AMA with HubSpot’s Head of Global Lead Acquisition Campaigns, Kyle Denhoff [Now Closed]

lalexander
HubSpot Employee
Today’s Ask Me Anything host is Kyle Denhoff, who directs HubSpot's global lead generation campaigns. His team is responsible for bringing cutting-edge marketing campaigns to life in multiple markets and languages. With a background in software, health care, IT, and sports, he’s a seasoned pro in lead generation, branding, and marketing strategy.
 
Drop your questions on running global lead gen campaigns, brand messaging and positioning, and rallying a team of international stakeholders below, and Kyle will answer them from 10am - 6pm EST today, February 27!
 
kyle denhoff.png

 

21 Replies 21
KDenhoff
Contributor

Morning All! Looking forward to our chat. When it comes to acquisition, what channel has been most impactful for you? Quality leads at an efficient cost.

SkylerSchmanski
Contributor

Don't underestimate the power of old-school⁠: events are a pillar of our demand gen strategy, and one that requires alignment with field marketing. Automated emailing is hot on its heels, with paid social (LinkedIn) rounding out the top three. We wield HubSpot as equal parts data centralization platform and automation machine.

KDenhoff
Contributor

@SkylerSchmanski  No doubt. I used a campaign planning framework from 1977 the other day. Old-school works!

 

I think events are a great way to connect. Especially locally. Our HubSpot User Groups are a big part of our strategy. 

 

I love LinkedIn! It really allows you to find a qualified audience. Have you found a way to lower your your cost per lead on LinkedIn? A challenge we've seen.

SkylerSchmanski
Contributor

Absolutely. In a previous company, I cut the CPL from 263 bucks down to 23. Now I'm generating leads at approximtaely 25% what the competition pays. The bidding is where the power's at⁠—LinkedIn's algorithm is a **bleep**, but with enough patience and a healthy dose of data obsession, it's possible to tame it.

0 Upvotes
SkylerSchmanski
Contributor

To clarify, the forum censored the word "diablo."

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KDenhoff
Contributor

@SkylerSchmanski Well done! That's awesome. I think that is a great tip for any marketer. Be patient. Use the data. Allow the work to mature.

SkylerSchmanski
Contributor

@KDenhoff, you're spot on. It can take a year to build top-tier LinkedIn lead gen, and about a day to implode it. If I could give two pieces of advice, they'd be: (1) adjust pennies, not dollars and (2) don't overreact when you go from 7 leads a day to 0 out of the blue. I've seen too many marketers throw in the towel and leave for quick wins on other social platforms. Stick with it. HubSpot + LinkedIn is probably the most powerful combo in digital acquisition.

KDenhoff
Contributor

@SkylerSchmanski patience works for an always-on strategy. Test your audience. Test your creative. Test your landing page. Optimize over time.

What if you had to run a campaign for a short period of time? 30-days. 90-days. Does that change your approach to acquisition?

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SkylerSchmanski
Contributor

@KDenhoff Sure. You speed and scale accordingly. An AB test might become an ABCDEF test. But that's also why I don't turn to LinkedIn paid promotion for quick wins. Enter organic promo and the legion of other channels.

lalexander
HubSpot Employee

Let's get the conversation started with the marketing managers and above of the Power User Community: @Ambushed @SkylerSchmanski @LBeresford-Ward @Pagenoi @Rolf @Amy_Brierley @jtAccusoft @LROADY 

lalexander
HubSpot Employee
0 Upvotes
LBeresford-Ward
Participant

Hi Kyle, 

 

Interested in your thoughts/any good examples you've seen, about using research surveys and learning centres (similar to Hubspot's academy) with lead generation in mind.

 

Making the leap from the person completing the survey/course to being open to having a conversation with sales.

 

The questions in the survey will identify where they are in the process of implementing SD WAN so could provide good context for us to initiate that follow up conversation. 

 

I suppose it's a similar idea when someone is in learning mode, downloading various guides and they aren't really a lead to send to sales yet. Balancing between educating them on the topic and saying "We can help you with this".

 

All the best, 

 

Luke

KDenhoff
Contributor

Hey @LBeresford-Ward 

 

Shameless plug here. We just launched our State of Marketing Report last week. Including data about market research. 

Full Report: https://www.hubspot.com/state-of-marketing

Research Chapter: https://www.hubspot.com/state-of-marketing/market-research

 

As marketers I think we need to build out content strategy around a single objective. Having a clear understanding of what the user wants during that touchpoint.

 

For example:

  • I listen to a podcast on my commute to stay informed. Not talk to sales.
  • I download a template to help me solve an immediate challenge I'm having. 
  • I commit my time to a course to improve my skillset in my career. 

We are offering value at various touchpoints to build trust. Over time that trust will create a bias in someones mind when they are making a purchasing decision.

For a learning center:


Objective: Acquisition
Content Play: Product agnostic education

 

Objective: Delight/Retention

Content Play: Product demos and education.

 

Once someone is in your learning center and has gained value from your business, then the lines of communication are open. Did you find the education valuable? How can it be better? What are some of your challenges today?

Once you get feedback on challenges, it may be the appropriate time to bring up a product solution.

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Rolf
Contributor

Hi Kyle, looking forward to your thoughts on the following. It's a personal case, but hopefully of interest to the community.

 

Three years ago our company introduced a whole new product. It didn't fit the existing brand, which is why we decided to change everything, including the name of the company. We still sell the same software solution as before, but with the addition of the new proposition alongside it. The products are different but can co-exist perfectly well - similar to the HubSpot suite I'd say.

 

We've been struggling with our positioning ever since.

 

In fact, our pre-existing product is selling so well currently that it has become a gilded cage. All the while we want to move into the market for this new product, but it is a bit of a blue ocean and therefore more challenging.

 

Perhaps our biggest challenge is that we simply don't have the resources to focus on both in equal measure.

 

As a HubSpot user since 2013, I've witnessed the single marketing solution grow into the business suite that it is today. I assume this resulted in different target groups and a whole bunch of other challenges that HubSpot seems to have conquered quite well.

 

How do you divide the inbound attention between marketing, sales, and service in the different markets that HubSpot serves and stay relevant to the different target groups? What is your advice for a company on how to position itself with a growing suite of products in a growing number of markets (EU and US in our case)?

 

Thanks!

Pagenoi
Contributor

@Rolf I think this is a really interesting question. We also struggle with a somewhat similar situation where we have three brands (Main Brand, Luxury Brand, SAAS) - all of our brands are in the same industry but fill different needs. However, our target markets are so similar that I find we often compete with ourselves. I am always trying to figure out how to balance the branding between companies and how we can avoid content cannibalization. I am interested to hear how a brand can grow into different markets as well.

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KDenhoff
Contributor

Hey @Rolf ,

Thanks for the question! Certainly factors play into a go-to market strategy. This is probably a question for our Strategy and GTM teams.

That being said, let's talk branding.

What is your objective for each product? Brand awareness, acquisition, sales?

Who is your target audience for each product?

0 Upvotes
Rolf
Contributor

Not sure if the AMA is still going, but I'll take me chances 🙂

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

The objective of the existing product is sales. We have a large existing customer base and, among other things, use success stories and word-of-mouth for sales. This has proven really successful in the last couple of years.

 

For the new product, the objective is brand awareness. And like @Pagenoi also mentions, preventing content cannibalization is a real challenge for us. This also plays into our SEO strategy, where we find it difficult to get recognized as an authority for this new proposition, whereas we have multiple Google snippets for our existing product.

 

I'd put this challenge under the brand messaging and positioning labels, in addition to GTM.

 

Looking at HubSpot's own social channels, I see stuff about marketing (mostly), sales (less frequent), services (rarely). I don't know if you view them as different brands, but I assume that the positioning differs and therefore the brand messaging.

LROADY
Contributor

Hi Kyle,

 

I work in an organization with a very long sales cycle - 1-2 years. We're focused on qualified lead generation for the business units and at the same time being asked by execs to measure influence on revenue. To complicate matters, we have only just recently integrated HubSpot into Salesforce for promoting MQL to sales team, so line of sight to ROI is years out.  In the near term, what metrics would you recommend to focus on to track lead gen effectiveness for marketing channels.

 

 Thanks!

KDenhoff
Contributor

Hi @LROADY 

 

Great question. In my time at Xerox we had long, long sales cycles for some of the product lines. 

 

There needs to be alignment and buy-in from Marketing, Sales, Operations and Finance. Bring those teams together and develop a shared objective and KPIs. Have your executive team be in the room as the decision maker. Documenting KPIs that are indicators that your efforts will drive revenue 1-2 years down the road. 

 

Next, I would try and look at legacy data. What QL events led to your largest deal sizes.

 

Can you assign an average sale price to a specific last touch event? Then you could identify that as a KPI going forward. Based on your legacy data.

Pagenoi
Contributor

I apologize in advance for the novel, but I find my situation is better understood in some context. My company has a really unique problem, in that HOA Management isn't really a product or a service, it's somewhere in between (SAAS + Board Assistance/Community Management) and since it's so incredibly niche, there aren't a lot of ways to "Target" our market. Brand recognition is practically non-existent and we rely on a very low rated keyword program (not a lot of people are just out searching "HOA Management Companies" > 2,000 per month).

Because of the nature of our industry, a lot of our leads come from outbound cold calls but it's becoming more and more difficult to target "HOA Board Members" as that's a volunteer position that changes pretty frequently. I guess my overarching question and what I have been struggling to find are -  in what ways I can promote better inbound lead generation? Right now we rely heavily on content, snippets and purposeful SEO but if there are any other suggestions we'd love to hear them!

KDenhoff
Contributor

Hi @Pagenoi !

 

Thank you for the context! Niche industries can be tough, but also a great opportunity! You know the HOA Management business better than anyone. You just need to present that expertise.

It's ok if you're brand awareness is low today. It's where would you like to be? One great way to build this is through content. Positioning yourself as a resource for HOA board members. 

Now, this isn't an industry I'm familiar with, but after a quick search I put my thoughts below. 

- While the keyword "HOA Management Companies" may have a low search volume, your audience is probably searching for other resources. 

 

There responsibilities include:

- Writing bylaws for ownership

- Paying taxes on the property

- Contracting for insurance

- Contracting for services

- Committee governing documents

- Budget planning

- Investigating complaints

 

How can you be the single resource on the web for this information? How-to articles. Document Templates. Outreach email templates. Survey templates. Budget templates. All created specifically for people in HOA Management.

Things that an HOA board member would find useful to do their job. As you mentioned it is a volunteer position with turnover. People are looking for templates and guides to make their tasks easier.