HubSpot Partner Agency SmartBug Media Brings Success and ROI to Its Clients

Founded in 2007 by Ryan Malone, SmartBug Media is a full-service inbound marketing agency based in Irvine, CA. Before partnering with HubSpot in 2011, the agency relied on project-based work that varied month-to-month with ROI that was difficult and time-consuming to provide using many disparate systems. Today, it's the highest rated agency in the HubSpot marketplace and recommended by many of their healthcare and technology clients to spearhead marketing growth and success.


three year revenue growth


profitability above average agency


revenue from long-term contracts

About SmartBug Media

SmartBug Media is a leading inbound marketing agency enabling companies to get found online by qualified prospects and increase leads, customers and reach. We help companies achieve better marketing results by combining content marketing, social media, informational products and white paper marketing. We are also a HubSpot Certified Partner.

Getting the Big Picture

SmartBug Media was born in 2007 to address the simple premise that an agency can only be an extension of a company if they bring real-world marketing experience to the table. They’re committed to providing their clients a team of skilled marketers who have a strong client-side track records and the experience growing successful businesses. 

However, the firm quickly learned that expertise and experience get a huge boost with the tools needed to tie all the activities together and demonstrate their business value. 

“If you don’t have a system in place, you can’t really judge the effectiveness of the channels so you can’t give really good advice back to the client,” said Ryan Malone, CEO and Founder of SmartBug Media.

In late 2011, Ryan requested a demo of HubSpot's all-in-one marketing software and despite some (then) missing functionality he saw the big picture and understood how inbound marketing and HubSpot's partner program would transform his agency. 

"Without HubSpot you have to look at every single tool and become a spreadsheet jockey tracking data. As a company it’s a big problem because you spend so much time trying to figure out what’s working and what’s not."

Ryan Malone

CEO and Founder

SmartBug Media

Joining a World-Class Partner Program

SmartBug Media was one of the earliest agencies to partner with HubSpot, and one of the biggest benefits to joining the Partner Program that Ryan found was unparalleled focus on his agency success. He explains, “the partner program has just exploded. It’s a world-class partner program where partners are measured on their performance. There’s a team of people [at HubSpot] who are 100% focused on making sure that all the partners do well. There’s a lot of smart people that fundamentally care about our success."

Big Results

Since partnering with HubSpot, SmartBug Media has enjoyed incredible growth across a wide variety of metrics. Their three-year revenue growth using HubSpot is 1,691% which Ryan says is fantastic when reflecting on his history of agency growth since 2007. Their profitability is three to four times higher net profit than the typical agency. In addition to revenue growth from new clients, SmartBug is pleased to have a 95+ percent retention rate of its client base.

Moreover, agencies measure a lot of their predictabilty of business based on how much revenue is long-term contracts verse project-based. Ryan says that for SmartBug Media, that metric has gone from 51% all the way up to 83%, experiencing a 63% increase in retainer based work. 

Their success and focus also translates to their customers. Working with a SaaS based manufacturing company, Phase5 Group, they experienced a 42X increase in leads. While, sales software company, AnswerDash, hired SmartBug to develop their site on HubSpot's COS and saw a 60% increase in leads in a short time after launching.

Learn more about this agency in our partner directory.

"When you combine HubSpot and the outstanding team of marketing professionals at SmartBug, it's really easy to put those growth metrics together for a large number of clients. We're just thrilled that those companies are experiencing that level of success!"

- Ryan Malone

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