Choosing the right marketing agency is tough! After all, there are plenty of options, and you want to select an agency partner who'll build a long-lasting relationship with your company. So where do you begin?
We humbly suggest that one way to narrow the list is to seek a HubSpot partner agency - even if you don't use HubSpot. Many of these agencies will bring a tried-and-true inbound marketing methodology, which can be implemented regardless of what marketing and sales tools your company uses.
What Do HubSpot Partner Agencies Bring to the Table?
Even if your team uses other marketing and sales software, you can still benefit immensely from working with a HubSpot partner agency. That's because HubSpot partner agencies have all embraced--and mastered the HubSpot inbound marketing methodology. This acumen brings multiple benefits for your company.
A Commitment to Building Attraction
The old ABC ("Always be closing") approach to sales no longer applies to today's marketplace, where consumers expect companies to communicate with them on their own terms, with messaging that actually delivers value. We can't simply trumpet our message out into the universe and expect qualified leads to fall in our laps!
The HubSpot inbound marketing methodology turns this old approach on its head. With inbound, you focus on crafting messages and content that actually attract your prospects, so they come to you on their own because you're helpful. And they stick around because you keep delivering exactly what they need, when they need it. Here's why that matters in the long term:
- Better resource allocation: You don't need to market to everyone. You need to market to your ideal customer--using messaging and content that will specifically appeal to that buyer persona. This allows you to hone your message and allocate resources more efficiently.
- More qualified leads: Which person is more likely to become a customer: the one who happens to hear a message on a megaphone, or the one who's already visited your website and demonstrated interest in your product or service (via a download or other behavior)? Pretty simple question, right? People who've opted into hearing from you are more eager and receptive to your messages...and more likely to convert to customers.
- More efficient sales process: Closing more deals doesn't start with your sales strategy--it starts with your marketing strategy. A robust inbound marketing strategy plays a vital role in educating your prospects, which can help shorten the sales cycle. Meanwhile, inbound marketing insights can help your sales team craft more relevant, timely pitches. For example, knowing which website pages and content a prospect has already consumed, can help the sales team determine which products and services might be the most important.
A Deep Understanding of the Symbiosis Between Marketing and Sales
An effective marketing effort is one that drives strategic growth--it's not just about getting more traffic or even more leads. It's about getting more (and better) sales. The HubSpot methodology rests on this fundamental idea. The software is even built this way, providing the option to seamlessly integrate marketing and sales.
How does this translate into better marketing for your company?
- More meaningful goal setting: A traditional online marketing agency might measure success based on increased traffic or better conversion rates. While that's tactically useful, it doesn't help you determine how marketing impacts company revenue. Sales and revenue should be the most important goals.
- The right people at the table: Your sales team should have a place at the marketing meetings, and vice versa. These teams must both be aware of each other's activities, and how they're working together, to maximize your marketing efforts.
- Content that answers the right questions: When you bring the sales team to the table, you can make smarter content marketing decisions. For example, you might develop case studies that specifically focus on a particular industry or solution, making it easier for the sales team to provide relevant materials to their prospects.
The Collective Power of the HubSpot Community
As a HubSpot partner agency, we have plenty of experience with a wide variety of inbound marketing challenges. We've helped startups launch their inbound campaigns on a shoestring budget and grappled with the growing pains associated with taking a company international.
But let's be honest: unless you're Alex Trebek, you probably don't have 100% right answers, 100% of the time. Heck, even Watson made a mistake on Jeopardy!
If we're stumped, we can lean on the HubSpot community. Our Channel Account Manager helps us validate new approaches and offers her own experience on overcoming challenges. We also have exclusive access to a wealth of resources to support our clients and ensure their success, not to mention the robust, supportive, and active network of HubSpot agency members, who are always there to lend a hand and provide advice.
The bottom line: When you hire a HubSpot partner agency, you benefit from a whole community with deep, varied, expertise and a commitment to your success.
An Eye for Automation Opportunities
Every inbound marketing campaign has lots of moving parts, and managing them all manually can be all but impossible, especially because so many elements are very time-sensitive.
Consider the timeframe for following up with a new lead, for instance. A recent lead management study showed that reps who waited ten or more minutes to follow up with leads saw an incredible 400% decrease in their success rate. If that lead reaches out overnight, or on a weekend, the opportunity could be long-lost by the time your team returns to the office.
Luckily, automation can happen anytime, all the time. And over the years, HubSpot has made it ever-easier to automate marketing and sales activities. As a result, HubSpot partner agencies are quick to identify automation opportunities and streamline your marketing processes. Even if you're not using HubSpot, your company benefits from working with a partner who's committed to optimizing your process, using whatever tools you have available.
Proven Expertise and Industry-Leading Credentials
Becoming a HubSpot partner agency isn't a cakewalk! Partner agencies must demonstrate expertise not only in HubSpot software from the HubSpot Marketing Hub to the HubSpot Operations Hub, but also in the HubSpot inbound methodology. Individual team members must also earn and maintain a variety of certifications in the field.
Some agencies go above and beyond HubSpot's requirements, as well. For instance, at Aspiration Marketing, we require all our content marketers to maintain at least six different HubSpot certifications, most of which must be renewed annually.
How to Choose the Right Partner Agency
It's not marriage, but your relationship with a marketing agency can be a long, fruitful partnership. So it's certainly not a decision to make without due consideration. As you evaluate different agencies, be sure to consider these important factors:
- Scope: Exactly what services are you looking for? If you're seeking a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs, you'll probably need a different agency than someone who's interested in support for a very specialized marketing domain (such as blogging or social media management).
- Relevant expertise: Startups have very different marketing needs than mid-market companies do. Likewise, a SaaS business and a law firm won't have the same marketing requirements. Look for an agency with demonstrated expertise in your industry, and with businesses of a similar size. Geography also matters. If your customers and clients are in Europe, for example, you'll want an agency that's well versed in navigating GDPR laws and other region-specific regulations.
- Technical know-how: Your company has its own technology "ecosystem," which includes everything from your website to your email system. Your agency should be able to navigate this landscape, maximizing the tools you're already using and offering insight on how you could improve your ecosystem to better support marketing and sales.
- Cultural fit: What are your company's values? While that might seem irrelevant here, choosing an agency with similar values will make for a better relationship on both sides. If you're in a jeans-and-hoodie office with a more casual, accessible communication style, look for an agency with a similar vibe.
- Managerial style: We're a pretty collaborative crowd at Aspiration Marketing, and we've found that the best partnerships are with clients who share the same management style. Take some time to understand what management style will work best with your team, and seek an agency that embraces that style.