing takes the marketing people know (and hate) and turns it on its head.”
“It’s about attracting people not annoying them.”
“It’s about out-thinking your competitors not outspending them.”
A key part of Hubspot’s category creation has been getting the corporate marketing community to understand its vision and embrace it. Strategies have included:
- Executive Evangelists – Brian Halligan (CEO) and Dharmesh Shah (CTO) founded Hubspot in 2005 with the original vision around inbound marketing. In 2010 they published a book on Inbound Marketing that has become required reading for all corporate marketing professionals. Since then, both executives have been the lead evangelists for the company (and the category) with the media, analysts, customers, and partners.
- Publications – Hubspot has published an amazing library of content on its website with educational guides, marketing templates, and automated tools to help companies perfect their inbound marketing. Ebooks include “How to Create a Podcast,” “How to Build a Brand,” and “How to use YouTube for Business.” Tools include a Marketing Plan Generator, Blog Ideas Generator, and Social Media Calendar. Hubspot has packaged up some of its best content into kits like the “Email Marketing for Startups Kit,” “International SEO Kit” and “Event in a Box Kit.”
- World Tour – Hubspot evangelists can be found speaking at the large Growth Marketing, Inbound Marketing, and Disruptive Marketing trade shows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The company also hosts its own event series in major cities to specifically evangelize how marketing organizations can use Hubspot tools to enable their marketing programs.
- Partner Program – Hubspot recognizes that many corporate marketing organizations look to outside agencies for advice and consultation on how to select technologies. As a result, the company built a network of thousands of marketing agencies around the globe. The partners are certified in Hubspot technology enabling them to run it on behalf of their clients or to help implement it for their clients.