For inbound marketers, three of the most important tools are content, contacts and analytics. This week, inbound marketing provider HubSpot announced the next generation of its platform, with updates to all three.
HubSpot Signals, Analytics
A new product called Content Optimization System (COS) is designed to optimize and personalize content for websites, blogs or landing pages, based on such criteria as sales lifecycle stage, job title or geographic location of the viewer.
Co-founder Dharmesh Shah described the new optimization system as content management "re-imagined," providing the ability for marketers to contextualize content for every marketing channel and to modify content if visitors’ informational needs change, such as might be the case for return visitors.
Signals is the name of a new notification app that lets sales and service reps know the best times to engage leads and customers, based on "signals" from sent emails, or because of interaction on a website, through a CRM or via social media. The company said that Signals "makes it easier to align sales, marketing, and services efforts around the interests, needs and history of any prospect, lead or customer."
Signals is Google Chrome-browser based, and is available for free from the Chrome Web Store. It specifically shows if users have read emails sent from Outlook or Gmail, or have received notifications from LinkedIn.
A team edition, which integrates with Hubspot to show when a lead revisits your site and with Salesforce for tracking emails sent from that platform, is available for US$ 10 a month per user.
A new reporting engine for the platform also adds context, with tailored reports available for specific audience slices, such as which marketing channels are most effective at bringing in C-level executives from a given industry.
The Watering Hole
In May, HubSpot released an integrated suite of tools, Social Inbox, for providing context to social media message streams. Posts are marked as coming from a customer, prospect or active opportunity, so that sales, marketing or customer service can respond when needed.
In addition to social media tools, the HubSpot platform offers ones for blogging, SEO, website management, lead management, marketing analytics, landing pages, email marketing and marketing automation.
Inbound marketing emphasizes content, contests and other enticing or informative material that brings potential customers to the marketer, as opposed to traditional outbound marketing, which pushes out interruptive messaging like ads.
HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan has been credited with first using the term. He likened outbound marketers to lions hunting elephants, while inbound marketers set up shop at the watering hole and wait for the elephants to come to them.