In this podcast, I interviewed Inbound Marketing guru, Mike Volpe, V.P. of Marketing at HubSpot. Below is a summary of the podcast interview. The interview is 28 minutes long and worth every minute (IMHO).
Mike has been a marketing geek for about a decade. I can legitimately call him a marketing geek because his background is in investment banking where he did marketing with a very analytical perspective.
Mike has transferred his analytical skills to HubSpot, an inbound marketing software system sold primarily to small/medium business. HubSpot is an all in one inbound marketing system that, when used to its full potential helps businesses produce more leads. Find and Convert uses HubSpot for ourselves and for our clients. We implement inbound marketing strategies for clients using HubSpot as a toolset as a one-stop-shop platform to manage all inbound marketing campaigns.
The term Inbound Marketing is a relatively new buzzword. It stems from the trend that marketing is transitioning from outbound marketing – broadcasting messages, interruption based tactics hoping that a small percentage respond – to an inbound strategy where you are doing the right things to get found and contacted by prospective customers through good content and relationships on the web. Buyers now have numerous tools they can use to block unwanted outbound marketing tactics such as caller ID (cold calling), spam filters (email blasts), RSS readers (print advertising), TIVO (television advertising).
A survey conducted by HubSpot in January called the State of Inbound Marketing, cites several compelling findings including:
- Inbound marketing channels deliver a dramatically lower cost per sales lead than outbound marketing channels. The study cites a 61% lower cost per sales lead through inbound marketing channels!
- Blogs lead other social media categories in terms of importance to business.
- Small businesses are most aggressively allocating lead generation budgets to blogging, social media and search engine optimization.
I often ask clients how they buy products/services. The common response I hear is by searching on the Internet and asking their friends/network for recommendations. So, it’s not hard to understand why Inbound Marketing makes sense in contemporary marketing.
HubSpot co-sponsored the The Inbound Marketing Summit in 2008 in Cambridge (which I attended). This year New Marketing Labs has launched 3 Inbound Marketing Summit events. Both HubSpot and Find and Convert are sponsors at all three events. The theme of IMS 09 is Turn Strategy Into Action.
Mike Volpe wrote the foreword in my forthcoming book: Marketing 2.0. I invited Mike to write it because we are very aligned on inbound marketing strategies. Mike believes that my book will provide a tactical resource to marketers in the “why” of inbound marketing and “how” to do it, for small/medium size businesses (SMB). Of course, I agree. 🙂
I have observed many SMB CEOs starting to use LinkedIn and Facebook at an accelerated pace. CEOs are saying “I can’t ignore this, I need to be a part of the social media movement.”
When I speak to anyone about inbound marketing, I try to answer the question “show me the money.” There is a gap between sellers and buyers. That’s a fact…I talk about how marketers can bridge that gap. Conventional marketing is still relevant to some extent but less so. Relationship building has always been important, but now it’s important online. Inbound marketing strategies allow marketers to start building relationships online long before the prospect can become a customer.
A case in point…Mike Volpe and Bernie Borges met online before we ever met in person. When we met in person we already had an online relationship which was strengthened when we met in person. Staying in contact online allows the relationship to continue rather than relying on the traditional, but rare phone call to stay in touch. We can stay in touch easily and productively by following our respective activities through platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Mike also discussed HubSpot TV, which is is a live a video stream every Friday at 4pm at www.hubspot.tv. The weekly show is hosted by Mike Volpe and Karen Rubin. They pick stories that occurred during the week. Sometimes they have a special guest (like MC Hammer who dropped by one day). The studio is in the HubSpot office and is very low cost. They originally spent $400 on a video camera and a $100 microphone. Any company can do a live web TV stream. HubSpot hopes to add more subscribers. More guests may be coming in the future (maybe me?).
The point of inbound marketing is not about budget. It’s about taking the initiative, anyone can do it!
Predictions from Mike Volpe: Search will become more personalized over time. People will use more than search engines. For example, Facebook delivers relevant results within Facebook. Mike’s prediction is exactly what I’ve previously blogged about: SEO should become SO. This means that people need to have a presence in social media, not just in search engines as technology comes available to deliver search results across many properties on the web. Broaden your footprint on the web where your content and relationships exist on the web so you can increase your ability to be found. Search results will become more personal and will not be limited to search engines.
I will see Mike in San Francisco at the first IMS09 event.
You can find Mike Volpe on Twitter: @mvolpe
You can find me on Twitter: @berniebay
If you’re planning to attend IMS09 in any city, make sure to connect so we can meet up. If not, follow along on Twitter with the stream #IMS09.