HubSpot overhauls SMB marketing applications

Developer tightens integration between social media, lead management and email capabilities, adds free mobile application for Apple iOS.

I've been keeping my eye on news out of HubSpot for a few weeks now, since being briefed by the company early this summer. So my ears perked up when I discovered that one of my many entrepreneurial friends (who is a big fan of its marketing tools) was at one of the company's conferences last week.

HubSpot has quite a name with small businesses that swear by the integrated platform's suite of blogging, social media, lead generation, lead management, email campaign manager AND marketing analytics.

It also is about to get a substantial update, HubSpot 3.

Here are some of the features that are totally new:

- A function for tracking social media activity. It doesn't just track who clicks on your social media posts, if helps you watch for sales conversion. That data can, in turn, be used in other marketing interactions.

- A rebuilt contact database that offers a more dynamic view of customer preferences, one that changes that reflects a person's most recent interactions with your small business.

- Rebuilt marketing campaign landing page templates that can be more closely linked to contact databases, CRM, email and social media.

- Smarter content that keeps better tabs on what your prospects might have already seen or that "remembers" what information they might have offered in the past.

- Closer integration between the email system and the new features mentioned above.

- New workflow processes that can be created to trigger marketing actions based on certain predefined parameters.


When I peeked more deeply into the news portion of its Web site, I discovered that the company has released its iPhone mobile application, which is free to anyone that has a HubSpot marketing account.

The application lets your team access key reports. It tracks monthly stats for your Web sites or leads that might have generated (and also lets you compare them to past statistics). And you can run a Marketing Grader analysis to figure out which campaigns are working (and which aren't). That information can be sent on to other team members, as appropriate.

You can set the app to notify your small business when a new lead pops up (even if the application isn't open). The app also lets you forward leads to the most appropriate members of your sales team.

If you've got your hands in more than one business, you can set up multiple HubSpot accounts with one version of the mobile app.

Like other key marketing automation companies, HubSpot is building quite the marketplace of applications that integrate with its core platforms.

When I spoke with one of the developer's evangelist, Rick Burnes, he said there were more than 400 partners that are part of the company's expanding marketing and social outreach ecosystem. The marketplace includes more than 60 applications that add value to the core HubSpot 3 platform.