12X increase in clients
40% of clients on retainer contracts
80% of leads from inbound marketing
Marketing specialist Johan Vandecasteele and technical expert Johan Vantomme worked together in the same Belgian publishing company; by 2007, they began to realise that traditional marketing and advertising solutions were becoming less effective. As the clients they partnered with were increasingly based online, they started to use different tactics to draw in leads.
“In 2013, we were working with marketing automation software Silverpop, but we weren’t happy with it. We knew that there must be better solutions out there, so we started investigating. We evaluated Eloqua and Marketo, but the only platform that covered the whole marketing funnel was the HubSpot software,” says Johan Vandecasteele.
The pair were impressed by HubSpot’s inbound methodology, and its ethos of attracting, converting, closing and delighting the customer.
“That was a true a-ha moment for us because that was what we had been doing for the past 20 years, just from a different angle. We decided to use all our years of experience and start our own inbound agency, leadstreet. The decision to use the HubSpot Marketing Platform was really the only logical choice for us.”
Johan says that he realised early on that signing up to the HubSpot Partner Program was a great opportunity, as it would allow the new company to deliver the kind of results that clients want to see. When leadstreet opened its doors in 2014, it was ready to hit the ground running with inbound.
Johan immediately started using the HubSpot software to turn the leadstreet website into a great example of inbound in action. He put its blog on the Blog App and set up content, such as ebooks and user guides, on Landing Pages. He also used SEO functionality to drive traffic to the site and added CTAs and Forms to promote visitor engagement and to capture lead information.
“We were our own first client, and we did a great job setting up inbound on our website. That meant that we were able to prove the value of what we were doing in a really short space of time, and we landed our first client within a month.”
That customer was Amplexor Belgium, and leadstreet secured a contract to provide it with all its inbound marketing needs. After a year, Amplexor decided that it wanted to roll out the method to its other companies worldwide – it has operations in 21 countries and in ten different languages. This was a complex task, but thanks to Johan Vantomme’s technical expertise and the use of the HubSpot software, leadstreet successfully managed it.
Eric Pieters, CEO of Amplexor Belgium, says that “leadstreet brought our digital marketing to the next level”. In fact, this sentiment is echoed by the agency’s other clients; 40% are now signed up for retainer contracts rather than once-off project deals.
Part of leadstreet’s appeal, says Johan, lies in its ability to demonstrate the inherent value of the inbound method to its potential customers.
“A lot of marketers just seem to be stuck in the old ways, so you have to convince them to change the way they do things. What is great is that the HubSpot software makes that easy to do. It’s an all-in-one solution, all the tools work together, and you can show the results of every action that you make in the Marketing Analytics Platform. It really helps us prove that they can get a good return on their investment.”
Since leadstreet has been part of the HubSpot Partner Program, it has achieved some remarkable results. 80% of the agency’s leads come from inbound marketing and it currently has 12 clients on the HubSpot software. It was also the first Belgian agency to achieve Platinum Partner status.
“All of our customers see great gains. Their visitors and leads rise massively – we had one client who got 400 high quality leads in the space of a month. Within three to six months, they start to see their revenue increasing, and that’s very valuable, both for us and for them.”
The fact that leadstreet is an expert at creating and positioning content helps enormously, says Johan. Before hiring the agency, many of its clients have little or no content on their sites, or they are producing blogs and articles that are “shameless self-promotion”. When leadstreet steps in, this changes.
The agency is also increasingly helping its clients to implement an inbound sales methodology.
“The sales part is vital. We look at how their sales process is organised, how it can be improved, and at defining the point when a lead becomes sales qualified. We set our clients up on the HubSpot CRM, and that changes the way their salespeople work. They have a much clearer view of each prospect’s journey and the entire sales pipeline.”
As for future goals, leadstreet wants to continue to grow the business, and its ongoing partnership with HubSpot will be key to this.
“The HubSpot Partner Program makes a lot of sense. You get this great software, but also help with strategy and continuous service and support. When you become a Partner, it’s not just a one-off deal, it’s a long-term relationship.
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