“What was once working just isn’t any more.”
That was Steph Cuthbertson, HubSpot’s Chief Product Officer, talking about the old ways of attempting to market to customers in individual and siloed channels and sell to them in ways that B2C behemoths like Amazon have made obsolete.
Connections and community
At Inbound 2022, the first in-person iteration of HubSpot’s conference in three years, speakers tried to stitch together two themes. The first was a connected customer experience supported by a connected platform; the second, the concept of a connected community — not just of HubSpot customers and partners but of practitioners in the B2B space generally.
HubSpot is well-positioned to talk about a connected platform and apps, as unlike some of its major competitors it has built out its offering natively rather than by acquiring third-party solutions.
It also has a voice when it comes to community having built a strong following for content, from blogs and video to podcasts. The HubSpot podcast network, said CEO Yamini Rangan, sees some nine million downloads per month. If there seems to be a media company embedded inside HubSpot, said co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, “it’s because there’s a media company embedded inside HubSpot.”
Cuthbertson unveiled a series of product announcements designed to support the connected experience. The most significant is Customer Journey Analytics, in public beta next month. This aims to give marketers new visualizations of all marketing moments in the customer journey, allowing them to identify positive and negative touchpoints and optimize in real-time.
Also contributing to a connected experience, customized payment schedules will help B2B organizations offer buyers the e-commerce style ease of transactions to which they have become accustomed as consumers. HubSpot is also moving to integrate its payment solutions with prominent accounting solutions such as QuickBooks.
Data management enhancements will allow errors in data to be flagged and automatically resolved at time of import. Users will be able to leverage HubSpot AI to set up automated data correction processes.
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“Think big,” was Shah’s mantra when it came to community. In his keynote, he outlined the evolution from value-led growth, through sales-, marketing-, and product-led growth, to community-led growth. Drawing analogies between the “crisis of disconnection” in business and world events that have left people feeling disconnected and remote, he outlined an initiative to build on the company’s educational and media initiatives by establishing a network of connected professionals.
Described in a release as “a new connected community for growth professionals that helps them build strong relationships with their peers and community,” connect.com looks very much like LinkedIn for HubSpot users.