Niti Shah on how marketing has changed (and what you can do about it)

Niti Shah on how marketing has changed (and what you can do about it) 

No one wakes up and says, “I wanna see an ad today.”

Niti Shah, Asia Pacific Marketing Manager of HubSpot, the most successful inbound marketing company in the world, talked about how marketing has changed and what you can do about it.

Here are the key takeaways of her speaker session, Inbound Marketing the HubSpot Way, at SydStart.

“Marketers have been bad”, and they have to “stop thinking that they have to talk at customers”, said Niti. The marketer mindset is, “I’m gonna make ads today”, and generally people really don’t like being marketed to. “You cannot control your market -- they control you.”

Traditional Marketing Doesn’t Work Anymore

“Traditional marketing is broken. We don’t do that anymore -- we’re digital”, she continues. Studies confirm this: 86% skip TV ads, 91% unsubscribe from email lists, 44% of direct mail is never opened, and approximately 4 million people in Australia have listed telemarketers on the Do Not Call Register.

Instead of tuning out potential customers with traditional marketing, Niti said that growth hacking is the way to go. This is where you either “grow fast (be a disruptor) or be outgrown (disrupted).” Niti went on to explain what disruptors or fast-growing companies claim to be the most important lead sources.

Over the last 6 months, fast-growing companies attribute their leads from social media, blogs, SEO, email marketing, PPC, and trade shows. The list also includes the least effective, which are traditional advertising, direct mail, and telemarketing. From there, it is clear what works and what doesn’t.

Contrasting the old versus new way of marketing: the old encompasses cold calling, cold emails (SPAM), and advertising. Niti called this method as seller-centric, which is only noise or “interruption” for your ideal customers. On the other hand, the new encompasses content tools and freemium (free and useful products and tools), which means it’s buyer-centric, and even more useful to the company because it attracts customers.

“How do we create marketing that people love?” This is basically the science behind Inbound Marketing, a term that HubSpot coined.

Turn Customers into Evangelists with Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing entails good content marketing, and this is how startups turn customers into evangelists. Citing Niti’s Inbound Marketing Sales Platform: Attract > Convert > Close > Delight, where each phase turns Strangers to Visitors to Leads to Customers to Promoters.

Setting HubSpot as an example, Niti explained that they produce content that helps customers do their job. Going back to good content, this is simply translated to blogs, photos and infographics, videos and podcasts, presentations and e-books that startups can easily provide ideal customers. This is what Niti referred to as the “freemium”.

You attract customers by knowing who you’re creating content for. Crucial touch points include inspiration, empathy, and utility. These are what will be useful to your customers -- give them something to aspire for, something to understand their frustration, and something utterly beneficial that they can use on their own end. And just as important as knowing your market is listening to people who didn’t buy your product.

Niti ended her speaker session with a quote from Brian Halligan, Founder and CEO of HubSpot: “To grow your business, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.”

HubSpot gains over 5 million webpage visits and 60,000 leads per month. They have over 16,000 customers worldwide.