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Kieran Flanagan - VP of Marketing at HubSpot

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In addition to his role as VP of Marketing at HubSpot, which is a leading growth platform comprised of a marketing hub, sales hub, services hub, and a powerful free CRM, Kieran is an author, startup advisor, and mentor. 


Show Notes

Part 1

Kieran’s Background - (01:57)

I originally was a software engineer but I wasn't a very good developer. I have a lot of respect for people who are good developers. I have worked for companies like Marketo and then I went and joined a small startup called Hubspot. I have had three core roles during my time at Hubspot.

Career Development - (03:43)

When I transitioned from the international business into this global role at Freemium, I had the opportunity to own a product funnel.

Marketing and Growth Teams Working Together - (06:23)

This will depend a lot on the type of company - whether it's B2B or a B2C company, where exactly you are in your journey etc. A lot of growth is actually within the product. You’re thinking about – how do I activate people onto this usage event. How do you convince people to do this thing?

You have to ask questions like “How do I include these upgrade points within my feature to get people up to the paid product?”.

In product-like companies, a lot of what marketers are doing is the branding of the product itself. The product team is trying to build a product that will fit within certain channels. We can talk about the product channel fit to acquire customers into it and also to activate and then monetize those users.

At HubSpot, we have a marketing, product, and growth team that’s responsible for the revenue that we generate through that funnel.

The growth is how do you build the frameworks and the processes within your product.

Part 2

Strategies for Driving Growth - (02:40) 

At the top of the funnel, we are kind of dependent on the platforms. We are dependent on Google and social media platforms to acquire an audience. 

The owners need to map out the mechanics of how the business will actually grow. You need to build a quantitative model and the qualitative model. 

At HubSpot, we have a model that's 12 months in advance and then we will look every month to see how we are growing against that model. We look where our hypothesis was correct and where we were wrong. 

How to Get Someone through the Funnel - (06:03) 

We create a lot of valuable content and it's something that has worked really well for us. We have also separated our content teams and we created an editorial content based on things that people are searching for. 

Our focus last year was to also send less email but to increase its quality. We invested heavily in chatbots and live chats. We have found that a lot of people want to communicate with us through chat. People want instant answers. 

We try to figure out what's the most valuable thing for you to do straight away after you've signed up. 

Driving Monetization - (18:46) 

We invested a lot of time in what we call our product qualified model. We have three types of PQLs and they involved a lot over time. They actually trigger that access to features that people can use in some meaningful way. After that, they can choose to upgrade after extracting some value. 

We have a B2B SaaS model and a lot of what we've done here is get better in terms of the email we send. A lot of our investment went to chat. We did a lot of experiments on how people wanted to interact with us within the product. 

The right monetization is all about figuring out how people want to buy your products. 

Recommended Tools - (24:01) 

A lot of the stuff that we use is custom. We do use Amplitude for our product funnel. But, it is mostly all internal tools through the HubSpot platform itself. 

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