In the first episode of the Marketing Automation Moment podcast, we explore the latest updates from the marketing automation world.

Mike and Hannah discuss the latest updates from HubSpot’s 2022 Inbound conference, and what new features such as customer journey visualisation will mean for B2B marketers.

Mike and Hannah also share their thoughts around constant contacts new SMS marketing outreach capability, and a simple tip to maximise form conversions.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

Transcript: Marketing Automation Moment Episode One – The Latest Updates from HubSpot’s Inbound Conference!

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Hannah Kelly

Hannah: Welcome to the market automation moment Podcast. I’m Hannah Kelly.

Mike: And I’m Mike Maynard. This is Napier’s podcast to tell you about the latest news from the world of marketing automation.

Hannah: Hello, and welcome to the marketing automation moment podcast. My name is Hannah, and I’m the Business Development Manager at Napier. And here I’ve got Mike Maynard, who’s our Managing Director. It’s great to be here, Mike, I’m really excited because what this focus of the podcast is, is to really talk about what’s happening in the market automation world.

So to start, I was really interested by a survey I saw based on Marketo users, and how 75% said that they execute more than 30 campaigns in a year. Is that good or bad?

Mike: Well, I think it’s actually on Facebook, very good. Because you know, one of the things that’s very clear with marketing automation is the more focused you are in your campaigns, the better those results are going to be. So if you’re executing more campaigns, in theory, you should have tighter audience segments. And you should actually be producing campaigns that get better results, because they’re much more focused around particular personas or industries or, you know, other criteria you might use. But of course, the downside is that actually, when we look at the survey, they found that there was some disadvantages, because I think they said that Marketo uses weren’t really thinking strategically.

Hannah: And I think, if we look at in that sense, then is it at risk of being a glorified MailChimp, if people aren’t using it based on tragedy being driven by strategy, then what is the point of all these campaigns, because actually, it’s not going to be generating the results that they want to get?

Mike: Well, I think that’s true. I think a lot of people do invest in a marketing automation system. This is obviously isn’t Marketo. Specifically, this could be anything. And then they run email campaigns, and they don’t think about other things. So they don’t think strategically, for example, about how they’re going to generate personalised content, whether that be within the emails or alternatively, on your website, something that Marketo is, you know, very powerful and very good at doing. But clearly, you know, the survey showed that the people actually running Marketo today, and not taking advantage on what I think is a really important feature.

Hannah: I agree. And I think another key thing from the survey was, they’re not actually looking at campaign impact. So if they don’t know how the campaigns performing, it relates back to what you’ve just said, We don’t know if the campaigns are successful for them or not.

Mike: Totally agree. I think, you know, what gets measured gets done. And clearly, if you’re not measuring, then you’re just sending stuff out and hoping it works. And actually, once you start measuring, you’ll start optimising and improving. It’s part of our four step process is to make sure we have that enhance phase. And so that’s a really big disadvantage. It sounds simple, you know, but I think a lot of people are just looking at the reports sending them out, and not really thinking about why one campaign might have performed better than another.

Hannah: I definitely agree. But I don’t want to spend too long on this one, because I think the big news that we’ve had recently is the product news out of HubSpot inbound 2022 conference. So there’s been loads of product updates from HubSpot. And I’ve kind of picked out a few that we can talk about wherever they’re interested in whether hotspots actually going to take them out of beta phase and move them on. So I think the first thing to talk about is that HubSpot has announced a new platform that’s going to sit between slack and LinkedIn, which is basically a community of users. So it’s called And it’s a mixture of chat. It’s a mixture of LinkedIn with the sense that you have profiles, you can have topics you have paid as you’d like, but is this something we need? Or is it just going to be a glorified HubSpot community?

Mike: Well, firstly, I would say you know, I do love HubSpot. Actually, I think it’s a great tool.But this seems to be another step in the route to HubSpot actually becoming a fully fledged coach rather than just a marketing automation and CRM tool. So I think absolutely, this is going to be popular amongst a lot of HubSpot users, particularly, they’re really enthusiastic users, which is pretty much all of them to be honest. They generate so much emotion. So I think it’s going to drive a lot of engagement, a lot of interaction. But I also think it’s probably going to be limited to users of HubSpot. And maybe that’s one of the downsides is that certainly if you’re using HubSpot, and you want information on, for example, you know how to segment an audience or how to lay out an email, there’ll be masses of advice. But I think, you know, if you’re looking for something more general, you’re probably not going to get it from

Hannah: So it’s pretty much going to be a really specific community thing for HubSpot, rather than a specific kind of software forum where it covers all the different market automation platforms at the same time.

Mike: Yeah, I think that’s a good sign. Memory of where it’s going to end up is it’s going to be the people who love HubSpot are going to spend time on it. And people using it. We talked about Marketo earlier, I think they’ll find it hard to have a reason to go and join.

Hannah: Agreed. So another update that HubSpot have introduced is an update to their customer journey analytics. So this is making the customer journey more visualised. So they can see what stages people are in the journey, what campaigns are running. But my main problem of this is that the customer journey can be messy. And especially if you look at b2b sales, we often have a long sales journey. So is it going to help more specific customers rather than a full HubSpot user? What kind of your thoughts on that?

Mike: Yeah, I mean, it actually, if you look at it, it’s very like the analysis you can do in Google Analytics, where you look at the pages people visit, the difference, of course with HubSpot is you don’t just have page information, you have, you know, everything from all the data that you enter into the CRM, which could be dB offline activities, all the way through to form fills and things like that. So in some ways, it’s very similar, but it’s much more capable in terms of the things that can track, I think the big issue is, is that for a lot of b2b customers, they’re not looking at simple journeys, they’re very complex. And people have talked about this a lot. So to me, I think this is something that’s going to work for either something like an E commerce business, where you’ve got a very clear route, where you’re trying to drive out, you know, typically a relatively low involvement, short sales cycle, kind of purchase, and I think there, it’ll be amazing. And then other than that, I think actually, what’s going to happen is, it’s really going to look at micro journeys. So if you think about a lot of our clients, they might have sales cycles of months or even years, you’re not going to use this tool to track activity over that length of time, because there’s just not going to be enough correlation between different users. And but what you might want to do is look at tracking, you know, what happens between getting someone to your website and getting them to register and fill in the form and how many visits that is and what pages they look at. And to me there, again, that could be a killer feature is optimising you know, micro stages of the whole customer journey. So I think it’s, it’s, you know, it’s not the magic silver bullet that’s gonna let you understand customer journeys in most b2b applications. But I think it’s going to be a cool feature that people are going to use.

Hannah: I mean, that’s a really cool way to look at it. And it will be interesting to see as kind of these features are rolled out, you know, do the E commerce apps people actually use it? Or are they limited by it as well? So it’ll be interesting to see. And is that when we can come back to is, you know, how have the products actually been rolled out? And are they being used for by the customers?

Mike: Yeah, definitely. It’ll be interesting to see. I mean, like all these features, where they turn out to be a core part of the product or something that actually, you know, people find less useful. I think this one will be a winner, though, provided people understand the limitations and don’t try and make it, you know, the magic see everything, but try and focus down on different steps.

Hannah: I agree. And speaking of limitations, I think that brings us on nicely to another product rollout that HubSpot announced at the inbound conference. And this is the data quality automation that they’re introducing into their CRM. So they are looking at their reports, their dashboards, the contact data, and they’re actually using AI to clean up this data. Is this actually going to work? Or is it not as easy as HubSpot? Think it’s going to be?

Mike: Well, I mean, to me, I really like this because one of the biggest frustrations is stale out of date data in marketing databases, whether that’s marketing automation, or anything else. So I think it’s great. And they’ve got a lot of features that are going to help people clean up data. So everything from better validation of data as it goes in, all the way through to highlighting where you’re missing data, so missing fields for certain contacts. So you know, that’s going to be great. They talked about AI, they didn’t really go into a huge amount of detail as to exactly what that AI would do. So I’m kind of suspicious of that. It feels like everything’s got to have aI attached to it. And I’m sure they’ll work on developing, you know, some uses of AI in there. But I think actually, probably that the real valuable stuff is going to be what triggers you to do manual fixes and repairs to your data. But, you know, I mean, anything that improves data, right, it’s gonna be a good thing.

Hannah: Yeah, definitely. I mean, cleaning data is the biggest problem in a lot of CRM systems. So it will be interesting to see, as you said, how the manual updates versus AI actually weighs up in the end. Mike: Yeah, but But I mean, like you say, those manual updates, if you can make them easier and make them quicker, you’re more likely to do them. And to me, I think that’s got to be the, you know, the potential valuable thing is, as long as people are more likely to clean their data and find it easier, and it takes less time. It’s going to help isn’t it?

Hannah: 100% Definitely. So moving on. This is one product rollout that I’m actually I’m really intrigued by because it may have been inevitable. But I am really excited about the WhatsApp integration that HubSpot is introducing, I’m really interested in how this is going to work because they’re not the only marketing automation platform to announce something similar with constant contact actually announcing they’re also be doing SMS marketing outreach. So how is this going to work with regards to prospects and tying in with the customer journey?

Mike: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s an interesting trend, what’s happening is, you know, these channels we thought were owned by us and weren’t affected by marketing, they’re gradually going to see marketing come into them. So we’ve seen that happen with SMS, right? You know, text messaging, marketing is getting bigger and bigger. And it is not just spam messages. Now. It’s it’s real text messages. But I think, you know, it’s clear Facebook would like to generate revenue from WhatsApp. So I agree with you, I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to happen. I think it’s questionable as to how effective maybe it’s going to be.

Hannah: And I also think as well, you know, within b2b Specifically, a lot of people actually use WhatsApp, for example, for personal use. So are they gonna want to mix personal and work related messages into the one app?

Mike: Yeah, I think, you know, this reminds me of a client we used to have, who said about his Facebook marketing campaigns, he said, When on Facebook, you’ve got to realise that people are there to waste time. And you should respect the fact they want to waste time, you shouldn’t try and, you know, do marketing, that would be the same on LinkedIn, I think it’s the same with WhatsApp, there’s going to be an opportunity for some fun marketing there. But I do think it’s going to be limited because people on WhatsApp for different reasons. Although you do sometimes see people using WhatsApp in a business contacts. So maybe there will be cases where it works, it’ll be really interesting to see it.

Hannah: For me, it almost sits in the same boat as Tiktok. Completely different, but it’s a different platform. Is it going to work for b2b, isn’t it? So I think it’s definitely a trend to watch. And really report back on is whether it’s successful for b2b moving forward.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a real chance that looking into the future, we’re going to have to as marketers understand which channels our contacts respond to, because some contacts may actually quite enjoy engaging on WhatsApp. Other contacts might hate it. And as we see this continual increase of channels and tic TOCs another great example. You know, I think we’re gonna have to understand more about where contacts want to interact, as well as the content they want and other factors that we’re already monitoring.

Hannah: I definitely agree. So, to finish, I’m really excited to announce our first inspiring insight tip. So this is something we’re going to do every podcast. And I’m going to hand the first honour over to Mike to share our inspiring insight Tip of the Week.

Mike: Yes, so what we’re going to try and do is come up with things that, you know, are often quite simple, and maybe a little bit obvious. But we see people not necessarily doing so, the first thing is we always get asked about form conversion rates, and how can improve form conversion rates. So whether that’s, you know, on a landing page or whatever, well, you know, one of the things we still see is a lot of people just having the submit button, right? You’ve got a button with submit. Almost always, when you have a form that is letting you do something, whether it’s to subscribe to a newsletter or download content, if you change that word submit to something related to what they’re going to get. So download that my white paper, or, you know, join the newsletter, that will increase conversion rates, it’s a really simple trick. It’s not going to move the conversion rates hugely, but it’s going to make a difference. So every time you do a form, my advice would be make sure that the button the action button is actually related to what you’re offering.

Hannah: I love that. I think sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the most difference. And things that maybe you wouldn’t think twice about. But you know, that is what AV testing is for in market automation to see what works.

Mike: Brilliant now it’s been great. Hopefully the listeners have enjoyed our marketing automation moment.

Hannah: Thanks for listening to the marketing automation moment podcast.

Mike: Don’t forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast application, and we’ll see you next time.