SaaS Company Phase 5 Group Realizes 42X Lead Growth in Three Months with SmartBug Media and HubSpot

As Phase 5 Group launched a new product in the fall of 2014 called EON, they were challenged with how to build an audience for a powerful, yet virtually unknown product. EON is the only platform in the world that aggregates and integrates strategy setting, project management, best practices implementation, and performance analytics into one holistic software solution. But, as a new product to the marketplace, many potential clients are unaware that this kind of solution exists. The company turned to SmartBug Media and HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing platform to create a space for their product that educated potential clients and drew the right audience to them.


increase in leads
within first 3 months


increase in traffic
within first 3 months


increase in visitor-to-lead conversion rate
within first 6 months

About Phase 5 Group

Phase 5 Group has extensive experience in helping companies deploy transformational and sustainable continuous improvement programs across highly distributed manufacturing environments. It has provided tools, solutions, and expertise to some of the world's leading companies to maximize the value of their structured CI programs. Phase 5 Group built EON, the world's first continuous improvement management platform, to help companies manage broad-based CI deployment.

Creating a New Space for EON

Initially Phase 5 Group started with traditional and interruption-based marketing. Cold calling became the center of their lead generation efforts. “We were small, so no one was calling us and asking for the software. We basically cold called and hoped we were reaching the decision maker at the right time,” says Brian Wilkins, Senior Director of Business Development at Phase 5 Group.

Wilkins knew they needed to try something new. He started by redesigning the web site to highlight the product more prominently.  The next step involved dabbling in social media outreach but there was little data to prove that the tweets and posts they were spending so much time on were actually bringing leads to the table. Additionally, if they did get a lead from their social media campaigns, it was difficult to bring the lead closer to a qualifying phone call. Realizing this, Wilkins did a bit of research in an effort to learn more and seek an alternative approach.

Discovering HubSpot and Inbound Marketing

After searching online for solutions to EON’s lead problems, Wilkins discovered HubSpot. He began to read about the software, the solutions it provided, and how inbound marketing was the new way to enter a marketplace. Over several weeks Wilkins absorbed information and ultimately decided that HubSpot and an inbound marketing strategy was the right solution. “Ultimately, after getting engaged in their process, I realized that the inbound approach HubSpot was taking worked on me. That’s what convinced me that I needed the software and needed to figure out the right way to implement the strategy”  However, being resource constrained (time and know-how), Wilkins realized Phase 5 Group would need help. He sought out HubSpot Partner agencies through the HubSpot Marketplace and called SmartBug Media first due to its five-star rating.

"Our partnership with SmartBug Media is like having someone on our staff and on our payroll. They have been able to see what needs to be done, and execute on it effectively. The results prove that."

Brian Wilkins

Senior Director of Business Development

Phase 5 Group

Enter SmartBug Media

Wilkins initially planned to call three or four agencies before making a decision to which partner to hire. He viewed the HubSpot Marketplace and made a list of who to call. SmartBug Media was first on the list due to their high number of 5-star ratings. “After speaking with Ryan Malone, CEO and Founder, it was clear SmartBug Media was the right fit for EON. Wilkins explains, “He just got it. Then I heard that the team consisted of past HubSpot employees, and that further solidified my confidence in the team,” SmartBug Media facilitated the purchase of HubSpot for Phase 5 Group and started to incorporate the software into the website right way.

Once HubSpot was configured, a senior inbound marketing consultant, Andrew Macey, was assigned to the project to lead the strategy for EON. Working side-by-side with Wilkins, Macey was able to build a robust playbook around monthly campaigns to build reach and qualified leads for Phase 5 Group and the EON software.

“Phase 5 Group’s EON is solving a critical problem within the CI industry,” said Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “We’re happy we could deliver a robust inbound marketing strategy that contributed such immediate results.”

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