In today's interview we speak to Sam Mallikarjunan a Marketing Fellow at HubSpot and Continuing Education Instructor at Harvard University.

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In this video we discuss...

  • The importance of audio content
  • How and why he helped to start Inbound.org
  • How HubSpot are building a community and why he works at Harvard Uni
  • The 2017 trends for marketing including AI, machine learning, tracking ROI and SEO

 

Watch the video...

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Mark:

- Hi guys, today we have a special guest. We have Sam from HubSpot, thanks for joining us Sam.

Sam:

- Thanks for having me.

Mark:

- Yeah, so you're in some kind of a van, what's the score there?

Sam:

- Yeah so my wife and I actually live in a van, a converted van, full-time, travelling the country, hitting all the classes I teach and the events that I speak at. So right now we're outside of Las Vegas, Nevada for a conference on Sunday.

Mark:

- That's great, I mean looking at your resume you've been a busy, busy man over the last six years, what have we got here, Sam? You're currently a marketing fellow, you've been head of HubSpot Labs, you've been a head of ecommerce at HubSpot, you're also an instructor at Harvard and you wrote a bestselling book, "How To Sell Better Than Amazon." Busy, busy man, all from the back of a van.

Sam:

- Yeah, well the van thing's relatively new. Oh shit.

Mark:

- Oh, I think your audio's playing up there Sam.

Sam:

- All right.

Mark:

- That's great, we like a bit of drama, there's nothing better than live TV.

Sam:

- This is why live TV is fun, this is also why video's always fun, right?

Mark:

- This is why, this is funny, I like this.

Sam:

- For the folks who are just listening on the podcast we could've played this off with just perfect, pretending it didn't happen. But yeah, you're right, I've done a bunch at HubSpot. I started off as one of our onboarding services consultants but we were, and still are, a startup. So titles are sort of meaningless because everybody does a bunch of different things and what you do changes really, really quickly. I think I've had, like you said, like eight jobs or something in total of six years at HubSpot. And titles matter externally, really, so that people have context for who you are and what you've done, but internally at HubSpot it's a much looser organisation of figuring out what projects need to be done and who are the best people to work on them.

Mark:

- Fabulous, really good, we are podcasting at the minute, Sam, as you know I dropped you an email, it's our fifth one, and I know you've been heavily involved with that podcast at HubSpot. What's your take on podcasts?

Sam:

- So I'm super stoked to see podcasts having sort of a renaissance, a resurgence. For me it's my favourite form of content, right, like I don't read books, I listen to them on Audible, I don't even read the newspaper anymore thanks to Audible channels, I get to have like Fleet Cooper reading me the Wall Street Journal every morning, so I don't know, audio is just like a better, more natural way to communicate, we had to learn writing as a species but we knew speaking, we figured that out like after grunting at each other for long enough time. So podcasts are good, it's also like, you know, I'm doing an experiment right now I'm working with a company called Interview Valet where I'm doing a podcast almost every week and being interviewed by a podcast almost every week. Their thesis and their hypothesis is that leads will convert at a much higher rate, right, so if you are a guest on a podcast or if you have somebody who listens to your own podcasts you're gonna convert a tonne more leads. And it sounds reasonable because those people are spending 20, 30 minutes listening to you ramble on, but it's, yeah, I love the medium, I love the technology, I love the conversational style. My job, that's actually not on my LinkedIn, by the way, my job prior to HubSpot was a hosted an AM/FM talk radio show about scotch and cigars. So I would like, smoke and drink all week and then for two hours every Saturday I talked about it. And the podcast format reminds me a lot of that too so it's something I enjoy.

Mark:

- Well that's great to hear, we kind of do a similar thing, we finish work, our podcast called Inbound After Hours, we all grab a beer, there's a bar downstairs, we sit there, drink beer and just talk marketing. There's no real script, and we've found just not having a script you just go in for it and get some real good content, just one edit as well.

Sam:

- Yeah, that's the best way, you gotta keep it flexible, keep it loose especially when you're interviewing somebody I might say something, like assuming you didn't already know I lived in a van, right, you might pick up on that. And then oh, it's an interesting thread, let's pull at this thread about remote workers in the world or something. Who was it, Muhamed Ali or someone who had the quote like, everybody's got a game plan until the first punch is thrown, it's the same thing for interviews.

Mark:

- You're right, as I've said to you in the email our listeners are marketing professionals and we found it really difficult to start a podcast through fear of judgement and thinking we needed 10 grammes worth of kit. It's not the case, now, is it nowadays? What tips have you got for guys out there who are thinking of starting a podcast?

Sam:

- So my most important tip is the same one that I have for any content. My team is super tired of hearing me say "blogging is like jogging," but it's like, it would be like I'm not gonna go jogging because I'm not ready to be an elite world-class runner. It doesn't make any sense, right? Like all you have to do is go outside and fall in a generally forward direction for like half an hour a day, and you'll get better at it. And also, you're worried about disappointing an audience of no one, generally. Like you have no subscribers, no one's listening to your podcast, your mom, your friends and your colleagues are gonna love you no matter how bad it is. So start creating the content, even if, just like you said, like, sit down with some people, record a conversation for an hour, edit that down to 20 or 30 minutes, and get better at it. I have a phrase for everything that we do especially at HubSpot labs that I stole from our former VP of Growth, Brian Belfor, it's not about being the best, it's about being the best at getting better. By definition, especially in this, so much change now, like the pace of change is insane, there's so much change, the idea that you're already going to know everything that you need to know to be successful is completely gone, right? Deloitt has great research on this. The average value of what they call a "knowledge stock" so a piece of knowledge has gone from 20-plus years down to about five years so whatever you and I know right now, we can expect to monetize that in the market for about five years instead of 20 years. And because of that, we just have to get really comfortable with doing stuff that we don't know that well because that's the future of all of business is not who's the best at doing this thing, it's gonna be, it's Darwinian, it's who's the most adaptable to change.

Mark:

- Yeah, we did our sixth podcast last night and we went live as well on Facebook Live for the first time, so that was really scary for us, four to five of us was doing this, was really nervous for the first three minutes then we forgot, absolutely forgot about it, started chatting, a couple of beers later the hour was soon over, it's just doing it, it's just execution as we keep saying, so good tip.

Sam:

- Especially with the beer and stuff like that, I'll tell you my secret for any of it especially when I'm feeling nervous. When I'm giving a talk or anything, I give probably 60 or 70 talks a year but the key is, I don't memorise them because I'm not good enough to memorise all my speeches and I want it to come off authentic. I just nail the beginning, right, like nail the beginning when you're first starting to talk, same thing on a podcast or anything else like that and then the rest is just gonna flow like a normal conversation, like you and I are gonna have a great conversation for the rest of this even though in the very beginning I dropped my camera and everything else like that, because onc you get past that we're already talking, then it's just natural.

Mark:

- It's just natural, yeah, I mean I try and always set three or four basic questions and then the rest is just natural.

Sam:

- Guard rails.

Mark:

- Yeah, I mean one thing I wanna speak to you about is inbound.org, obviously reading your profile and I was recommended to speak to you from Dan Tyre who's a sales director at HubSpot, he speaks highly of you as I said. What was your part in that, in the early days?

Sam:

- Yeah, I have some good Dan Tyre stories by the way if you want to listen to those later.

Mark:

- Definitely.

Sam:

- Yeah so inbound.org originally actually just started as a side project between M.S. Shaw who is the cofounder of HubSpot and Rand Fishkin who's the cofounder at Moz, formerly SEO of Moz. Because like, the world of marketing, the community of marketing didn't have a home. We had a couple of LinkedIn groups and there was a couple of different events and stuff and they decided we really need like a home where people could have profiles, where they could network where it was built specifically for marketers. And so they built it, but obviously there was a need because it really quickly got too big for Darmesh and Rand to manage part-time with their, they hired college interns and stuff like that, it got too big for them to manage so they decided to switch it over to just one company was going to own this site and it turned out to be HubSpot because frankly we just had the resources and the time at the time, we were a little overhired and they had me not doing much there, apparently I wasn't doing anything interesting, so they figured we would take it over. With the understanding and agreement that like, if you notice to this day, there's not really HubSpot logos on that site.

Mark:

- No.

Sam:

- It is a community, it is a site for the community that we fund and that we manage, but that we don't monetize. Like you can create a profile there and you do not have to worry about a HubSpot sales rep calling you, because our, I'll tell you this, our biggest challenge in the market to this day is not like, somebody building a better software, it's not somebody building a cheaper software, it's the fact that most people in the world still do marketing the old way. Buy a list, spam it three times a week with a coupon, email marketing, right? Or just cold call or whatever. We've shifted very much on the marketing team very much a "rising tide raises all boats" philosophy where we can just get, this is actually my job now this is why I speak at all these events, why I teach at Harvard USF, it's because we can just get more people doing good marketing. The easier part of this challenge is to be the best software for it than it is to change the 30 or 40-year-old behaviours of five million plus people.

Mark:

- Yeah, I was on there yesterday and there was around about 233,000 members, and that was only yesterday, I try and go there at least once a week, it's growing rapidly. What's the goal line? I can't remember what that is, is it half a million?

Sam:

- Well, so the goal line, I mean goals are good, right? But it's just gonna change every time so like, the goal when I was there was 100,000 and we worked really hard for that. In this day and age, what happens when you hit your goals? They get doubled. So, the previous goal I think was like a quarter million and then it's gonna be 500,000 and a guarantee when we hit 500,000 that goal line is gonna move up to a million because it's not something that you're happy about until you're creating value for every single marketer in the world, it's not something they're gonna wanna stop. They're gonna wanna keep growing it, because the community's this cool thing where it's not about the software that we build. The engineering team at inbound.org is three people, three or four people?

Mark:

- Wow, yeah, okay.

Sam:

- It's about getting more people in because it's those connections between users is what drives the actual value. Like you don't care about us replatforming over to a faster stack or something like that. What you care about is that you have a good conversation, good experiences, that you can get your questions answered when you go there. So that's gonna remain the big focus is, how do we get everybody in there? Because every single person that joins the site adds more than plus-one in terms of value for everyone else.

Mark:

- You mentioned Harvard a couple of times, you're an instructor at Harvard, how did you end up doing that, what's it like?

Sam:

- I'll tell you how I ended up doing it, is I'm a big believer in that when you are younger you should do a bunch of favours, so you have a surplus of time, so do a bunch of stuff for free just to get better at it. And when I first started at HubSpot, I was in my 20s but that's not that old and we get all these requests from teachers at Absen and Boston University and stuff like that just to have somebody come out and talk about what is this inbound marketing thing, it was still new back then. There weren't inbound marketing courses like there are at colleges now. And so I was guest lecturing at Boston University and there was a woman there who also taught at Harvard and she's the one who introduced me to those folks and said, because the thing about it is, I love Boston University undergrads, don't get me wrong, but they don't have the context, they don't have the experience, they don't have the, and also frankly the motivation.

I would be in class, and I'm like, you guys are just killing time. You thought this was gonna be an easy elective with the social media class or something like that and now I'm asking you to do math behind unit economics. 'Cause like, it sounds all fluffy and lovey and stuff when we talk about inbound, but two MIT nerds, Brian and Darmesh did not start HubSpot because just of a good happy feeling, they started it because there's solid math. The acquisition and retention and monetization economics behind inbound marketing and sales are just better than everything else, where like a dollar into the machine gives you a better return on investment.

And so I went over to Harvard and started teaching, not to the undergrads but in their division of continuing ed. Which is awesome, I love that so much more because the students are existing practitioners so I'll have like a VP of marketing at Pepsi and a VP of marketing at McDonald's in my last class and these are people who are smart and frankly the class is not that cheap so they're spending a lot of money, they're taking a week out of their time and they're highly, highly motivated and just because the Harvard name just attracts a diversity, it's such a fantastic conversations, right, like a lot of it, yeah, is I'm gonna tell you the framework and I'm gonna teach you the strategies and tactics and everything else like that, but a huge amount of the value just comes from the person at Coca-Cola realising that she could learn a lot from the agency team at Toyota.

We sort of facilitate that framework. So I love it, I hope to keep teaching there as long as they'll let me, and frankly it's such a cool feeling, right, because what we do, people who have been in marketing for 30 years did not necessarily go into marketing thinking there would be a bunch of math and it's amazing for me to see these people who have never measured the ROI of their marketing in any way whatsoever. By the way, a third of marketers in the world today don't measure the ROI of their marketing in the world in any way.

To see them go from that to drawing customer acquisition costs and customer value lifetime funnels with percentages and points of leverage and everything on a whiteboard, it's a really, really cool feeling. I love that moment when they first go up and start doing their exercises, so I enjoy it I hope I get to keep teaching there.

Mark:

- That's great, it's giving back and it's nice now you do that for free as well, so well done, yeah, great. We are actually over in Boston in about 38 days to do a podcast with Brian, Brian Halogen has accepted that so we booked flights and we're really excited to get over there. And I wouldn't mind touching base with you after this call and see what else we could do for the podcast whilst at the head office there. So that's great, yeah, thank you. What else have we got then? Yeah, let's talk about it, it's a generic question but we always like to ask it. Leading trends at inbound in 2017, what should marketing professionals be doing?

Sam:

- Yeah, my big trends right now are, I'm torn between, half the people in the world are like hyperventilating way too much about AI and like machine learning, and half the people in the world do not understand nearly the impact that it's going to have and what we're already capable of. You think of, we have to start thinking more of our marketing services like product managers think of their products, so, you look at a blog, generally you're going to measure things like visits, maybe if you're super smart you're gonna measure first touch lead attribution.

I would rather see people shift to thinking in terms of daily and weekly active users. And thinking in terms of user acquisition and retention, thinking of the marketing that we do actually more like a freemium product model because inbound.org is actually the most clear case of this because it actually is software, but the same logic that we have for inbound.org where it's getting people to come together, getting this recurring value that then drives them up the monetization chain to using free tools then eventually into using paid tools or whatever, that's like the way that I want people to think. And the cool thing about the the machine learning bits is that the websites have gotten good enough so we don't have to play games anymore, right? Google, for example, with Rank Brain, it's gotten good enough that I'm not trying to spam the system, technical SEO still does matter, don't get me wrong but it's not about that. It can look at a piece of content or even a video or an image and understand the meaning behind it. And now that we've crossed that barrier, marketers can go back to being creators that they want to be, right, like we want to create cool stuff but we've been serving, for the last 10 years our content has had to be able to be understandable by like a one-year-old and that one-year-old would then go tell other adults about our content, that one-year-old obviously being Google. Now it's like our content has to be understandable by an eight-year-old or something, right, like we're moving up the chain and that's only gonna get better to the point where if when Google and Facebook and everybody else makes it to that, they understand what we're doing the same way maybe like a teenager might.

It's gonna be really, really cool because they're gonna be able to find you not for like, morning, inbound, podcast, broadcasting from room, right, it's gonna be like, I need to listen to a podcast to help me talk about the future of work. You're gonna be able to say that and it's gonna be able to spit out, this is the content for you. So that's very, very exciting so stay focused on the users, we have the luxury to stay focused on the users now because we don't have to write for that one-year-old. And then also we need to redesign the way we look at marketing and blur those lines a little bit more between marketing and the stuff that we sell and start thinking in terms of user retention. It's a dirty secret in startups, but you can actually outgrow churn for a while, like if you and I wanted to just launch a startup today, I could go sell accounts faster than customers could cancel them, even if we had a pretty terrible product for a while, right? But really quickly you're gonna hit a plateau where I can't sell accounts as fast as people are cancelling then we can't grow.

And I think the world of marketing, particularly inbound marketing, particularly content marketers have reached that point. Whether it's podcasting or, this is how we track our medium blog, by the way, ThinkGrowth.org, is looking at cohort retention and looking at, in our case, weekly active users to make sure that we're delivering consistent value and we're building a habit that we can then monetize long-term.

Mark:

- So retention, lifetime value, customer success, that's the way forward. Okay, can we talk to you, and we've just come back from the partner summit in Dublin and they touched on it slightly saying this is the next area of AI but that's about it, what's your knowledge at the minute, where are we and where are we going to be?

Sam:

- So again, I'm not worried about Terminators taking over the world.

Mark:

- Good.

Sam:

- But what Watson has done, once we cracked the barrier between being able to ask what we call natural language questions, so just a normal sentence of a machine that could understand unstructured data, so structured data is like a spreadsheet where I just say hey, what's in cell A14? And the computer can tell me. That's actually how all software is built. What's recording us right now, everything else like that is just a really complex series of if, and, or, but, then statements. What Watson did, and it's actually an old trick now is being able to understand not like ifs, ands, or but, but being able to read content or unstructured data and then answer questions where there's not a clear answer, like when it's playing Jeopardy, it's giving a confidence level. Now think about how much time we spend working with answering the same stupid question over and over again.

Don't get me wrong, I love our customers especially people who use the free products, but like, the button's there, it's in the lower right-hand corner, you didn't need to call me to figure that out. They should, and they will soon be able to just ask like the software, ask the computer how do I do this? Google's doing this well with Google Sheets already, like you're gonna be able to just say, hey, generate me a spreadsheet of last quarter's sales figures or something like that, and it should do it automatically based off of the data. It's like freaking magic.

Mark:

- It's great.

Sam:

- Yeah, so we've cracked that unstructured data bit and from there the sky's sort of the limit in terms of, how do we take what a human would do and add a force multiplier of 100 X to it.

Mark:

- I wouldn't mind actually later today probably setting up another kind of a call with a couple of my colleagues as well over a beer to talk more about AI, it's something we're really interested in as well.

Sam:

- I've got beer, but I think it'll be seven a.m. my time, well whatever, hell, I'm in Vegas, I'll start drinking beer at seven a.m.

Mark:

- 24-7, yeah, no problem. I've been doing some more research and you touched on this earlier, one of the recent blogs I read was 60% of marketers still don't measure their marketing in any way, crazy, I mean.

Sam:

- That's a slightly old statistic, I'm heartened because that has come down to one-third of marketers don't measure their ROI in any way. You know, that's horrifying, not one-third of marketers are using the wrong kind of attribution, or one-third of marketers are using only visits or something like that, not at all, they haven't caught up to the fact that we are part of a measurable customer acquisition and retention engine where the business model, we're one-half of the customer acquisition cost. And that, for 100 years the discipline of marketing was sit in the corner, play with crayons, right, like making brochures for the sales team because that's all we could do. We didn't have the technology to measure marketing.

All we did was, we had a little post hoc ergo proctor hoc, so like, after our marketing somebody bought stuff so we're gonna assume that it's because of our marketing. This was 100 years of our discipline. And marketing has fallen victim to what the whole world is gonna fall victim to which is that the big shifts are not gonna happen slowly anymore, so the industrial revolution was this huge shift but it took like 100 years and it didn't happen everywhere at once.

Now we're facing changes where like, the people who take my class, you know, some of them have 40 years of experience in marketing. They're far more seasoned marketing leaders than I am. But the last five years, five years, have completely changed what they need to know and be able to do to be competitive in their markets, that's insane. That's not the way that we've designed our education, where you go to college to learn everything you need to know and then you do that thing for 40 years. It's not how we've designed our careers, it's not how we've designed the business, right, like we used to literally name our businesses after what we did, General Electric, Standard Oil, that sort of thing.

Now, I can't imagine somebody choosing a name like that just because the fundamental nature of everything in the business model has to be built around adaptability, can I survive change? HubSpot, we have to be willing to accept that HubSpot may not even be a internet technology company forever. There can be nothing that is the so-called sacred cow. So it's a great time to be alive, it's that old curse, "may you live in interesting times," curse-slash-blessing, like we live in very, very interesting times, the paces changes incredibly fast, and we get the privilege to try to keep up.

Mark:

- Yeah, I remember when I was at school many, many years ago, and we always knew what we wanted to be, I only wanted to be a graphic designer, but then so I went into design school, then I'm going into marketing, and we went on work experience at 15 year old here in the UK, and now I've got an 11-year-old daughter and every year the same, the children, in five years' time they're not sure what's it gonna be with the speed of technology.

Sam:

- It's one of the reasons I have a great deal of respect for what they're doing at Harvard. That requires a fair bit of humility for them to say like, listen, we don't have the academic staff who can just look at the way things have happened over 10 years and create these models and just continue passing on this knowledge. You've got to, like all the stuff that I learned about marketing in college, some of it's foundational and will never change but very, very little, the adbuy stuff and all that is completely irrelevant today. And so what they're doing is pulling people out of the field and bringing them back in to teach, and the really funny thing, by the way, is I also take classes at Harvard. So I take classes at Harvard extension and then I teach classes, because again the idea that everything that's in my brain right now, I'm gonna make money off of it for maybe the next five years. If you believe the research from Deloitt which I do, it's excellent research, and so that means that if I wanna have a living beyond five years from now, which I do, I've got to adopt this mindset of continuous improving, continuous evolution.

Mark:

- Thank you, thank you Sam. Can we touch on before you go, have you got another five minutes Sam?

Sam:

- Sure, absolutely.

Mark:

- Some of the ecommerce side, head of ecommerce at HubSpot, we obviously know it's not an ecommerce platform but how is that tied in, and what work did you do there?

Sam:

- Yeah, so HubSpot used to have experiments and our experiments were persona-based, right, because our entire company is not oriented around division or something like that, it was oriented around who are we selling to so the mid-market segment of the company with its own sales team, its own marketing team, its own services team. And then what we did in experiments was test new ones, and that was my job, was I was in charge of saying, are there new segments that we can market to? Like, can we market to franchises? The answer is no, people who run franchise businesses we were not able to market them, we killed that unit. And then one of them was, can we market to ecommerce companies? And it turns out yeah, it turns out we really can because ecommerce just takes what a B-to-B business does and does it at scale, right, so it's not one human being selling to one human being, it's you have one sales rep, and that's your shopping cart, and it has to create a personalised, value-added, educational experience for 100,000 people a month, right? But the mechanics and fundamentals are still the same especially because we in the B-to-B space and in the staff space are big believers in the business model of customer-centric economics. Right, so Starbucks is my favourite example of this, Starbucks, transactional business like you might have for anything, average order value of six bucks. In most ecommerce worlds, you're gonna focus on average order value, basket size, abandoned cart rate, these sorts of things. Starbucks an average lifetime value of over $14,000 Kissmetrics did that study.

Mark:

- Wow.

Sam:

- I redid the same study for HubSpot by the way, the average HubSpotter has the lifetime value to Starbucks of over $30,000 just because we have lots of meetings and stuff there. I used to joke that it would be worth it for them to park a barista in our office to serve us coffee, that joke's not funny anymore because we went public and we actually do have baristas in our office that service us coffee.

Mark:

- Yeah, there we go.

Sam:

- But if you're a Starbucks marketer you're not trying to spend two dollars to sell a six dollar cup of coffee, you're trying to spent 2,000, 3,000, maybe $5,000 to acquire and retain a $14,000 customer. And it turns out that inbound marketing is uniquely adapted to that specific problem of how do I acquire somebody, not just to buy once, but somebody who's going to be a good, recurring, longterm customer. That's the real challenge in ecommerce right now, that's actually, super shameless plug, the premise of the book "How To Sell Better Than Amazon." Because Amazon has all those right intentions but they're trying to be everything to everyone at the same time and so they fail a lot. Whereas, if you know something, you could be better at educating your prospects and keeping customers, this is like the one truth that we have is if you're really good at keeping customers, you can spend more to get customers. If you can spend more to get customers, you can out-leverage your competitors in growth.

Mark:

- We will put the link to your book in the show notes below. Would that just go straight to your Amazon account or is there any particular web address? No, no, we're happy to do that.

Sam:

- No, the irony that it's listed on Amazon is not lost on me. That was thanks to the publisher, and I do get a little kick out of it if someone buys it on Amazon, Amazon has to pay me a royalty. No, you can go to inboundcommerce.com and that has more resources, that has some articles and some videos and stuff that sort of summarise some of the key points in the book, and by the way, case in point, with how quickly things change, there are already Facebook features and companies that I reference in that book that are gone now. So, you know, like I said, the fundamentals are still what I think is important but yeah, the pace of change is incredible.

Mark:

- When was that published?

Sam:

- It was published three years ago.

Mark:

- Three years so, okay, book two coming out soon do you think, do you got time?

Sam:

- Ah, the folks at HubSpot keep telling me that I need to write another book, but that's hard man, that's hard, like, you know, to sit down and do 85, 100,000 words, I'd do it the same way you did, by the way, the way you do your podcast, which is I have a cigar and I have a glass of scotch and I just narrate, using Dragon dictation and then I go through and edit it. Because I think a book should be more like a conversation between the author and the reader. So I don't know, maybe I'll try again, I don't know, we'll see.

Mark:

- Great, okay, it's just time. What's the plan for you now, the future, the next 12 months, what's the plan?

Sam:

- The next 12 months for me, I'm gonna keep teaching and we're gonna keep travelling. We should hit 49 states in the U.S. Unless we decide to fly to Hawaii, but we're rolling out a really cool series, the website's not live yet, but in like a month go to SamFromTheVan.com. I think what a lot of people, including maybe the HubSpot marketing team, has lost touch with, is these real, human stories of people who do marketing every day. Sometimes if you're on inbound.org, if you're following the HubSpot blog, it feels like you have that one really good-looking friend on Facebook whose life is really, really successful and it makes you feel really crappy about yourself.

Mark:

- Yep.

Sam:

- Like I don't actually want that, I don't like the workout videos where the person's like all ripped and muscley and stuff like that. I want somebody who's a little pudgy and looks like me because it's plausible, it's attainable. And so while I'm driving around the country, what I'm doing is I'm collecting these real human stories about the people who actually do the work every day. Don't get me wrong, I love our quote-unquote "thought leaders" in our industry, but when was the last time you actually managed a marketing team for a lot of the thought leaders in the country or in the world, and so I wanna get out there and I wanna tell the stories of people who are generating leads for their sales team but the sales team refuses to call them. That's a real story, because the sales team only knows the cold calling process and that's what they want to do. So that's what's next for me, we're gonna keep doing that, we're gonna do that series, it's gonna be fun.

Mark:

- Yeah, sales and marketing alignment, at Don Howard we say "shmarketing." That's the right word?

Sam:

- Smarketing, yeah.

Mark:

- We have that, yeah, repeating several times so that's something you're going into. So good luck with that, you'll be working closely with Dan then on this, and David, or?

Sam:

- Yeah, so Dan, I ran into Dan because I was in Phoenix and he lives in Phoenix, he was one of our early employees at HubSpot and Dan is hysterical, I'm sure if you had him on the show last week he was a lot of fun, he's very high energy. We actually once made an app where you can just press a button and Dan Tyre would motivate you. I just recorded a bunch of things that he said. But yes, so I'll be working with Dan, I'll be working with everybody, the cool thing about being the size we are right now, there's some things I miss about HubSpot being a small, tight-knit startup, but there are some really cool advantages, like we have awesome podcast and video and narrative and brand editors at HubSpot now so that it's not just like me broadcasting from my phone, like you have real support. So I'm gonna be working with the marketing team in addition to Dan and everybody else to make this really, really cool.

Mark:

- Sam, thank you very much for your time. I really, really enjoyed this conversation, I could chat to you all day, so I'll let you get back to your next destination and keep in touch, and once we've transcripted this we've got it edited, we'll send you a link as well, see what you think.

Sam:

- Wonderful, sounds good, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it, this was a great conversation.

Mark:

- Take care then, have a good day then, thank you, bye-bye, take care.

Sam:

- You too, bye.

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