Seeking a Joined-Up Marketing SolutionBritta Schlömer founded Thought Leader Systems in 2015, initially as a consulting company. However, she found that she was on the road five days a week, and she didn’t have a predictability of income.
“We could bring in €40,000 one month and then get nothing for the next two. I wanted to start offering more joined-up services that would lead to more retainer contracts.”
Britta has over 20 years of professional experience in marketing, having worked for the Jung von Matt agency and in international marketing management for Deutsche Bank. During her career, she had been introduced to the inbound methodology, and she knew it could help Thought Leader Systems and its clients to attract and nurture more leads and build up recurring revenue streams.
“I was convinced that inbound would revolutionise the German marketplace, but inbound was still a relatively new concept here. I knew that we would need to educate the market, and the HubSpot Partner Program offered everything we needed to do that. The software itself was intuitive and powerful, but what I really liked was the high level of support that was on offer. The HubSpot Academy is so comprehensive! I knew it would help the companies we worked with to gain a deep understanding of the methodology.”
The agency support that HubSpot offered was also a major draw.
“HubSpot is a company that invests in the success of its partner agencies, from help with onboarding to ongoing coaching. It was an easy decision, and we signed up in 2015.”
Embracing Inbound With Help From HubSpotThought Leader Systems got started by implementing HubSpot’s marketing software on its own website. First, it set up personas for its target clients – typically mid-sized companies in traditional sectors such as automotive and healthcare. It then created long-form content for its Landing Pages, as well as an active blog. Visitors are encouraged to download resources and to give their details through Calls-to-Action and Forms. They are then entered into Workflows that are personalised to their interests and stage in the funnel.
“We also use the HubSpot CRM, which is fantastic. It makes it easy to get a high level view on all our leads and track their status with us. We often are approached by other providers that want us to switch to their product, but there’s no way we would ever want to change,” says Britta.
Britta credits the HubSpot support team with helping Thought Leader Systems to grow and succeed with the inbound methodology.
“When we were onboarding, they gave us intensive training to ensure that we achieved optimum results for our agency and for our clients. We had calls and meetings every week, and I liked how they offered practical solutions when we came up against problems. That level of support has remained consistent. Our HubSpot channel account manager is in contact with us nearly every day, helping us to position and sell our inbound services. Just yesterday, when I had a big pitch to make, she was in touch to see if there was anything that I needed.”
Convincing Clients and Expanding in Europe
Thought Leader Systems has carved out its position as an inbound expert in Germany. In fact, Britta has even written a book on the subject, called Inbound! The manual for modern marketing.
“I’m passionate about it, and our results speak volumes. We now get 100 marketing qualified leads every month, and typically 12 of them will convert into sales qualified leads.”
Today, the agency is a HubSpot Gold Tier Partner. It has 16 clients on the HubSpot software and 75% of them are on retainer.
“They love how the HubSpot Growth Stack allows for the creation of an integrated marketing and sales funnel. Everything is connected, which makes it much easier for them to win pitches. And naturally, when their management teams see those revenue increases, they are eager to sign up for long-term contracts with us.”
Thought Leader Systems has big ambitions. Over the next five years, it wants to open offices throughout Europe; it has Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy in its sights.
“Our partnership with HubSpot is going to be a big part of that. I know the team is behind us and they are truly committed to helping us achieve our goals.”