Startup Blog

2 Different CMOs: Enterprise vs. SMB Marketing

Posted Mike Volpe on 12/16/16 2:04 PM

After spending a few months marketing to enterprises with both a field and inside sales team, I have some thoughts on marketing to Enterprise vs SMB and what it means for a CMO. (Don't read anything into this. I am very happy at Cybereason and things are going extremely well.)



My Latest Investment - SMB MarTech

Posted Mike Volpe on 10/26/16 12:03 PM

I just invested in a company that:

Why I Joined Cybereason as CMO

Posted Mike Volpe on 9/28/16 10:18 AM

After taking a year to explore the Boston tech community and figure out what I want to do next professionally, I learned a lot about myself and the ecosystem as a whole. One big hole in our ecosystem is pillar companies - companies big enough to make large acquisitions, create enough wealth to spur new angel investors and serve as training grounds for people to grow their careers and then spin off and start new companies. We have a couple companies on the verge of being like this, but we need more and I want to help build another one.  That is what I plan to do as CMO at Cybereason (official press release).

12 Great Growth Marketing Presentations from Growth Camp

Posted Mike Volpe on 6/13/16 12:21 PM

Last week was Growth Camp, where 200 people came together to share tips on how to grow faster and more effectively.  Each presentation was just 15 minutes, forcing the presenter to boil down their talk to the most essential elements.  Here is a list of all the presentations with links the slides on Slideshare for each one.

Why Quarterly Businesses are Doomed

Posted Mike Volpe on 4/27/16 11:22 AM

One of the little things we did while building HubSpot that turned out to be a big advantage was to run our business monthly, not quarterly.  Marketing goals were monthly.  Sales goals and commissions were monthly.  We produced financial and other reports monthly.  And most importantly we made changes to marketing, sales and the product roadmap monthly.

Using NPS at a Startup - Tips and Tricks from Experience

Posted Mike Volpe on 2/17/16 11:30 AM

I'm hearing more and more questions over time from founders, execs and marketers at startups about NPS (net promoter score).  If you are not familiar with NPS, check out this overview and my interview with the creator of NPS.  We used NPS extensively at HubSpot starting when Jonah Lopin implemented it around 2009 (he's now founder of Crayon, check it out if you do any marketing or design work - I'm an advisor and investor).  NPS can be a very valuable tool in measuring customer happiness and the underlying growth potential of your startup, if it is used properly.  Unfortunately, from the questions I have been getting, I worry startups are misusing NPS, so here are some of my thoughts.

Why I Joined the Board of Attend

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/26/16 10:00 AM

Today Attend is announcing that I have been elected to their board of directors.  There are a lot of reasons I’m very excited about this new role - in many ways it is the perfect company for me to dive into - so I thought I’d share how I think about the opportunity for the company.

The Pixie Dust in Your Revenue Plan

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/5/16 12:49 PM

While reviewing revenue plans with two different companies I advise, I had some flashbacks to a bad experience years ago where our team learned something important: never put pixie dust in your board plan.

Need Your Help: Quick Email Marketing Poll

Posted Mike Volpe on 2/9/13 10:33 AM

I'm curious what people have to say about this.

What Happens if You Unfollow 16,000 People on Twitter?

Posted Mike Volpe on 9/11/12 10:14 AM

I hit the point where I was really sick of Twitter.  I got hundreds of spammy direct messages.  My feed was useless.  I was spending tons of time managing lists to filter out crap I did not want.  Twitter was no longer enjoyable to me, and it meant a lot of my posting was becoming automated and my personal engagement was getting lower and lower.

mvolpe twitter follows resized 600

HubSpot Internal Marketing Memo "Advice on Working with Sales"

Posted Mike Volpe on 7/31/12 10:03 AM

Here is an internal email that I just sent to all of our "segment marketers" (also called "mini-CMOs") who are the marketing leads for each segment (a teams of sales and marketing folks that target a specific customer profile such as small business, SMB or enterprise).  This is a newly created position, and organizationally, we're still figuring it out.  Some of the marketing folks in this job are having the typical challenges of a new CMO / Director / VP of marketing where sales is running over them to other folks int he organization if they are not happy with some small thing.

Most Popular Marketing Automation Systems [Infographic]

Posted Mike Volpe on 12/8/11 2:41 PM

See this infogrpahic that Capterra created.  I found it sort of surprising, because while HubSpot contains features like marketing automation, I would not call HubSpot marketing automation.  What do you think about the data / rankings?

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Should Marketing Compensation Be Tied to Sales or Revenue?

Posted Mike Volpe on 6/8/11 1:49 PM

describe the imageI've been asked this marketing compensation question a few times recently.  There are two reasons why I think having more than a small amount of marketing compensation tied to sales is a bad idea:

Meet the SEO Rapper in Person

Posted Mike Volpe on 3/24/11 11:00 AM

I love hip-hop music, and I love marketing.  Put those two together and you have me hooked!  I ran into "The SEO Rapper" a couple years back and became a fan.  Now, I have the pleasure of meeting him in person and hosting him on HubSpot TV.

Website Optimization Tips - Dreamforce 2010 [Video & PPT]

Posted Mike Volpe on 12/20/10 10:09 AM

I had the pleasure of presenting a session at Dreamforce this year, and I thought I would share it with you.  My portion of the presentation is about 25 minutes, and there are a variety of formats below for your viewing pleasure.

Hacking Work - 5 Tips for Marketers

Posted Mike Volpe on 11/18/10 10:00 PM

hacking workI've been chatting with Bill Jensen, one of the authors of Hacking Work, and he was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to check out.  I enjoyed reading it.  It is a pretty quick read, and the fundamental principle that you should not be bound by rules is a great one and can inspire you to do little things to bend the rules and get more done.  In that spirit, here is a quick list of 5 hacks for marketers, 

How to Get Sales Teams to Use a Wiki

Posted Mike Volpe on 7/7/10 11:50 AM

We have an internal wiki that we use for almost all communication and collaboration at HubSpot.  I talked about it in my Atlassian Starter Day Presentation (we use their wiki product, called Confluence).  Recently, I got a question from someone who had seen my presentation that I thought was worth sharing here on the blog.

Should your company build a marketing maven?

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/27/10 9:41 AM

I found this post "The Marketing Hipster Dictionary" by Craig Rosenberg (aka The Funnelholic) and enjoyed it.  (Yes, I found it through a vanity search since he mentioned me... but Craig is a good guy, already in my RSS reader and I've done a webinar with him before.)

Elevator Pitch Marketing Contest - Down to the Final Four

Posted Mike Volpe on 4/6/09 11:34 AM

I am judging a fun elevator pitch contest run by the folks at The Bridge Group.  I am helping to choose the winner from the 4 finalists.  (I have already sent in my votes, but they are secret for now.)

What do you think?  Who should be ranked #1 to #4?  WHY? (leave a comment below)

  • Roger Llamas of Central Desktop - "Central Desktop delivers a Web Based Collaboration software (Saas) for progressive business teams to interact, share and manage their daily work activities from anywhere at any time. It's also been designed to serve as a Company Intranet and Project Management tool as well."
  • Dan Harding of ConnectAndSell - "If you are a B2B sales rep and have experienced the frustration of trying to get to a decision maker on the phone. Now there is a solution for you. It's a technology that can help get the right people on the phone time and time again. In fact you can speak with as many prospects in one hour on the ConnectAndSell service as you would in an entire day of manual dialing. The system is simple to deploy, integrates with most CRM tools, and provides a strong ROI that your organization will benefit from on day one of using the service."
  • Dominic Serafini of Brafton Custom News - "Brafton Custom News helps companies increase their visibility online by publishing unique content to their websites, purpose-built to be relevant, engaging for their target audiences, and then helping to drive those visitors to online revenue streams. Brafton helps websites stay fresh & updated, with interesting news content that is found nowhere else online, so it is incredibly attractive to search engines & online visitors alike."
  • Phil Bernstein of Clear Channel Radio & Online - "I'm in the attention-rental business. If you want to deliver your sales message to thousands of prospects at once, I can help you rent their attention -- 30 or 60 seconds at a time."
  • Inbound Marketing Ideas for Public Broadcasting

    Posted Mike Volpe on 2/16/09 12:25 PM

    I enjoy a lot of the content on public radio and public TV.  But, everywhere I have lived  - Massachusetts, California, Maine - both public TV and public radio spend a lot of time on air with their fund raising drives, basically interrupting all the great programming I love in favor of advertising for themselves until they meet their donation goals.  It's pretty annoying.

    I was thinking that maybe we could help them do less interruption based advertising and use more inbound marketing to generate the donation revenue they need.

    So, any ideas?  Leave a comment below!

    Here are some of mine to start:

    1. Membership. Offer online memberships that include copies of shows in online archives or DVDs, and the ability to connect with the stars of your favorite shows in chats and other means.
    2. Fashion.  Sell some sort of "honor badge" that people would want to display to seem cool for having supported public broadcasting - maybe a bumper sticker, laptop sticker, pin or something.  Run a campaign showing celebrities wearing these pins - maybe it could become like the Lance Armstrong yellow bracelet and millions of people would want to buy it.
    3. Training.  There is a lot of demand for media production skills, since inbound marketing and using the Internet requires a lot of publishing skills.  Maybe they could leverage their expertise and offer classes (online or in person) on how to produce a good TV, radio or print story and charge for that.
    4. Collector's items.  Maybe you could take items used in the shows and auction them on eBay, like autographed shirts or even the chairs people sit in, etc.
    5. Custom news.  Maybe you could figure out a way to record a 10 minute news segment to be posted online each day, but it would feature on person (who paid a bunch of money) in the news cast somehow.

    Why Routines Are Good

    Posted Mike Volpe on 2/11/09 11:30 AM

    Every Saturday, my wife and I start our day by going to the gym.  I don't workout as often as I should (who does?) but this routine is valuable.  I know what I am doing every Saturday morning, I never make other plans.  The result? My success rate on working out on Saturday is 99% over the last 6 months.

    To make inbound marketing work, you also need a routine.  Think about setting a schedule for your self to spend some time each day, and I bet the benefits will pay off a lot over time.

    Inbound marketing in 10 hours a week:

    • 15 minutes per day to spend on reviewing analytics and reports 
    • 45 minutes each day to write a blog article
    • 30 minutes each day to read other blogs and news in your industry 
    • 30 minutes each day to converse with people and make new friends in social media

    I promise you'll get a lot more out of your inbound marketing routine than Patrick Bateman gets out of his. (The clip is from American Psycho for those of you who do not recognize it.  One of my cult favorites.  Shout out to Mike Miller in case he is reading this.)

    Do you have a routine?  Does an inbound marketing routine make sense to you?

    Trying Something New

    Posted Mike Volpe on 2/1/09 12:37 PM

    Marketing has always been about experimentation.  The old methods get crowded because lots of people are lazy and like to copy rather than innovate.  You need to find new marketing methods.

    So I am trying something new this month for this blog.  I am going to write something everyday for the month of February.  A lot of the articles will be short.  Some might not make sense.  But if Seth Godin can write short articles and be a huge success, maybe I can write short articles and be a little success.

    I'll report back at the end of the month about how this has or hasn't changed the stats of this blog.  For now, I'll share that I get about 1,000 visitors per month, and January was 1,300 visitors (I had a minor success on Reddit that drove a couple hundred visitors).  About 1/3 of my traffic comes from SEO with Google and another 1/3 from Twitter.  I only have about 90 regular subscribers to this blog (so you are really special if you're reading this).

    Let me know over time if you like the content and frequency or not.

    Thoughts on Using Video for Marketing

    Posted Mike Volpe on 1/12/09 11:05 AM

    I did a short interview with Matthew Mamet from Permission TV at the last WebInno event.  We chatted about some of the things to think about when using video for marketing.

    We use a lot of video in our marketing at HubSpot:

    In the video we talk a bit about how to think about using video in marketing.

    UPDATE: For anyone having trouble with the video, here is a link to another version you can try.

    Personal Brand vs. Company Brand - Confrontation or Collaboration?

    Posted Mike Volpe on 12/16/08 9:57 AM

    I had a chance to speak with Dan Schawbel today for an interview on his blog.  Some quotes that Dan made me think of because of his good questions:

    Inbound Marketing - Podcast Interview

    Posted Mike Volpe on 12/11/08 11:02 AM

    marketing podcast mike volpe

    I had a chance to chat with Sean Daily about inbound marketing.  We talked a lot about the ways marketing has changed, what inbound marketing is, how to use social media and SEO as part of inbound marketing, and some marketing tips for startup companies.

    Take a listen to the interview about inbound marketing - if you like it, subscribe to the show in iTunes.  It's pretty good.

    If you're looking for other podcast content, you can subscribe to HubSpot TV in iTunes as well - we broadcast live at every Friday at 4pm EST, but we also load the archives into iTunes along with some other content - webinars, videos and more.

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