As the lockdown begins to ease across the UK, we discuss how you can leverage a high performing website to help you grow your business, with Luke Summerfield, Go-to-Market Lead at HubSpot.
Episode 9 of Business as Unusual focuses on how you can use your CMS to outrun your competitors during the pandemic, and afterwards.
Jon Payne (00:00):
Welcome to Business as Unusual. It's the weekly webinar where we discuss how marketers, salespeople, and scale up business owners can stay productive, profitable, and at peace in the pandemic, and whatever comes after. Today we're looking at websites and CMS's, and how the future of tech may impact what we deploy so that we can get better return on our investment. And in this episode, we're joined by the wonderful Luke Summerfield. Luke is the Go-to-Market Lead for the HubSpot CMS at HubSpot. It's crazy early for him because he's on the West coast. Morning, Luke!
Luke Summerfield (00:38):
Morning, morning. No it's, it's not too early for me. I'm an early riser and I love being joined by so many smart people from all over the world. It gives me energy. So I am awake and ready to rock, ready to chat.
Jon Payne (00:50):
Cool. Cool. And for those of you who are watching the recording, you didn't see that Luke gave me the tip of sharing my computer sound, so that as people joined for this webinar, they were given a bit of an energise by Charles Mingus. Great tip. Thank you, Luke. I think that's probably going to be the first of many. So look, most of us on this call are British. And therefore it is in our DNA to ask this question, I have to ask it on behalf of all of us, because it's raining over here. What's the weather like in San Diego?
Luke Summerfield (01:26):
They, I guess they call it sunny San Diego for a reason. It's, it's usually 27 Celsius and sunny every day. So, I mean, I think it's like in Fahrenheit, it's what, 70 to 80, 85 degrees every day. So yeah, very fortunate to be out here in the good weather. Of course you pay for it. We pay for it in taxes but... and cost of living. But you know, obviously there's no price in just being able to enjoy outdoors.
Jon Payne (01:56):
Now I'm so I'm now, it's just dawned on me, the last inbound was in San Diego? Oh no, it was in Boston. I went to, what conference did I go to inSan Diego? I can't remember, but everybody, I remember seeing you in Boston and in Dublin a couple of times, and seeing you walk around in a loud jacket, probably with Palm trees, a Palm tree print, shorts and flip flops and thinking, well, who's that guy? I mean no one's riding skateboards to work out here, we're in fricking Dublin. And then, I understand you're from San Diego and having been there, I'm like that, oh, well, that all makes sense.
Luke Summerfield (02:35):
Try to bring some of the, some of the weather, some of the good, good vibes with me, wherever I go, but yeah, actually, I grew up in Wisconsin, which is right North, right North of Chicago just over the border of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it snows a lot there and it gets really, really, really cold. And so now when I go to places like Dublin or Boston it's, it's pretty mild. It's not, for me, it's like shorts and flip flops all the time. It's, you know, the summer weather of Wisconsin is kind of like the winter in Dublin is kinda what it is, so.
Jon Payne (03:09):
Yeah. Well, we're delighted to have you on this call. And agnostic of what it is you do day to day perhaps, what the hell is a Go-to-Market lead? What does that mean?
Luke Summerfield (03:21):
It's a, it's a really fuzzy title intentionally, but basically, so I work on the product team and in product leadership. And basically what we do is at HubSpot, we talk about the flywheel and the flywheel's, like all the pieces of the experience that a customer goes through. And as you remove friction from that flywheel, it can go faster and faster and faster. And so what my job is is to one first, understand the people that are using our, our product in this case, it's the CMS, understand the market outside of HubSpot and try to find and identify those highest friction points within the flywheel, and then go and work with the teams and the different departments on trying to remove that. And so sometimes that's inspiring that team to take that problem on, to solve it. Sometimes it's me doing a lot of facilitation and getting my hands dirty.
Luke Summerfield (04:19):
Sometimes it's, it's just me and that's like what I need to do to get the work done. So it's intentionally very, very fuzzy. I see it almost like a little entrepreneur inside of HubSpot because you know, again the two metrics that I own are customer NPS. So basically how happy are people and are they being successful in finding value? So customer NPS and revenue, and basically anything that falls under those two, which is pretty much anything, is something I need to work on if there's a problem. So it's very, very much like that. And it's been, it's, it's a fun role because it puts me in a lot of very, very different types of projects and work with a lot of different types of people from all over the company and wonderful partners. And so I really, really enjoy it.
Jon Payne (05:03):
Okay. And how did you, what was your journey to that point? What's your potted history with sort of web stuff and HubSpot, is it, how long have you been around?
Luke Summerfield (05:14):
It's funny cause the role being really, really fuzzy is actually not anything new to me. So it was such a good fit. The, before... I've been at HubSpot for about five years, I'll keep this short. I'm sure people, a lot of people are checking their email and all that stuff while I'm talking. But I started at HubSpot five years ago, but before that, I actually worked at a partner agency, and ran a partner agency. We were a small web shop and I did that for about three and a half years. So within the HubSpot bubble, probably nine, eight and a half, nine years now and within the web design world, you know, probably 13 years, and that agency grew and ended up getting acquired.
Luke Summerfield (05:56):
And I jumped on my next adventure at HubSpot and I got hired without a title, without a role. They just, I, they had known me cause I had worked with them on a number of projects. We, I worked with them at the agency side to launch our previous version of our CMS, which we called the COS the Content Optimization System and work, work with the product team to try to launch that. Well, yeah, it got, it got, got hired without a role. And at the time our CEO's big pet rock Halligan, his pet rock was get more people doing cool stuff on the CMS. And so that was my, that was my initiative. That's all the guidance I got, go figure it out. And so...
Jon Payne (06:33):
Would you have got that job if you weren't wearing the cool jacket and the flip flops at the time? They would've been like not you mate nah.
Luke Summerfield (06:40):
It's funny because the first the first three months I worked at HubSpot, it was a tie every single day, a button up, tie, everything.
Luke Summerfield (06:48):
And so, you know, cause you get this big job. I had to move cross country to go to the, to live there. And you know, you, you think you need to dress to impress and, and in some level I think that's true, but you know, it really wasn't me. So and it really isn't how HubSpot is either. So it was very, very, very quickly about three months in, I started just dressing a little bit more what's my style, and it felt a lot more comfortable and, and funny enough performed a lot better too. But so yeah, and then from there just did a little tour of duty working on all kinds of interesting projects to help the CMS grow from working in the partner program for a few years, working on HubSpot's marketing team on their Academy, launching some certifications.
Luke Summerfield (07:30):
And then about three years ago, I jumped to the product team first two years, focusing on developers and the folks that are coding all the cool stuff on HubSpot and trying to build a world class development experience for folks that are coding. And a lot of the projects that I put together there... I'm not a developer, so there's only so far I could take them. They hired a bunch of people. They took over the projects and they're doing phenomenal things with those further than I ever could, which freed my time up the last year to work on launching this new CMS hub that we launched on April 7th.
Jon Payne (08:07):
Cool. Cool. Excellent. Thank you. That's really useful to know because I know you think it's boring, but actually it's good because it gives it so often when we're talking to people from HubSpot necessarily, that would be a horrible accusation, but when you're talking to people and you see these things go on often, you think, jeez, that that guy is like two pages further ahead on the manual than me. I can hear him, whereas you live it, breathe it. And have been working on it for a while. One of the questions I love to ask HubSpotters when I meet them for the first time is, so how many people were there at HubSpot when you joined?
Luke Summerfield (08:39):
When I joined as a, as a partner agency, there was 200 and I, you know what, I couldn't even answer that question. That's probably a fault on me, but between all of our offices globally, we probably have 3,500, 3,000 or 3,500 somewhere in there. Again, it's, it's tricky to tell because certain offices are growing and obviously with the global pandemic, things have changed. Not in terms of like, we, we didn't... HubSpot's been phenomenal. They didn't, they haven't done any layoffs that like, everyone's been, been very confident and good, but obviously hiring slows down a little bit just in terms of like marketers and sales. R&D like is still ramping up and everything like that, which is phenomenal. But yeah, I couldn't, I couldn't, I couldn't tell you 3000, 3,500 somewhere in there.
Jon Payne (09:29):
Yeah. That's the number I keep hearing. And also they're, they're. I mean, at least now I can ask you that question cause we're in the middle of a pandemic and it didn't go up by about 40 people while you were answering the question. Because before that felt like it's just growing like crazy. Okay. That is brill. So, and I have a thing I'm letting light in upon magic here for the people that are on. And they probably just think that I'm incredibly well read when I ask these questions, but one of the things I do is ask everybody what's a crazy, but true fact about you? I picked that up off of some how to do a podcast blog. And most people I ask, it's like, oh, okay, that's a, that sounds like it's true. But it doesn't sound that crazy. Luke, you were once knocked out in front of 4,000 people on national television in Moscow, in Russia. What the hell, man? And then we'll get to what we should be talking about. I need to know how that happened, and why?
Luke Summerfield (10:27):
I mean, outside of work, one of my big hobbies is Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing MMA. I've been doing that for now like 13 and a half, 14 years. And a long time ago in another life, I had the opportunity to represent the US in a US vs Russia, it wasn't MMA. It was like, Russia has a sport called hand to hand combat or combat Sambo. It's like their national military sport, very similar to MMA, but it has a little different rules and I had the opportunity to represent HubSpot or, not HubSpot. That'd be cool if it was HubSpot, HubSpot, HubSpot actually has. So I'll say this HubSpot actually has a jujitsu class that they organize in the gyms and they bring an instructor. This is in Dublin's. The US one, we tried to kind of like look into it.
Luke Summerfield (11:20):
But we never got it going, but I thought it was so cool. They have a black belt that comes in and teaches classes in the Dublin on. And we have like a little team and they got like the uniforms, the rash guards printed. But anyway, this was a, this was not with HubSpot, but it was, went over there and it was it's, it's hilarious. It's all put on by the mafia. Cause they all do the betting and everything. So we got just treated world-class like mafia took us around in limousines and got to go to RT, which is their like national television, like kind of probably like the BBC of Russia and do press conferences. And yeah, got knocked out in like three and a half minutes in front of 4,000 people on RT. And then partied after and had a, had an awesome time.
Luke Summerfield (12:04):
And it was, everyone was so gracious. You know, they, they treated us like true athletes and they really are very, very respectful. We went and trained at their gyms and kind of coached, taught them some techniques. They taught some us some techniques afterwards, which was really, really cool. And then, because it was their national military sport, we were technically diplomats. And so we got to go tour the president's palace and we got to meet a bunch of people and take photos and then tour their national gem archives. So you're looking at these giant diamonds that were gifted to them in the 1300s and 1200s. And it was really cool. It was a, it was, it was. Wow.
Jon Payne (12:40):
Cool. Good. Well, thank you. I'm glad you recovered. I've now got in my mind the image that HubSpot might send a team to, to take on Russia.
Luke Summerfield (12:49):
I don't know, someday, maybe! We'll get the Jujitsu team going.
Jon Payne (12:56):
Yeah, exactly. But Joseph in the chat says you clearly get an orange belt when you pass the...
Luke Summerfield (13:02):
The HubSpot glass!
Jon Payne (13:06):
Right, so I'm quickly going to share my screen. And today we're going to be talking about, because this is where we find ourselves in Business as Unusual, and this is going to mutate over the next few months. But still, right now we're seeing a lot of people who have a lack of money or at least budgets have been reallocated, or there's a very bare market, even in inside individual businesses where suddenly everybody's doing that, and clawing back budgets. So there is, lots of discretionary budgets have been moved. There's a lot of uncertainty, and there's equally there is opportunity to be had. And thanks, Alan, actually who's here today. He's been firing stuff into the chat. He talked about, we talked about money and uncertainty on the first one of these and he said, man, we should also talk about opportunity and there is opportunity, we're seeing it. I'm sure you're seeing it Luke. So we'll come on to all of those things, I think in our discussion. Today's talk is being hosted by well, not hosted by I'm hosting it. I'll tell you about me, just very briefly in a sec. But by HubSpot. Is there a one minute elevator pitch you can say for HubSpot Luke?
Luke Summerfield (14:23):
Yeah. We're a, we're an all in one platform for basically running the front end of your business. So this is sales software, marketing software, website software, customer service software. It's really an all in one platform to build world class customer experiences. And you know, the idea is that with the power that you get at HubSpot, you can do it better than your competitors. So that's my, that's my little pitch. Again, like as someone, my focus is, is a lot in the web world. But all of these pieces work hand in hand, I think it's really, sometimes we think of like, marketing's over here and sales is over here and, and the website's over here, but the reality is your customer experience is all of those elements in their journey. And so it's just about creating a wonderful, wonderful journey for your customers.
Jon Payne (15:06):
Brilliant. Thank you, mate. It's hosted by us Noisy Little Monkey. Us? That's weird. I'm not the entity, It's its own legal entity. Noisy Little Monkey is a diamond partner. And we do inbound marketing automation and sales enablement. Primarily we look at strategy and then helping people execute. There's some people we've done it for. I'm not gonna, if you're watching this, you're already on our fricking websites. So, or you've heard of us because you've come to this webinar. So I'm not gonna explain it too much. We talked about the flywheel, this is our version of the flywheel. And everybody's been getting bored at Noisy Little Monkey for decades because I've been going on about the Jim Collins book, Good to Great, where I first came across the concept of a business flywheel. And guys, I'm not going to explain this because actually Luke did it really well without any aide memoire, but one of the things I'm going to mention is, is that we over here in the delight phase where we're looking at support tickets and all of that kind of stuff, exactly what you just said, one of biggest successes with a client was that they had a load of, they had loads... their ecosystem was everywhere.
Jon Payne (16:19):
They had a huge tool stack. And one of the things we did was put the tool stack all into HubSpot, took us a while. Cause we have to unpick some of their business processes and align them a bit better with HubSpot rather than with two or three other systems that they were running. We eventually got that done. And then we found that their biggest revenue source while we sorted out the rest of their business was from support tickets. So it became, support tickets became a, okay. It comes to a support person and immediately they realise that this is actually a subscription issue. We've handed over to sales and sales helps those people upgrade their account. It was an online advertising platform.
Luke Summerfield (16:59):
That's quite, that's quite smart. We talk about that at HubSpot too, we have a service qualified lead and a service qualified lead is any time that one of our service reps has a conversation with someone and sees them struggling with something that the reason they're struggling with it is they just don't know. They haven't discovered that there's this other thing that they could be buying or doing, or, or that would help them with that. And so, so yeah, I mean, it's, it's funny that you say that. Cause I actually, I haven't heard a lot of people talking about service qualified leads outside of like our little internal HubSpot company. So it's brilliant that you worked with them on it.
Jon Payne (17:33):
I wish we'd come up with the term service qualified lead because it's just, you know, that thing of selling to existing customers is so much easier. I'm a salesman. So I love selling to existing customers cause they've fallen over themselves to give me money. And sometimes it used to feel like service is a blocker and we're finding more and more that it isn't a blocker. So that's, that's absolutely fantastic. Obviously what we're talking about going to talk about a lot today is in the attract and engage stage of that flywheel. Before we get onto money. I always like to think about, when we're talking about CMS's, and probably we're going to bleed a little bit into automation, is bring up this, I guess it's two or three years old now this stat by marketing Sherpa that 73% of B2B leads are not ready to be passed to the sales department.
Jon Payne (18:19):
So often people will download something or sign up to your newsletter on your website and your sales team, people who look like me in your business, the old white guys who used to make hundreds of phone calls and do appointments, and desperate to get over to that person and start screaming in their face about how they should buy your products. And actually one of the things we love about HubSpot is we're, we're able to both put in the relevant friction in the relevant places from a, so that the sales team don't get all over these people and scare them off. And we apply everything, HubSpot helps us apply context to that buyer's journey, particularly around CMS. But the, the, the other thing we like is those back end tools that we're able then to, not back end, still front end, but those tools we're able to give the sales team so that they can suddenly start to see. Oh, wow, with more context, I can slow this down and I can get a bigger order, and the lifetime value goes up. So that's why we love it. Right. I'm gonna stop sharing my screen because I want to see your beautiful face. Let's talk about money. So we've got lack of money cause there's a pandemic, but also everybody's always a bit short on money. They've never got exactly what they need. How can using CMS better, or what can we do to save money with either the HubSpot CMS or the CMS's we're using now and in the future, Luke?
Luke Summerfield (19:43):
The first thing that is important for all of us to understand which you know, comes out comes out of the design world, of course, but is that when I think of the website, I think of it as the front experience that your customers have with your business. It's, it's like your virtual, your virtual business. And in this day and age, for a lot of people, it's like one of the primary, if not only, ways that they experience your business. And so if you look at it through that lens, I think there's kind of a traditional mindset that the website is this kind of business expense. You kind of just have to do it. It's like a necessary evil. You take, it's a static brochure. You take this PDF you had and digitize it. And that's like what you put on your website.
Luke Summerfield (20:30):
And the reality is, is that the way we need to think about it? And this is the way that modern companies think about it. Like Facebook, Google, Slack, Uber, Airbnb, HubSpot. It's instead we think about it as this is the experience that someone has with interacting with our company. It's a growth investment for us to invest in this website. And so instead of saying, well, it's a business expense, the money's just kind of going up to, but how might we invest in the website in a way that as we put effort into it, as you put money into it, it's going to disproportionately pay out just like any other investments on the business, the leads, the reducing friction, reducing support tickets, increasing hiring pipeline, you know, onboarding new customers, finding ways that you can integrate the website into, again, that flywheel that we talked about, the, the website's really the public facing part of that flywheel that the customers interact with.
Luke Summerfield (21:29):
And so again, I think it's, I think it's important to just mindset shift from this is a static brochure that's out there. And like we can direct people to it to thinking about it almost like a virtual show, like a virtual retail store, virtual experience that someone has. And so one of the things that we're seeing is that a lot of companies it's interesting with the pandemic, we've actually seen website usage and content creation go up quite a bit. For, I think that exact reason folks are now seeing that this is their place that they can engage customers, engage prospects in a way that they can't in the physical world. We're also seeing a lot of folks that are transitioning things that traditionally were done in person like trade shows like events like client, new client onboarding, where they go to the office and, and, you know, onboard them, are starting to build those experiences on the website.
Luke Summerfield (22:24):
And so I think those are some interesting considerations. And the third, the third thing I'll mention there is along with that is once you shifted to thinking about the website as an experience, that your customers interact with, just like your products and services, the other mindset shift that is important, and what we see with modern companies is that they think of their website, like a product in their product line. So just like you have products and services that you offer as a business, and you have product managers and engineers or tech leads working on those, improving them. They're always making them better. They're releasing new versions of that product to deliver more value. If you shift your mindset to think of, instead of the static brochure, this is actually one of our products in our product line, and we're going to continuously improve it. We're going to invest in it just like we do in our other products.
Luke Summerfield (23:11):
And maybe it's a free product. Maybe it delivers value in a free way, or maybe you start introducing paid elements where the website now becomes a paid products like online academies, like payment processing systems to make purchases online. You know, we have, we see a lot of companies now that are trying to find ways to, to generate new revenue streams or new channels for revenue, if in-person is no longer available. So I think all of those, the first step is just shifting the mindset at the company, how we think about the website as a tool to help grow the business that is growth investment. That it's a product in our product line. That it's the experience that customers are having. Since, you know, again, in this day and age, it's not, it's not possible to do in person experiences as easily as it was.
Jon Payne (24:00):
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And the, how do you think or, or have you heard of any good approaches of being able to pitch that as I'm the marketer, maybe I'm a marketing manager, like many of the people on the call today, how would you, how would, how do they go about starting to have those conversations with the board who might be just a room full of dusty old suits? What's the, because, I mean, I appreciate now you, in fact, actually you've given us some tips of going, well, actually, look, this is happening now. And we're not able to see people face to face. We're not able to invite them into our shop, or into our office for those meetings. But what other ways have you found that people are able to, or are there any resources that people could use to start to prove that point or open up those conversations with their boards?
Luke Summerfield (24:50):
I mean, a lot of it, a lot of it right now comes out of obviously necessity. They're seeing a lot of walls being built up and things that they traditionally would have done. And so in some ways there's a sense of urgency and figuring out alternative routes to get to the end desired outcome of acquiring new customers or engaging your customers in a certain way, but you have to think about it differently. So I don't necessarily think there'll be a ton of resistance in trying to figure out new ways to get to the same desired outcome. I think that's probably the, the first thing is whatever, whatever elements, whatever elements of your strategy, that were being implemented in person or being implemented in ways that cannot today, starting with why were we as a business doing that? And what was the outcome we were trying to achieve? And then using that as the baseline, the baseline starting point for a conversation and set it up with a scenario, or like here's the state of the world, here's the problem we're running into.
Luke Summerfield (25:51):
Here's, here's the vision that we see in the vision is we're going to transform this traditional online or offline thing into an online experience, and here's the impact it's gonna have on the business. And that impact on the business is that original goal. So I think that's the thing is just like you're paving a new path. You're, you're, you're painting a vision on a new path to get to the same goal that you are struggling as a company to get to today. Cause at the end of the day, all those, all those old, old folks that make, make the decisions, the higher ups, like that's, that's all they care about. They don't care how you get to it. They just care about getting to a desired outcome. So now can you go, you're going to have this vision of like, we need this big website, we need to do all this stuff and we need to have these interactions.
Luke Summerfield (26:34):
Are you going to be able to do all of that out of the gate? Probably not. And that's okay, fine. What's the, what's the highest impact thing that we can do in the next three months and run it almost like a pilot, like let's, let's break that down into the, what are we going to do over the next three months that are going to show that we're building traction towards that end goal, that and show that we're making progress on it so that other people get bought in so that they're willing to invest more so that we can go faster. And so that's, the other thing is you know, again, just like boil it down into bite size pieces. The other, the other side of that, like if I stepped back from that topic, the other thing that would be interesting to consider is that one of the trends that we're seeing is that the lines of what a website is and what a piece of software is, are blurring.
Luke Summerfield (27:24):
Luke Summerfield (28:18):
Again, tying it back to the goals of what that software product will impact the customers, how it'll provide more value or remove the barriers to value creation that came up because of the global pandemic, but also the impact that that piece of software will have on a business. And then it's easier to say, well, we're going to build this piece of software as a part of our website, or we're going to think about our website as a piece of software and kind of build that out like that. So that's, it might just be an interesting reframing depending on the industry you're in and depending on who you're talking about, where it might spark some more interest thinking of it like a software product that you're adding to your product line versus coming at it initially from, Hey, we want to redesign the website like right away. You're kind of putting yourself in a, in a particular bucket in their mental model of how they think about their website.
Jon Payne (29:06):
Yeah, exactly. As soon as you do that. So we think we need to redesign the website and the, everybody goes back to, Oh, well that took us six months longer than we thought it was going to take. It was way more expensive actually, when we have to engage a whole new agency halfway through, because the first one was a disaster and then insert name here decided that because he knew how to pick out curtains and cushions, he wanted to be involved in all of the choices about the colour of the calls to action. That was awful, but yeah, the thing, I love the, the thinking about it in that kind of, slightly in a more, in a much more entrepreneurial way, I guess. So maybe that's why I'm drawn to it, but that okay, well, hey and that's clearly why your mind runs that way, of the, yeah,
Jon Payne (29:50):
Let's, let's think about what's the biggest impact we can do, and maybe you don't necessarily need to change the whole website. At that point, you can just go, right. Let me do one journey for one buyer persona. And if you've talked to anybody at HubSpot or anybody at Noisy Little Monkey in the past, you'll understand buyer persona. And if you don't know what it is, I suspect now I'm gonna say it a third time buyer persona. You've kind of figured out who it is, but let's do one journey for that one person get massive impact. And as you say, then go, okay, let's almost be agile about it. Do we, do we improve this? Or do we, do we now open up another journey through the website? And at some point then it maybe becomes a website redesign, but you haven't had to have that difficult conversation with the board.
Jon Payne (30:34):
You're just saying, well, I'm gonna fix this cause we can't do it anymore. There's a break. We can't have them in here to do this thing. So yeah, that's really cool. That's really cool, I suppose. And this is maybe what you've been working on a bit, and I'm not necessarily asking you to pitch at all because you're doing it.
Luke Summerfield (30:50):
I'm not a salesperson!
Jon Payne (30:53):
But I guess some of the hardships that we find and, you know, Noisy Little Monkey works on WordPress websites. We are by no means a, an exclusively HubSpot agency. And we, that's a deliberate choice. We want to make sure that we understand the whole market rather than just be kind of standard HubSpot acolytes, as much as we love HubSpot. We obviously, I'm contractually obliged to say that otherwise Brian Halligan will come around and kick my ass.
Jon Payne (31:18):
But the, the, the, that thing that we struggle with so often is well if I want to change that one journey, or I want to change a few little things. I still have to get on the phone to my web developer. I still have to, because I'm not just changing some words on a page. Are they, I guess actually in many ways you can do it with words on a page and changing a few calls to action a lot of the time, but where do you, where do you think most people traditionally would see friction?
Luke Summerfield (31:49):
Well, one of the interesting things and the reason that we launched CMS Hub in April was we saw a couple of trends in the market. A couple of, couple shifts, there's four shifts. I'll go through them real quickly. The first two, I'll go a little more in depth because they're kind of exactly what you're talking about. The, the first thing that we saw was that when we looked at the CMS market across the board and we pulled the common threads of pain that people experienced. The first one that we saw was that traditional CMS's that's kind of what we bucket these as, force you... So as the business grows, it demands more to the website. You have to add in new experiences, you add in new pages, you add in new functionality and with a traditional CMS. A lot of times that's layering on more and more and more things, adding new plugins, adding new themes, adding new, and you add, add, add until the thing becomes kind of unwieldy.
Luke Summerfield (32:43):
And in order to manage that you have to, for every plugin, I think average WordPress sites, like 20 to 50 plugins, all built by different developers. So they have different coding standards. You have to get all those little different pieces of software to talk to each other. Sometimes they have conflicts and you got to resolve those. And then you end up having to manage one, the server that it lives on. So you've got to pay and either pay someone like WP engine to, to do some of that for you, or you got to manage it yourself. If it goes down the performance of it then you have the piece of software and all the plugins you got to update on a regular basis. And then you have to layer in on top of that, the security elements of it all, right? So making sure that things are safe, secure, reliable.
Jon Payne (33:24):
Are you suggesting that all plugins aren't 100% safe,?
Luke Summerfield (33:28):
I think it's like, I think there's like 70,000 hacks a day that happen.
Luke Summerfield (33:36):
Luke Summerfield (34:20):
And what that does is it pulls your time and energy away from your customers. You can't spend that time and energy on your customers if you're just trying to like keep the system running. So what we're seeing is that modern CMS's, this kind of goes back to, you know, limited budgets. But part of it is just limited time. You've got to invest your time effectively. Like where, where can I invest one hour to generate the most amount of leads or visitors or revenue for that one hour time investment. We see that modern CMS's, and it's not just HubSpot. But they're all built on SaaS infrastructure. So just like every other piece of software in the world, that's built on SaaS for some reason in the web world, we're living in, in the old school days where you have to maintain a server, you have to do all the plugin updates yourself.
Luke Summerfield (35:06):
You have to do all these things on your own to keep the system going. A SaaS infrastructure. It's, it's stands for Software as a Service, the services, the company just takes care of all of that for you. They do all the security, they do all the, like everything's all taken care of for you, so that it frees your time up to focus on your customers, to focus on value adding, to focus on generating more leads and invest your time more wisely. So that's like a really interesting one. Again, it's not exclusive to HubSpot. We are a SaaS CMS, but it's also Shopify, it's Wix it's, Squarespace, all of these CMS's that are just up and coming and just starting to take over. And one of the reasons is, cause you just don't, you can focus on the things that are gonna help grow your business, not updating a plugin.
Luke Summerfield (35:49):
Yeah. So that's one of them. I think the second thing to your original question that we see is like, as you layer on more and more things, the system becomes complex. It's very fragile. And so to do any changes to it, like you said, it, the system naturally creates gatekeepers where you have to go to someone else to be able to get any kind of work done, right? So that's, that's a couple of problems there. One, you as a marketer, it's just really slow to get anything done on the site. You know, you submit a request, the developer's doing something else in another sprint cycle. Maybe if you like, you know, buy him some wine and sweet talk them, you don't prioritize it. And six weeks later, a small change will get done on the site. And so it slows things down. It's very hard to be agile, as we talked about.
Luke Summerfield (36:38):
And especially in this day and age, we know that you have to be agile because every day is changing, right? You have to be able to get the work that you need done. And it's also not good for the developers because their time, honestly, their time is not best spent changing a button color, adding an image into a page, moving a module around like that's all like very commodity, very boring work that I guarantee you developers do not want to be doing. They don't want to be, like no developer wakes up in the morning and says, I am fulfilled today because I get to update plugins and I'm fulfilled because I get to change a button color. Like this is not what they want to be doing. They want to be working on more complex value adding experiences, building the membership systems, building the customer support systems, building the experiences, the more complex things, calculators, payment processing systems, membership log-ins systems, academies.
Luke Summerfield (37:35):
Those are the things that they want to be building, but they're being pulled into these little things. And so, again, that's, that's, that's those are all symptoms of the problem that traditional CMS's force gatekeepers. Modern CMS's just are built in a way that enable your team, the marketing team to just get their work done, whatever they need to do, to optimise it, to build and optimise a page, add modules, change buttons, relay out a page, add content, create new page, just let them get their work done so that the developer, what it does is it shifts the developer. So the developer now is not making that work. They, what they're doing is they're building the system out in a way to enable the marketing team. They're building the user interface layer that the marketing team interacts with. They determine what should be drag and drop-able.
Luke Summerfield (38:22):
What should, colours are available? What should be able to be changed by a marketer? And they set that system up to enable the marketing team to get their work done. So they're almost like software developers kind of, at this point, they build that, again, lines are blurring. They build that UI on top of the CMS, and then they're building those more impactful things. They're building those payment processing systems, all those things that we talked about. So you know, again, I think going back to your question when we have in a day and age like this, where we have limited resources and time is our most precious resource, it's very important that we prioritise and focus where we spend that time. And I'm, as someone who's lived this pain, I'm very passionate about saying that our time as humans are in terms of where we can invest in growing our business is not best spent in maintaining a system. And in getting stuck in back and forth emails with a gatekeeper it's, it's being able to make progress and just focus on our customers. And so modern CMS's, HubSpot being one, but again, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, they all kind of fit that, that bill. That's what you want to look for when you're evaluating CMS's. Can the CMS do those things for you?
Jon Payne (39:30):
Yeah, yeah. That which really speaks actually to, to that money and uncertainty thing, because the uncertainty of it, and this is around even when we're not in the midst of a global pandemic, that the uncertainty is always well, it's what I'm doing going to work? Is it going to make the meaningful change to the business that I think it's going to be, is it going to get me a promotion? Is it going to get me famous at a board level or get me head hunted from somewhere else? I'm doing all of this stuff. And then, ah, shit, it didn't work. My hypothesis has proved to be wrong. Okay. But with, as you say with Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, don't really like Wix, HubSpot. You can at least particularly with the, with the, with the new systems, you can pivot a little bit and go, all right, well, I don't have to get on the phone to my web developer. Who's normally a great person, but they, they are not fulfilled. As you say, by removing apostrophes and changing the colors of buttons.
Luke Summerfield (40:27):
Well it shrinks the, it shrinks the feedback cycles. So think about it this way in a traditional CMS where maybe it takes, let's say four weeks to get an update to a page. Even if you're lucky two weeks to get an update to a page, then you find out two weeks later, after a bunch of back and forth emails, after working with your developer, let's say you spend 30 hours between your entire team on making that change. You find out it doesn't work, or it doesn't, it doesn't, it doesn't in fact produce the results you're looking for. Now you're two weeks later and 30 hours in the hole to get to that same like learnings versus a system where your marketing team can jump in in a matter of a couple hours, just do the work that, that you need. Now you're finding out in days with a few hours. So the feedback cycle is a lot faster and that's where you're going to win against your competitors, where your competitors are like trudging through the mud, trying to like, figure this stuff out. You can move a lot faster, collect a lot more feedback. And again, like you said, all of that results to being smarter about where we spend our time in order to get the results we want and become, you know, world-class champions in the company, of course.
Jon Payne (41:34):
Yeah. And, and yeah, marketers are, Oh man, God. We come across it all the time, every day. And I feel for them because we're asking them to go and get something done often on their website that they can't achieve. And we know that's going to slow the project down often by months. And not because, because people are, people are awful, but just because that's the way it has to be because there's toing and froing all the time. So that's really cool to think about it like that. I know. And actually we've we're, we're running short on time. So we wanted to, I know you wanted to ask a question of the people that are on the call about using their website in a slightly different way. Do you want to, do you want to pose that and then give us an action to go away with? If you can remember it!
Luke Summerfield (42:27):
I can't remember it, to tell you the truth. We chatted like a couple of weeks ago. And so, the world's a blur!
Jon Payne (42:34):
Actually I think we've covered it already, which is why I was quite, I was quite thrilled. And we didn't mean to, I was just, I've just looked it up. I'm over here, looking it up on my PC. You were saying, how might you leverage your website as a tool to reduce friction in other parts of the business? And actually you've already said a few ways. Well, what are some of those meetings that you used to have to have to maybe onboard a client or you know, a quarterly catch up with a client. Can you do that now using your website a bit more effectively and certainly perhaps using marketing and sales and service automation. And, and certainly we're seeing that all the time. It's that thing of being your best, your own best customer if you're a HubSpot partner. Man, just the automation, even in a business of what is now 10 people, it's just so much slicker to use some of that automation and stop copying and pasting stuff between 15 different systems.
Luke Summerfield (43:25):
It gives you a lot more leverage when you have 10 people with automation behind it, versus 10 people having to duct tape and glue and do this, you get way more, way more leverage with the work that you can do, the good work you can do. When you have some power behind you. Yeah. Yeah, it's a good, it's a good question that all of you can leave with and think about what your team is like, how might we leverage the website more effectively and other parts of the journey? As, as we mentioned earlier, as Jon mentioned, one of the best places to look for revenue is your existing customers. They already have a relationship they're already built in. My guess is, if you're like most marketers, if you're like me a few years ago, you probably have some blinders on where you're thinking about your website is only a tool to generate net new business net, new visitors, net new leads.
Luke Summerfield (44:11):
So let's take those blinders off. Let's look at other parts of the flywheel, where we have customers in the door and we were trying to delight customers. Could we build things like brand new customer onboarding so that they activate a lot faster and see the value a lot faster and retain better. Could we find ways build client dashboards where they can be more successful, they can see your other products and services that compliment what they're doing and try to create cross sell and upsell opportunities. So I would, I would, there's lots of examples of that. And we're just talking about that particular part of the journey, but there's likely if you have limited time and resources, your goal is at the end of the day to generate leads that lead to revenue. Of course you can bring that new people in, but my guess is that many of us like myself used to, we forget that the website could be used with your existing customers, your existing dealer network, your existing people that are already buying for you and finding ways that you can, you can use the website as a tool to engage those people and generate leads and revenue from them.
Jon Payne (45:14):
Yeah. Jonathan's asking how you measure NPS and whether you have any tips. I think we're probably going to get out of time, but what I think we can do is well, do you have any quick tips on the best way to measure NPS other than obviously send out all of the stuff via HubSpot, stop using MailChimp? No. Any quick tips on that before we, before we wrap up?
Luke Summerfield (45:43):
I mean, the first thing is just to double check that NPS is the right metric that you want to be measuring. There's a lot of ways you can measure customer value and customer success. And NPS is one way you, you want to incorporate other ones because NPS is just one indicator. But so that's the first thing is like, is NPS the right thing to be measuring for what we're trying to understand about our customers. The second thing is what other things can we do in addition to NPS to make sure that we have multiple points all pointing in the same direction. So that's number two. Number three is if you do NPS, it's important to understand that NPS typically the way it's answered is like a step back score of the entire experience, not just your product, but your product, your team, your, how you engage them, like everything that the person interact with.
Luke Summerfield (46:31):
It's a very global view of how the company and everything within the company is impacting the life of your person. So that's, that's important to understand if you're trying to get product feedback, you might use something like a SUS score or use some other way to measure usability and interaction. So that's like the third thought, and then there's a lot of great tools out there. Hubspot has our own feedback tool that you can use for NPS and then tied into all the automation. You could use something, one that I've used in the past where HubSpot's not an option is Hotjar, hotjar.com. They're able to ask some of those feedback questions and then being really good about, I think one thing that gets forgotten about it's really important, our team, we have a, we have a voice of the customer team, and this is like all the stuff they do.
Luke Summerfield (47:19):
They empower people like me with this feedback and all that. And they drill it into our heads that it's not just about collecting the feedback, but it's about closing the loop on the feedback so that the person knows they were heard. And so that they see the company taking some kind of action, whether that's like, Hey, they requested this feature and we don't, we're going to respond if we don't have that today, but we're now going to put them on a list so that in six months or a year from now, when we have a beta or when we have something, we know the group of people that are already interested in this. So again, not thinking of it as like just a, a one way communication of collecting feedback, but finding ways that you can create a loop, a conversation, an ongoing conversation with those people really goes far and just making sure that they feel heard and that that they actually like, you care about their feedback and therefore they'll give you more and it will be more successful. So that's like maybe another little pro tip is finding ways to close the loop.
Jon Payne (48:14):
I've just, I said, I was going to get back to you on that in the chat, Jonathan and I don't need to now, Luke did. Hopefully on your screen, you're seeing Luke's contact details, not all of them. I don't think we should give you his mobile number. But I'm sure. You'll, you'll answer any questions I put to you by the group over on the link.
Luke Summerfield (48:30):
We got your notes, Jon, right now.
Jon Payne (48:32):
Oh, you're seeing my notes. I'm not writing a blog post much. Thanks Alex. Man, imagine if I'd written God, this guy's boring?
Luke Summerfield (48:46):
Everyone's got their own opinion. There's a lot of people in this world that find me a boring or annoying!
Jon Payne (48:51):
You and me friend, you and me both. Brilliant. Well guys, we're running over a little bit. Primarily because me and Luke shot the shit so much. I apologise for that. But Luke, thank you so much for that. That was really, really useful. We'll put, we'll send the recording to everybody, but thanks very much.
Luke Summerfield (49:11):
Appreciate it. I always love chatting with folks, especially across the globe. It's always really fun to chat with folks that are like just doing really interesting things. And especially agencies again, my, my heart's with agencies, it's where I came from. And I love seeing all the cool stuff that you all are doing with HubSpot. So I appreciate you being part of the journey with us.
Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.
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