There's a lot of confusion in the marketplace about which marketing automation tools are best suited to small and midsized businesses. A big part of the confusion is attributable to the growing array of choices available. Another contributor is the lack of a proper evaluation framework with which to determine best fit.
The majority of conversations I've had with business owners aren't initially about technology - they're about outcomes. "We need more leads for the sales team." "We need more customers to buy our latest product". "Our marketing department has to produce better results." "We need a sizable revenue increase to hit our quarterly target."
So, the questions I get as a HubSpot reseller are typically outcome based. " Will HubSpot get more leads for the sales team?" " Can HubSpot help our marketing department produce the results we need?" "If we use HubSpot will we get more customers to buy our products?" In short - "Will HubSpot work?"
The real answer?
It depends on the following five things:
- Clearly defined marketing objectives. And by clearly defining your marketing objectives I mean that they are directly related to your clearly defined business objectives.
- A realistic marketing budget. A budget that allows for the purchase of marketing technology, the integration of the technology with your existing platforms, the personnel (internal or external or both) to own and run the technology and the content necessary to drive traffic, leads and sales - in a way that will achieve your objectives.
- Devotion to analysis. There are a lot of moving parts in the inbound marketing process and tweaking those parts to improve results requires vigilant attention to reporting and analysis.
- Willingness to learn. While you're busy tweaking your inbound marketing campaigns to improve results, HubSpot is tweaking the software in an effort to improve it. This requires the willingness to be a perpetual student and learn how to leverage new functionality.
- Patience. There's no quick fix in the marketing game and that applies to all marketing automation tools, not just HubSpot. If you're expecting immediate results, you'll be disappointed. After all, how long did it take you to get your business where it is right now?