For the past two years, Thomas Moin has worked at inbound marketing platform HubSpot, and he is now a senior channel partner with the company’s agency partner program. His career has been dedicated to using online platforms for selling, and he spoke to Andrew Shaw of Article Writers Australia about how to develop marketing methods that work.
Thomas, what was your introduction to inbound marketing?
I’ve spent virtually my whole career in sales. I studied IT and English Literature then ended up in an IT integrator, a small business of around 15 employees. From there I went through to Macquarie Telecom, where I continued my sales career selling to organisations that gained all their revenue from their websites.
While I was there I had exposure to a platform called Marketo and I helped with the campaign set up and some of the website work there. That was where my interest in the marketing automation industry was sparked, so I joined HubSpot when they opened here in 2014. I was approached by them on LinkedIn and was one of the first employees hired in Australia.
Could you describe what you do at HubSpot?
My role is on the partner side of the business. I work with agencies that are a good fit for our partner program, where they end up servicing their clients on HubSpot and we have a support mechanism for them. I now have a coaching role, where I have an ecosystem of partners that I manage.
How do you use LinkedIn to brand yourself?
I’m a big fan of SlideShare, where you load PowerPoint slides into LinkedIn. So if you visit my page you’ll see presentations that I’ve done and loaded into SlideShare. People can see the brand I’ve developed over time and the work I’ve done in the industry. It’s a strong way of building trust very quickly.
Apart from trust, what else should be part of a sales person’s brand?
It comes down to the individual and your organisation. Look at the values your company has and see how you can reflect them on your LinkedIn profile. There comes a point where I believe a company should be helping you in building your brand and supporting you. I put effort into representing the values HubSpot has and putting that onto my brand as seen on LinkedIn. So you’ll see the HubSpot culture code on my profile and I think that’s a good way to show what we represent.
How do you measure success as a sales person?
I think we’re in the early stages of being able to measure the success of social media. At a company level we’re at the stage where we can put a figure to it, but as an individual sales rep it’s a little tougher. At HubSpot we use Salesforce, and there’s a new way to log activity where we can log whether or not we’ve used a LinkedIn InMail throughout that process. We can now start pulling reports on an individual to see what opportunities we have won where InMail has been a part of that.
What are your thoughts on using Socedo and Rapportive?
Socedo is an interesting one if you’re using Twitter. It’s almost a way of engaging people who are in your target market by making filtered lists of those people. Then when they make a post, you can automatically like it. You can also create rules that say: if someone makes a post, like it, wait a couple of days, then send them a private message.
Is there a danger in using automatic messages that you become impersonal?
I think the true essence, the DNA of social selling, is the fact that it’s done on an individual basis; that you’re not doing a ‘spray and pray’ type of method. It’s a fine balance with platforms like these.
The best way to avoid that is with the filtered target lists you can create within Socedo. For instance, you can say an exact job title in a city and within a certain industry, and essentially create it so there are only 15 people that you’re targeting. You select those people you want to connect with, and when you’re reaching out to them, it’s not a bland message.
Do you prefer Twitter or LinkedIn?
Twitter has nowhere near the same traction here as it does in the US, and it has a much smaller user base compared to other platforms. That said, those that do use it are prolific users and it’s a fantastic way to engage in a conversation. People seem to either completely ignore it or be obsessed with it.
How about Rapportive?
It attaches to your Gmail so when you’re sending an email there’s a panel that shows whether or not you’re connected and any shared connections you have and a summary of their profile. It’s a way of showing those quick connections you have while you’re doing emails.
Could you share an example of how you’ve used LinkedIn to make a connection?
I made a complete cold approach using InMail to an organisation that was on my target list. Having had no prior connection, I reached out to someone on LinkedIn, who gave me a reference to someone else in the organisation and opened up an opportunity that had a quick sales cycle.
A second scenario, which is my go-to in any case when someone leaves an organisation, is to use social media to open up the conversation with someone else within that company. I had a scenario where I’d been working with a company for around two months and my point of contact left. I used LinkedIn to reach out to the replacement and had a couple of messages via social media to reopen that opportunity, which otherwise might have been lost.
What’s your daily routine when it comes to these platforms?
We have some social media capabilities in HubSpot, so at 8am every morning I get a daily email digest of activity on social media accounts I’m monitoring. I use that to decide whether I need to reply, engage or call those contacts. That’s something I can do at the beginning of the day, before I get on with my meetings.
Then there are other platforms like GaggleAMP that allow sales reps on an individual level to have shared content go out to each social media channel based on what your company has deemed relevant to your customers.
In your view, what’s the Next Big Thing in social marketing?
That’s the big question! Everything is becoming instantaneous and the whole point of social media is that it’s an individual engaging with you. There’s great movement with where Snapchat is heading, both with marketers and individuals. I think its success is it’s more instantaneous, more personal. Wherever social media heads in the future, it’s going to be more targeted on the individual and it’s going to be more live time.
Have you enjoyed your career in online marketing so far?
It’s very enjoyable to be on the bleeding edge of the industry that you love. It’s been a great ride, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.