Industry conferences run by a single company might be the original form of inbound marketing, so it’s no surprise HubSpot would be good at it. I just got back from this morning’s Inbound 2012 keynote by co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, during which they unveiled an entirely new version of their product: HubSpot 3.
Oh, and they announced a HubSpot iPhone app, too.
HubSpot 3 Features
Halligan opened the keynote with a review of where inbound marketing has been and where it’s going (more on that below) and then Shah came out and ran through several of the new features in HubSpot 3. Here are a few of the cooler ones, excerpted from the company’s press release:
Social Segmentation: HubSpot tracks not only the website and email activity of your contacts, but their social media activity as well, including who clicks on your company’s social media posts and if they become leads and customers.
Mobile App: Available for free in the Apple app store…The app includes a view into a marketer’s lead generation flow, the award-winning marketing grader app, and a quick reference of contacts in the HubSpot platform.
Workflows: Workflows leverage the enormous amount of data in the Contacts database and a series of rules set by the marketer to create dynamically evolving segments and automate marketing actions. More than email automation, workflow enables marketers to trigger campaigns, change contact profile properties, score leads, send notifications, and sync to a CRM system based on when a lead has met a set of conditions.
Shah said again that HubSpot takes its inspiration from Apple, and, in particular, from how the iPhone combined phone, camera, email, etc. into one device. But the model for the company’s next wave of innovation is actually Amazon.
That’s my Featured Recommendation list when I sign into Amazon, but Halligan showed both his and Shah’s to demonstrate the power of personalization. (Shah has a toddler, so it was an adorable/humorous mix of books about Python next to “Goodnight Moon.”)
The long game is to put this level of personalization within every marketer’s reach. That’s a goal that, if accomplished, is wildly powerful.
In May, when HubSpot unveiled its email marketing tool, my colleague Greg Gomer wrote that “we finally get a peak at the child of the HubSpot/Performable acquisition.” Today’s announcement pulls back the curtain.
Halligan has called the acquisition “possibly the best decision we made,” and Performable has become HubSpot’s R&D arm. And that team, comprised of 70-80 developers, has been at work on this for about a year.
Shah noted that a lot of the work was on the backend; the features released today only scratch the surface of what he says is now possible with the new version.
What This Looks Like Today
So how does the personalization vision look today? Well, HubSpot’s features help marketers personalize along two dimensions: actions and attributes. Any attribute you can track in your CRM can now trigger an email or a sales call. More powerfully, marketing and sales activity can be tied to the actions taken by a customer or lead.
So if you view a specific blog post, interact with a HubSpot user on Twitter, or click a link in an email marketing campaign, you can be hit not with a general ask, but something tailored to that activity. And, of course, these things can be combined.
You’re a financial professional who viewed Tips for Corporate Blogging? You get a custom email with a webinar that fits your profile. You retweeted a HubSpot customer and then minutes later ended up on its website? Your lead status has been elevated.
Adding Context to Content
Halligan and Shah frame all of this as adding “context” to content. Don’t just draw people to your site, but know enough about the who, what, and why to move them through the sales funnel.
The new rallying cry for HubSpot is, “Create Marketing People Love,” but that skips a key step. The full version might be Know what people love, then create it. And it’s that knowledge — personalized rather than aggregated — that the new HubSpot is all about.