On 15th February, we held the first Manchester HubSpot Users Group event of 2018. Taking place at Ziferblat in the Northern Quarter, Manchester, our event saw a full room of 58 attendees (our biggest turnout to date) and getting on for a couple of thousand viewers on our Facebook live stream. If you missed it, don't worry because here's the recap.
What is the HUG?
The HUG, which stands for HubSpot Users Group, is an event that allows you and your peers to come together and learn how to keep driving inbound marketing success. HUGs meet at least quarterly at local venues and you can expect to learn marketing tips, tools and tricks of the trade to help you begin, develop and improve your skills as well as keeping up to date with industry and HubSpot news.
HUGs are hosted by marketers employed by Gold+ tiered HubSpot partner agencies who are inbound and HubSpot certified and have completed the HubSpot Certified Trainer course. The leaders are never there to directly drive leads or traffic to their website but rather, provide an opportunity for fellow HubSpot users and customers in their community to build on their skills and knowledge.
The February 2018 Manchester HUG
We've come a long way since our very first Manchester HUG back in 2015 and have helped over 200 people with HubSpot and inbound marketing. Our most recent event, which was live streamed for the very first time, involved talks from HubSpot's very own Olivia Kirwan, and Nikita Smits-Jørgensen, co-founder of BusinessBrew, who shared their valuable knowledge on the inbound methodology and GDPR, respectively.
Two main things that were covered were account based marketing and the GDPR legislation that's due to be enforced later this year and what impact it will have on the sales and marketing landscape.
Simply click on the points below to be taken to the relevant section.
Olivia Kirwan kicked off the first of the talks. Account Based Marketing is the strategic approach to business marketing. Instead of simply purchasing a list, it's about getting to know your audience and using that knowledge to develop a more tailored approach to communicating with them.
You can read about the key takeaways or watch Olivia's full talk from the HUG event if you click on the image above, but the three best practices that we've rounded up are:
1. Know Who Your Audience is
If you want to have the most successful, valuable conversations with your audience, then you need to know exactly who they are. Before you build your marketing strategies, you need to have a clear idea of who it is that you want to talk to - whether it's an individual or a company. And if it's a company, you need to break it down into various groups such as the HR team or the CEO.
When you know this, you can begin building buyer personas, based on consumer research, which are essential if you're to create content that's catered just to your audience. You need to know where you can find them and what makes them tick in order to offer advice and solutions for their problems.
2. Have a Reason For Wanting to Contact Them
Now that you know who your audience is, you need to figure out why it is that you want to talk to them. What can you offer them? You can't message people for the sake of messaging. This will only lead to spam emails which will irritate and frustrate your audience, making them unsubscribe from your services and you losing that contact.
As well as this, it could be breaching the new GDPR laws which we will discuss further down the page.
3. Work Closely with Your Sales Team
Marketing and sales teams should always work closely with each other. HubSpot refer to this as 'smarketing'. This is because marketing collect the data and attract the contacts with their attractive content before passing this information onto sales so they can close the deal.
But for that process to run smoothly, the two teams need aligned goals - something which can only happen if they're working closely with each other.
Nikita Smits-Jørgensen, co-founder of BusinessBrew and HubSpot alumni, followed up on account based marketing with her introduction to GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, was first approved by the EU Parliament on 16th April 2016 and is set to come into force on 25th May 2018 - which is a mere two months away.
Nikita discussed the three main points (but you can see the full recap and more important points if you click on the image above):
1. Processing Data Must Be Lawful, Fair and Transparent
You can actually get into trouble and be fined for posting privacy notices that are full of legal jargon that anyone not trained in law won't be able to understand. Companies can no longer hide clauses in the small print, use confusing wording or make pre-checked boxes difficult to find. Everything must be easily readable and understandable for people in the age group that you're targeting.
2. Consent Should Be Your Last Resort
Consent is taken away as easily as it's given. Take off your marketing hat for a moment and think about this example. How many times have we, as a customer, been interested in receiving marketing emails but then ended up unsubscribing because they sent too many uninteresting emails too often? That's how easily consent can be removed, so it should only ever be the last method you turn to when every other method doesn't work.
3. If it Doesn't Feel Right, it Probably isn't Right
The thing about laws and legislations are that they're hardly ever in black and white. There's usually a lot of grey areas - as is the case of GDPR. But Nikita stressed that if you're doing something that doesn't feel right, it probably isn't so.
For example, if a customer's contract with you ends, don't continue to bombard them with emails. More often than not, you'll end up annoying them. Instead, you should try and persuade them back into your marketing and sales funnel via taking them to landing pages for services they might be interested in.
The talks from Olivia and Nikita were followed by a Q&A session, which was the perfect opportunity to ask any inbound or HubSpot questions to the room.
There was also the HubSpot Help Desk, which was a chance for you to book in a slot with one of the HUG team and allow them to help you solve a HubSpot problem you might be having. Throughout the day, people were able to mingle among like-minded marketing and sales professionals, and network.
If you check out our blog posts on each separate guest talk, you can read about the main points they covered in more depth. The aim of our HUG was to allow like-minded people to share their ideas and experiences so everyone can improve their skills and get the most out of their inbound efforts. Did people, both attendees and video viewers, feel like it helped? Well, just take a look at a few of the Tweets that were posted...
Drum roll, please! 🥁 A grand total of 58 attendees at today's #ManchesterHUG, the largest HUG attendance in the UK to date.— Manchester HUG (@manchester_hug) February 15, 2018
Our biggest #ManchesterHUG crowd to date. Great topics on ABM and GDPR.— Rikki Lear (@rikki_lear) February 15, 2018
Lots of audience enagagemt too!
Our next HUG is set to take place on 9th May 2018 at Ziferblat in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. Subjects and speakers are yet to be confirmed. You can keep an eye on the news and updates here or you can click below to book your place onto the next HUG.
Want to Get Even More Out of Your Inbound Marketing Efforts?
HUGs are helpful and provide you with a great deal of insight but they're not the only factor that goes into creating a successful inbound marketing strategy. There's much more you need to think about - for example, the marketing automation platform. You need to pick the best one for you and your business. To help you out, we've evaluated and narrowed down the options to four of the most popular marketing automation platforms - HubSpot, Marketo, InfusionSoft and Pardot.
Download our FREE guide below and discover which platform is best for you and your business's needs.