Ryan's experience ranges from higher education to SMBs and tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he's sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy pastime.
Every year we go to the Inbound Conference in Boston with excitement for the main event; a keynote from HubSpot founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan. Every year they burst onto the stage with a lot of fanfare and bring us news on advancements of HubSpot's marketing and sales platform.
This year, some interesting add-ons and integrations have been added to make HubSpot even better. We've already written about the inclusion of SSL for every website. But Let's take a look at the major announcements and how they may impact your sales and marketing.
New HubSpot Features Launching in 2015
Sadly, most of the new features announced this year are paid add-ons. If you want to take advantage of them, you have to pay a premium to get them. For some, these features won't be worth the price tag associated. For others, it will be more than worth the extra fee.
The Reporting Add-On
HubSpot already has some pretty nice reports when it comes to the marketing platform. Most of the KPI's I track are already part of the built-in analytics. But with the reporting add-on, marketers will save a ton of time compiling reports their superiors demand on a regular basis.
The idea behind the reporting add-on is that marketers can build a custom dashboard with all of the custom information their superiors ask for. Rather than spending hours in excel to build custom reports, you build them on your dashboard, and they are immediately accessible at all times.
Not only that, but your dashboard can feature all of the KPI's you want to track, and reports can be run automatically on just about anything.
Here is how HubSpot explains the value of this add-on:
Improving and optimizing your marketing starts with understanding your data. HubSpot's Reporting Add-on brings all the reports you need to analyze your marketing and sales data into one customizable dashboard. A happy home for your data.
The Ads Add-On
This was an exciting announcement bringing paid traffic under the same umbrella of all the other inbound marketing tasks. HubSpot has done a great job of building an all-in-one marketing tool, but managing ads has always been something you had to leave your dashboard to do.
Not only can you create and manage ads from your HubSpot dashboard, but you get the HubSpot in-depth reporting on those ads as well. Now, you can easily track exactly how many leads came from which ad, and what they did on your site without worrying about wrangling 3rd party integrations.
Here's how HubSpot explains it:
The Ads Add-on is the easiest way to create, measure and leverage ads for inbound marketing. You can now create ads right inside HubSpot and figure out which ads convert the most leads into customers. Easily build great ads that support your existing campaigns and track ROI down to the keyword.
Predictive Lead Scoring
Being able to use science and numbers to create a perfect lead scoring system sounds like a great idea. However, until I actually see it in motion, I'll have to hold off judgment. Here's how the tool is supposed to work:
HubSpot tracks everything your users are doing from the first visit to the time they become a customer. By using the data, it can predict the patterns customers create vs. those visitors who never become customers. Once these patterns are discovered, it can create a lead scoring system so identifying those who are more apt to become customers can become a focus of your marketing.
For some companies, though, this won't work. For Lean Labs, we have customers in both the website design and the inbound marketing spaces. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they do not. We use our lead scoring to identify the leads who are more likely to become potential customers based on a grading rubric that also separates which market that person is in.
Having a computer figure that out more than likely wouldn't work, as it will be linear in contrast to how we like to score our leads. But for others with a more linear buyer's journey, predictive lead scoring could be a big deal, and very valuable. You will be able to identify those potential customers most likely to buy, and turn your attention to them as opposed to wasting time on leads that will never purchase.
Here's how HubSpot explains predictive lead scoring:
Stop Guessing. Start Knowing.
Understanding all of the factors that go into making a contact qualified can be difficult, if not impossible. You need to figure out all of the properties to factor into your score and how much to weigh them by. Predictive lead scoring takes the pressure off of the marketer by providing a lead score based on behavior, demographic, social, email, company, and spam detection data. Predictive Lead Scoring is included at HubSpot Enterprise.
The HubSpot Website Platform
HubSpot is making website management easier than ever. They are moving beyond a content management system or a content optimization system and moving right into a website management platform.
This is exciting for customers who have always wanted the ability to make changes on their site in a truly intuitive, "what you see is what you get" way. The new HubSpot website platform is going to make that a reality for many of you.
A lot of CMS systems like WordPress feature a WYSIWYG editor, but that's not really what it is. You have to make your edits, save the changes, and then load the site in a browser to see what the edits really look like.
HubSpot, on the other hand, is moving away from WYSIWYG editors into a WYSIWII editor, or 'What You See Is What It Is." The changes you are making are right on your website, not in a back office text editor.
This is huge for people like, who know just enough coding to get myself in trouble. Now, I can make edits directly on the page and see what it looks like before clicking 'save.'
Here's how HubSpot explains their new tool:
A Website that Works for You.
You want a website that delivers results. That’s a given. But what about a platform that enables you to do more with the content you publish? The HubSpot Website Platform ties your content into a full-funnel marketing system, optimizes it for search, adjusts to mobile, and even allows you to tailor your website to different visitors.
HubSpot admitted to the audience this year that, while their intention was to build a truly all-in-one marketing platform, they are unable to do that. There are just too many tools out there for them to effectively cover everything. So rather than releasing a lot of inferior features, they have decided most-in-one is good enough.
But what about all the tools HubSpot doesn't have?
HubSpot is introducing a new initiative called HubSpot Connect, which works with integrating most of the marketing and sales tools on the market right now. They are merging all the data from your other systems helping those tools to effectively fit in with the HubSpot marketing and sales platform.
Here's how they explain it:
With the launch of HubSpot Connect and a collection of new integrations, HubSpot is bringing data from all of your front office systems into one integrated platform. See billing data alongside website activity. Trigger workflows from help-desk tickets or event participation. Drastically expand the inputs you can use to better target and communicate with your customers. With HubSpot Connect, you'll have all the data you need in one powerful place.
HubSpot Sales Tools Updates
Both the CRM and Sidekick for business were given a few features to enhance the effectiveness of both of them. Sidekick is a lead information tool, and something that tracks your interactions with leads and now, it works to make the HubSpot CRM even better.
Here's how they explain it:
Transform the way you sell with the HubSpot Sales Platform. This year, HubSpot is introducing a collection of great updates within Sidekick for Business and a number of improvements to HubSpot CRM. Uncover new sources of warm prospects you've never seen before with Prospects in Sidekick for Business. Surface connections between your network and the companies you sell to that you never knew existed with Sidekick Connections. Follow up in a relevant, timely way with your prospects until they are ready to buy with Sidekick Sequences. It's all possible with the HubSpot Sales Platform.
HubSpot is Getting Better
I was asked by someone at the conference if I felt like HubSpot was going to last as a player in the marketing space. I almost laughed when they asked me that because HubSpot is strong, and will be a major influence in both marketing and sales for a long time.
While I was a bit disappointed that these features weren't just added into the HubSpot system and included in the price customers already pay, the truth is that HubSpot keeps getting better. They are developing and fine-tuning the HubSpot system on an on-going basis.
As a marketer, I would rather use the HubSpot platform than any other platform out there. It's easy, it's simple, and it works. And I'm excited to see how much stronger my ability as a marketer becomes as my weapon of choice, HubSpot, advances over the next 5-10 years.
How did you feel about the announcements from HubSpot this year?
Images from HubSpot
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