HubSpot Operations Hub, Outbrain IPO: Thursday’s daily brief
Plus, what do event attendees want from your presentation?
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Good morning, Marketers, and you should be thinking about operations.
I’ve been thinking about operations today, and not just because of the news from HubSpot (see below). I was already thinking about ops when Scott Brinker started writing about a Big Ops world last year. In fact, I’ve been thinking about ops since I attended the OpsStars event in San Francisco, about a year before Scott published that article.
OpsStars, convened by LeanData (the same week as Dreamforce), brought together operations specialists and managers. What they had in common, for the most part, was that they had adopted a RevOps strategy — or were seriously considering it. RevOps, which ideally prescribes a single operations function serving all business teams, comes in different guises. Sometimes it means just greater alignment and communication between existing operations; sometimes it literally means one team reporting to a Chief Revenue Officer.
Adoption is still limited, which is why HubSpot is shrewdly positioning its new Operations Hub as something that can support RevOps, but that doesn’t depend on it. All I know is, operations (marketing, sales and service) is changing quickly; it’s demanding a seat at the table; and it’s being forced into alignment in pursuit of a seamless, integral digital customer experience across all channels.
HubSpot debuts Operations Hub
HubSpot yesterday announced the addition of a fifth hub to its CRM platform. Joining the Marketing, Sales, Service and CMS Hubs is Operations Hub, aimed at empowering ops teams to become drivers of revenue and growth. There are four main capabilities with the new product:
- The adoption of data sync tools which sync customer data between applications to ensure it is up to date;
- Flexible automation of business processes, from lead rotation and territory management to post-sale handoffs and renewals;
- Creation of workflows that automatically update key data points, offering customer-facing teams a single source of truth; and
- Scalability. Operations Hub customers will get increases to their existing limits on lists, reports, and workflows.
We asked Andy Pitre, HubSpot VP of Product and General Manager of Operations Hub, whether the launch was aimed at breaking down silos — between, for example, marketing, sales and service ops functions. “That is the driving force behind HubSpot’s thinking about operations and Operations Hub,” Pitre said. One term which has come to represent aligned, or actually combined operations teams is RevOps.
“It’s really over the last couple of years that RevOps has come to our attention. As we’ve gone from marketing to sales to service, we started talking about this concept of the flywheel — and naturally started to talk about breaking down silos and thinking across the entire customer experience.” The flywheel is an alternative to the funnel model: it proposes a perpetual continuum through marketing, sales and service, back to marketing again.
Added Ari Plaut, Principal Product Marketing Manager: “We hear pain from operations people. We hear reactivity; they’re overwhelmed, they’re underwater. They want to be strategic business drivers, but they just get JIRA tickets from various stakeholders and take orders from their go-to-market VP. They never get to have that broader view of the business.”
Why we care. Marketing operations is a space undergoing radical changes. The more marketing has martech at its core, the more important the people who run martech become — and they’re arguing for a voice in strategic decision-making. A tool like Operations Hub is likely to raise their profile — and the growing profile of RevOps — even further.
What do attendees want from your presentation?
Malcolm Knowles was an influencer in American adult education and developed four principles he felt should be taken into consideration when teaching adults. As noted in this article that summarizes Knowles’ theories and principles, the principles indicate that adults want to be involved in the planning of their education, they bring life experiences to their learning, they want it to be relevant to their life or job and they like it to be focused on solving a problem.
You may be wondering what this has to do with a presentation that you’re developing for an event next month. Although presenting at an industry event isn’t the same as developing formal training, the audience you’re speaking to are adults and they are there to learn. So why not take some of these principles of adult learning into consideration?
The second two principles easily translate to what your presentation should do, help your audience solve a problem that they are currently facing. The first two principles are a little tougher to accomplish in an event setting. However, you could survey attendees before you present in order to find out what information is really important to them. That would get them involved with the direction of the presentation. In terms of your audience bringing their life experiences to learning, if you are planning a Q&A period, it’s great to get the attendees to answer each other’s questions. People often want to share experiences and offer advice. Plus, attendees often say they want to hear from their peers facing similar challenges.
I hope this gives you a little insight into the adult learner and helps you plan a more memorable presentation. As always, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]
Outbrain kicks off the IPO process
Native advertising platform Outbrain yesterday announced that it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered, and the price, have yet to be determined.
This comes after the abandonment of a merger proposition which would have united Outbrain with content discovery and native ad platform Taboola, a major competitor. That merger had been under discussion since at least 2019. Taboola announced in January that it would go public via the SPAC route (a takeover by a special purpose acquisition company).
Why we care. Native advertising is big business, and perhaps it’s no surprise that Outbrain is following in Taboola’s footsteps (albeit by IPO not SPAC). A unified Outbrain and Taboola would have been a native ad behemoth.
What shape are videos taking this year?
Wistia, a video and audio hosting software company, released their 2021 State of Video Report earlier this month. They provide services for SMBs and big brands alike.
What brought our attention to this particular study was the longer view, coupled with more recent pandemic-related trends. You have to look at both in order to have any sense of what trends will stick in the coming months as more of the global population gets vaccinated.
Wistia analyzed creative assets that were uploaded by users between 2016 and 2020, across more than 500,000 accounts. What do the numbers say about recent video trends?
More video, here to stay. Video peaked last year in May and June. Year-over-year there was an 85% increase. The longer curve shows video minutes up 249% from 2016.
Long-form video for branding has taken hold. Videos in the 30-60 minute category were up last year 140% from the previous year. It’s up 446% since 2016.
Conversions attached to video. Videos using conversion events increased 30% since 2019. Over the past five years, the lift in volume of conversions on video is not much less, at 24%.
Why we care. It’s apparent here that 2020 provided a boost to video viewing. The longer trends indicate that 5G and brand strategy trends have shaped the video ecosphere in a way that will continue as the world opens back up.
Quote of the day
“Building a personal brand? That idea does seem outdated to me. It is so analog, one-directional, delusive, and, to be honest, selfish. You need a brand to sell a packaged snack full of processed fats and sugar. In the professional context, people don’t “buy” because it looks fantastic. They “buy” because they know you as an expert, trust your professionalism and expertise – and like you as a human being.” Helen Abramova, Marketing Operations Lead, Verizon
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