Well, we already know that small businesses had to rethink their digital marketing strategy due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. So, where does that leave us in the...
As a small business owner, spending money in the right places is the foundation of your road to success.
Of course, that means being careful about where you spend your money. You must ensure your budget is dedicated to expenditures that offer tangible results and returns. After all, it doesn’t matter about the size of your company; poor investments will sink the ship.
So, where should you be allocating space in your marketing budget as a small business owner?
An ideal place to start is on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. CRMs are a critical way to manage the database of contacts that matter to your business so you can segment them appropriately and market to them in a smart, impactful way. Some CRMs are free, some cost money. Some are industry specific, and some (like the ones you should care about) are focused on giving you the insights and tools necessary to grow your business.
In our experience working with a variety of CRMs and marketing platforms for various industries, the choice is clear: you want to invest in HubSpot.
HubSpot features a free CRM tool with limited marketing tools. When you upgrade HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales Hubs, it uses a full suite of CRM software resources to power something called the inbound approach, focused on helping you and your customers grow together.
With that said, why would the inbound philosophy benefit your business?
HubSpot Veers Away from Outbound Marketing
With outbound marketing, you’re often grating away at your audience’s patience and screaming at them for attention.
Because outbound approaches involve content that your audience doesn’t want or care about.
Traditionally, the term outbound marketing was rooted in methods such as cold calls and television ads.
Most importantly to your business, the conversion rates for outbound marketing aren’t promising. For example, you’ll only speak to 15% to 20% of the people you cold call. From that group, you’ll then only turn 10% to 15% into sales opportunities. A fraction of a fraction.
Why HubSpot Leans into the Inbounding Approach
With inbound marketing, you’re creating valuable content and experiences tailored to your audience. The idea is rooted in forming connections your audience seeks and solving problems they have.
Generally, inbound marketing includes social media, topical blogs, SEO-enriched website text, and viral videos (to name a few methods).
Compared to outbound marketing, inbound practices produce 54% more leads and double the average website conversion rate.
While we’re referring to the inbound philosophy through a marketing lens, there’s more to the story.
HubSpot also applies the customer-centric aspects of inbound marketing to sales, service, and operations. Meaning that “inbound” is reflected throughout all steps of the buyer’s journey.
Creating Cohesion Between Marketing, Sales, Services, and Operations
Without a reliable CRM solution, your business’s departments (i.e., marketing, sales, operations, service) operate in silos, without true collaboration during the buyer’s journey.
Think about it for a second: marketing and sales are frequently at odds in many companies, almost working against each other’s goals. Operations and customer service can add fuel to the fire when there’s a lack of cohesion.
The bulk of these issues stem from not having the right CRM - like HubSpot - in place.
HubSpot removes that friction. Everything is powered by the same database, allowing all marketing, sales, service, and operations to work off the same system of the record. “One source of the truth” or “One platform to rule them all.” Call it what you will, but from there comes more streamlined handoffs, improved continuity and aligned/shared goals between your marketing and sales teams.
HubSpot Uses the Flywheel Model
HubSpot’s adaptation of the flywheel model keeps your business spinning through remarkable customer experiences.
Moreover, referrals and repeat sales are driven by the momentum of satisfied customers.
With the inbound approach as a foundation, the flywheel model features three phases:
- Attract – bring customers in with helpful, educational content that earns their attention rather than forces them to see it. (This is where content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, paid ads, etc. are used.)
- Engage – make it easy to learn more and purchase with you by giving a variety of channels to access your product or service. (This is where email personalization, website automation, lead scoring, database segmentation, etc. are used.)
- Delight – lean into the customer service with help, support and empowerment that is focused on their needs. (This is where chatbots, service ticketing, knowledge base articles, loyalty programs, etc. are used.)
These three elements of the flywheel model rely on HubSpot’s CRM platform, which in turn leads to exceptional customer experiences. One hand keeps feeding the other, working in unison to keep you growing and moving forward.
To learn more about how HubSpot can be used as the ideal CRM solution for your small business, contact STLMD to learn more about the exceptional customer experiences it creates and how it can help your business grow.