As part of our HubSpot power user series, we recently sat down with Tony Paille, VP of Marketing at AIIM International. We talked HubSpot best practices, tips & tricks, and got insights from Tony on running HubSpot’s user group in HubSpot’s home town, Boston.
Zak: Tony, I’m excited to talk to you today about all things HubSpot and learn more about the local HUG, the Boston HubSpot User Group. We’ll get to that in a moment though, can you start by giving us background on AIIM.
Tony: AIIM is a membership association serving the information management industry. Our customers are records managers and IT managers and we provide them with resources to help them do their jobs better.
That includes training courses, market research, and events that teach best practices on topics like information governance and business process automation.
Zak: Wow, given the educational nature of your offerings, it sounds like a great fit for inbound marketing.
Tony: It really is. When we first started learning the inbound methodology, we were pleasantly surprised to realize we were already doing a lot of inbound marketing activities.
Our business has a research department that conducts independent research in the vein of Gartner and Forrester, with about 10 research papers per year. That is great source content that our marketing team can repurpose in many different and interesting ways. For example, we might turn a white paper into a bunch of different content forms such as blog posts, SlideShares, infographics, and social media tiles.
As we learned more about the overall strategy and best practices, we were able to build a stronger framework and a better approach for optimizing our performance and results.
Zak: What is your role, and what are your key responsibilities?
Tony: I recently received a promotion to VP of Marketing, and I now run a marketing department of four. I’m responsible for our marketing strategy - how we draw more people in to learn about us - and how we leverage content and events to drive our business.
Zak: What is your overall approach to generating leads and progressing them to revenue?
Tony: Our first goal is to draw people into our funnel, using our top of funnel content, like checklists, how-to guides, webinars, etc. Then we communicate to them through email with a goal of advancing them to MQL stage based on their engagement. We’ve experimented with different ways to define an MQL and landed on those who either attend a webinar or a seminar, or achieved a HubSpot predictive lead score of 70 or greater.
Prior to becoming an MQL, we are not going to be selling to you in our email communications. We consider that more the ‘dating’ phase of the relationship with the prospect. You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, right?
Once you achieve that MQL status, we are going to communicate to you and present our offerings including training courses, events, and premium content. Those can be purchased directly online through eCommerce or via our sales team.
Zak: How did you land on inbound marketing and HubSpot as your tools of choice?
Tony: Our CMO at the time I joined AIIM looked at HubSpot and was attracted to how well they were doing content marketing. We did due diligence and the software seemed like a great fit to support our marketing strategy.
We were doing Inboundy-things, but there was a lot more we could be doing to build out a full Inbound strategy.
We had been customers for about 9 months at the time of the INBOUND 2014 event. That event really broadened our horizons and helped me see how much more was possible.
Zak: What were some of the key things you learned?
Tony: We realized we had to take a step back and better understand the buyer personas and buyer journey. We needed the foundation to understand and align on those key buyer motivations and pain points that we were going to build our marketing programs around.
Zak: What are some of your favorite reports from HubSpot and can you share an example of how you use it?
Tony: The sources report is very valuable to us. We can go in there and break down where traffic is coming from, how traffic is converting into contacts and paying customers. It helps us see what marketing sources are performing and where we want to double down, and where we need to pull back.
There are two other reports I like a lot. One is the Most Converting Offers report found in your HubSpot recipes. This tells you what content assets are converting visitors to leads. This will help give you an idea of what content people are liking so you can double down.
The other report is Pages That Generate the Most Customers, which lets you see what activities are actually closing customers.
Zak: Can you share an example of insights you’ve gleaned from it?
Tony: Absolutely. For us, SlideShare has been a channel that’s both generated leads and those leads have converted well to paying customers. So that told us it’s something we need to build on and make even more successful. On the other hand, Facebook was a channel where we did get leads - but they proved to be leads that we couldn’t successfully convert to customers so it became something that we deprioritized.
Zak: To wrap up, can you tell us about your Boston HubSpot User Group and how you got involved?
Tony: Going back to that Inbound 2014 event - at that point I signed up for the Boston user group. I soon found out that the group was inactive, and I got asked if I wanted to lead it? I said, “absolutely!”
I wanted to take that vibe from Inbound - the community, the food trucks - and bring that to a user group setting, year round.
Zak: And how folks sign up for the group?
Tony: If you are in the Boston area, our Boston user group is Boston.hubspotusergroups.com. And if you are from another area and interested in your local HubSpot user group, you can check out www.hubspotusergroups.com.
Zak: Awesome, thanks Tony.
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