#Asia You can’t automate shitty marketing: HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar


At the Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Bodnar expounds on why good content is imperative to effective marketing


Consumers generally perceive sales and marketing executives as untrustworthy, according to Kipp Bondar, Chief Marketing Officer of the renowned inbound marketing solutions company HubSpot.

At Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Bondar laid plain the failings of traditional marketing — or outbound marketing — and expounded on the merits of inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing typically denote intrusive methods of promotion as spam emails, cold calls or other kinds of in-your-face advertising.

Usually, these methods are turn-offs for consumers. In fact, within APAC, only two per cent of consumers surveyed said they trust marketers.

“We are rude to people. The audience do not trust sales and marketing people, ” said Bondar.

He went on to explain that marketers send out “really bad emails”, even pulling up a screenshot of his personal email account displaying an example of a marketer who was sending him “spammy” emails daily.

Also Read: Snags and pitfalls to avoid when launching influencer marketing campaigns

He also highlighted that only a measly 1 per cent of cold calls convert into sales, and 83 per cent of APAC users considered pop-up advertising a negative experience.

These methods are seller-centric, he explained, and it makes marketing way more complex than it should be. And because of that, marketers face these three problems:

1. Not being able to generate enough brand awareness.

2. Not being able to generate enough conversions.

3. Not being able to generate enough revenue.

These difficulties have been compounded with increasing innovation in web technology: consumers have found ways to bypass pop-up advertisements with adblockers; Netflix has enabled consumers to watch TV programmes without having to sit through advertisements.

“You can’t automate shitty marketing. The option of doing bad spammy marketing doesn’t exist in the future…Slack and Facebook Messenger does not allow you to do that, we need to change our marketing model,” said Bodnar.

The solution

Instead of expending unnecessary resources to reach out to consumers, Bodnar suggests a method that organically brings in attention through creating valuable content for the consumers, it’s about building a contextual web experience for the consumer. This buyer-centric model is called inbound marketing.

“Outbound marketing is about spamming people, but inbound marketing creates value for the buyer, instead of interrupting them,” said Bodnar.

That means eschewing press releases or content that just talk solely about your product. Inbound marketing is about establishing a connection with your consumers that goes beyond the product, which will in turn generate more brand awareness.

e-Payment service Square promotes its POS technology by not only focussing on POS, but by creating a small business hub for its users.

Bodnar also suggested a multi-faceted approach: creating relevant content across different platforms.

“Don’t overly sell, don’t talk about the product. It’s about how you get found across the different platforms,” said Bodnar.

He cited that media portal BuzzFeed was able to generate 2.8 billion views to 7 billion in two months because it was distributing content across different platforms, for example, mobile apps, Facebook feeds, etcetera.

Also Read: 8 best remarketing tools for startups

Writing blog posts is an effortless way to broaden your reach. “The more blog posts you create, the more inbound leads you generate, and the same amount of effort is applied [each time],” said Bodnar.

Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI. Content marketing also generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing, but costs 62 per cent less. In APAC, the ROI for US$50,000 spent on inbound marketing is more than three times of outbound marketing.

To generate better conversion rates, Bodnar said marketers need to offer consumers something of value so that they would be willing to give out their personal information.

In HubSpot’s case, it offered a free e-book guide on writing press releases. It also had a Call-to-Action in the form of a downloadable press release template. This lead to a jump a 240 per cent jump in conversion rate.

Marketers also need to understand their consumers better to generate more revenue. Companies should provide the resources that will help marketers understand a consumer’s journey and how he or she would use your product’s website and platform. Understanding your consumers, may in turn, lead to them becoming your product’s evangelists – in other words, free and authentic promotion.

“A simple shift in mindset can transform your entire sales and marketing team,” said Bodnar, he stressed  that by “simple”, he did not mean that the process would be necessarily easy.

“Through inbound marketing, we can deliver a better, more relevant experience to our customers and build trust,” concluded Bodnar.

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