An Agency in Search of a Platform for Growth
Christian Neff founded marketing agency Markentive in late 2012 with a clear plan in mind – use the inbound methodology to help clients win visitors, leads and sales. However, the French market proved to be a tough nut to crack; many of his potential customers were unfamiliar with the concept of inbound marketing.
“For our first year and a half in business, we used a collection of different tools to try and achieve success, including MailChimp, WordPress and some SEO and landing page software. It wasn’t an integrated solution; we had too many tools, and they were too complicated. We wanted something more robust, something that would allow us to prove the ROI of our efforts to our customers.”
Christian says that he and his team had been learning about inbound with help from HubSpot’s online library of content. This meant that HubSpot was at the forefront of his mind when he began evaluating marketing automation platforms.
“HubSpot started the whole inbound movement; it is at the centre of everything in terms of knowledge and authority. We also looked into Marketo, but the HubSpot software was more suited to our clients. It had the right tools for every stage of the marketing funnel, as well as a better price point.”
In June 2014, Markentive decided to join the HubSpot Partner Program, which would allow it to sell HubSpot licences to its customers. According to Christian, “I felt it was the perfect fit in terms of technology, training and support.”
Building Up a Total Inbound Solution
Markentive began using the HubSpot software to optimise its website straight away. The software’s built-in SEO features helped the website to attract more visitors, who discovered Markentive’s ebooks, whitepapers and checklists, which were set up on Landing Pages. The company also used the Email App to communicate with these new leads and optimise its open and click through rates.
Within months, Markentive had sold its first HubSpot contract. However, Christian says that they knew that there was still more that they could do with the HubSpot Marketing Platform.
“To be a good partner, you have to be a good user. Our website generated lots of traffic, but we had no calls-to-action on it, so we added CTAs. We refreshed our website content and moved to the HubSpot CRM to better align our marketing and sales departments.”
This new approach paid dividends. Markentive began to attract a lot more leads and nurtured them with targeted Workflows. The sales department began using the CRM to have more informed conversations with prospects – they could see at a glance what kind of information the lead was interested in and how Markentive could help. Soon, the agency was signing up clients every month.
A Ramped-Up Approach Gets Great Results
Since becoming a HubSpot Partner, Markentive has achieved some remarkable results. Website visitors have been boosted by 5X, from 6,000 to 30,000 a month. Leads are up by 11X, from 30 to 350 a month and they now have 25+ clients.
The company’s customers are also reaping the rewards of the inbound methodology. “They all have increased their visitors, leads and sales,” explains Christian. “We can show them how much of a return they are getting from their marketing activities with the Analytics Dashboard. For many of them, it’s the first time that they can see how marketing has affected their bottom line.”
The vast majority of these customers have signed up with Markentive on a retainer basis, and even those who choose to sign up on a project basis usually end up switching to an annual contract says, Christian.
“We manage their personas, their emails, their analytics; we set up all their workflows – we make sure that they are getting the best out of the HubSpot software. When they see what we do and how easy we make things for them, they want to stick with us. We have a shallow churn rate of customers.”
Christian plans to double his number of inbound clients by December and Markentive is on track to become a HubSpot Platinum Partner later this year. In the longer term, he is confident that the company can sustain this upward trajectory and continue to double its customers and its revenue every year.
“Partnering with HubSpot has given us the keys we needed to succeed, and I would recommend the HubSpot software to any agency that wants to commit to the inbound methodology. It has helped us move forward, and we’ve got better and better at doing our job – it has freed up our time and allowed us to concentrate on honing our strategy and building the business.”