Episode 195: Encouragement amidst crisis
By XEN Systems
Published: Wednesday 01 April 2020 | Last updated: Friday 08 May 2020
Welcome to HubShots Episode 195: Encouragement amidst crisis
This episode we chat about the opportunity in the current state of Inbound uncertainty and how you can rise above it and prepare for the next season.
Listen to the episode here: https://soundcloud.com/hubshots/195-encouragement-amidst-crisis
Welcome to HubShots - APAC's number 1 HubSpot focussed podcast - where we discuss HubSpot tips & tricks, new features, and strategies for growing your marketing results.
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Recorded: Thursday 19 March 2020 | Published: Tuesday 31 March 2020
Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Connect with Ian on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianjacobau/
Connect with Craig on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbailey/
Shout out to Justin Reynolds and his team, Zac, Tamara & Freddie from Red Tomato Promotional Marketing Agency
- Full range of experiences with our clients
- Some clients basically going out of business (eg a catering company)
- Through to other clients who are pushing very hard and may well have their best years of growth
- A very challenging time for everyone, no one has it easy
- Responses have ranged from giving up, through to being very proactive (one client saying ‘I want to go all-in, I want go hard’)
We’re going to chat about some of the proactive ways that some companies can adopt
First, some opportunities
- Reduced advertising by companies means that click prices are cheaper in some segments
- Test and measure paid channels, and use any ‘channel bargains’ to your advantage
Second, the approach:
- People are cutting back on spend, but increasing research and learning
- Especially people forced to work from home
- They are often bored, looking for things to learn and do
- Always be helping, people are looking for people who care about them and their business
- It’s time to be a leader
Third, the formats:
- Focus on your Top of the funnel pipelines
- Use marketing automation to nurture contacts, consider this the start of a long term nurture relationship
- Use webinars to connect in real time with prospects and customers
- Use online learning (start courses) for own pace growth
Fourth, the potential:
- The investments in these months will pay off in the following years
Shot 2: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week
Marketing Automation Workflows
Automate your marketing email nurtures
Shot 3: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week
Automate your sales follow ups
Shot 4: HubSpot Extra of the Week
Nothing this episode
Shot 5: HubSpot Gotcha of the Week
Nothing this episode
Shot 6: Marketing Tip of the Week
Check the CPCs in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads
There may be bargains in some of your audiences.
Shot 7: Insight of the Week
Nothing this episode
Shot 8: HubSpot Throwback of the Week
Nothing this episode
Shot 9: Resource of the Week
Nothing this episode
Shot 10: Quote of the Week
"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
Shot 11: Bonus Links of the Week
Please rate and leave us some feedback as this helps us improve and reach more marketers.
Full Transcript of the Episode
- Hi everyone, welcome to HubShots Episode 195. In this episode we chat about the opportunity in the current state of uncertainty and how you can rise above it and prepare for the next season. You're listening to Asia Pacific's number one HubSpot focused podcasts where we discuss HubSpot tips, tricks, features, and strategies for growing your sales and market results. My name is Ian Jacob from Search and Be Found and with me is Craig Bailey from XEN systems. How are you Craig?
- Well, I'm well, I'm healthy and happy. I'm glad to say but yeah, definitely time of uncertainty. And of course, as we're gonna chat about in the show today, some clients doing it really tough, others kind of really going for it. So it's gonna be an interesting chat about different approaches and the different experiences some of our clients are facing and no doubt our listeners are facing as well.
- That's right, and so I wanted to call this the encouragement episode, Craig. Encouragement amidst crisis, and I wanna say thank you to all our listeners who have connected with us, I've got a special shout out. I actually met one of our listeners this afternoon, Craig, Justin Reynolds and his team, Zach, Tamara and Freddie. Hey, guys, it was really lovely meeting you guys this afternoon, and they're from Red Tomato Promotional Marketing Agency. And they literally done their own.
- Who knew?
- Isn't that great when you connect with listeners and they're like," Oh, yeah, I listen to your show, and it's really helpful." So that kind of makes my day. And listeners, what's interesting about this is I actually messaged you Ian earlier today and said, "Look, I'm so busy, I've got clients, I've got client calls all tomorrow, It's just pretty full on can we postpone the show?" And then you started telling me, how you'd met with listeners how it would have been really positive or encouraging time. I was like, "Oh Wow, that's great." That made my day, and so now we're recording and I feel really good about it.
- So here we are listeners. Now before I go, Craig, my two sons is doing their first day of virtual school tomorrow and they're like, "Oh dad, can you give us a shout out?" So Eli and Max, here is your shout out guys.
- Oh here you go guys.
- All right, and thank you to everybody. And I just hope that everyone is A, doing well, you're safe, you're healthy, your families are healthy, and that you look at this as an opportunity to take yourself but your businesses to the next level. All right, Craig, so with that, let's talk about some of the exciting things that people can do, and how we can turn this around and reframe what we're going through.
- Well, before we do that, I think it's worth just acknowledging that what we're gonna chat about today is not for everyone. We are seeing with our clients, and I know you've had a similar experience in a full range of experiences. So some clients like everyone's doing it tough, let's not beat around the bush. We're recording this on Thursday, the 19th of March. And just in the space of a week I think about when we recorded last week, just a week ago. It was a totally different situation that we are in. Just a week later things have changed dramatically and by the time you're listening to this listeners which will be a week after we've recorded this, it might have changed even more so. In some ways what I'm going to talk about is that you know, might not date well might not age well the comments we're gonna make but that's, that's fine if we're gonna chat about it but the thing to acknowledge is a number of our clients are doing really tough and that's just because the industries are in. You know, one of our clients is a catering company, corporate catering company, all of their events canceled through to September by clients. Like there's no magical marketing hack or attitude or you know, think positive that can overcome that. They are in a very tough situation. Certainly there's things they're looking at much more online and like but let's just face it, they're in a very tough situation. If you're in anything to do with travel or holidays that there's no easy are just get through this. We've got other clients who are in very group oriented, you know, healthcare situations where their clients are just canceling. There's no amount of clever marketing that's gonna overcome them. However, on the flip side, I'm interested in your, your experiences with your range of clients. And we've got other clients in corporate sectors and B2B technology spaces, and online learning spaces and managed services spaces that are going to do really well. Not easy though it's not our year, we'll be right, it's simple. Just say that a few months, they're working hard, but they are likely going to do really well. And in fact, in one particular client, it's probably gonna be their best year yet and I know that sounds like a bit of a throwaway line, but they started a campaign just this week, their assess tool, their tool, I can't mention them by name, but their tool helps corporates manage data and email and documents and things like that. And in a work from home environment, which suddenly a lot of their clients are faced with their tool is perfectly placed to add value. So they will do really well. So I think the reason I wanna mention this is because our listeners will be across a range of industries, some doing really tough others in the situation where they can take advantage of some of the things we're gonna talk about. And those are the clients that we're really talking to in, in this show. But what's your, what's been your experience with your clients?
- Well Craig, I've had an interesting discussion. I've had one client pause, I've had other clients, like, I just wanna grab a hold of this and run and basically take ground with other people just helping them work through it, so how do we help people that they're, that they serve? And one of the things that, it has been apparent is that everybody has a different level of optimism. You know, some people are like, I just wanna get this over and done with, others are like, I'm being really careful because I've got really young kids like once, one of the sales guys I've been working with, has just had a baby in the last month, So he's really cautious. Some of the other guys in the team are totally on the opposite end, like, you know, we are just doing whatever we need to do. You know, we're not too concerned about it, we are taking the right precautions, but we're also being sensible ,so you know it's mixed.
- I think that's interesting and also the the responses from people not only the situation they find them in some are in dire situation others are in situations of opportunity. But even within those, that spectrum, we're seeing some that are just, they're giving up, you can almost hear it. I've actually had a call just tonight before I recorded with one particular client, they just like oh, we're giving you could, they're just panicking, they're not showing any leadership in their business. They're not looking at this, rationally I'll say. They're very emotional and they're just giving up. And then I've got other clients are saying, "Wow, this is really tough, but we know that by thinking clearly through this and working really hard, we will get through and we'll get better." So it's a, it's not only the situation that people are in but it's their response. And I think it's to those situations that we, I guess we wanna chat about some of the productive ways that we're advising our clients and that we're actually learning from our clients as well.
- So in saying that, what I wanted to highlight is that, I think one of the things, Craig that we have done, progressively over time, is spending the time in the morning just reflecting on things and writing it down, and even writing down the things you're grateful for. So you know, I haven't done that this week with all everything that's going on. But you know what, when I sit down and write things down, what I'm grateful for, really lifts my, A, it lifts my spirit, but B makes, gets me thinking about other ways that I can do things that are not what people are doing around me. So I encourage all of our listeners, take that time. Even if you seem like it can't do it, just sit down quietly, grab a cup of coffee or tea, take your pen and write down, write, I encourage you all write down one thing you're grateful for every day while we're in through this period, and see what a difference it will make in your life.
- Excellent advice.
- So I wanted to go into some of the opportunities,
- Can I, just before you do that, Can I say one thing I'm grateful for? And as many because I think your point is, is very well made. I'm really grateful for my team, I actually want to call them out for Tara, and Kylie and Edward and Marie and Roslyn. We've been having internal meetings yesterday and today just about planning out our whole strategy, our response, how we're gonna help clients, I am very lucky with the team that we have, because they are all so positive. None of them are panicking. They're very well informed, but they're not stuck on social media all day. They're not sharing rubbish, you know, links and stuff. They're just very calm and clear and thoughtful, and also keen to help even when we're planning out strategies that we're going to help clients with. Everything is around this idea of how can we help. And I feel really lucky with my team. So thanks for reminding me of that. And I just wanted to mention that in the show, 'cause I know they listening.
- And I wanted to say thank you to you Craig, for yesterday when I was having a low point, and I called you and you encouraged me. And, you know, I'm so grateful for that, so thank you.
- Thank you.
- All right, So Craig, what are some of the opportunities that people should look at in this time?
- All right, so quickly, I just mentioned a few things. And by the way, this is opportunities versus being opportunistic. I think in these times of uncertainty, it brings out the good and bad in people. It kind of almost focuses or highlights the good or the bad in people. And we've seen opportunistic behavior, and I hate, I hate it, that's a strong word. But opportunistic behavior is kind of like when you go and clean out sanitizer from the supermarket you just buy and stockpile and then you sell it at 10 times the price on Amazon, that's opportunistic behavior. I hate that and I hope none of our listeners are doing that. Certainly none of our clients are. Instead I want to talk about opportunities. And so an opportunity is something that you and everyone else can take advantage of, but often others don't. So the key one that we're seeing at the moment is because so many people are pulling out of paid advertising, what we're seeing is click prices go down. So this is an opportunity for everyone to jump on and get much cheaper click prices in some segments, right? So you've gotta test all your audiences. For example, if you're trying to bid on terms in work from home, they are not gonna be cheaper, there will be much more expensive bidding others think about your targeting and your audiences. There are some bargains to be heard. So now is a really good time to be taking advantage of those cheaper clicks to build your top of the funnel and we're gonna talk about top of the funnel. So that's a key opportunity, and we're talking about that with a number of clients.
- I think the next thing is to be aware of the channels you can test and measure so Pay chances are really good one that even think about people are gonna pull back away from creating content. So whether it's the content or what's the video you can create? Like, even what we're doing today is, you know, we would not have done this if we did not separate ourselves, and possibly separate ourselves, right? We would not be doing this. So look at that opportunity, don't be afraid to try things out. This is not an A grade production, right? But we're giving it a go. And that's what I love is, that people give it a go in times and just make things happen. I think you will find a channel and opportunity there.
- I think that's right, and on the topic of content, this is the time for lateral thinking. So of course, everyone has jumped on putting out their COVID-19 response and their email around. That's not an opportunity, that's just what everyone's doing. But opportunities are to look at other areas to think laterally to talk with your team about some strategic ideas, and we're gonna talk about a few on the second. That's opportunities available to everyone so don't kind of give up and panic and now's the time to think, to be thoughtful about these other content ideas.
- Right, so what is the second approach we can take, Craig?
- All right, so secondly, so firstly, if we've looked at opportunities, second is the approach. And here's the thing to be mindful across most industries, not all, but most, people are cutting back on spend, but they're increasing their research and learning. So if you think of people at home, you think of the kind of where they are mentally, everyone's cutting back. So they're not gonna buy stuff. They might buy some online training maybe, but they're not really in purchase intent, but they're in research intent. So really, the approach is thinking about these people and how they can be top of the funnel, getting them in top of the funnel, with content assets with items of value that they can then use in their situation. And if you think about it, people that aren't used to working from home, you and I are and our teams are 'cause we have remote teams. So we're kinda used to it, but many people aren't. And especially if you think of introverts versus extroverts, all the extroverts they're home, they're bored. They're actually looking for stimulation. So now's the time where their attention if you think of the attention inventory, on channels, especially on social, there is a lot more attention to be had. And so thinking about how you can help people, spark interest in particular topics that previously they might not have wanted to be part of, they'll be looking to join webinars, you know how webinars have been going down. And you know, people don't join webinars, they're too busy at work. Now at home, they're looking for distraction, so webinars are a key place. So it's really this approach of tapping into that mindset, and thinking top of the funnel, just getting them interested and then talking about email nurturing, which we're gonna talk about next.
- Yeah, and the next thing I wanna talk about is, this is mainly to clients and people that you deal with, is think about how you can always be helping. It's, you know, if you've got practice out, we know we've all got stuff to sell, but really people I think at this time are just looking for people who care about them and their business. So if you can be of assistance to them, whatever that may be, it may be an encouraging word, it might be, you know, going and helping them out, do something, you know, get some stock out the door, whatever it is, if you can help them achieve that, you won't realize the bond you will create with them. And the last one is, it's time to be a leader. So I've spoken to many owners this week, from, you know, quite large franchises to businesses. And one thing that was very apparent is that they were really straight with their stuff, they didn't hide anything. They said, Look, "This is what we're in, and it's gonna take all of us to do our bit and all of us to come to the party to get through this." And, and they said," We don't have all the answers. We're actually gonna work as a team to get this through and to work through this and the better we work as a team, and the better we understand where we're going and the better we can help each other. The likelihood of us seeing this through is far greater than if we try to do it ourselves."
- Absolutely, it's a time for leadership. And I would say this to agency owners, especially, you and I Ian as agency owners we are really in a very crucial position, advising and giving leadership to our clients, but to marketing managers, now's the time to be a leader in your organization, and show how it proactively, you're gonna use marketing to help grow the business and also retain clients, I mean in a time of recession It's all about client retention, as well as lead generation as well, in a sense, but it's a time to be a leader. And the thing I'll say, just following on from your point there is, in the team catch ups we've been having and I mentioned by name at some of our team members before, I was amazed today, we were planning out client pieces, and I just gave the team freedom of saying what can we do? What are these ideas? And some of the ideas that were coming up were really good and I was like, "Wow, that's a great idea for this client." And I was very specific, they, all the people on my, again, I'm just so grateful for my team they are just so for good, I was totally stunned by some of the ideas that are coming out with. And part of my job really as a leader is kind of getting out of the way and letting them grow and help clients in that way as well. So as a marketing manager, I'm, I know that's main audience here. Working with your team and letting them grow, just being shown calm and thoughtful response and letting them grow. You might be amazed at some of the progress that comes from that.
- Okay, Craig and then thirdly, the formats that people can focus on. So we've discussed top of the funnel being a really key thing. The next thing that you can do and this is what I'm encouraging others to do is to use Marketing and Sales Automation to nurture contacts, and consider them as a long term nurture and building a relationship with them. And now might even be, so one of the and we could talk about this, one of my suggestions to one of my clients, that when I was talking to the national sales team was, hey, you've got HubSpot sales, and you've got video in there, why don't you guys create videos so that people can actually watch them in the time that they're free. Because what they're experiencing is like they're in the cleaning industry. And a lot of the people that act like they're really struggling for people to do the work but also struggling to keep up with the demand. And so they're not contactable during workouts. I said, Well, why don't you change the way you work, create the video, they can watch it in their own time. That's just addressing them. But then also open up your calendar to hours outside of that period where you say, "Hey, you know, I'm here to help you. You can book a time, you know, after dinner with me, and I'm happy to talk to you." Just be flexible, and understand where people are at can make a massive difference.
- Some excellent point, well said.
- Next thing we touched on is using webinar, so don't be afraid to test this out. It's a great way to connect with people, people can experience who you are, and it builds that relationship. It's not something that where people can't see you. And I'd actually make it a point, just like we are today, is don't be afraid to show your face like we're all individually made. And we all have our quirks, you know. And I think that's what makes us interesting. So don't be afraid, don't be shy to show that and to be real with people.
- I think that's right, webinars to connect in real time with prospects and customers and then just general online learning platforms for that, go at your own pace. Interaction I think it's gonna be good. We're not gonna chat about it this episode, but maybe next episode, if there's enough interest. We'll talk about how you can integrate webinar software with HubSpot. So you can automate a lot of that participant process and I think zoom has zoom webinars have a good integration with HubSpot. So we might chat about that next episode.
- Okay, and finally, Craig, the potential. So I believe that investing in these months that are ahead of us will pay off. And I think that's gonna be a calculated investment. So, you know, like a lot of people that I talked to have been looking at about how, where they're spending and what they can cut back, but also be realistic in terms of understand what the future holds, and what investment you need to make. It's just like, we talked about investing in the stock market now, now's a great time, right? It's the same thing. In marketing when everyone's going this way, we wanna go that way and take advantage. So think about it, take time to take a step back. Talk to people that you trust. So perfect example is that we often talk to each other, listen, and we'll say," what do you think about that idea?" "Is that a good idea?" And because we understand each other's businesses, and we know the kind of clients we serve, we can actually give each other valuable advice on whether we think it's good or not good to do. And don't be afraid to ask those around you because you'd be surprised at some of the things just like Your team Craig. You'll be surprised at some of the answers you get, All right, so this can't be a show without some HubSpot. So Craig, so a market feature the week is marketing automation workflows. And this is about automating your marketing emails and using that to nurture prospects or current contacts. So even now might actually be really good. And I've seen some people do this, is have a daily email of encouragement to others, which I've actually really enjoyed from, I've only had one person do this, I thought, What a great idea. While everyone's saying how doom and gloom it is, here's somebody saying, "I'm just gonna send you a bit of encouragement every day." And you know what, that's made a massive difference. So you could do the same for your client base and for your prospects, and be their shining lights in what's going on right now.
- I think that's right. And I guess this being the marketing feature, we're not really highlighting anything new in terms of workflows, but we are highlighting the focus to put on workflows. Often workflows are just an afterthought Oh, okay, yeah, we've got a learning page, Ebook app, we've got, a few follow up emails, and that's fine. But now's the time to really think out your workflows, keep that conversation going, people will be at home, they might be more open to reading emails, as we said before, they're kinda getting bored or they don't have processes in place. They're not really that proactive and productive. So getting good thoughtful emails in front of them that are providing value will grow that relationship for longer term benefit.
- And don't be afraid to make them laugh. I was talking to another friend slash customer about today, and he was, I'm gonna share this joke because he said, he was talking about talking to his son and he said look, because he was talking about you know, when people cough and stuff, so there was a joke about usually you cough to hide your fart. But he goes," Now you fart to hide your cough."
- Wow, is what the show's become ?
- Anyway, but it got me laughing, you know, I left, I left after talking to him, and I left with a smile. I'm like," Oh hang on, that was really funny." Anyway listeners, let's not go there. Now the HubSpot sales feature of the week and this is also around automation and this has to do with sales sequences. So this is a great way to automate your sales follow ups and you've heard us talk about this on the show, I encourage you to look at this again, the biggest thing that people will say, "I've got workflows, but why am I using sequences?" This is where it's a sequence of emails or tasks, etc, that you put in, that you pre put together. And then when you actually individually execute it. So you can say. "I wanna send this sequence." For me, I can send this to Craig, Here's the first email, here's the second email. Here's the third task which might end up, it might ask you to follow up, then there's a fourth email, the fifth email maybe another task or to do and then might be, that might be it and it gets sent from your email. So it gets triggered from your email box. And then if the person responds, it breaks that sequence. And then you know, and then there, they basically get out of there. One of the great things in HubSpot is you can see where people, what they're doing. So what's the open rate on that email in the sequence? Where did they actually break the sequence? And you can see where things are happening. So you can say, ah, at that point, people often break so I actually don't need these bits. So you can look at all these analytics, which is actually very interesting, to give you an understanding of what you can cut, and what you can make better.
- I think one of the points to make though is in your sales sequences. A lot of the sequences I see, are very focused on getting a call, let's have a meeting. And I think now's the time to perhaps reconsider that and be thinking about just adding value in sales. You've got, they've shown interest through previously in market they've got through to sales, they're probably not in a mine to buy, they probably don't have permission to buy so it's a really about providing value and keeping that relationship going until the purse strings open up again later.
- Exactly, very well said. Now a marketing tip of the week, Craig. And this is to do around checking your cost per clicks or cost per acquisition in Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads, and if you're doing Pinterest ads and any other ads, have a look, because you actually might find that there are some bargains in those channels. And just be aware, because it's a really good time to understand where all of these costs are going. So I know that I had a conversation today with a customer, they were like, "I'd love to know how much each franchisee is actually spending on Google Ads." because they have a really heavy focus on Google. And they actually had very little visibility, which is really interesting. So I said, "Look, we can help solve that problem, but it'll give you a good understanding of how profitable those franchises are."
- So that's actually a really important point because I have been thinking along those lines, check your channels for quick prices going down. But your point is actually before that, make sure you can actually view your click prices. And you're quite right because many of the big corporates, they just they just know they spend x thousand per month. They don't even know what their click prices are or what the return on certain campaigns. So yeah, at least get your reporting in place. But then, when you can test and actually measure be looking for bargains in some of those channels.
- Now, Craig, finally, quote of the week,
- This is a report that you've pulled out this is excellent.
- And so this is from john Maxwell. And as many of you might know, that follow us. He's written lots of great books about leadership and really wanted to highlight in this episode about leadership, and this is his quote, "The pessimists complains about the world, the optimist expects to change and the leader adjust the sails."
- So can I just check the subtle line was the pessimist complains about the wind, I think,
- I'm sorry, the wind Yes, thanks, Craig, that was really good. It had to work with the sales, right? Otherwise we might as well not work it out.
- Well, that's an excellent quote, I like it.
- Well, listeners, I hope you have enjoyed this episode, I just thank you so much for listening to us. And, you know, honestly, I pray that everybody out there, your families are safe, Your businesses, you know, get through this period, like, I know, it's a hard period, it's gonna be hard period for all of us. But you know what? We can all encourage each other. So again, I would encourage you, if you would like to talk to either of us, please connect with us on LinkedIn, and just say, "Hey, I listened to this episode, I'd love to have a quick chat with you guys." I'm more than willing and I know Craig is too. To how well we can help you guys get through this time. We will help you guys do that. So please don't feel bad, don't feel like, Oh I'm not worthy of this, I'm not at the right stage. Honestly, we're all not worthy of this. But I just want to put it out there that you are Welcome to, you know, be a part, you've been a part of the journey with us and it's, we would love to be of help to you. Well, Craig, until next time.
- Catch you later Ian.
- Hey there thanks for listening to this episode of HubShots. For show notes and the latest HubSpot news and tips, please visit us at hubshots.com.
Published: Wednesday 01 April 2020 | Last updated: Friday 08 May 2020