Last week I interviewed Nick Salvatoriello, Inbound Marketing Professor at HubSpot, to pick his brain on how he got started with inbound marketing, advantages of inbound marketing, and what it’s like to work at a progressive and rapidly growing company like HubSpot. Here’s what he had to say.
What interested you in applying to HubSpot/beginning the next stage of your career at HubSpot?
I knew from the moment I watched my first HubSpot webinar that I wanted to be a part of this company and the inbound movement. I felt I had finally found a company that believed what I believed, not just about how to communicate and pursuade people, but also about how to organize and run a 21st century company. I relocated to Boston in 2011 and applied here to work as an inbound marketing consultant. It’s been a dream job and has completely put my career into high gear.
What is the next stage in my career? After consulting with over 200 customer accounts, helping them get set up and successful with their HubSpots, I recently joined the HubSpot Academy team to help them produce the next generation of online learning and training program not just for our customers, but also for non-HubSpot inbound marketers as well.
Best and worst part of working at HubSpot?
The best part about working at HubSpot is the people and the culture those people create. Everybody here is what you might call, an “A Player.” That’s tremendously motivating to work side by side those type of folks. You don’t need to be pushed because your teammates help pull you up to your next level of performance and you want to be a key member of that winning team. We also really focus and iterate on our company culture
, which I believe is crucial for fostering a workplace that people are happy to be a part of, long term. This definitely trickles down to how we treat our customers. Happy employees help make happy customers. I know that for sure after two years seeing it happen.
Worst part? Inbound marketing is a challenge for many customers, and the technology and trends we’re building software to help harness, are constantly evolving.
What was your “aha!” moment when you realized inbound marketing truly is the future of marketing?
I actually came to believe in inbound and eventually a HubSpot customer back in 2010! How, you might ask? I was working for a technology consulting firm in upstate, NY and our CEO had put me in charge of finding social media software programs that might be a good fit for our product and solution mix. Naturally, I went to the search engines and HubSpot “got found,” as we say, by me in the search results. I read a blog post. I downloaded an ebook. I attended a webinar hosted by our co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan. I read all about the company culture and their inbound marketing methodology and it was EXACTLY what we were looking for. I fell in love. I was a textbook inbound lead for HubSpot. A few days later, one of HubSpot’s inbound marketing specialists contacted me to see if I had any questions about the topics I was researching through their content. I said, “Yes of course I have questions!” A couple weeks later, my CEO had read Brian & Darmesh’s Inbound Marketing Book and we became a customer.
Biggest advantage and disadvantage of focusing your marketing strategy on inbound?
Biggest advantage? Inbound as a strategy focuses on highly targeted, personalized marketing by forming a buyer persona
. Using inbound to attract prospects who fit your ideal buyer persona to your content will cause you to focus on getting found by the types of customers who you ideally want to be buying from you, not just whomever responds to your broadcast, push marketing.
Inbound definitely works because your content you create and use to engage your target buyer persona and the analysis of the context of those prospects who engage with you allow you to close the right people, at the right time – which is when that person indicates that are ready and willing to move forward.
Biggest disadvantage? It takes time and effort to succeed. Yep, just like 6-pack abs. Many marketers will expect “get rich quick” type results from their investment in inbound because there is so much “hype” around this style of marketing (often called content marketing or social media marketing as well). So, it takes time and effort to research your target persona, create content that appeals to that persona, publish that content and then analyze, track and segment those results to spot the most quality leads.
But I suppose the biggest challenge to going inbound for your strategy is that is often requires change management. This is about shifting/changing how you communicate with your current and future customers. It involves learning new tools, platforms, vocabulary and strategies for attracting, converting and closing leads to your business. Most folks get intimidated by this change – but the more businesses that make the transformation successfully, the more role models those folks who are still on the fence can follow.
What are some of the top resources for inbound beginners as well as experts looking to learn more about inbound marketing and HubSpot?
This is a great question. With so many resources and articles out there, where to begin? Here’s what I recommend, in the following order:
2.) Get your hands on one of my favorite books about inbound marketing strategy – Launch! by Michael Stelzner of SocialMediaExaminer.com (the book includes HubSpot as a case study as well!) Download the first chapter for free here
3.) Read through one of my favorite ebooks about the practical application of inbound marketing campaigns – Step by Step Guide to Creating Inbound Marketing People Love – it’s available within HubSpot’s Free Marketing Resources
area for customers and non-customers alike.
4.) Want to experience inbound marketing first hand? One of our HubSpot Partners, Innovative Marketing Resources here in Waltham, MA created an interactive “inbound marketing experience” which is a self-guided tour that walks visitors through how the different parts of inbound work, using 100% hosted HubSpot tools and features to do it. It’s pretty innovative and definitely pulls you in! Check it out yourself by clicking on “take the inbound marketing experience” at the top of their marketing blog
Plug for INBOUND 2013 – why should I attend?
Okay here I go:
Inbound 2013 is like the super bowl of inbound marketing. It’s the seminal event of the year. It’s an all-HubSpotters-on-deck, knock-down, drag-out bonanza that’s part digital business conference, part rock concert. For those folks who really want to get acclimated to inbound marketing and meet not just hundreds, but THOUSANDS of other people who also believe that inbound is the key to future success in their businesses, Inbound 2013 is a must.
You can meet all the people who wrote the blog posts, published the ebooks, hosted the webinars, build the websites, and shared the tweets that you’ve been consuming from the HubSpot/inbound community, all in one place! You can go to Inbound Conference and get 3 months worth of training, education and business networking done in 3 days. Actually, if you sign up for our live, in-person, pre-conference certification program
(which I’ll be helping to deliver), you could get it done in 1 day.
I’ve been going for 3 years straight and it’s just gotten bigger and better each time. We have staff members at HubSpot whose full time job is preparing, coordinating and planning this event. The entire experience has been lovingly planned and thought through down to the last detail.
Finally, it’s in Boston. A world class, one of a kind, all-American city. Boston in the summer is amazing. So when you’re not listening to keynote speakers, oggling the sweet new products and features that we’ll unveil from our developer team that’s been working all year to build inbound tools that will blow your – and your prospects’ – minds, you can be strolling down the historic streets of Boston and join us for an after-party at the nearby venues. Why go to Inbound 2013? Because it’s going to be the most fun you’ve ever had learning about how to build a real community of current and future customers – and it’s going to start with the great connections and relationships you’ll make at the Inbound Conference this August.
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