4 Things I Learned from Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan

2 min read
Sep 17, 2014 2:07:00 PM

In case you didn't know, HubSpot is kind of a big deal. Well, it's a really biga8nhLblD.jpeg deal. Going into my first Inbound conference, I was expecting to see a neat convention of Boston's marketing enthusiasts and HubSpot partners. What I got was an event with majesty fit for an Apple unveiling. I took my seat at the enormous Keynote auditorium, surrounded by HubSpot enthusiasts (10,000 people signed up for the 4 day occasion) bustling in anticipation. What followed was a presentation fit for a Steve Jobs product announcement, complete with grand introductions, booming sound effects, and witty theatrics. As Dharmesh Shah, Chief Technology Officer at HubSpot took the stage, I was locked in. Here are some of my key takeaways from the event.

Small businesses have unique leverage against big players 

If you are a start up trying to take on the industry big boys, it's important to use customer service as leverage. For example, you may not have the mega resources and budget of a Fortune 1000 company, but you do have the desire to help people. If you write content that is more helpful to people than what a large company puts out, you're actually more likely to earn loyal customers.

It's cool to get someone to "like" you on Facebook, it's better to get them to LOVE YOU

Part of the big corporation machine is generating masses of likes, but are they really accumulating respect? You can't buy your way to affection. You need to produce helpful material.  

Focus and aglity always wins

Hubspot Co-Founder Brian Halligan used the metaphor of his favorite sport, sumo wrestling. He illustrated his experience of watching a match between a 500 lb goliath and a 250 lb underdog. As the mass of human flesh charged forward, the smaller competitor made a swift move to the side and led him off the mat. So the lesson is that if you're agile and focused on what is important, you can take down the giant competitors. You have the ability to out-think, out-teach, out-help. 

Recruiting is essential to growth

Dharmesh stressed that strong recruiting is absolutely essential to building a healthy business. You need the best marketing talent to put out the best product, and that talent is attracted by the best company culture. Sure, people like the perks that come with big employers such as catered lunch and gym access, but what really endears a talented applicant to a company is the collection of people. If everyone on board shares the same sense of mission and embraces the same goals, new people will gravitate towards you.

Dharmesh and Brian also gave marketers in attendance some very exciting figures. The first came in the form of a bold prediction by Dharmesh: Within 5 years, marketers' salaries will double. That's right, double! Obviously, that's a trend that we can all get behind.

Brian had an exciting stat of his own. Between 1973 and 1983, new entrants into the Fortune 1000 was 350. From 2003 to 2013, that number was 712. Therefore, with the digital marketing tools at everyone's disposal, small companies that are smart enough are growing rapidly. 

I was inspired by Dharmesh and Brian's passion for helping small businesses get disproportionate results using inbound marketing. They even announced a free CRM tool for HubSpot customers, taking all of the heavy lifting out of tracking customer interactions. For more information on how inbound marketing gives you leverage against the big boys, contact us at Responsive Inbound Marketing

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