Why the Marketing Software Space Needs a Winner

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 24, 2014 11:00:00 AM

    Scott Brinker has released the 3rd edition of his Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic. I copied and pasted the graphic below. 

    marketing technology jan2014 600 resized 600

    Crazy, ha? Imagine if manufacturing or accounting folks were subject to this mess? Companies would fail. How the hell is a marketer supposed to figure out what software to buy and use? I don't think it'll be like this forever. Every year, the number of marketing software companies grow. But every year, the number of different types of marketing software companies seem to shrink as different companies enter each other's space by adding functionality. 

    This is the first year that Scott has broken out software into only 6 different categories: Marketing Backbone Platforms, Marketing Middleware, Marketing Infrastructure, Internet Players Impacting the Marketing Environment, Marketing Experiences and Marketing Operations. You can read the full article to see what he means by these 6 different categories.  Although there is no perfect way to categorize chaos, it's the first time I've seen someone make any sense of the space so fully.

    I am completely biased of course, but my prediction is that the "Marketing Backbone Platforms" will eat the space. These companies include CRM players, marketing automation providers, web content management and ecommerce engines. Of course, HubSpot falls in this category as probably the broadest platform with both marketing automation and web content management built in, plus 10s of other needed software capabilities, for seo, social, analytics, etc. Then, the marketing middleware category turns software like HubSpot into a full platform since we have both our own integrations that connect HubSpot's data and functionality to CRMs and ecommerce engines, as well as third party integrations like Bedrock and Zapier that connect us to many more systems.

    Scott seems to agree that the backbond platforms and middleware will continue to bring structure to the market,  "Marketing Backbone Platforms and Marketing Middleware. These two classes of products are bringing some much needed structure to the marketing technology stack."  Buyers are driving this consolidiation. No buyer in their right mind would ever want to evaluate and purchase 100s of software products or even 10s of software for one function: marketing. 

    I'd go one step further than Scott and wager that marketing, sales and service will have one software platform.  In the near term, the marketing software space will have a winner (or a small # of them) when the software makes it easy for marketers to execute a brilliant marketing strategy; a strategy that supports the sales and growth strategies of their companies. I'd further wager that that'll happen through a proven marketing methodology and an integrated, all-in-one marketing software platform

    PS. Another great article from Luma Partners dissects the valuations of marketing tech companies and ad tech companies and shows that ad tech and marketing tech are destined to collide too. 

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    Explaining Inbound Marketing to Engineers

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 21, 2014 2:44:00 PM

    As a trained engineer, I love inbound marketing. I love it because it's predictable, measurable and improve-able. You can predict, deliver, then systematically grow the traffic, leads and sales that a company generates by employing a strong inbound marketing strategy. In short, inbound marketing makes sense for my engineer-brain. 

    Recently, Trew Marketing - an agency that serves companies who sell to scientists and engineers - asked me to write the foreward for their new ebook called, Smart Marketing to Engineers via Inbound Lead Generation. It's an excellent ebook. If you're an engineer curious about online marketing, it should make a lot of sense to you. There's even a section called, "The Math of Inbound Marketing". 

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    1 Click from a Twitter Profile to Information About How That Person Interacted with You and Your Business

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 20, 2014 4:14:00 PM

    HubSpot launched a new feature last month via a Google Chrome extension. Now, when you're navigating Twitter, you can see which of your twitter followers are also in your HubSpot powered contact database. In the screen grab from Twitter.com below, you can see the highlighted text that says, "View in HubSpot."


    With HubSpot's social media monitoring and publishing tools, there's not a lot of reason to visit Twitter, except for browsing around. But, I tend to use Twitter by visiting Twitter.com. So, this is a cool way to see which of my twitter contacts are in my HubSpot portal.  When I click on the "View in HubSpot" button, I can see much more about each contact.  For example, below is a screen capture of Rick's profile from my HubSpot portal. In my HubSpot portal, I can see much more about Rick including: what pages he's viewed on my site; what he's shared with me previously via forms on my site; and information I entered into HubSpot (or my CRM) about him. 



    As a salesperson, I can see how this could help me connect with people on Twitter at the right time with the right message on (or off) Twitter - by using the information I have about them in my HubSpot contact database. With it being one click away, I'm much more likely to go through the effort. 

    You can read about this feature and learn how to set it up on this support article from HubSpot

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    Discussions I Had in the Second Week of January, 2014

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 20, 2014 2:35:00 PM

    Most companies aren't very natural when it comes to blogging. They try to make everything a "how to" article or they report things in 3rd person like a journalist. That's pretty boring and un-natural. People don't talk that way. Commerce doesn't get done that way. With this post, I'm going to get back to blogging the way I used to blog: more like a teenager's diary. 

    I'm going to start by sharing some of the conversations I had last week. Met a few new interesting people doing cool stuff and talked to a few old friends. If you're interested in getting some time with me to talk about your sales and marketing, you just have to leave a comment on this post.

    If I know you and you want an intro to anyone below, let me know. Otherwise, just reach out to them. None of them barked or bit. 

    1. Neerav Mehta, founder of Red Crackle, a 5 person Drupal web development shop. Neerav and his team are very technical. So they often find themselves working for technical buyers who need help designing and developing custom drupal sites. 
    2. Steve Ka, of Intralearn. I've known Steve for the better part of a decade now, when we last collaborated on some nightlife promotions. He runs sales and channel development at Intralearn. They are launching a new product that is a lightweight LMS for Sharepoint users called NanoLearn. Any company who uses Sharepoint and needs to verify that their internal teams are learning something can benefit from NanoLearn, especially if employee training is required for legal compliance. 
    3. Andrew Teman and I had beers last week. Andrew is founder of We Make Heart and was most recently a VP at Hill Holliday. His agency specializes in working with larger brands who are seeking new ideas for grabbing serious share. Andrew has seriously legit experience across traditional and the many facets of digital marketing, and has been helping clients bridge the two. Lots of agencies talk about this. He's done some cool stuff that actually brings digital into the real world and vice-versa. 
    4. Douglas Barth, founder of SimplyDirect, Jon Kennedy, sales at SimplyDirect, and I spoke for :30 minutes last week so we could learn more about each other's companies. I recently received a personalized message via email with an invitation to take a survey. I would normally ignore these things, but the email was compelling, I was interested in the topic and they offered me a free gift to complete the survey. It was also only a few questions and they offered to send me the results if I took it. I visited the company's site who ran the survey and discovered SimplyDirect, a sales prospecting service that helps companies reach executive decision makers
    5. I caught up with Brent Hodgins, founder of Mirren Business Development, Hillary Miller, VP of Training at Mirren and Stephanie Ostrander, Event Manager at Mirren - last week. Brent and I began collaborating a few years ago when I first attended his Agency New Business Conference in NYC. Brent spoke at the Inbound conference last year and we sent a whole crew to his conference last year. Look forward to working together more. Brent said that he hears about HubSpot everywhere he goes. :-) 
    6. Rick Kranz of Overgo Studios lead a small group discussion last week, where he talked about his agency's marketing plan for next year. Rick is an online video marketing expert. So, in addition to learning about a few new video creation tools, we talked about the value of video when it comes to making your company more personable/relate-able. Rick told a story about how he walked into a prospect's office and everyone already knew his name. He had never met them, but they had been watching his videos. In order to make his marketing even more personal this year, Rick launched a new blog appropriately called, "Grow Your Business with Rick Kranz" or "Rick's blog" for short. 
    That's it. Did you meet anyone interesting last week? Should I do more posts like these? Want to be featured in the next one? Book some time to talk about your sales and marketing here.
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    3 Theories I'd like to Prove About Selling

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 20, 2014 10:00:00 AM

    There are 3 things I'd like to prove about selling over the next year. 

    1. Product differentiation drives sales results. HubSpot has been lumped into the marketing automation category by analysts and marketers. We entered the space and by many metrics have taken the top spot. But, we're so much more than marketing automation and marketing automation by itself will not help companies grow in the coming years; a full approach to attracting and converting strangers into buyers is necessary these days. We already do all of that, while everyone else is playing catch up. Further, our product will get even more differentiated over the next year as our excellent product team further builds and broadens our platform. My goal #1 is to prove that differentiation is the key to winning sales. That's hard, though. It's easy to sell things that people are looking for, that they expect. What's hard is selling things that are different. It requires our salespeople to truly be experts at our product, at our industry (marketing) and at selling. 
    2. Salespeople should help first, sell later, in order to build a massive never-ending pipeline of qualified referrals. Salespeople are notoriously focused on finding low hanging fruit; quick sales that require less effort. They ignore the importance of helping people first. They're quick to run their sales process instead of helping prospect's manage their buying process. They're focused on hitting short term goals instead of long term goals. Too often, they turn prospects off without even realizing it - by showing that they're more interested in selling their product than helping their prospect. I want to teach salespeople that helping first helps them in the long run. I want to teach salespeople how to build a massive pipeline of future deals by creating a circle of people who refer them business because they trust them, like them and respect them. 
    3. Salespeople should build their expertise publicly, in order to command respect and trust from prospects - more quickly and more easily. I want to teach salespeople how to develop and benefit from having public expertise. One of the smartest things I've done in my sales career is devote time to marketing my personal expertise online. When I had my startup back in the day, I blogged about it. When I joined HubSpot in our direct sales organization, I built the first version of this site to talk about how I was helping my customers. When I started HubSpot's agency partner program, I wrote blog posts, ebooks and put on webinars. This has helped me establish more and more credibility over the years, amongst a small but loyal group of followers. I'd never join a sales organization that doesn't have a strong inbound lead generation team in marketing. But, whatever organization I ever join will most likely benefit from my ability to bring my audience with me. Back in the day (and still these days), salespeople were hired for their rolodex. The new salesperson's rolodex is a personal web presence. 
    What do you think of these theories? Have you already proven any of them? Interested in helping to prove any of these with me? 
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    Anyone Want to Talk About Sales & Marketing? Book me Free.

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 14, 2014 6:20:00 PM

    I've blocked off a few hours each day in the afternoon to make some calls to help people with their sales and marketing strategy. 

    If you want to talk, leave your name and company name below. Leave a link to your Linkedin profile if your company is not easily findable online. Or reach out to me via Twitter @pc4media.

    Here's crteria: 

    1. You can't be a HubSpot customer or partner. 
    2. Your company must be 2-200 employees. 
    3. You can't be a marketing agency or marketing consultant. 
    4. You have to be in sales or marketing. 
    5. You must want to talk about sales and marketing. 
    6. You and your company must be based in North America. 
    That's it.  I might not get to you right away. So, please be patient. 

    Feel free to share this with other people who might be able to benefit from my help. 
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    Gravy & Mashed Potatoes, Hammer and Nails, Email and Analytics

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Dec 14, 2013 8:07:00 AM

    HubSpot is pretty famous these days. Well, maybe not as famous as the Beatles or bicycles. But HubSpot is as famous amongst marketers as let's say... One Direction is amongst teenage girls. Just like teenage girls and One Direction, there are different levels of fandom. Please don't ask me to explain what would make someone go gaga over these pubescent boys. But, maybe it's just that not every teenager gets to see One Direction live, up close and personal. I don't know. Probably taking this analogy too far. But, when my wife and I walked by them performing at a mall once, I saw firsthand how much their fans adore them. Most of the concerts I attended were in the 90s. So, it was new thing for me to observe. Anyway, the marketers who use HubSpot effectively are kind of like that. You can see it in the case studies. We get gushing notes every day from customers about how we've changed their fortunes and their lives, and helped them change the lives of their customers. 

    So, why is it? There's a reason, I think. Why do we have these gushing fans? Most companies would say that their fans are fabs because "of a lot of little things all wrapped up into one". That's true for HubSpot in two major ways. Yes, we pride ourselves on caring about our customers; providing support that backs that up, we focus on educating the market and especially our customers and partners; our software team is brilliant at UI and usability. There are lots of reasons. But, these are secondary to the one big one. 

    The big one is integration.  Yes, integration is a cheesy over-used marketing word. Totally. We prefer 1+1 = 3. It's the same thing, though. The important thing is that our founders were ballsy enough to say from the beginning, "We want to be the only marketing software that a business needs!". And we did it. We'll never be done, of course. But, we're as done at this goal as anyone else is. Especially companies that don't innovate from within and have to acquire to try and keep up. The claim was certainly was more hyperbole in the beginning. We started with search engine optimization (SEO) tools and small businesses (SMBs) and a shitty content management system (CMS). But, we've broadened that big time beyond SEO tools-- all while serving many different types and sizes of businesses. The claim is true now.

    So, why is 1+1=3 so important to our customers? Two words: Efficiency and Effectiveness. Yes. Also over-used and cheesy sales words. Let's get beyond the cheese. Let's start talking about cheese and crackers. Maybe a bit of PB&J? Or how about screw drives and screws?

    HubSpot has integrated things together in ways that no other marketing software company has. We've done it in a way that our customers can't imagine living without. A grass lawn with no lawn mower? A garden without a shovel? Cars without wheels? Ha? What are you crazy? You can't take this stuff apart? 

    The thing we don't talk about enough is that long list of things that make 1+1=3 equations. We're not talking about just 2 things that make three. We're talking about a whole lotta math equations that just don't make any sense. There are a handful of 1+1=5 equations in there and even one equation that goes something like 2+2=12. 

    Here are a few of my favorites: 

    1. Web analytics + contact database = lead intelligence 
    2. CMS + Analytics = Smart CTAs
    3. Social Media Monitoring + contact database = social prospecting 
    4. Email marketing + website analytics = marketing automation
    5. SEO + Web analytics = you still do manual SEO reporting, you fool?
    6. CRM + HubSpot = closed loop marketing
    7. Blogging software + CTAs =  lead generation
    8. Landing pages + analytics = lead tracking
    What are your favorites? How do they help you be more effective and more efficient? 
    PS. If you're a HubSpot partner or customer and you've written an article about how HubSpot makes you more efficient or more effective because of a 1+1=3 equation, tweet it with hash tag #HubSpot1+1=3
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    Technical Content Drives Online Engagement For Industrial Companies

    Posted by Todd Hockenberry on Oct 19, 2013 8:06:00 AM

    technical content inbound marketingWe work with a lot of highly specialized, technical manufacturing companies and one of the things we've heard a lot over the years is that no one wants to read about them. We've had clients who thought their products and services were too complex and technical to drive substantial internet traffic to things like a blog or social media account.

    The thinking goes that highly technical fields, such as fiberglass reinforced plastic parts for cooling towers, aren't flashy enough to be interesting to read about. If someone is in the market for these kinds of goods and services, then they're going to want spec sheets and wouldn't be interested in regular blog posts.

    There is one big problem with this line of thinking. It isn't true.

    Well, to be fair, part of the underlying assumption is true. It is true that there isn't as much interest in something like laser marking systems as there is in celebrity gossip or home décor. Highly specialized engineering and manufacturing-based blogs and other content probably isn't going to go viral, retweeted by teens and pop stars. But that's not really the point of this kind of content anyway. So, what is the point?

    Content With a Job

    Every piece of content needs to have a purpose, a job. When it comes to technical content the job is fourfold:

    1. Attract

    2. Educate

    3. Qualify leads

    4. Contribute to the Inbound Sales process

    To really understand and get the most out of technical content you need to keep the purpose of the content in the forefront of your mind.


    Straight up good old SEO is a prime use for technical content. By definition technical content is long tail. Not many people search 'pipe beveling machines for gas lines' or 'fuel additives for power generators,' but when they do, you can be fairly certain that they want to know what you are about. Industrial SEO is measured in quality of leads, not quantity. Most industrial companies need 10s and 100s of leads to make a huge sales difference as opposed to a consumer-oriented seller that needs thousands just to move the needle a little bit. Some of our clients are thrilled when we get them two or three great leads per month making the long tail part of SEO an ideal tactic to grow revenue.


    Technical information might seem dull, but it has great potential for education. One of the great things about working with technical and industrial companies is that there is always something to write about. There are always topics to cover that the average reader might not know a lot about, or might like clarification on. New applications, new inventions, even new industries always provide lots of topics in which to place in context the solutions of an industrial company. Problems multiply and solutions are always in demand so the technical company that is writing will never lack for topics to address.

    Qualify Leads

    Technical and complex areas of manufacturing aren't going to dethrone the latest Justin Bieber stunt, but that's ok. Good technical content is going to help you pull in leads that are high quality. Why? Because a Justin Beiber fan isn't going to be in the market for a laser marking system, but someone who downloads a case study about laser marking probably is. Judicious use of prmeium content will help qualify leads. Developing content that matches sales cycles shows you where technical buyers are in the sales process. Someone who asks for a request for quote is probably heading for the bottom of the sales funnel. Someone downloading a whitepaper about the used of fiberglass resins in the chemical processing industry is in your world, but may just be beginning to research a project and is an ideal candidate for lead nurturing.

    Contribute to the Inbound Sales Process

    The right case study sent to a good prospect builds credibility for inbound-focused salesperson. A relevant blog article builds credibility for a salesperson as more than an order taker.  A vibrant LinkedIn group where the latest technical information is shared and discussed positions the salesperson as an expert in their field.

    Using content produced for inbound marketing as a sales enablement tool is the hallmark of an inbound salesperson. Inbound is all about attracting people using marketing that is relevant to them. Inbound sales is about being the type of salesperson who prospects want to engage with and not hold their nose and tolerate.  

    Sharing great content, focused on prospects, delivering technical solutions that they need, using the channels they use, is the right way to drive online engagement for technical and industrial companies.

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    Topics: marketing for manufacturing, Top Line Results, inbound sales

    Email Personalization: Pushing it Beyond Hello {First Name}

    Posted by Shannon Fuldauer on Sep 15, 2013 6:10:00 AM

    personalize email

    Late last week, I found myself with 114 new emails in my inbox. Not unusual, but not wonderful to wake up to. But there was one that really caught my eye. The email was from J.Crew, and the subject line read, “Easiest wedding ever – two steps to the perfect bridal party.” As a recently engaged bride-to-be, knee deep in wedding planning mode, my curiosity took over and I opened the email.

    This was the only email of the bunch I opened. And I am sure I don’t need to tell you what happened to the remaining 113 (insert evil laugh here).

    So what made that email so unique it avoided the dreaded trash folder? Well it just so happens that earlier this week I was perusing the bridal gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses on Jcrew.com. Unlike the other 113 emails that were offering free shipping, half off pants, BOGO sweaters and gosh knows what else, J.Crew used behavioral intelligence to develop a message that really resonated with me. Sure it's much easier to create one-size-fits-all emails, but easier does not always equate to the best results.

    While most marketers agree email personalization is important, not many companies today are leveraging the power of personalization. In fact, according to the 2013 Experian Digital Marketer Report, 70 percent of brands are not personalizing emails sent to their subscribers.

    For those companies that take the extra step of creating personalized campaigns, the results speak for themselves. Here are a few more interesting statistics from the report.

    • Personalized promotional emails had a 29 percent higher unique open rate and 41 percent higher unique click rate compared to non-personalized emails
    • Personalized triggered emails had a 25 percent higher unique open rate and a 51 percent higher click rate
    • Personalized emails generate transaction rates and revenue per email that is more than six times higher than non-personalized emails

    With the tools available to marketers today, creating a personalized experience for your audience in well within your reach. Personalization is much more than including the person’s first name in the subject line or body copy. A truly personal email speaks to the subscriber’s pain points, preferences, fears and stage within the buying cycle.

    Developing buyer personas is a great way to uncover a potential buyer’s preferences, pain points, fears, etc. Targeting smaller subsets rather than blasting your entire audience with a generic offer often increases engagement rate and, in turn, conversions.

    Remember simpler is not always better. Is your company part of the 70 percent underutilizing the power personalization?

    Shannon Fuldauer has a B2B and B2C eCommerce Marketing background including roles as Vice President of Marketing & Sales Support, and subsequently Vice President of Public Relations & SEO Services, for CareerBoard.com. She has expertise in digital marketing and advanced email communications.

    photo credit: m-c
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    Topics: email personalization, email best practices, kuno creative

    The Importance of Confidence in Sales. Channeling Liam Neeson's Taken Character.

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Sep 6, 2013 1:52:00 PM

    I'm a huge fan of the movie Taken. In general, Liam Neeson is the man. But, he's especially the man in this movie. If you've ever watched the first Taken movie, I'm sure you remember the scene where his daughter calls him from underneath a bed in her friend's cousin's apartment in Paris, as she's about to be abducted by what turns out to be some thugs running a prostitution ring. The kidnapper picks up the phone and Liam notices the change in breathing. He then delivers an amazing set of lines over the phone from across the world. If you haven't seen the scene, here you go...

    If you don't want to watch it or don't remember the scene, here's what he says:

    I don't know who you are
    I don't know what you want
    If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you that I don't have any money
    But what I do have is a very unique set of skills
    A set of skills I have acquired over a very long career
    Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you
    If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it
    I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. 
    But if you don't...
    I will look for you. I will find you. I will kill you.

    As you can see, Liam has confidence. He is direct and concise. He knows what he's capable of delivering and he's confident in telling the guy on the other end of the line what he can do. He is appropriately aggressive for the situation, but in a calm, cool and collected way. Anyone who is a father can relate to wanting to react in that way. Not many of us could. Very few of us would be able to deliver on the threat, either.

    Salespeople need to be confident too. Salespeople need to be calm and collected. Even in difficult situations, they need to state clearly what they can do, set expectations properly, and then follow through on their words. They need to be appropriately confident so that their prospect believes them. 

    Just like very few (if any) of us would ever be able to react the way Liam did in the movie, salespeople do not commonly exhibit the appropriate level of confidence. I've found that it's important to remind salespeople that they are absolute experts at what they do. Salespeople often need to be reminded of how much of an expert they are before they can project it. Sometimes, they have it. Sometimes, when stress hits them at the end of their quota period or they lose a deal,  they really lose confidence. A sales manager isn't always there to remind them how awesome they are. So, sometimes, it makes sense for salespeople to develop a habit of reminding themselves through sales affirmations, so they can project the confidence they need to project. At Inbound13, in my "Transformational Selling" talk, I delivered these lines to a room full of inbound marketing agency owners, as a reminder to them that they are experts and that as they talk to prospects, they should be confident in their expertise: 

    I know who you are.
    I know what you want.
    If you're looking for an easy answer, I can tell you that I don't have one
    But what I do have is a very unique set of skills
    A set of skills that I have acquired over a very long career
    Skills that make me a savior for people like you
    If you buy from me now, we will make progress faster
    But if you don't..
    I won't look for you. I won't find you. I can't help you.

    $10 to the first person who uses it on a sales call at closing time. Have your prospect comment here after they've bought. It's pretty much what a great salesperson should be able to say anyways, if they've done it right

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