The challenge: justifying inbound campaigns to local businesses
Oxygen serves clients in the Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and international markets looking to increase their sales qualified leads and revenue. Like many agencies, their biggest challenge largely involved justifying their client’s spend on marketing. This challenge was amplified by the attitudes of the local market that didn’t understand inbound and didn’t believe in large upfront investments for content creation. Oxygen knew inbound worked but were lacking a coherent way to prove to clients that their marketing efforts were worth the investment.
Initially, Oxygen used a slew of tools to manage campaigns for clients like Madmimi and MailChimp for email, Hootsuite for social media, Unbounce for landing pages, Squarespace for websites, Google Analytics for tracking, Pipedrive for CRM, and at the centre, using Zapier to tie all them together. Although Zapier is a powerful integration tool that allowed them to execute on campaigns, the team still did not have a great way to make all these tools work together to report back to clients in a meaningful and efficient manner. If one link in the chain of integrations broke, the whole business was essentially halted – an efficiency and productivity nightmare for any agency.
A Holistic Solution with HubSpot
Oxygen aimed to build a coherent, repeatable model for success with their clients. While searching for a better way to predict, execute and repeat success with their clients, Oxygen found HubSpot’s marketing materials.
Managing director, Gareth Jones, and company founder, Dan Beach, began seeing immediate value before they ever signed on as HubSpot Partners. "When we spoke to the sales rep, what stood out was that it wasn’t so much a sales process as it was a consultation to see what we were doing with our marketing and where we might have been going wrong."
Getting Educated on Inbound Marketing
The Oxygen team focused on the foundations of the inbound marketing methodology with their channel account managers. They taught the team not only how to use an inbound strategy for Oxygen to generate more quality leads at the top of the funnel, but also how to build a consistent inbound marketing offering for their clients – many of whom were doing inbound for the first time.
Prove ROI of client’s investment with closed-loop reporting.
With the team fully equipped, Oxygen began executing on clients’ campaigns using the inbound methodology. "With HubSpot and the inbound methodology, there is an obvious path to generating leads, and ultimately ROI."
By bringing all the tools Oxygen uses to manage their clients into one place, Oxygen was finally able to complete effective closed-loop reporting. With clear and measurable results, Oxygen could better build ROI projections for their clients. Having this type of reporting available meant that many leads and clients that were very sceptical of the inbound process began to see the results and understand the actual value of their investment.
"Because HubSpot makes inbound campaigns consistent, we can benchmark success to a point where we can predict how many sales qualified leads a client can expect throughout the campaign, meet, and often exceed those expectations. For the client and us, this creates very easy to measure KPIs, which focuses on success, as opposed to why they’re not ranking for a keyword they like, why they don’t have more fans on Facebook, or why their email list isn’t growing faster. It focuses the campaign on the metrics that matter to their bottom line and our ongoing engagement."
Optimizing for repeatable client success.
Using HubSpot’s breadth of data and powerful reporting tools, Oxygen can bring all the pieces of a campaign together. The more complete a picture they have of how potential buyers are behaving, the better able they are to (1) identify opportunities for improvement and (2) pinpoint successful strategies to replicate. "So with HubSpot we know, for example, that an SQL came from LinkedIn, read which blog, clicked which CTA, and downloaded which offer. This means we can optimize for that kind of success to make it repeatable."
"Consistent long-term results meant that clients would opt for longer retainers and have a high chance of renewal. Now we have more retainers; we can deliver better results to those clients we have and keep them on longer, which means we don’t have to always be on the hunt for new business. It’s a win for us and the client."
Optimizing for their own funnel.
By creating useful, optimized content at the top of the funnel, Oxygen is attracting the right types of leads and has a consistently full pipeline of new, higher quality leads. More than this, having all the data regarding these leads in one place gives them the ability to score and prioritize them accordingly – helping the team to optimize their sales process for net new business. ‘Being able to distinguish between a lead that is likely to close and one that is not qualified, as well as reaching out to them when they are ready, makes the sales process so much more seamless.’
By developing quality, relevant and localized content, Oxygen was able to provide value to not only potential customers but also to leads that aren’t quite ready to buy. Using the history of interactions that HubSpot collects about a prospect, Oxygen can segment leads based on their interests and their position in the buying cycle. This allows them to nurture leads with content that’s relevant to their buying decision and will help influence them to the point of sale. "The ability to nurture a lead so that they only convert when they are ready to buy is invaluable. It’s as though you had a super helpful salesperson with limitless memory able to follow up with a lead precisely when they needed them to. We’ve rolled these features out on multiple campaigns internally and have signed many deals with clients that came in through a blog and converted on one of our offers."
Driving Client Success with Chinese Platforms
Given the widespread adoption of the social network WeChat and search engine Baidu in China, Oxygen knew that it was necessary to leverage these platforms for their international clients that were marketing into China. For many of these clients, they were already using HubSpot and needed to understand what the best way was for them to market in China and track as much engagement as possible with HubSpot.
With HubSpot, Oxygen can track which channels and sources are driving not only the most traffic but also the most conversions to any individual landing page. Oxygen uses these landing page analytics to gain meaningful insights into WeChat and Baidu campaign performance.
For clients that needed a legitimate website in China to use as a landing page for ads (as per the ICP license requirements), Oxygen has been able to assist with setting up locally hosted microsites. These sites are then linked back to HubSpot so that any leads coming through forms on the website can be tracked and managed.
More than Just a Marketing Platform
"HubSpot provides you with a framework to build and measure your marketing, but I find with many companies, the inbound approach doesn’t just affect the marketing side of the business, it permeates throughout the entire organization, from marketing to sales, and even to other departments like HR (if you can attract new customers this way, why not great new hires?). The HubSpot platform itself is the engine that drives all of this, and provides a framework through which to generate consistent, ROI positive results, with one tool, in one place."
Today, Oxygen not only handles marketing for clients but also has evolved to assist with optimizing their clients’ sales and customer service. Embracing the flywheel methodology and using the entire HubSpot suite of tools has been key to growing their clients’ businesses.
Looking Ahead: What’s Next for Southeast Asia Pacific and Inbound?
"We look at inbound marketing as best practice for all B2B companies. Much in the same way that most companies didn’t have a website in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, leveraging all of the tools available to establish your company as an expert in your particular field will be commonplace. SEA/APAC companies have a great deal of value to gain and add by building these kinds of programs within their businesses by becoming more accessible to and building trust with customers within their countries and globally. As the economy in APAC/SEA grows to represent an increasingly large percentage of the global GDP and companies continue to move up the value chain, this will only become truer."
With six HubSpot awards, many more happy clients, and exponential team growth in 2019, Oxygen has established itself as one of the premier HubSpot agencies in Asia.