Don’t get me wrong…I’m a fan of Hubspot just not a fanboy.  They seem to be developing a following similar to Apple’s group of fanboys – Great for them and the right type of customers.  When I think of the type of customer perfect for Hubspot I think of SMB’s that don’t want to spend a lot of money and have limited resources for a Marketing effort.  Similar to the clients of Constant Contact.  I’m not talking about a sole proprietorship but somewhere between 10 and 100 employees.  A friend of mine used to say SMB to IBM is a lot different than ‘Just’ SMB.

Hubspot does a fantastic job in creating content and providing a tremendous amount of value to the community at large. There have been a few folks that have also correctly stated that failures and trash talk about Hubspot are typically due to lack of content or lack of commitment and you can’t really blame Hubspot for that (Their  CMS still needs some serious help though).  The amount of materials that they create trying to get folks over these hurdles could choke a horse (a Clydesdale).

So I’ve been waiting….

Inevitably I believe that a fight is going to happen between Marketing Automation Vendors and Hubspot.

This could get interesting and create major benefits to end users – I’m a capitalist and believe competition makes products better.  How many times have you used the threat of one company to get a better price or product with features you want from another company.

The first shot across the bow I noticed was the presentation by Mike Volpe at Dreamforce.  It was titled “HubSpot Announces Death By Marketing Automation Upgrade Program At Dreamforce #DF11

This is where I started cracking up #1 If it’s all about inbound why are they at Dreamforce? and #2 Why do I get lots-o-email on Dreamforce when I had downloaded a very specific piece of content? and #3 Why do I have to fill in their forms every time (I never delete cookies) and #4 Why do the have a sales group making outbound calls?

They have good reasons #1 A partnership with Salesforce #2 It’s good form as an outbound Marketer to send valuable info to someone that might be going to Dreamforce #3 Maybe they don’t have progressive profiling – I had thought they did when I used their product.  #4 Somebody has to call the folks that raise their hands right?

So given HubSpot’s example it’s really not “Just” about Inbound right?

We used to call it Push/Pull Marketing in the old’n days. You’ve got to have a process and resources behind it to take action all the way from anonymous visitors to converted and then converted to customer.  It’s really about specific content to help specific people with a process to support it – you know it – they know it.

So I kept waiting …until

I saw the below Infographic from Marketo.  Now I’m disappointed….I was hoping for a bigger fight but it doesn’t even seem like a disagreement.

  • Content is King
  • Inbound is Cheaper
  • Outbound is Necessary
  • Sales followup is required (for certain models)

There is a Gap so who’s gonna fill it?

What they are both missing is personal-ization.

It’s not as the infographic states “Help the customer speak your language”  It should be “Speak the Customers Language”.  I can test the message/language with both Outbound (Open Rates) and Inbound (A/B Webpage Conversions).  I used to call this situation-al fluency or knowing the right thing to say or deliver and when exactly to say it or deliver it.

I should also be getting a HUGE personalized welcome back every time I visit the Hubspot website – Even if I’m not a client today! “Bill here is some content you haven’t seen yet that we think might be relevant to you!”. I just might be a client tomorrow and we all know how cookies work so work ’em.  Build a solid profile of your visitors that goes way beyond what they look at to what they are actually doing and where they are in their space and career.

Maybe there is a race here to talk customers directly one to one understanding their profile and segments better to be able to provide content that actually converts in an unobtrusive way behind the scenes.

It’s a lot better

Don’t get me wrong its better than going to shows collecting leads and calling them.  We now have this marvelous thing called the web and tools to utilize it.  I guess its like anything – the more effort you put into it the better it’ll get. So it’s really on us the consumers to push both companies to address our requirements and to not create another ho hum experience for our targets. Lets get them to fight!

The Inbound Marketing Multiplier Infographic by Marketo

Top Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net