HCSS is a successful software company that has always relied on word of mouth referrals and great brand name recognition to generate leads and new business. Their website's ability to generate leads had plateaued at 100 leads per month, so they sought new tools and methods to increase leads for the sales team. Dan Briscoe, the VP of Marketing, worked with the company leaders and marketing team to evaluate and then purchase HubSpot's inbound marketing software, including its content optimization system (CMS). Since implementation in early 2013, HCSS has dramatically increased both their lead generation and revenue growth rates.
increase in revenue
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Since 1986, HCSS has been developing software to help construction companies streamline their operations. Today, they are recognized as a pioneer and leader in the market, serving over 45,000 construction professionals across the nation.
As a pioneer and leader in construction software since 1986, HCSS has been developing software to help construction companies streamline their operations and serve thousands of construction companies across the nation. During the past decade, the HCSS marketing team had mainly focused their efforts on traditional outbound activities, such as publishing quarterly newsletters, attending trade shows, and running a successful User's Group Meeting, to generate new business leads. Being established in their industry, they relied on word of mouth referrals and an experienced sales team as the primary driver of new business.
The marketing team did not have the tools or strategy in place to use their website as a lead generation tool. The website did not have a conversion path for potential leads; it did contain a few landing pages and a "Contact Sales" offer, but even these limited offers were difficult to find.
Their team consisted of six marketers with varying levels of knowledge and experience. They were operating in silos, each using their “tool of choice”. This made it difficult to coordinate their marketing efforts and understand which activities were working or not.
The executive team noticed that website performance leads had plateaued at around 100 per month for the past 3 years, with conversion rates below 1%. They agreed that HCSS was missing an opportunity to generate more traffic and leads online and decided to work with Dan Briscoe, their new VP of Marketing, to improve the website's performance.
VP of Marketing
Dan quickly identified the need for an inbound marketing strategy to improve HCSS’ lead generation and website performance. He also saw that everyone on the marketing team needed to be using one platform to better understand their marketing efficiencies. Dan had been successful using HubSpot at his previous company and knew the HCSS team would enjoy the ease-of-use and variety of tools the software provides. He spoke with the executive team about the value of inbound marketing and how they could use HubSpot to transform their marketing and sales plans quickly.
At his previous company, Dan had done extensive research on marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Eloqua, but he ultimately chose HubSpot based on the ease of use, broad set of valulable tools included, and the success that so many other companies had seen with the software.
After implementing HubSpot, the marketing team got to work right away by starting an 8 hour Inbound Success Training program that was customized to their goals, plans, and challenges. The members of the marketing team had varying skillsets and knowledge, but all benefitted from the training. "The training provided by HubSpot really elevated the education level of our team," noted Dan. "Instead of being profiecient using one or two tools, now everyone is on-board and fully competent using one platform."
One of the first pieces of evidence that HubSpot was going to transform their business was the dramatic result of adding a "Demo Request" call-to-action and associated landing page to their product pages. "That was the moment we realized what a huge opportunity we had on our hands. Our lead conversions tripled overnight," says Dan. "We were ecstatic!"
To prove the value of inbound marketing, Dan worked with the marketing team to conduct a few experiments. Using HubSpot's software, they compared a piece of digital content published on a popular industry newsletter from "Equipment World" to a traditional advertisement they'd successfully used in the past. The result of the experiment was a significant 10X difference in website visitors gained from the digital content piece over the standard advertisement.
Prior to recreating their blog on the HubSpot COS, the HCSS blog was not a lead generation tool because it primarily showcased the company's culture rather than providing helpful information for customers or industry peers.
As a part of their new strategy they wanted to turn their blog into an educational resource for readers and provide clear conversion paths to generate leads. It was important they deliver blog content in a format that was automatically formatted for any device, since a large portion of their target audience members were C-level Executives or Operations Managers on the go. "The new COS from Hubspot checked off all of our boxes in what we were looking for. The design process was extremely easy after finding a preferred designer on the Partner Directory, I highly recommend using Inbound Design Studio," says Skyler Moss, Marketing Specialist.
They started to use HubSpot's SEO tools to identify which terms and topics they should be ranking for to attract qualified leads to their blog. Once they identified a topic to create a post around, they used HubSpot's pre-written Blog templates to kick-off the writing process, which saves time by allowing them to focus on the content instead of structure of their post.
Using the COS, the team is ensured their blog is fully optimized to be found in search and follow the as-you-type SEO instructions to improve their content. They save time because the platform is fully integrated with the rest of HubSpot's tool. They can easily provide custom Calls-to-Action right into their posts to send readers to a landing page offer, helping the team convert blog readers into leads.
Skyler loves the COS because he is able to quickly teach and train new content marketers how to write, edit and publish posts. The content team appreciates that the blog is integrated with HubSpot's Social Media tools so once they're done writing a post, they schedule a time to publish and to push across all of their social accounts in a single task. "It's so handy because the COS requires almost no technical skills what-so-ever," says Skyler, "it’s probably one of the best things any marketers can have, when you have the tools to teach a non-technical person how to get their job done."
The power of real-time analytics has helped improve the overall marketing dialog at HCSS. "It's helpful to immediately see whats happening," says Dan of HubSpot's Analytics tools, "they allow us to implement something new and see what's working, which sparks conversations across teams."
The marketing team tracks performance by connecting all of their content into the HubSpot Campaigns tool to see what posts generate which leads, helping to shape the type of content that they produce. "Helpful content alone can't generate leads but with the combination of well placed CTAs in a post, HubSpot gives you the ability to turn every post into a potential lead source," says Skyler.
HubSpot's Mobile app also helps the team stay connected on the road and track their most important marketing activities while away from the office. Kara MacDonald, Marketing Manager at HCSS, setup email alerts to be notified every time a new lead comes in, which show who the contact is and what marketing channel they've come from.
The HCSS marketing team uses real-time data in HubSpot to stay on top of the progress of their marketing activities and keep a pulse on the overall health of their sales pipeline.
Using Hubspot's software has allowed HCSS to cut their traditional advertising spend by nearly 17% in the past year and focus their efforts on inbound marketing. One of their top company goals in 2014 is to improve their content production and they've enlisted the help of all 150 employees to this effort. They look forward to adopting more tools as their marketing strategy grows and find HubSpot's pace of innovation very refreshing.
"My favorite thing about HubSpot's software is that they're continually improving the product. I recommend HubSpot to everyone I speak to. Many say they can't afford it, but my first recommendation is to shift money from their traditional marketing budgets to pay for it. It will be money well-spent with a high ROI," says Dan.
He adds, "I feel confident in paying for a partnership with HubSpot now, knowing the product will be twice as good in six months from now."
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