Happy Marketer has always been on the forefront of new digital technologies. In 2015, they found themselves betting on a new strategy for lead generation and nurturing. At the core of that strategy was content designed for their target market.
Happy Marketer’s Head of Communications Joe Escobedo explains, “We were producing content around digital marketing, but it wasn’t reaching out to the right target customers, or producing the high-quality leads we needed.”
The challenge around optimizing their marketing and content was also technical - Happy Marketer was piecing together many different tools to service both themselves and their clients. This included tools like MailChimp for email, Hootsuite for social media, Moz for SEO, and Google Analytics for web analytics. There was no effective way to tie these tools together to see all of a prospect's interactions across different channels.
Joe explains, “We could use Google Analytics to see that a certain post was getting traction, that it was generating traffic for us, but we had no idea who the people looking at those posts were. Essentially, we knew there had to be a better way to identify and segment our leads.”
Belmond Victor, who heads Happy Marketer’s inbound strategy explains the challenge, “If we had talked to prospects in the past and they re-engaged with our services or trainings, our current set of tools didn’t give us that information. Our sales reps had to go through the entire qualification process again, which was almost like cold calling, because there was no actual context once a rep got on the phone with someone. We were hungry for a technical solution that integrated all our customer data, and helped our marketing and sales teams utilize that information for more personalized services.”
Without a complete view of the customer and all their digital touch points, the team struggled to align their efforts around one goal.
Happy Marketer worked with their HubSpot Channel Account Executive Thomas Moin to implement the inbound marketing methodology for themselves. They saw how it could enable a consistent, personalized experience for their prospects, and how having all of their marketing tools in one place could support this effort. The team also leveraged 3rd party review sites like G2Crowd to ultimately make their decision to sign on as an agency partner.
A More Targeted Approach to Content
The team began by building website content targeted to their core verticals. This new strategy focused on creating content that answered the unique challenges faced by the industries they serve. Joe explains the shift in strategy, “Every piece of content we develop should solve one of their pain points and answer one of their questions, so we've become highly targeted in our communications with our different verticals.” By focusing their content strategy to attract the right people, Happy Marketer was able to see a 200% increase in top-of-the-funnel leads, mainly through social media and organic search.
This inbound approach gave Happy Marketer a competitive advantage in the market, and solidified them as first-movers in the Asia Pacific region.
Better Customer Insights, More Personal Conversations
Every tool in HubSpot's all-in-one platform is powered by its central contacts database. As a result, Happy Marketer is able to understand not only how their content is performing, but also who the people in their database are that interact with it. Joe says, “Our big bet at Happy Marketer is personalized communication, and HubSpot as a platform really allows us to better understand our customers and how they interact with our content over time.”
With all their tools under one roof, Happy Marketer now has a complete view of their audience and all the marketing channels they interact with. HubSpot automatically tracks every digital interaction a prospect has with Happy Marketer, whether that’s on the website, over email, social media, etc. Using this behavioral data, along with demographic data collected using the Forms Tool, Happy Marketer has been able to segment their database into target personas.
Using the Persona Tool, Happy Marketer has been able to quickly identify suitable leads and focus on the right people, making the entire team more efficient. “The Persona Tool is our favorite as it helps us classify a lead even before picking up the phone,” says Belmond.
Building Trust and Better Relationships
The rich amount of data that HubSpot provides about their audience has given Happy Marketer invaluable insights into the needs and interests of their prospective clients. They can now see what types of content certain verticals are clicking on, what challenges resonate with them, what services they’re interested in and what channels they prefer to interact over. All of this helps Happy Marketer better understand their core customer. Because they understand their audience better, Happy Marketer is able to focus on delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. Joe says, "Now we’re able to speak to our main verticals better, so our audience can understand that we can really help them."
Additionally, Happy Marketer is using HubSpot’s Workflows Tool to continue to have personalized conversations with prospects, even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. Belmond explains, “Prior to using HubSpot, we didn’t have a nurture program in place. Now, even if someone isn’t ready to do business with us, we’re keeping them warm and keeping that relationship in place, and are able to have a much more personalized and targeted interaction with them based on their persona and their history with us."
Adding a Personalized Touch to Communications
It's essential that Happy Marketer tailors to each segment’s needs, so they can continue to build credibility through helpful, educational content. As a result of the trust they've built with their clients, Happy Marketer has been able to open up avenues for additional services and revenue streams on top of their existing offerings, “It has helped us with the retention and strength of our retainers.”
Both the buyer’s journey and the experience for Happy Marketer has become seamless. Now the Happy Marketer sales reps can access a complete history of interactions with a prospect using the HubSpot Contact Record, to better understand why a prospect is talking to them, what needs they have, and how Happy Marketer can help. Joe Escobedo says “We can see their previous history: what pages they’re actually accessing, and that provides talking points of the conversations were actually having with them. It all goes back to that personalized communication and what that customer actually wants and needs."
Pushing the Envelope with Content
For many agencies just starting with inbound, it can be daunting to build an entire library of content and resources. Joe and his team at Happy Marketer have began a new and innovative approach to sourcing content, inspired by HubSpot’s world-class marketing blog.
Joe explains, “Last year, we implemented an internal marketing initiative called #SlideWars. We have several members of our team create SlideShare presentations based on their individual expertise, e.g. inbound marketing methodologies, HubSpot and how to use it to grow your business, etc.
We run internal contests for the SlideShare that performs the best. This has been extremely successful for us in:
- allowing our team to share their expertise and knowledge
- increasing our brand awareness
- giving us a source of new content that we can constantly adapt into new formats
We can see which SlideShares are resonating the most with our audience, and use that to make more evergreen content.“
This initiative has become quite a viral sensation, raking in over 200,000 views on SlideShare, and bringing Happy Marketer an influx of speaking opportunities and events based on the initiative.”
Inbound is The Future in Southeast Asia
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015: Asia Report, generating leads and converting them into customers are the top priorities for marketers in Asia. This is definitely the case with Happy Marketer’s business.
As a pioneer in Asia’s emerging inbound marketing scene, Happy Marketer sees inbound as a key component of its future growth and is expanding its relevant offerings to meet clients’ demand.
Belmond Victor, the Head of Inbound Marketing at Happy Marketer concludes, “In the past few years, as we were delivering a lot of SEO and AdWords services, Inbound Marketing was a good-to-know curiosity. Now we see more and more people asking about HubSpot and content marketing, including our existing clients. We’re excited to upgrade our offerings to include the entire suite of Inbound, and very thankful for a platform like HubSpot that saves us years of technological frustration.”