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The Misuse of Hubspot

Inbound Marketing

Way back in 2012, our primary focus in online marketing was metrics like, web traffic, SEO ranking, time spent on website, inbound links and many more similar type measurables. In many cases we had all these non-integrated tools we had to manage 2-3 times per week to get this information.

According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs, marketing “back in the day” was NOT measuring metrics like sales, customer renewal rates and conversion rates.

As online marketing tools become more advanced, so MUST our ability to measure more relevant metrics. If the tool exists now to measure, so must our ABILITY to measure.

Not Just Another Tool

If tools like Hubspot get put into the category of 'just another tool', like the way we used to measure traffic, SEO ranking, time spent on website, then that is mistake number one. Automated marketing tools like Hubspot must be the foundational tool that make all the other tools work better. If not, get rid of them and start by asking the following questions.

Question Number 1: “Why are we marketing in the first place?” Think about the business for a minute, or as some would say, spend time working on-the-business, not in-it. If that is “not-your-job” find that person and ask them that fundamental question. You might hear things like, “we need to acquire more customers for this particular product, or grow current customers by offering complementary products, or get them to reorder more frequently, or retain the customers we currently lost due to attrition, competition, etc.” Ask this question at least once a quarter.

Question Number 2: The answers to the “Why” question should setup the “How” question. If you are responsible for developing and managing the execution of your marketing strategy, this part is your job. Ask, “How am I going to build a system that will tell me if my marketing is effectively helping to support the Why question objectives?” Running your marketing program in a marketing software without a dashboard tied to the proper metrics, is like driving with your car shade over your windshield and instrument panel. Don't drive home like that!

Question Number 3: Now on to the “What” question. I like to start with what we will be “measuring”, not what we will be “doing.” Sometimes our passion, excitement or urgency takes us from idea to action so fast we fail to properly plan. Guess what folks, marketing is measurable! That scares a lot of people in the marketing field, particularly those who have been around awhile. Our marketing analytical ability must evolve faster than the pace of the marketing and sales tools being developed.

You can be on the right tack, but if you just sit there or not move forward, you will eventually get run over. - Return On Energy

At Mojo Media Labs, you must a) be analytical, b) have ability to produce some type of content, and c) LOVE inbound marketing. These are the core tenants to make Hubspot sing and positively impact the business. Without these drivers, Hubspot has a tendency to be misused.

Levels of Marketing Data

To prevent data paralysis that will hurt your ability to analyze, consider marketing metrics in the following data-levels.

Marketing Data Levels

Level 1 Data (daily review over your morning coffee)

    • Visits (traffic)
    • Leads
    • Customers (closed loop marketing)
    • Visitors to Leads conversion rate
    • Leads to Customers conversion rate
    • The deltas of the above (goals, year over year).
    • Benchmark factors to other data sets

Level 2 Data (review 2-3 times per week)

    • Traffic sources (organic, referrals, social media, email marketing, direct traffic and other campaigns you might be running)
    • Visits by traffic source
    • Lead and Customer conversion rate by source
    • Plus deltas and benchmarks

Level 3 Data (review 3-4 times per month)

    • More granular data within each traffic source, for example, the deep dive in social media traffic and conversions (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
    • Attribution (causes and behaviours that produced a customer)
    • Plus deltas and benchmarks

Level 4 Data (review 1-2 times per month)

    • The factors that impact your inbound campaign results such as, keywords, landing pages (views and submission rates), emails, call to actions (click-through rates), social messages, pay-per-click campaigns, workflow effectiveness, etc.
    • Social followers; likes, connections, friends, followers, etc.
    • Blog analytics
    • Inbound links, SEO ranking, time spent on website, URL tracking, etc.

Each of the data level examples above are not exhaustive by any means, however they are a great outline to start answering the “What should we measure” question.

"Back in the day” we primarily focused on level 2-4 data, but rarely level 1 data. Level 1 data is what that all the marketing activities should be measured against. That is the primary way Hubspot is misused.

Match Data Levels With Department Executives

These data levels can become your core marketing communications tool when you match each data level with your department heads. For example, the CEO might want to know Level 1 Data first, and the CMO might want to know Level 1 and Level 2 Data. The Marketing Manager, Coordinator etc, will need to have insight at all data levels.

Please don’t go to a CEO and report first on how many twitter followers you have or how many blogs you published, start first with level one data. If they want to take a deep dive, they will ask those questions...and you will be ready.

Work from data level 1 to 4, and not 4 to 1. Improving your ability to analyze the data to make recommendations to hit goals is critical. This is how you demonstrate your ability as a trusted marketing advisor and a real value add to the business.

If you consider your Hubspot tool as just another tool we used in the day, well you are really missing a big opportunity to personally develop your marketing ability, and be marketing leader in the future. As I like to say about blogging, it’s as much about the numbers as it is about the words.

Now it’s time to get to work on the next step, develop the marketing activities that will drive Level 1 Data!

download the guide "The Big HubSpot Question"


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