50% of clients on retainer
50 new leads every month
60 customers on the HubSpot software
Craig Wiltshire knows what it takes to make companies great. Before starting Struto, he was co-owner and sales and marketing director of s2s, a Cisco consultancy firm. The company became a Cisco Gold Partner within four years, before NG Bailey bought it out for a considerable sum. Although Craig stayed on as head of marketing for a short period, in 2009, he decided to take some time out for himself. However, he didn’t get long to rest on his laurels.
While investigating new business ventures, Craig came across a HubSpot blog post on the inbound methodology. After further research, he became convinced that inbound marketing would be a game changer for companies that want to grow.
“In 2011, I founded Struto, a digital marketing agency based on inbound marketing. I knew that the right marketing automation software would be critical, but I also wanted to partner with a provider that offered all the support, training and coaching that we would need.”
Craig evaluated the partner programs offered by Eloqua, Marketo and HubSpot, but it was HubSpot that seemed the most invested in helping his new agency grow.
“The HubSpot team engaged with us right away, and it was clear to us that they were committed to our success. The others were more ‘take it or leave it’, which is not the attitude you want, especially when you are first starting out.”
The decision was an easy one, and Struto joined the HubSpot Partner Program in 2011.
As a new agency, Struto was keen to take advantage of all the guidance available from the HubSpot team.
“As well as training on the inbound method itself, HubSpot helped us with agency positioning and with strategies for growth. Nothing was too much trouble, and in the early days that support was critical to getting us off the ground. There is a real openness about the Partner Program – it feels like a true collaboration, there’s no hoarding of knowledge.”
Struto uses the HubSpot growth stack – the Marketing, CRM and Sales software – on its own website, which is an excellent example of all that can be achieved with inbound. It has a regularly updated blog and a library of downloadable content, and visitors are encouraged to engage through Smart Calls-to-Action and Smart Forms.
“We’ve used the CRM since its early days; we think it’s fantastic and it allows us to keep track of our pipelines. Then, with Sales Pro, we can ensure that none of our prospects slip through the cracks,” explains Craig.
Struto soon built a reputation as an agency that could give its clients a measurable return on their investment, something which few of them had experienced before.
“When we were starting out, we did have to do quite a bit of client education. Our sweet spot is B2B companies in the tech sector, and many of them were unaware of how transformative inbound could be for them. The market is more mature now. A lot of our customers already have the HubSpot software, but they want our help to get the most out of it.”
Today, the agency offers its customers the full range of inbound services: growth-driven design, performance-driven marketing and sales enablement.
“We’re able to close the gap between their marketing and sales departments and make decisions based on data, not guesswork. That makes for happy clients who are more willing to sign up for longer, more lucrative contracts with us.”
Struto gets on average 50 inbound leads each month – typically 10% of those convert into marketing qualified leads. It now has 60 clients on the HubSpot software and is a Platinum Tier Partner. The agency is also on track to exceed its 2017 revenue goal.
“50% of our customers are on retainer, which gives us a predictable revenue stream and lets us plan ahead. We’re hoping to get that number up to 75%, but we don’t want to completely drop our project work, because our creative team enjoys it and it fosters innovation.”
Struto’s clients are enjoying great results as well. Within a year of working with the agency, traffic is typically boosted by 5X. 1.5% of that traffic converts into qualified leads – a 3X increase for most companies.
“For example, one of our clients, Cranfield University, wanted to promote its Business Growth Programme, so we created a microsite with a blog and downloadable content. Within months, we had increased blog subscriptions by over 2X.”
Craig would recommend the HubSpot Partner Program to any other agency that wants to succeed with inbound.
“If you’re not a HubSpot Partner, then you probably don’t have the right software to wrap your services around and produce the recurring revenue that will allow your agency to scale. By joining the Partner Program, you get that software, as well as all the support you need to get the most out it.”
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