For a marketing agency, there are plenty of software tools that you can hitch your wagon to. And those software tools can be in all kinds of segments - marketing automation, sales tools, chat, email, website hosting, productivity, etc.
Several years ago when we were looking through all of the tools that we could partner with, one quickly floated to the top - HubSpot. In 2014 we became a HubSpot Agency and joined their partner program. Why? Well I'm glad you asked...
Back in 2014 we were looking for a marketing automation tool to partner with. And there are A LOT of them out there from HubSpot to Marketo to NetSuite to Pardot to approximately a million others. They all have some good features, but none of them had the full stack of what we were looking for, plus all the extras that HubSpot offered. Here's why it was easy for us to choose to be a HubSpot Agency over all the others:
The first thing that we were looking for was a great marketing stack. We are a marketing agency after all. We needed to get out of the chaos of using one tool for email marketing, a different tool for social media, another for websites, another for landing pages, another for blogging, and on and on and on. It isn't scalable to have rely on 50 tools to accomplish a single campaign. It's frustrating for an agency and it's frustrating for a client because all of the data and analytics are siloed.
When comparing HubSpot to other tools, we immediately felt that the marketing toolset was just superior. It had everything that we needed under one portal and gave us the opportunity to not only execute full marketing campaigns with a single tool, but also measure and report on those campaigns with a holistic view.
Since we have become a HubSpot Agency, we have worked with clients that were set on utilizing their legacy marketing stack and as we've worked within those systems (Pardot mainly) it just confirmed our feelings about those other tools. They all seem to either be missing key functionality that we need or they are just not as robust as what we get in HubSpot.
Additional Tools for Growth
The next thing we looked at was what else we could use to fuel not only our growth, but the growth of our clients. So we started to investigate additional tools that are offered outside of marketing. We didn't have initial plans to offer sales or service campaigns, but it was something we knew we should be considering for scale.
With HubSpot, at the time (2014) they had started to roll out their sales tools and had their COS. Service wasn't a thing yet, the COS was not anywhere near what it is today (and thank God they also changed the name to CMS hub), and the integrations definitely weren't as robust as they are today.
But what we did see was a company that was continuously pushing the envelope. They were constantly focused on improvement, adding new features and tools, and I saw them as the best possible solution for an eventual all-on-one platform.
I was right.
I started my agency in 2014 and anytime you start a business you start to pay attention to who your biggest competitors are. You follow them, try to mimic them, and eventually you want to compete head-on with them. We were no different. I started researching agencies and following ones that I thought were doing good work (and there are plenty that I didn't feel that way about).
There are thousands of marketing agencies out there and my view was that we were all competing for the same clients. It was going to be a cut-throat world.
Well...that was until I started getting engrained in the HubSpot partner ecosystem. It is a culture of helping. A culture of education. And a culture that understands that there is enough business for everyone so we might as well support one another and all come together to do great work for our clients. Needless to say - it was a whole new world.
I was a young entrepreneur when I started HIVE. I was only 25 when I started my agency and I didn't have any friends or family that had been through starting or building a business. I had no one to lean on. The HubSpot Agency community gave me that and it has helped us to be where we are today.
Not only did HubSpot provide us with a great software, opportunity for growth (for ourselves as well as our clients), and a fantastic partner community, but they also provided world-class agency training. They are invested in the success of their partner agencies and they want us to succeed.
Over our nearly seven years as a HubSpot Partner Agency, we have been through countless trainings, courses, certifications, calls, in-person meetings, and events all geared towards becoming a better agency, delivering better results, and growing. To say that we've learned a thing or two from HubSpot would be an understatement. Here are some of our current certifications:
PS we are one of only 36 in the US to be HubSpot Certified Trainers.
Speaking of events, we attended our first INBOUND event in Boston, MA five years ago and fell in love. HubSpot's INBOUND conference is an in-person (you know, in a non-COVID world) five day event in the Boston harbor that includes amazing speakers, celebrities, and breakout sessions all geared towards what is coming up next, how to scale, and new ideas to produce amazing results. Agencies, end users, as well as marketers and sales people of all kinds attend each year. We have been every year since and seen the conference grow to over 25,000 attendees last year.
It's a bummer that COVID ruined the in-person event this year, but they have moved virtual on September 22nd & 23rd. There is also a free option to join this year. I highly recommend checking it out. I'm excited to see how they handle the fully virtual format.
We've all dealt with those large companies that you have to wait on hold for an hour with if you have a tech issue or question. It's frustrating and a terrible user experience. Well, that's not HubSpot.
Not only does HubSpot support their agencies with tools, training, and processes to grow, but it also supports us and our clients through their fast and efficient tech support. I have never seen a company as large as HubSpot truly commit to supporting and delighting their customers the way that HubSpot does. Their support is knowledgeable, fast, and efficient.
I don't think I've ever had to wait more than a few minutes to get someone on the phone or on their live chat and it's extremely rare that they can't solve the issue within that single call or chat. I have been blown away from day one with their support and knowledge.
So really what I'm saying is that it was a pretty easy decision to become a HubSpot Partner Agency and now almost seven years later, I wouldn't change a thing. We fully believe that HubSpot is the best marketing automation, sales, service, CRM, and CMS software on the market and even more than that - we believe that HubSpot has truly created a community and culture of support, growth, and education. It's not just talk.
If you're interested in learning more about HubSpot and how it can help your business grow better, let's chat! We'd be happy to talk through the possibilities and even go through a demo of the tools!