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Zak Pines | April 30, 2019

How Carlton Technologies Scales with HubSpot & NetSuite Sync

Joe Haggenjos runs marketing at Carlton Technologies, Inc. We recently sat down with Joe to talk about his role at Carlton, how his career path brought him there, and his approach to sales and marketing technology. Below is a transcript of our conversation.

Background on Carlton Technologies & Revenue Marketing

Zak: Can you start by sharing background on your company, Carlton Technologies.

Joe: Our founder and CEO Ryan Bracken recognized an opportunity in repairing POS systems around 20 years ago, and launched the company initially selling refurbished hardware to huge supermarkets. Over time, our specialty has evolved to include the full spectrum of data capture technology, such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, printers, as well as managed services for large enterprises.

Carlton services and repairs these devices, even those that have been discontinued by OEMs. In addition to refurbished equipment, we also have strategic partnerships with Honeywell, Datalogic, and CipherLab to sell new equipment. Our motto is to make things work better for our customers.

Zak: What is the profile of your typical customer?

Joe: It’s a mix of companies from several million in annual revenue to enterprises well past the $1 billion mark. They span four key verticals: retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and warehouse and distribution. Their pain point is that they are not getting responsive service or repairs on time for their mobile devices. That’s where Carlton comes in.

Zak: What is your background to end up heading up marketing for Carlton?

Joe: Out of college, I started as an intern at a mid-sized ad agency. Over time I gravitated more to in-house marketing with a digital focus.

I have a core as a writer, and I went to college for marketing because of my interest in the creative side of business. I’m a musician.

At that time, digital marketing and SEO started blowing up. It was interesting to me, and I got more involved in content marketing. Most recently I was at Empire Today, the flooring company, so it’s been a fun ride so far.

When I joined Carlton, I thought the company served a crucial need for businesses while maintaining a startup attitude. I gravitate to companies that embrace new technology, so it’s been a really enjoyable ride so far.

Zak: How would you describe Carlton’s marketing approach?

Joe: It’s a targeted approach, and it’s also multi-faceted because prospects and customers have many decision makers. We have strategic account plans in place to align marketing and sales.

I recently worked on a fun project mapping out our key buyer persons. It ranges from the CIO or VP of IT, and then also includes the Ops Manager, IT Manager and Procurement. Using real data to tailor our content has made a real impact on our marketing.

Zak: Having joined Carlton last year, I’m sure your first 90 days was very much “drinking from a fire hose.” What do you set as your key marketing priorities?

Joe: Everything was and continues to be rooted in lead generation and revenue. Every marketing initiative needs to have a dollar impact.

My main focus since October has been cleaning up our data. NetSuite is our CRM, and our source of prospect and customer data. And since we’ve been in business for 20 years, that means tens of thousands of contacts to clean up. So database segmentation continues to be a huge priority.

Content creation is also a major effort. A lot of B2B content tends to say the same thing or play it too safe. It’s okay to sound like humans, and poke fun at ourselves. I ran a message saying: “You’re probably not sitting around thinking about scanners all day. That’s OK, you don’t need to - that’s what we do”. It was well received by our audience.

Marketing Tools & Systems

Zak: What is your approach to your website?

Joe: Our website is vital to our marketing growth plans. Our website is on WordPress - I have a lot of improvements we need to make over the next year with it. Our knowledge base is very valuable, it’s a collection of articles with niche keywords, and it’s given us a strong base of organic traffic.

The problem is our bounce rate has been high, so conversion rate optimization, and then how to best segment our communications to that audience once they convert are also high on the list.

Zak: The segmentation, the follow-up of leads - that gets into how you setup and manage your marketing automation, right? How are you approaching marketing automation?

Joe: When I joined last year, the company was in need of an automation tool upgrade.

I wanted a platform that could help us scale our efforts - a platform that could help me easily segment the database as we cleaned up NetSuite, and one where I could build out more targeted communications to these different personas that we sell and market to.

I needed a way to break through what otherwise could be very complex, and give me clear visibility into my key marketing audiences and segments, so I can see all my data in one place.

Approaching a HubSpot-NetSuite Integration

Zak: So it sounds like you knew you wanted to improve marketing automation with HubSpot, how easy a sell was that internally?

Joe: The team trusted me to make the right decision around marketing systems, but it was an absolute requirement that there had to be a robust, bi-directional sync with NetSuite. We knew that there would be back and forth between marketing & sales as we engaged with our prospects and customers, so it was essential the two systems could communicate automatically in a way that we could easily control.

NetSuite wasn’t going away. All of our other departments are totally invested in it - sales, finance, operations, customer service. I knew I wanted HubSpot, so I had to make sure I could make HubSpot and NetSuite work together.

Zak: So what’d you do to solve for the integration?

Joe: Both our research and our HubSpot sales rep directed us to Bedrock Data, and I found out Bedrock had a standardized HubSpot-NetSuite integration.

I had to ensure the rest of our team was comfortable, too, and they were pleased to learn both HubSpot & NetSuite had published case studies on the integration and endorsed it.

The use cases around syncing contacts, company and opportunity data met our needs, and then it was just a question of budget. Thankfully, the price point of the integration is reasonable for how powerful it is.

Carlton’s HubSpot-NetSuite Bi-Directional Sync

Zak: As you got setup with the bi-directional sync, what was your data process like between HubSpot & NetSuite?

Joe: We brought over both contacts and companies from NetSuite to HubSpot, with the custom fields I needed for segmentation. So as we clean our data, it’s helping me to hone in on these key segments that I mentioned.

Then from an ongoing standpoint, we sync leads from HubSpot to NetSuite; our NetSuite lead type is companies, and Bedrock takes care of ensuring that the HubSpot lead, which is an individual, gets created in NetSuite based on their company and a related contact record.

Then, as sales works with that lead, and makes any updates at both the contact or company level, that data syncs back to HubSpot to ensure I have the latest marketing data correct - as well as feedback on the performance of our leads.

Zak: Any tips or tricks you’d share with others embarking on a HubSpot-NetSuite integration?

Joe: Sync key marketing fields over to NetSuite, because it’s going to help you with both visibility for your NetSuite users and reporting on the NetSuite side.

We’re syncing HubSpot’s original source field, which helps me track on the NetSuite side did this lead come from organic traffic, or some other marketing channel. That carries over at the company and contact level.

I’m also going to be adding more fields around email engagement to provide visibility to this intelligence on the NetSuite side.

Zak: What’s next for you with the integration?

Joe: I want to add more fields in the data that I’m pulling from NetSuite over to HubSpot. It’s all about making my life easier as a marketer as well as providing more context to our sales team, so I want any data I need to segment the database to be available to me in HubSpot. The nice thing about Bedrock is I can add new field mappings over time; it doesn’t require a developer or a change order to change my integration.

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Wrapping Up

Zak: We got in a groove there going down your work at Carlton, but I wanted to circle back and find out more about your music background that you mentioned around how you got into marketing. Tell us more about that.

Joe: I’ve played in a cover band for about 14 years; we usually play once or twice a month live. While I can’t play five hours per day like I used to, it still takes up most of what remaining free time I do have!

Zak: Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Joe: There are many - classic artists like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and newer acts like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Thee Oh Sees are all in rotation. Guitar wise - Jimi Hendrix, Steve Ray Vaughn, and Trey Anastasio are my heroes.

Zak: Is music your main hobby?

Joe: Yes, most of my time in Chicago is spent checking out breweries, art shows, concerts, and staying active in the music scene. I feel super lucky to live in such a fun city.

Related Resources:

  1. Bedrock Data's Bi-Directional Sync for HubSpot & NetSuite
  2. Amber Newman on her HubSpot-NetSuite sync 
  3. Why Revenue River Selected Bedrock Data for HubSpot-NetSuite integration

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