Entering the Inbound Arena
Spitfire Inbound was founded as part of Penquin, a full-service advertising agency based in South Africa. The management team wanted to be able to clearly show the ROI of the marketing activities it was carrying out for its clients. After discovering HubSpot and inbound marketing they realised the opportunity was significant and needed to have its own focus, and so Spitfire Inbound was born.
“We evaluated several competitors, including Marketo, Pardot and the HubSpot software. But we kept returning to HubSpot – and when we did we felt like we were returning home. It was easier to use, and it would allow us to get rid of several solutions and replace them with one complete package.
“Once we started working with HubSpot it became easier than ever before to prove the ROI of our work. We had the data at our fingertips which help align strategies based on facts, not assumptions,” says Darren Leishman, managing director of Spitfire Inbound.
“We created Spitfire as a standalone agency, dedicated solely to the inbound methodology. We saw this as the future of marketing, and we wanted to get in on the act. Of course, HubSpot was critical to that plan, and we signed up to the HubSpot Partner Program in June 2016.”
Building With the Growth Stack
Spitfire Inbound immediately began to use the HubSpot growth stack, a combination of the Marketing, CRM and Sales software, on its own website. The first task was to create its personas.
“We came up with three main personas. Each person was based on detailed research so that we knew who were talking to and what their marketing challenges were.
“More recently, we’ve developed an additional persona who is much more sales focused. Our ability to deliver results by aligning the marketing and sales efforts meant that we needed to be providing useful and helpful information to both departments.
The agency started using Landing Pages for its content, created a Blog and added Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and Smart Forms to capture user details. Social media has been formed a significant part of our plans and continues to deliver results.
“We keep track of our leads using the CRM and then use Workflows to send our contacts personalised messages that correspond to their stage in the buyer’s journey.”
Darren is a big fan of the HubSpot software’s analytic capabilities, which allow him to optimise the agency’s content and get the best possible results.
“If you aren’t tracking your conversions, you are missing out on opportunities to nurture a potential customer into a paying one. The Marketing Analytics Dashboard gives us a bird’s eye view on our performance. Now, we can see exactly which content, CTAs and other factors are influencing our visitors, and we make decisions based on that knowledge.”
Spitfire quickly began to gain new customers, who were impressed by the agency’s results-driven philosophy.
“Once our clients see what we can do, they sign up for longer and more lucrative contracts. We have 70% of them on the growth stack, and we find that they do particularly well. Their marketing and sales departments are much more aligned, because they have a clearer understanding of their leads’ journeys.”
A Short Path To Remarkable Results
Spitfire Inbound has achieved some great results in just 12 months; hitting 105% of its revenue goal. The agency now has 10 clients using the HubSpot software, and it has expanded its staff from four people to 12.
“We’ve exceeded our expectations,” says Darren. “We have already reached Gold Tier Partner status and we’re generating recurring revenue – 100% of our clients are on retainer contracts. We get an average of four leads through inbound every month, and we have a close rate of over 95%.”
Spitfire Inbound’s clients are also reaping rewards. According to Charl Grobler of Suzuki South Africa, the inbound philosophy is the future of marketing.
“Spitfire Inbound has guided us through the entire process, and their measurable, exciting and inspiring strategies are helping us to help customers.”
Darren says that the training and support that HubSpot provides has been vital.
“HubSpot has a vested interest in our success, and that’s really important when you’re building a partnership. As our name suggests, we’re totally committed to the inbound methodology. Our staff are expected to complete all of the HubSpot Academy training courses, and we also have weekly sessions to hone our skills and strategic thinking.”
Looking ahead, Spitfire Inbound plans to become a Platinum Tier Partner by the year’s end, and it has also set goals for further down the line.
“Within three years, we want to have a staff of 22 and increase our revenue by 12X. With HubSpot by our side, we’re confident that we can do it.”