It's been more than a month now, and I still don't think I've recovered (completely) from Inbound 2015. For those who weren't able to attend, here's the pocket-sized edition: one convention center, four days, six keynote presentations, dozens of learning/break-out sessions – oh yeah – and over 14,000 marketers from around the globe.
While there were dozens of announcement during this year's conference, the most significant announcements for most Hubspot users were the product announcements at the heart of the Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah Keynote.
While each of the 2015 Hubspot product launches is a game changer in its own right, Hubspot Connect has captured this blogger's attention.Like some of the other product launches from this year's Inbound (see our post about the Reporting Add-On), Hubspot Connect is a brilliant move on Hubspot's part. It's only a matter of time before Hubspot becomes an indispensable tool in a lot of marketers' toolkit. But, before we can get into why, exactly, Hubspot Connect is a brilliant asset for Hubspot and its partner, we should address what it actually is.
What is Hubspot Connect?
Hubspot Connect relies on integrations to allow Hubspot users to view the data from many (if not all) of their non-Hubspot marketing tools and applications within their Hubspot dashboard. To borrow the words of Brian Halligan, Hubspot Connect "extends the power of the HubSpot platform by integrating with top-performing tools used across departments to attract, engage and delight customers."
Currently, Hubspot Connect offers its users 50 integrations options with some of the world's most popular and highest-performing tools and platforms. At the heart of each integration, there are three key factors:
- Data Integration (providing the ability to import user data),
- The Contact Timeline (providing the ability to view things like ticket purchases or SlideShare views as they happen within both the Sales & Marketing tools) , and
- Lists & Workflows (the ability to segment lists and create workflows based on your integrations).
A Brilliant Move for Hubspot
When compared to other SaaS companies, Hubspot and its team have done a phenomenal job distinguishing themselves from the other marketing automation tools and is heading for long-term relevance - something most SaaS companies only dream of.
With the introduction of Hubspot Connect, Hubspot has found a way to engineer long-term relevance by means of built-in functionalities. By offering marketers one place to view and use all of their tools, they'be made themselves positively indispensable. Effectively, Hubspot has turned themselves into the ultimate marketer's toolbox.
Using Hubspot Connect to Inform Content Strategy
Up to now, every article that I've read concerning Hubspot Connect has focused on the integration benefits that come from the three core factors mentioned earlier. They've acknowledged the Sales and Marketing benefits (which really are nothing less than fantastic), but they haven't gone far beyond that in terms of creative strategy and other potential uses. For companies and agencies with strong content divisions that place an emphasis on high-level content strategy, the integrations, functionalities, and data made available through Hubspot Connect have the potential to inform great inbound content strategy.
By pairing existing Buyer Personas with the real data from the (now Hubspot Connect enhanced) contact timelines of customers who exemplify those personas, it becomes possible for a content strategist to evaluate and update their current tactics based on the now visible responses and habits of existing customers.
Let's take the idea further by means of an example: If a content strategist wanted to evaluate their current efforts at reaching customers identified as "Marketing Marys," they could begin to do so by identifying their top engagers and segmenting them
out into a list. From there it would be possible to use that list as the basis for evaluation. Especially with the addition of Hubspot Connect and the subsequent integrations, it becomes possible for content strategist to see the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of content, campaigns, CTAs for Marketing Marys across any and all of their integrated platforms.
By taking the time to evaluate data for trends and other indicators, a content strategist gains the ability to fine tune the current content strategy relative to the current data and future goals. This would ultimately enable leading content strategists to disseminate efficient and effective strategy to the content team from the top down.
No matter which way we choose to look at it, Hubspot Connect is an incredible new feature (just like the other 2015 launches). As with those other launches, a marketer's ability to maximize the effectiveness and potential of Hubspot Connect as a tool depends on their ability to work with what's been given to them and their ability to see solutions for problems where others may not have noticed them.