A Fireside Chat with the CMO of HubSpot, Mike Volpe

A Fireside Chat with the CMO of HubSpot, Mike Volpe

cmo of hubspot, mike volpe

"The thing I love most about my job is that I really do love marketing." - Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot. 

Last night I had the privilege of going to an SF HUG (San Francisco Hubspot User Group) fireside chat with the CMO of the company I love so dearly.  HubSpot is an inbound marketing software company based out of Cambridge, MA. (Question: What does "fireside chat" even mean? There was no fire present! If you know where this term originated from PUH-LEASE leave your notes in the comments below.)

It is rare that we find people who truly love their job. Mike Volpe absolutely loves his job. You know how you can tell? It's not just because he says so, he's also REALLY good at it.

Last night he told the story of how he ended up being the 5th person to join the company, HubSpot. Long story short, it essentially was sparked from an entrepreneurial drive and a love for making marketing better.

Some key takeaways from last night...

Educational marketing.

Educational marketing is essentially giving away free content that will help your prospect. By doing so, "you feel like you are helping people all the time, even when your marketing doesn't work," said Mike. That's a pretty awesome feeling right?! Right. But it doesn't pay the bills. OR does it?

Mike goes on to talk about how if you help someone build their career, they will eventually buy from you. That can be a hard sell, but I can fully back that concept. In fact, I owe a large part of my success to their marketing blog.  Maybe that's why I love them as a company so much.  They have truly made me better at my job and for that, I will always be a loyal fan and user. While I can't afford HubSpot independently now, I certainly will invest when that day comes.

This educational marketing concept also reminded me of a bit more aggressive approach Gary Vaynerchuk has capitalized on. He wrote the book Jab, Jab, Jab...Right Hook. While Gary Vee has a bit more of an aggressive approach with the "right hook" part, the theory is the same. Give, give, give...ask.


As we adapt marketing, how do we adapt sales? Jill Rowley who was in attendance had some awesome input. She left her previous job because the whole idea of having a set location and a quota as a sales rep didn't really adapt to the modern world.

Mike chimed in with this quote, "The sales rep that [prospects] ask questions to is Google."

That really sums up a lot of where sales is at these days. So why are sales reps still REALLY annoying and incessantly calling, emailing, mailing, etc?  It doesn't make sense.

As more people adapt to inbound marketing, it will be interesting to see how, in a way, that forces people to adapt to a different sales culture.

Inbound Marketing is not Ad Words.

Many CEO's would much rather spend money on pay-per-click advertising and see instant results instead of spending the money on a comprehensive inbound marketing approach.

Mike gave a great analogy of how using Ad Words (Google's version of PPC) is like renting a hotel room or an apartment. You pay money and you get what you want instantaneously, whereas building a solid inbound marketing strategy (connecting on social, creating good content in the form of blog posts, webinars, ebooks, etc.) is more like building a house with your own hands. You have to clear the land, get the wood, etc. It's hard work and takes a ton of time, but it's a long term investment that pays off.

Content is King (backed by numbers.)

Furthermore, inline with what Mike was saying about the whole building your own house thing, inbound marketing really works.  HubSpot is proof.

According to the CMO of HubSpot:

HubSpot currently has over 6,500 blog articles, 150 ebooks and 500 webinars.

Each month, 56% of the leads HubSpot generates were from landing pages and offers that they didn't create that month.Furthermore, HubSpot's blog generates 15,000 new contacts a month; 70% of those contacts come from articles that weren't written that month.

Make writing blog posts fun.

Now that you want to start blogging and creating content furiously, where do you get it?

A lot of the participants last night were talking about fun ways you can get everyone in your company involved in blogging. The overarching takeaway is that it's best to appeal to the person you are trying to get the blog post from.

I'm a strange breed in that I love writing and being creative but I also geek out on numbers. I love, love, love analytics.  Show your bloggers the stats from their post as it may encourage more analytical employees to write more. Pump up their ego so to say.

Another idea was to even create an office game out of blog writing. Who has written the most blog posts? Who's blog post generated the most leads that month? Who's blog post got the most amount of traffic that month?

"Separate the expertise from the writing." Mike was talking about how some people will just record themselves answering a question at length on their commute to work and then have someone transcribe that post.

All were fun ideas!

Do what you love.

It is truly the solution to everything.

It makes doing everything so much easier. It's easier to create content, it's easier to create educational content and it makes it easier to sell what you do.  One of the most important aspects of persuasion is belief.  If you truly believe in what you are selling, other people will too. Everyone wants to believe in something.

Like Mike, I too love marketing. Meeting the CMO of HubSpot was kind of big deal for me and while that makes me a littttttle geeky, it sure has made me feel blessed that I GET to do what I love this morning. :)

Besides your notes on what a "fireside chat" is, I'd love to get your feedback on any of these talking points. Contribute in the comments below and let's keep this conversation going!

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