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Silver Bullets and Factpinions - Hubspot vs. Margie Clayman


Pause and ponder about a blog article on Hubspot which shares a case study from a customer who did both a TV Superbowl ad and inbound marketing with a blog.  The Hubspot article is aggressive with assumptions to make a point and the other is out to break down the inaccuracies of the first, point by point.  Both have good points to make, factpinions, and both challenge the status quo.


The following is specifically related to Irresponsible Advice by Margie Clayman and Blogging Trumps Traditional Advertising in ROI Head-to-Head (Case Study) by Andrew Pitre on Hubspot.

Silver Bullets and Factpinions.  If someone asked me to share their story as a case study, I would do the same just as Hubspot did.  Put the numbers on the table and allow others to evaluate and find the gems that apply to their business. 

It is tough to compare the Superbowl TV Ad to a blog.  These are apples and oranges since  each have a different purpose and the call to action would most likely be different.  The measures of success for either marketing campaign will be overlapping but with one audience "searching" and the other watching as a stranger, there is no comparison.

In either case, there is no silver bullet.  Creating a synergy between several marketing methods increases the results for each.  One stand alone marketing tactic will not have the strength of several working in tandem.


From a reader's perspective, a blog is not typically fact.  In most cases, a blog is filled with factpinionsFactpinions are when the facts are blended with opinions to make a point.  If readers can read the blog as factpinions and remember to "trust but verify" in all things, Andrew Pitre makes his point.  Don't make assumptions and look twice before you leap.

Andrew does it in a more a aggressive manner than you will typically see from the Hubspot team.  He does generalize the results and the conclusions assume you are following his thought process.  A lawyer would certainly tear the conclusions apart by asking about how the data was broken down.

.... but Andrew makes his point as he challenges the status quo.

Since the TV news has for years offered more than the news as each newscaster sneaks in "factpinions", we become accustomed to that style.  Of course the final result is that no one believes the news to be 100% accurate.


The numbers Andrew shares for increase in traffic and leads is small by comparison to many.  These results are not untypical and, in fact, I know many who have far exceeded them by using the inbound marketing strategies Hubspot teaches. 

It is true that this is only one piece of the puzzle for ROI nor does traffic and leads become the final verdict for ROI.

Within the Hubspot blog article by Andrew, there are elements of truth even if a few assumptions are made.  In reality, the best thought of his blog was:

"If you are doing outbound marketing like TV, print, or radio ads, at the very least, do yourself a favor and integrate those ads with your inbound marketing strategy." 

I would say... "not at the very least".  Create marketing plans which include several touchpoints and the synergy between the marketing methods will be 1+1+1=5.

Random thoughts:

>  There is no silver bullet.  (Blog or TV) 

Factpinions abound; trust but verify.

>  Inbound marketing works.  (More than the Hubspot article case study shows.)

>  Hubspot software allows entrepreneurs to execute inbound marketing at a very efficient level and the software includes built in tools to remind users about the elements of SEO. 

>  Any marketing vehicle requires knowledge and expertise to be effective. (TV & Blogging)  It is not the software or vehicle that may be to blame for failure.

>  "Buying an ad" to make a splash is a big risk.

>  Test first before jumping in with both feet.  If you have $54K to spend on a marketing campaign, I would hope you are testing first.

>  Hype may backfire, be ready to defend your hyped up claims.

>  Raining negatively on others in public to show how bad they are is a dangerous path.

Vote for inbound:

I vote for inbound marketing, less hype, more objecive critiques, and in all cases, using each contact as a means to "make somone's day".

TV, blogging, inbound or outbound...the world has changed.  If you are marketing your business with the same plan as five years ago, it is time to change your marketing reality.

Thank Margie and Andrew:

You should thank both Andrew and Margie.  Their willingness to take a risk, put their opinions on the table and call it as they see it allows you to think more about your marketing plan.

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Hi there! 
I think that your headline is a bit misleading. I am not trying to go after HubSpot or anybody else - I just think this particular article has the potential of doing damage to people who are not well-versed in the world of marketing. If you read the post as one that had the intent of ridicule then I must say that was not at all my intent. I simply wanted to correct information that I felt was being misrepresented by the HubSpot post. 
As I said over on my site, I'm glad the issue got you to think and write - that's always great to see!
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 8:45 PM by Margie Clayman
hmmm. certainly ridicule is not the appropriate term. I tweaked it accordingly. 
Yes. Even the most serious and accurate blogs with good content can do damage for those less versed (experienced). It is not the blogs which are damaging, it is the knowledge of those still learning. 
I once coached someone that they could more from people if they would smile more at people. I opened up a can of worms because the young man took getting things from people by using his smile to a new level which left me wishing I had never shared the thought.  
You just never know how information might be twisted and turned. :) 
I think that factpinions will be my new measure and way to explain to people that blogs are full of them. 
You gave me several big take-aways but none of them had to do with TV or blogging. :) Excellent. 
Thank you Margie for stopping for a moment to say hi and comment. Superb. 
Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:54 AM by Michael Hartzell
Mike - 
Thanks for the thoughts and feedback. We are listening and always striving to improve. (And I have never said we are perfect 100% of the time.) I left a much longer comment on Margie's article addressing what I see as 2 of the key issues. 
Thanks again for the feedback and your perspective.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:34 AM by Mike Volpe - CMO @ HubSpot
It is superb that you would take a moment out of your busy day and drop a note. 
The Hubspot team are experts at "listening and adapting" and an example for others to follow. 
I will stick with my "factpinions" thought as everything we read has them.  
There was once a time it would be very rare that a company would share results as was done in the blog by Andrew. This transparency vs. other companies "top secret" mindset continues to have me fascinated and respectful. 
Thank you Mike. Appreciate your comment and thoughts.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:19 AM by Michael Hartzell
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