Finding the Light of Sales and Marketing Alignment
Before becoming a HubSpot partner, Driek Geurtsen consulted with technology and ICT companies throughout the Netherlands to help them with their marketing and sales strategy. Time and again he was encountering the same problems: little alignment between sales and marketing, expensive lead generation costs and long sales cycles. Driek began exploring digital marketing methods as a way for his clients to address these challenges.
While attending an industry event in Utrecht, Netherlands, he heard HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe speak about inbound marketing. Immediately, Driek knew he had found the perfect solution. He recalls, “It was for me as if I saw the light…It sounds a little crazy, [I've been] a sales and marketer for a long time, but this was completely new to have this marketing and sales integration.” Driek knew that inbound marketing had the potential to be a game changer for his clients. He began investigating HubSpot resellers in the Netherlands. Through his research, he realised that his country was a relatively untapped market for inbound marketing. He decided to seize the opportunity to build a business as a HubSpot partner.
Building an Inbound Marketing Agency
One4Marketing was established in 2011 and specialises in helping SMB technology and ICT companies with complicated products and services that are particularly suited to inbound marketing. Initially, Driek relied on inbound marketing and HubSpot’s software to build the business. The first step was to educate his target market on the power of inbound marketing. He began by creating a blog, using HubSpot's Blogging App, to attract visitors to their website. He also optimised the site for search and used the HubSpot’s in-built keywords tool to increase its' discoverability. Quickly, the business began to take off, and in 2012, Driek hired his first full-time employee, Tobias Pasma. Over time, they have built a steady stream of over 4000 visits and 60 new leads every month to add to their existing pipeline. Tobias explains their approach, “Prospects find us through our blog, then we nurture them through email, and slowly it builds up until they realise ‘Wow we missed some steps in our marketing and we need to start with inbound marketing’.”
Driek and his team implemented a smart strategy to quickly demonstrate the impact of inbound marketing to their prospective clients. They leverage their client's scheduled events to attract visitors to the client's website. Driek explains how this works, “we ask the event speakers to blog on their website and include a Call-to-Action for the event. The clients can then see the effect of inbound marketing in a short period.” This approach has helped them win sceptical prospects over, as Driek says, “You can convince people when they see the results.”
Amazing Results and Happy Customers
The inbound marketing methodology has provided One4Marketing with a repeatable cadence that works every time. They begin by brainstorming and mapping out the core buyer personas with each client. From there, we built a content strategy. Driek explains that one of the most significant learnings for his clients is to centre their strategy on their buyer personas. He says, “Technology companies don’t think in personas, so there is a huge opportunity to improve, and this market is exciting to me because we can teach them a lot about marketing.”
In 2014, One4Marketing migrated their own website over to the HubSpot COS and quickly saw an increase in organic traffic of 120%. They now recommend that all their clients redesign their websites on the HubSpot COS to maximise the return on their inbound marketing investment. This approach allows the client to get a full understanding of how all the HubSpot tools work together and sets them up for greater success in the future. Tobias says, “It’s a great tool and you can really help your clients achieve better results when they’re using HubSpot.”
The One4Marketing team are very proud that they have helped so many clients achieve amazing results through implementing an inbound marketing approach. Tobias explains how they helped one client turn their business around, “The business wasn’t going great, and their client base was declining each year. Through inbound marketing, we were able to stem the decline, and they are now generating about 500 sales qualified leads per month. They were able to break through that negative spiral and are now actually growing their business and have increased their clients by about 20-30%. It was a huge and challenging project, but we changed the mindset internally with that client.”
Confidence for the Future
Currently, One4Marketing are growing at an exponential rate and are aiming to become a platinum partner in 2015. Driek says, “We are now growing faster than in 2013 or 2014. We have already achieved our Q1 target, and we’ll double our customer base this year.” Also, they have a solid revenue stream with over 80% of their business being retainer-based. A retainer-based model gives Driek great confidence to plan for the longer-term growth of the business. Tobias says, “It went too well for Driek! He intended to build this business alone, but he had so much business that he needed employees. He now has four full-timers and four part-timers with plans to add an employee in 2015.”
Their happy customers are spreading the word through their networks about both One4Marketing and HubSpot. Consequently, Driek and the team no longer have to rely on inbound marketing to generate new business solely. Tobias explains, “Big companies in the Netherlands are asking us to come and give a demo, or explain about inbound marketing and HubSpot.”
The One4Marketing team credit the support they received from HubSpot as a critical factor in their success. Not only have they received technical support, but they have also received sales and strategic guidance. Tobias explains, “We have a monthly call with our account manager to discuss our sales pipeline, and we even do things like a telephone role play of how to sell a lead or do an inbound assessment with a lead… we are getting great help from HubSpot.”
Being a HubSpot partner is more than just buying into a business model, as Driek explains, “When I went to INBOUND, and it was like I met some friends. Usually, when you become a partner, there is some distance, but with HubSpot, it’s like you become a part of the family.”