We still have a lot to learn in the online space, however we remain very committed to providing our services through a mix of digital platforms and personal interaction – and feedback from clients indicates they like the mix, too.
In three years of blogging we have attracted about 2,800 regular readers and numerous clients who first got to ‘know’ us by reading one of our blogs or eBooks.
But we know we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to getting our message out there, which brings me to the latest chapter in our online story…
We want to make our online offering more relevant, more accessible and more interactive for our existing clients and prospective customers.
To achieve this we recently engaged inbound marketing firm HubSpot to help us take the syndication and communication of our blogs and eBooks to the next level.
(‘Inbound marketing’ sounds a bit jargonistic, but it’s actually the practice of providing quality online content to customers and potential customers so they get to know you themselves and can then choose to do business with you or not, rather than bombarding them with traditional advertising messages.)
Like choosing any critical supplier, it was important that HubSpot had an approach to business and culture that fitted with our business ideals, requirements and culture.
We found HubSpot is a similar age to JPAbusiness, it targets the same market and, as I’ll explain in the next chapters, it has a cultural ambition that is inspirational.
(Important note: JPAbusiness has only recently engaged HubSpot. We are on a journey and success will be what we make of it and what HubSpot can bring to the table to assist us. This is not a recommendation for a particular supplier.)
Barbara (at left) with our HubSpot guide Rachel.
Mixing business with pleasure
Barbara Price (our Finance and Compliance Manager) and I were in Boston recently and had the opportunity to meet some of the HubSpot team at their corporate office.
We were escorted on our visit by Rachel, a customer service officer who has been with the company for just 12 months, starting as receptionist and manager of the front desk. Who better to give us the lowdown on the vibe and happenings at the main campus?
HubSpot has about 1000 staff globally – 700 at the corporate office and the rest in Singapore, Dublin and Sydney. (‘Hi’ to Harry Bown, our sales executive in the Sydney office who sold us the dream!) They service over 12,000 customers worldwide and are looking to expand significantly over the next few years.
One of HubSpot’s challenges is to attract and maintain bright people – sound familiar? Given the technology and software bent of the business, the fact they are headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts rather than Silicon Valley, California, makes their challenge even greater.
The next two blogs will provide some insight into what they are doing to attract, breed and retain the best and brightest. There are some handy ideas for all of us.
By the way, the average age of staff at HubSpot is just 28.
What's in it for us (and you)?
Put simply, HubSpot offers a communication, contact management and record-keeping system that will help us be more relevant, interactive and timely in the way we touch base and assist clients with their business issues and problems.
Inbound marketing is all about providing information customers want and value, rather than ramming company messages down their throats. HubSpot will allow us to see which of our blogs are striking a chord with readers, so we can develop future content that meets their needs and interests.
Most of the changes are happening behind the scenes thanks to some snappy digital wizardry, but don’t be surprised if you receive communications from us that look a little different over the next few months (or if we stuff up and send you the same thing twice – we are just learning!)
James Price has over 30 years' experience in providing strategic, commercial and financial advice to Australian and international business clients. James' blogs provide business advice for aspiring and current small to mid-sized business owners, operators and managers.