A Solution For All-Inclusive Inbound
AES International is passionate about helping senior international professionals believe in better — using science to redefine the way they think, reshape retirement and investment outcomes, and unlock real health and well-being. It employs highly qualified fiduciaries, who are legally bound to act in their clients’ best interests, instead of financially conflicted brokers. Its marketing department is also committed to thinking and acting differently, says Rebecca Steele, the company’s Associate Director of Marketing.
“Our industry is well known for using outbound techniques; it’s about a decade behind the rest of the world. They are all used to cold calling, flyers and events. But our marketing team has always been aware of the power of inbound, we just had to find a better way to do it.”
The team was using a number of solutions to manage its inbound activities, including MailChimp for emails, Buffer for social media and ExpressionEngine for content management. However, they didn’t work well together, which made it difficult to prove ROI.
“Having so many disconnected parts worked out to be more expensive,” explains Rebecca. “We had minimal automation, no meaningful analytics – we were duplicating tasks and wasting valuable resources. The low volume and quality of leads was our main challenge, but we also struggled to effectively track the leads we did get.”
When a new hire suggested that the HubSpot software could be the solution they were looking for, the decision-making process was swift.
“When we realised what we could do – automate so many of our tasks and have everything in one place – we really didn’t need to look elsewhere. The HubSpot interface is really easy to use, it solved all the problems we had and created new opportunities for our small team. We were completely convinced, and we signed up with HubSpot in May 2014.”
Sharing Knowledge and Convincing Clients
AES International is committed to sharing knowledge, in the belief that people make better decisions when fully informed.
“We got the rest of our organisation involved by asking them for ideas for Blog posts and Landing Pages that they knew prospects would find useful. We also added Smart Forms so that we could cumulatively gather information on each lead. It also shows the visitor that we recognise and value them, because we’re not asking the same questions all the time. That’s very valuable in terms of relationship building.”
The marketing department uses the Social Media Management Software to schedule all its posts across multiple social media channels and accounts, which allows it to amplify its brand and its message. Rebecca is also a big fan of Workflows and Lists.
“With the Workflows tool in Marketing Hub, it looks like we’re working hard when maybe we’ve gone for the weekend! The fact that Emails are automated keeps us at the front of our clients’ minds and makes them think we are super-responsive 24 hours a day.
“Lists are another favourite – we have hundreds of them. We love that we can segment, filter and create any combination. We can then target any email, campaign, or contact more specifically – we can include our personas and see what’s working and what’s not.”
Once the wider company saw that the marketing team was relieving them of what they considered to be non-productive work, they quickly subscribed to the inbound ethos.
“Then, as we started to give them business that they didn’t have to do anything to get, they were more than sold.”
That faith was further confirmed when AES International moved its website to CMS Hub.
“We now have complete transparency with our data, and that is critical to us,” says Rebecca. “We can see what’s working and change what isn’t. It removes all the guesswork.”
The Marketing Approach They Always Wanted
Rebecca says that the HubSpot software has enabled the company to fully embrace inbound, which was something that the marketing team had always wanted to do.
“We have really seen a turnaround. Website traffic has increased by 10X, from 1,500 visitors a month to 15,000. Our blog is particularly popular. Pre-2014, we got about 200 hits a month; last month, we got 5,651 views, a 28X increase. Our leads are up by 7.5X. Before partnering with HubSpot, we got an average of 20 a month – now we’re averaging 150.”
AES International has also seen an improvement to its bottom line.
“Our entire business plan is now built around the marketing department – none of this existed before we signed up with HubSpot. We’re able to hand our advisers high-quality leads every single day, and they can have many better-informed conversations with them. We have seen a 100% increase in profitability to date.”
Looking to the future, the company plans to continue to help its clients make better decisions about their money, in a highly ethical, non-interruptive way. This disrupts the traditional financial services industry and ultimately gives clients clarity, confidence and control over their future.
“We’re all about sharing knowledge, not hoarding it, and the HubSpot Marketing Platform is perfect for that. If you are in marketing, you need to be with HubSpot. It’s that simple.”