The CMO Show:
The CMO Show: Inbound marketing...

Is content only as good as the promotion that goes with it? Find out as Jo Williams, brand new head of marketing ANZ for Hubspot, takes a dive into the marketing funnel and explains why the key is platform variety.

The sweet spot for marketing is the right customer getting the right message at the right time. So how do you make it work? According to Hubspot ANZ marketing head Jo Williams, the key is platform variety.

According to Jo, who literally “markets to marketers about marketing”, inbound marketing is the monster to rule them all.

“Content marketing itself is changing as people start to recognise the need to engage across more formats,” Jo said. As brands start to engage with the whole marketing funnel, it’s become clear that content marketing alone is not enough – Jo recommends seeing content marketing as one of the primary tactics of inbound marketing, but not as a stand-alone approach.

“You want to attract customers rather than just push your message towards them,” Jo said. “Content marketing is a fantastic way to be part of the conversation.” Once you’ve started the conversation, it’s important to engage with consumers from start to finish. The first step in drawing customers into the “classic marketing funnel” is to make sure that they are engaged with your brand. Once you’ve done that, you can divert people from their social channels and into your funnel.

“Whenever you’re targeting someone with the right customer, the right message, at the right time…That brings them into the funnel.”

Once they are in the funnel, they need to be engaged from start the finish – to go from being a visitor to a customer to a brand advocate. And the best way to do that, according to Jo, is to bring more technology into the mix.

“I’m a true believer in that content is only as good as the promotion that goes with it,” Jo said. “As a golden rule, put the customer at the centre of everything you do. Understand your customers…understand what information they’re actually asking for about your brand and then make that the heart of your content.”

Once a brand has successfully engaged a customer to buy a product, the next step is to ensure the continued satisfaction of that customer while attracting new ones. Loyalty schemes and reward systems are a good way to do this – Jo is “a big fan of using customers as references”.

Jo promises that storytelling is still an integral part of marketing – but there are numerous formats to utilise.“The story just as more channels,” he explained.

“You can replicate or even continue your story across different platforms…You just have to think about your story as having the same narrative but…really reach users who are engaging in different formats.”

Tune in to this episode of The CMO Show where Jo Williams digs into all things Hubspot, buzzwords and Mark pulls out his best Matthew Mcconaughey impersonation.



The CMO Show production team

Producer – Candice Witton, Charlotte Goodwin

Audio Engineers – Jonny McNeeDaniel Marr & Tom Henderson

Got an idea for an upcoming episode or want to be a guest on The CMO Show? We’d love to hear from you:


Transcript Participants:

Hosts: Mark Jones

Guest: Jo Williams

MJ: Thanks for joining us on the CMO Show. My name is Mark Jones. And her name is not Nicole Manktelow. My esteemed co-host is not with us today because, well, she’s on voice leave. I think she’s making an early start on the cold season and, she’s been a bit crook, so you actually get all of me all of the time today.  My special guest this time on the CMO Show is Jo Williams. And Jo Williams is the head of marketing for HubSpot here  in Australia. Recently joined what’s become an iconic brand, actually, I’d say in the Martech  space but specifically in inbound marketing and content marketing.

And, as many of you will know, this is probably one of my favourite subjects in the whole world and to sorta take you back in history a bit, you know, inbound marketing and content marketing have been running in parallel. They’re sort of parallel tracks, if you like, in terms of how we’ve thought about, how do we use content to get people, firstly just aware of and interested in our brand and what we have to offer. And then ultimately connecting people through to a sale to revenues, to subscription and, and build up all sorts o if you’d like, traction and interest in our brand because of what we have to say, what value we can bring to you in your world. So we have a big conversation. We talk about all of that. We talk about, you know, the funnel of course and how to take somebody from awareness through to a sale and then out against to advocacy.

I kinda think of this as how it should work. There’s a recurring theme that is becoming so complicated. We have all of these tools. We have different channels that we can use. How do I make it easy, right? How do I find a path through all of these, these different choices I have to make about channel, about story, and about ways of connecting and having a proper customer-centric, view of, all of our output, all of our activity? So it’s a great conversation with Jo Williams and I’ll just put in a little plug to, stick around at the end for my rapid fire questions and, well, quite a fun Matthew McConaughey reference. So stay tuned for that.

So, let’s get straight into my interview with Jo Williams, head of marketing at HubSpot.

MJ: If you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer on the show, just tweet us @CMOShow or use the hashtag #TheCMOShow. We’d love to hear from you.

MJ:  Our very special guest today is Jo Williams, head of marketing ANZ at HubSpot. Thanks for joining us.

JW: Pleasure, thanks for having me.

MJ:  I have a very meta question for you. You market to marketers about marketing. Does your head just hurt at the thought of that idea?

JW:  Yes, it does take a while to get your head around. As a marketer I can’t think of a better place to go as a marketer than marketing to marketers. The beauty of being at HubSpot, is we get to do things that are right at the cutting edge, at the sharp end of marketing. We’re [00:00:30] really on top of our content, we’re really on top of our thought leadership. That gives you great chance as a marketer to experiment, but also to meet a lot of marketers as well. So, for me, someone who’s been in marketing for about 10 years, this is a great opportunity.

MJ: Quick bio. Where do you come from, what’s your background?

JW: So, my background, I’m from the U.K. as you can probably tell by my accent.

MJ: Couldn’t guess.

JW: You couldn’t guess at all? All right, it’s been five years.

MJ:   Actually, I will say, in marketing it’s standard that you’re actually from the U.K., there seems to be a thing there. But anyway, carry on.

JW: There’s definitely a trend. Yes, I started in marketing in London. I used to work for PayPal, a tech company where I helped grow their marketing strategy in the early days, moved to Google. I was there for a year and a half looking after small business marketing, and I had a great opportunity to come over to Sydney with Google, bring some of the opportunities and initiatives I’d launched in the U.K to Sydney, which was a really exciting creative hub for Google, actually, at the time. And a great place to work with small businesses, and do good marketing. So, I’ve been here for five years now.

MJ: Excellent. Well, it sounds like HubSpot’s very lucky to have you. Now, I want to go back a little bit in time, because I’ve been tracking this space for quite some time. And I remember the birth, if you like, or when inbound marketing first came onto the radar. Also, coincidentally around the time that we started hearing about content marketing. So, there’s actually been two parallel tracks, if you like, in the broader digital marketing universe. How do you understand the difference between the two?

JW:  Between content marketing and inbound marketing?

MJ: Yes.

JW: I very much see content marketing as one of the primary tactics of inbound marketing. The whole inbound philosophy is build on the fact that, A, you want to attract customers rather than just push your message towards customers. Content marketing is a fantastic way to be part of a conversation. It gives you access to some of the best ways to engage, whether that’s obviously blogs, which is a very popular tactic of HubSpot, but also across video, it could be across imagery. It could be across things like what we’re doing right now, like podcasts.

Content marketing is absolutely essential to filling that funnel which we talk about in inbound marketing a lot. Attracting those customers at the top. It’s not at all the only tactic we use, but it’s something you’ll see HubSpot talking about a lot.

MJ: Okay, and what do you see, I guess, from a big picture point of view? The trends in those two parallel streams of thinking, right? Because content marketers would say, actually no, the content is at the centre of the universe, and inbound marketing is a technical technique, which is bolted onto bringing stories to life, right? So, these are matters of perspective, right? But how do you see those two … Are they coming together, or is there going to be this two parallel paths as I’m describing it?

JW: I think you’ll see people talking more about inbound marketing rather than content marketing. It’s a methodology that I think is coming way more into the mainstream right now. I think as people start to think about the other aspects of the funnel, and think broader about the funnel. I think content marketing has always been great, as I said, at that top funnel piece. But as people start to think about how they actually turn those visitors into leads, and some of the other tactics that go on in the middle of the funnel, like email nurturing, and doing great content offers, and the obviously working closely with sales teams in a very smart, automated way. I think people are going to start very much viewing content as just part of that puzzle. And I also think content marketing itself is changing as people start to recognise the need to engage across more formats, and also to talk more human, having content marketing as well.

MJ:  Are you seeing people use more of the feature set than they have in the past? Are they digging deeper into analytics perhaps? Are we seeing a greater focus on sales and ROI in terms of reporting, and why you would get into it? I guess there’s lots of different angles into how people use inbound marketing. And I’m quite curious to see from your perspective what you’re seeing at the supplier side.

JW: Yes. I think what we’re seeing, as I mentioned earlier, there’s more of an engagement across the whole marketing funnel. I think people are realising there’s a need to bring more technology into the mix here. I think something like HubSpot was always born on this philosophy that we think marketers would do a lot better when they have everything, all their tools in one place. It’s a way of bringing … There’s no point having relationships with different marketing tools when you’re a small business and you have very limited time. You bring them all together, we can take care of a lot of the hard things like automation about identifying your best customer segments, and about making sure you can automate some of those processes that might be laborious. Like posting to social media, or sending out automated workflows to your hottest leads.

So, I think that’s where we’re seeing people, the technology is just coming together in a more convenient way. And I think we live in an age of convenience now, where people are expecting these solutions to be surfaced to them, and not having to invest and dig to get solutions they want. So, I think the technology’s been around for a while, but it’s now coming together in a much more user friendly way, and helping these businesses to actually work across the funnel in a time efficient way.

MJ: Now, I’m aware that for anybody who doesn’t know a lot about inbound marketing, or HubSpot, some of the terms that we’re using here, probably buzzword bingo, right. We’ve got to take a quick moment, it strikes me, probably to just explain what you mean about how HubSpot supports the funnel, the classic marketing funnel. And let me just help set this up for you, because I’ve done a lot of thinking around how we move people from a journey of … So, if you’re a company, you’re generation awareness through different opportunities, you want to convert them, or have them be attracted to a website. You want to convert that interest and content into, obviously, a lead. And then, if you like, spitting it out the other side. You want to be having those customer being engaged and supported as they become advocates. That’s the, if you like, this is the grand dream of digital marketing.

And the promise is that you can track people right through the whole funnel. And I’m quite aware that I’m giving a quick free plug here, which is that you track them from end-to-end, right? That’s the great promise, but how well is that understood? Maybe just explain how you make that happen, because I think this is one of the biggest challenges marketers face, is actually making this a seamless process, right?

JW: Absolutely. It’s about having a single customer view, and actually seeing that customer through that whole journey, from the first point of contact, through contact marketing let’s say, through to closing as a sales. And I think it comes back to the idea of having everything in one place, and having your CRM as the heart of your marketing stack. We talk about a growth stack, and I’m sorry, it’s another buzzword. But it is something we care deeply about, because it’s about layering on marketing and sales functionality onto a foundation of a strong CRM.

A place where you have everything about that customer, where they’ve visited, the content they responded to, through to the contacts they’ve had with the sales team. You can build a very, very interesting picture of a customer’s profile, and that feeds into your automation and your emailing, about how you can send the best, most relevant content. Your customer has to be at the centre of everything you do now to succeed as a business. You have to be relevant, you have to be timely. And that’s the only way you’re going to actually get the customer coming to you, ready to close when they’re ready to close, and not be pushing a message to early. It’s about creating content that lets them come and educate, move through that funnel, and then come to the sales team when they’re actually really all ready to buy.

MJ: Now, it’s worth also saying that a big part of this conversation is editorial, right? Content, blogs, creating content to attract as you said, and push people through the classic funnel. What do you think about advertising and the role of paid in all of this?

JW: So, I certainly think paid advertising is not going away. It’s definitely here, we’re not here to suggest that paid doesn’t have a place anymore in the modern marketing mix. But I do think now there are good and bad examples. Certainly where paid can be relevant and intent driven, it really does have a place. It can really help in that top of the funnel area. For example AdWords, can actually be a fantastic tool for drawing people into your funnel when you know they’re actually searching by a very, very intent driven keyword.

MJ: And paid social. Social is ostensibly an advertising channel, right?

JW: Absolutely.

MJ: That’s what’s happened to organic, it’s gone, effectively.

JW: Absolutely, absolutely, and we’re huge admirers of Facebook’s AI, specially the way they … I think they’re some of the best in the industry, the way they’re matching customer lists at the moment to the right audiences. That’s good marketing, that is inbound marketing. Paid can be inbound. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Whenever you’re targeting someone with the right customer, with the right message, at the right time, that’s great. That brings them into the funnel the same way that the right content, or the right blog would bring them into the funnel.

MJ: So, just to explore a bit further, this whole process, and stack, and how it works. What are the sorts of ways that you see reporting on their success out of this? Because obviously you might hear about, for example, growth marketing is a phrase I’m hearing a bit more, data driven marketing, data driven storytelling. Ultimately, if you’re presenting your data to some form of leadership they want to see numbers, dollars coming in the top. Greatly simplifying it, and out the bottom comes leads, or some sort of ROI measure. What’s the view of that from your point of view?

JW: The view hasn’t changed, it’s the same golden rules about how many visitors are we getting. How many of them are we turning into leads, how many of those leads are we turning into sales? If you’re reporting to your CEO, or your business owner, You don’t want to get into the detail part of the analytics. You just really want to show them, what business have I brought in, and what does that look like in terms of revenue. We’d like to think the HubSpot really simplifies that actually for our users. Reporting is a key part of the marketing stack.

It gives you just the right amount of information. You can make it more advanced or more simple to suit your needs. But yes, the key metrics haven’t changed, and we’d like to think that we’re just offering a single view on the customer from start to finish, and some very clear goals to put them through, to monitor that customer from start to finish.

MJ:  Let’s talk about another thing that’s a big fascination, and interest of mind, which is what’s generally being called the Martec Landscape Supergraphic. You’ve seen this no doubt. Martec put it together. has actually just joined you guys recently, Scott Brinker, the VP of Platform Ecosystems. We’re on a role here actually. We just published our interview with him that I did 12 months ago. The Martec in San Francisco. So, nice catch there just by the way. But he’s been tracking this for years, and we’re now at probably close to 6000 individual companies out there in this landscape that we call Martec, and Adtech as it all comes together, right.

You’re one of probably what a 300 or more significant scale businesses, right, that are out there. And presumably you’re gobbling up some of these startups and things as you go along, and trying to grow and get bigger et cetera. What’s interesting about that, is that we have an explosion of interest in the tools, right. So, you can effectively … One of the alternative models to HubSpot, which is this integration approach, is WordPress, and we use WordPress. A lot of people use WordPress. I also saw it cheekily described it as FrankenPress, right. Because you get the WordPress module, and you bolt in whatever you like, right.

And that’s actually great if you know what you’re doing, you got developers and so on. How do you see things changing or growing, or maturing, or whatever. This is a very big, interesting place to be right now. You’ve got this vertical oriented approach, versus … I actually still quite like WordPress by the way, but these other different approaches of build your own et cetera. What do you think is going to happen?

JW: You’re absolutely right, there’s a huge amount of choice out there now. It’s a very busy landscape in the Martech world, and I think everything has its place. And I think it really comes down to the marketer, or the business owner in some cases, when it’s small businesses. And what their technology level looks like what their experience is like, and what their time looks like. We see many businesses who come to HubSpot from what we call the FrakenSpot, we actually have that term. Where you actually are putting together every different component of your marketing strategy through separate tools.

MJ: Sorry, FrankenSpot?

JW: FrankenSpot. Yes, we actually … It’s a word we’ve talked about on some of our external blogs before.

MJ: Right, so you’ve got HubSpot and FrankenSpot. Is that how you define the universe?

JW: It defines the classic journey that a business might have gone on from having a number of tools, which probably at some point had worked well for them, but had probably just got a little bit too much to manage. Having different relationships with different vendors. They come to us looking for a way of uniting those different components under one roof, under one umbrella so they can save time, be more productive, and have that customer’s record ready in one place. So, I think it’s whatever suits the business. And we like to think we’re suited to the small to medium size businesses.

Some businesses get larger, and they have more bespoke needs, and they might go back to the model where they would work with individual vendors, but it’s really up to the needs of the business. And I think every product has its pros and cons.

MJ: Yes, okay. You’ve got your own niche spot, or your target spot. I’m interested in your perception of marketers, and their growth and maturity, and interest in how they approach this problem, right. I was talking with a friend recently, just overwhelmed by the choice that’s out there, trying to make [00:15:00] a decision, right. And what’s your perception of what customers are saying around how they deal with this explosion of Martec vendors?

JW: It can be overwhelming, and I think if I was a new business looking to where to start right now I could get quite confused. I think there’s a real place in the market for educational content, and I think this actually comes back to one of the principles of content marketing, which is to educate rather than to push product solutions on people. I think there are some great content out there, some great blogs, some great comparison sites out there, which are helping people to choose between those different solutions in quite an objective way, and lead them through their own funnel in terms of choosing the right marketing solution for them. Rather than getting bombarded with product information straight away.

MJ: Just on a Martech side of things too. I just love the Stackie Awards every year, and you see these beautiful one page slides from a company who’s strung together a whole bunch of Martech solutions. HubSpot’s likely to be one of those included, for example. But what’s interesting is the rise of the API integrators, these people that plug everything together. How does HubSpot see the growth of that business? I describe it as selling picks and shovels to the miners, right. I think there’s a good business in tying all this stuff together. How do you see it?

JW: I think that’s fantastic. I think the fact that you have tools like Zapier now where you can actually plug things together, and you don’t have to abandon your old solution to move to a new solution. You can just make them talk to each other through a mutual middleman. I think it’s fantastic. Even HubSpot can’t plug into absolutely everything. It can’t offer all the solutions you need, but there are certainly many vendors which we can plug into through a third party.

MJ: Let’s go back to the amplification side of stuff, and when you get out the other end of the bow-tie we were discussing, I think of it as a bow-tie. When you get out into awareness, and you’ve got people out in the social channels and who knows what, discussing your brand, how do you close the loop? How do you bring that around, and ostensibly feed the engine?

JW: Yes. We’re a huge fan of social channels at HubSpot, and I’m a true believer in that content is only as good as the promotion that goes with it. Creating great content is important, but it needs to be present in all your major channels. That could be Twitter, it could be Facebook, it could be LinkedIn. And it comes back to that golden rule, put the buyer at the centre of everything you do. Understand your customers, do that due diligence before in understanding what information they’re actually asking for about your brand, and then make that at the heart of your content.

So, in terms of converting them from those social channels into our funnel, it’s about making compelling content offer. Often we’ll lead with content offers in our social media marketing, which could be an ebook with 10 great examples of marketing campaigns for marketers. Or it could be a great tool that they can use to grade their website, and see how ready they are for SEO. Something they can engage with, and make them wanting more, and we’ll get them to come into the funnel. And we’re a huge fan of content offers through those channels.

MJ: Yes, and I guess, I’m wondering how in digital marketing we might see better replications of what we see in offline, or other realms. Where you have customer loyalty programmes, right. Maybe you’ve got an expensive car, and I’m not going to name any brands, but let’s say you’ve got an expensive car, and they have these programmes, and you get free tickets once a quarter to go and see the opera or something. There’s these loyalty schemes that are quite common just in marketing. How do we translate some of those ideas to identify who the customers are, how we engage them deliberately, and have them still as part of this tracked inbound marketing programme? Or maybe it’s actually more from a CRM point of view, right. How do you start thinking about those dynamics? Because I think the way that you treat loyal advocates is much different to how you try and attract potential new customers.

JW: Absolutely. Yes. We see that right at the bottom of the funnel, it’s the customer’s success end of it really. It’s how you turn those existing customers into brand advocates. And certainly the role of the CRM, the role of the marketing stack, it doesn’t end there. It doesn’t end after sale, it continues right the way through to helping customers to bring in new customers. We’re a big fan of using customers as references as well actually. One of the things we work with our sales team on at HubSpot is to find lookalike customer to be references for prospects.

So, we can very, very quickly, actually through messaging bots like Slack, we can actually pull in a customer that’s been using HubSpot in a very similar industry, and get them to be a reference for that prospect. And that has a really good impact on our close rates. So, absolutely, it’s about very much keeping those relationships, understanding the needs, and collecting those case studies, collecting those references, and having them as content in themselves. To help, to actually go back to the top of the funnel.

MJ: Yes. I guess this is where content marketing and inbound comes together, right? So, getting all of those things tied together, which leads me to ask, what do you do all day? Are you spending any money on above the line campaigns, or is it all just inbound, because you have to drink the Kool-Aid?

JW: We absolutely practise what we preach. We’re an inbound marketing team at HubSpot.

MJ:So, no outbounds allowed? It’s banned.

JW: We do paid advertising. I’ll be honest, which is as I mentioned for all the right reasons. It can be a great channel for us. You won’t be seeing us on above the line campaigns any time soon. But yes, we believe in inbound model. One of the big focuses for us this year is to actually just create even more channels for demand generation. There’s always more we can do to fill content gap. There’s always more topics we can be talking on around marketing, around sales, around CRM. We’re also looking for local angles as well. How can we be talking to businesses in a way that’s relevant to Australian businesses. How can we be present at more events, delivering content, delivering advice and education in more ways.

I think one of the things HubSpot’s always prided itself on is being more than just a product company. We are leading a movement of inbound marketing. And as such, we do invest heavily in our educational materials. We have something called the HubSpot Academy, which offers courses for businesses to learn about everything from inbound through to being great users of our tools. We’d love to bring that to even more businesses in Australia. So, absolutely, we see that as very much as part of building the HubSpot brand as leading a movement, and helping to make marketing just better for everyone, and it goes way beyond just our products.

MJ:Okay. Yes, well there’s no question that you’re busy in that regard. What are you learning from the analytics point of view as you dig into the content that you’re providing for that inbound programme? What are the trends that you’re seeing, what are some of the themes that are really resonating at the moment?

JW: Yes, I think some of the themes in terms of what businesses are doing, we’re seeing an ongoing shift towards video, for example, for content. We’ve done our tests, and realised that video can convert about three times the rate of classic text content. So, we’re seeing that shift. We’re seeing quite an interesting shift towards chatbots as well. I think the big buzzword at HubSpot this year is messaging. We really feel that AI’s come to a point now where it really is delivering good results for people in a chatbot scenario. A great way of filling that gap between content and interaction with the sales team, is engaging with people early on in the funnel through chatbots answering their most common questions. Understanding their needs, collecting information, and building a profile on that customer in a much more conversational manner.

We’ve invested in this ourselves. We actually, at a recent event we did in Melbourne, use the Facebook messenger chatbot to actually engage with the attendees. And they could actually submit their questions through their live panel, they could receive the materials for the day through their messenger chatbot. And we obviously also offer that ability through the HubSpot site. And we’re seeing a number of our clients do the same. I think AI is in a really exciting time at that moment, and particularly for marketers. We feel that there’s many chatbot solutions out there, and they’re making it really easy to create a customer experience for customers.

MJ: How do you think it will, maybe this is almost a tangential conversation, but I’ve been really interested in chatbots versus human bots, or real people, right. Both types of messaging work well in the environment, and I’m just wondering how you might see that playing out.

JW: They both have a role to play. I think humans aren’t going anywhere. I think it’s just very much making sure that when prospects come to the humans that they’re ready, and they’re actually coming because they have intent, they’re willing, they’re willing to buy, and that they’re really far through that decision making process. I think where bots can really come into their own, is answering some of those common questions. Is actually helping to, as I said, build a profile of that customer. Forms still have their place, but there’s many instances where a chatbot can replace a form.

Where you can actually ask that sequence of questions about that customer’s needs, and about their contact details in more of a conversational way. And it does have fantastic response rates, so people are very familiar with the messaging interaction now. Even if it’s a bot, it feels immediate, it feels real. And I think it very much can take care of a lot of that, the sales team’s time, which they would otherwise be spending collecting the same information, or being asked the same questions. So, it’s really a productivity play as well.

MJ: Yes. It’s fascinating. I’m really looking forward to seeing how all of that messaging AI stuff plays out, particularly on the comedy side by the way, when you get two of them talking to each other and they start fighting. It’s comedy gold, it’s unbelievable. And I think on a more serious level, the ability to take what ostensibly is just standard web content about us, who we are, what we do, and be able to serve as customers in a more immediate … Quite frankly, we’re just a bit lazy, we don’t want to read this stuff. We just want like, “Can someone tell me?” And so, how that stuff scales I think will be a big game changer in marketing. So, yes, that’s a bit of watch and look from my point of view, and are there any other trends before we wrap up on that part?

JW: I think you just hit on one of the one’s which we love to talk about the most, which is yes, we are in an age of convenience now. And I think pretty much everything we talked about today really plays into the fact that whether you’re a customer of Netflix, a customer of Spotify, or just someone looking to making a purchase decision. You expect convenience, you expect things to be surface for you, and you expect frictionless experiences. So, if there was one parting thought I’d leave listeners with this that really put the bar at the centre of everything you do, and think about coming to them rather than waiting for them to come to you.

MJ: Another trend I want to ask you about, is my personal favourite, and I speak about this a keynote speaker, is the role of storytelling for brands. So, understanding at the heart of your strategy, your brand is a story, and your products are stories, and the stories of your customers, and what they’re doing, and how all of that wraps together. How do you see brand storytelling maturing as a strategy in which you can apply inbound?

JW: Yes. Well, I think what you’re going to see is the story just has more channels. I think storytelling has existed in marketing since the birth of marketing. It’s just the formats that they’re using to tell it are changing. And you can replicate your story, or even continue that story across different platforms. It might start in a blog, it might continue in video, it might have presence in podcasts. I think you have to just think about your story as having obviously the same narrative, the same arc, but continuing across different formats. So, it can really reach users who are engaging in different formats.

MJ: Excellent. Shall we do … Yes. Okay, I’ve got the nod. Why don’t we leave the formal part of the conversation, and let’s have the rapid fire questions, which you’re not prepared for, which makes it far more fun. What are you grateful for?

JW: That would have to be my family.

MJ Do you like rain?

JW: No.

MJ: In the movie of your life, who would play you?

JW: Matthew McConaughey.

MJ: All right, all right, all right. What’s your greatest ever fail? Career fail.

JW: Probably saying yes too many times when I joined Google.

MJ: Nice. You probably burned out. Beach or mountain?

JW: Beach.

MJ: Best ever career advice?

JW: Don’t take on too much at once. Pick three goals.

MJ: I’m seeing a theme here. Summer or winter?

JW: Summer.

MJ: Who’s your hero?

JW: Probably my sister right now, because she’s just had twins.

MJ: Yes, tick. If you weren’t a marketer, you’d be a … ?

JW: Musician.

MJ: Guitar, base?

JW: Trumpet.

MJ: Trumpet? Did not see that coming. What did you have for breakfast?

JW: Muesli and fruit.

MJ: What would you rather have had?

JW: Eggs and avocado.

MJ: Wrong, bacon.

MJ: What inspires you?

JW: My friends.

MJ: Should also be bacon. If you could change one thing about the marketing industry, what would it be?

JW:  Less sales, less products centric materials, more educating.

MJ: Nice, do you ride a bike?

JW: I do.

MJ: An o one? The oBikes, rental things?

JW: Not an oBike. I’ve ridden a RediBike before.

MJ: Yes, okay. You’re the first person I’ve met. What’s your greatest frustration?

JW: Plastic in the ocean.

MJ: Gosh, yes. What was the last conference you went to?

JW: Actually HubSpot’s conference in Melbourne last week.

MJ: I knew you’d say that.

JW: Sorry.

MJ: I knew you’d say that. You’re a marketer, well done. Dogs or cats?

JW: Dogs.

MJ: If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

JW: Probably something a bit rock and roll, like Jimmy, or Bob.

MJ: Bob, yes. Great, well, I think Jo works well as well. But yes.

JW: There’s not enough rock songs with Jo in it.

MJ: No. Well, there’s been some pretty famous Jo’s over the years, but that’s okay. You know what? It’s been a pleasure to speak with you, Jo Williams, head of marketing A and Z at HubSpot. It’ll be interesting to see how the technology develops, and the great inbound marketing journey unfolds. Again, thanks for taking time to be with us today.

JW: Thanks for having me.

MJ: There you have it. Jo Williams at HubSpot. A couple of things that stuck out for me, actually, after this interview are we’re talking about, again, I said, you know, at the top of the show, talking about how do we make things simple. We also think about, you know, these goals that we have in marketing. A great quote, you know, you expect convenience. You expect things to be surfaced just for you. You expect frictionless experiences. And I mean, I know this as a customer and I’m sure you do, too, but we have this big challenge as marketers, is how do we create an environment in our, our content marketing channels, in our in-bounding and in our comms, how do we give people the experiences that they’re looking for? This is being part of the designed thinking conversation that’s been going on for a long time so I appreciate Jo’s comments there.

I also liked his idea of … Of course, I’m a massive storytelling fan, um, we really do believe in brand-storytelling here at Filtered Media. He said, “Storytelling has existed in marketing since the birth of marketing.” I reckon, just ask anybody in advertising and they’ll tell you the same thing. You know, he makes the point that it’s just the formats that they’re using to tell it that are changing. I’d say that the formats are changing and the way that we use those formats are changing as well. So, some great insights there. I  hope you got a lot outta the show today. Before I go, do tell your friends about us. We love getting emails as well. Subscribe to us on our your favourite podcast channels. Check us our on Facebook and the, Apple Podcast store.

And stick around for the next show we’ve got a special edition coming up soon. We had an event here at Filtered Media called Story Time at Filtered Media to celebrate World Storytelling Day. So we got a whole package of content coming your way in a very short period of time, so stay tuned for that. My name is Mark Jones. my co-host, my esteemed co-host is off on voice leave and she’ll be back very soon once she’s better. So until then, thanks very much for joining us on this episode of the CMO Show. We will speak to you soon.

MJ: The CMO Show is a podcast produced by Filtered Media and a quick shout out to our incredible team: Candice Witton, Charlotte Goodwin, Tom Henderson, Daniel Marr, Ewan Miller, and Yael Brender. You guys are the best.


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