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What software companies can teach ad agencies about marketing

What software companies can teach ad agencies about marketing

In a recent report titled The State of Social Media Marketing 2012, 450 marketers all weighed in on which companies they think are doing the best job at social media marketing.

Who you think the top 3 are? Red Bull? Coca Cola? Ford? Whilst you’d be right about 2 of them (Red Bull and Coca Cola), a B2B software company called Hubspot actually came in at number two, beating out marketing stalwart Coca Cola.

So how does a B2B software company beat out the company whose marketing is credited for creating the modern day image of Santa Clause? By using an approach dubbed ‘inbound marketing’, and I’m shocked that more agencies aren’t using this to showcase their knowledge and attract clients.

Lets take a high-level look at how they do it:

HubSpot run a great marketing blog (their product helps businesses do marketing) at blog.hubspot.com and a lot of their content is highly ranked in search engines. When people search for marketing related terms like say, ‘how to use twitter for business’ (try searching it in Google, odds are its post will come up), its educational blog posts appear and people click through to their blog.

After reading their insightful post, I’m served a big call to action about an eBook called ‘How to attract customers using Twitter and Vine’ (notice the correlation between the post and the eBook). I click on it, enter in my name and email and get the eBook.

Suddenly, HubSpot have my details and can market to me via my inbox, and this is where it gets really interesting.

Once they have my details, I’m placed in one of many automated workflows. As I’m a new lead in the early stages of ‘buying’, I’m sent relatively sales-free content on a recurring basis based on the theme of the eBook I originally downloaded. eBooks like ‘How to use Pinterest for business’ and ‘How to engage users on Facebook’ arrive in my inbox on a regular basis.

These eBooks subtly mention the different features of Hubsot’s software in context of the book, and slowly but steadily educate me on HubSpot’s offering.

Once I show some more positive buying signs like returning to the website and viewing the features of Hubspot’s product, I’m moved to another automated workflow where I get sent more product-related content like case studies, buying guides, etc.

If I complete an action highly-indicative of purchase intent, like look at their pricing page for instance, one of their sales representatives is notified of my action and gives me a call to talk about my needs and how their product can meet them.

Ever since I first gave them my email address, they have been systematically educating me on the benefits of their product and moving me through the sales process, without ever lifting a finger.

Once I show enough ‘purchase intent’, the sales rep is notified and contacts me, but by that time I’d educated myself on their product I was pretty much ready to buy.

This refined, completely automated process nets them 1 million unique visits and more than 70,000 new leads EACH MONTH. Pretty impressive huh?

Despite these tactics being increasingly common in the market, a quick look at the websites of some of Sydney’s big name agencies, and I see very few blogs, no downloadable content to capture leads and many basic website features missing (like calls to action).

With such a wealth of advertising and marketing knowledge inside the building and plenty of people capable of stringing words together, advertising agencies are perfectly positioned to create killer inbound marketing and drive new business leads that with a bit of nurturing can turn into huge account wins.

So my question to you guys is what’s the hold up?

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