16 min read

Episode 204: HubSpot and COVID


Welcome to HubShots Episode 204: HubSpot and COVID

This episode we discuss HubSpot and some covid learnings.

Listen to the episode here: https://soundcloud.com/hubshots/204-hubspot-and-covid

Welcome to HubShots - APAC's number 1 HubSpot focussed podcast - where we discuss HubSpot tips & tricks, new features, and strategies for growing your marketing results.

HubShots, the podcast for marketing managers and sales professionals who use HubSpot, hosted by Ian Jacob from Search & Be Found and Craig Bailey from XEN Systems.

Recorded: Thursday 21 May 2020 | Published: Friday 29 May 2020

Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week

We’ve deliberately resisted talking about the coronavirus situation in the last few months. This episode we’re making a change to chat about some responses and learnings.

Inbound 2020 Goes Online Only

INBOUND 2020 will be moving to September 22–23 and be ONLINE!

So now is the chance to be part of it!

They have a full list of FAQs here using the Service Hub knowledge base!

Shot 2: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week

HubSpot Dashboards bulk up

HubSpot has increased the number of dashboards in all HUBS!

  • Starter: 10 (previously 3)
  • Professional: 25 (previously 5)
  • Enterprise: 50 (previously 25)

If you use Pro you can now add twenty reports to a dashboard (previously ten).


Time to go to the Dashboard library and get started. One of the things we have been doing is creating individual sales rep dashboards.

Shot 3: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week

HubSpot Research on COVID impact

HubSpot has compiled data across all their customer portals to provide insights into how the coronavirus has impacted sales and marketing activities and results. It allows drilling in via regions, industries and company sizes.

For example, in APAC here’s how deal creation has been impacted - notice the drop against benchmark begins in early March and reaches its bottom in early April. By early May it is on the up and returning back to normal:



And here’s the Deal closure rates have followed suit:



The trend indicates that deals are starting to close again.

The trend is similar across all regions:



Shot 4: HubSpot Stumper of the Week

Listener question: Reporting on Contact Journey

How would you answer this listener question?

How to report on a customer journey in HubSpot backwards:

  • eg for all SQLs what was their last interaction, the interaction before and so on.
  • You can read all this stuff from the timeline, but how to put this in a report?

Shot 5: HubSpot Gotcha of the Week

Connecting a HubSpot portal to Shopify and you start to see products and you get excited thinking you can use it to add to deals. Sadly this is only good if you have Sales Pro or Enterprise!


Bonus: if you import a contact from your phone via the HubSpot app and it exists, it will update details and assign the contact to you even though it may be already assigned to someone else. Wat?

Shot 6: Marketing Tip of the Week

Facebook and Instagram Shop Functionality. Finally.

We’ve been waiting for this for a while now, and it finally appears to be rolling out (or announced at least!). Ignore the messaging around it being a response to how businesses are struggling due to the coronavirus situation btw.

Facebook is adding functionality to allow product catalogs and purchases on Facebook (and later Instagram) with payment and customer support available on WhatsApp and Messenger as well.

The Verge also has a good overview of it.

Don’t build your empire on sand though, consider Facebook as a complimentary channel, not your only channel. Integrations with Shopify, BigCommerce and other ecommerce platforms are a key part - make sure you include these in your planning.

Shot 7: Insight of the Week

Let’s Talk About Global Covid Learnings

It’s been two months since most of the coronavirus impacts started. We’ve deliberately waited a while before discussing the topic on the show.

Some thought-provoking articles we’ve found useful include:

  • Benedict Evans detailing how the current crisis has accelerated changes, and how the advertising behaviours of industries tend not to revert back after a crisis (he looks at television, radio, print in the wake of the GFC and other global events). Key takeaway: things are changing rapidly and permanently
  • Accenture exploring the human experiences that are changing as a result - including people’s confidence levels, the effects of isolation and how every company is now becoming a ‘health company’ of sorts in terms of the HR functions and processes.
  • Google is halving their own internal marketing budgets - but this mostly by cutting work done by outside agencies. This is in addition to them slowing their hiring.
  • Google’s search results for ‘coronavirus’ show a neat sidebar option, that allows drilling into the intent of the query. Mordy Oberstein at SEL has a compelling article on how this could be adapted to all search results:



Shot 8: HubShots Throwback of the Week

HubShots episode 159 we spoke about HubSpot Academy and the free courses available that is even greater now!




Shot 9: Resource of the Week

Three HubSpot podcasts

Corina Duffy has an enlightening interview with Tammy Duggan-Herd on the HubCast.

Moby Siddique has an insightful interview with Luke Summerfield on InboundBuzz.

Adam Steinhardt and Zaahn Johnson are back after a break for a few months on HubnSpoke. In episode 58 they continue their discussion around 11 free features of HubSpot.

Shot 10: Quote of the Week

“almost every technology that has connected people who live apart has also created new barriers between people who live close together.”

― Brad Smith, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age

Shot 11: Bonus Links of the Week

Enterprise Software Growth becomes a zero-sum game

John Luttig presents a striking insight into the changing penetration of enterprise software - moving from open fields to zero sum game - growth will come at the expense of competitors. A key takeaway is that budgets will shift from R&D to sales and marketing.

Shot 12: Follow Us on the Socials

Connect with HubShots here: HubShots YouTube channel - HubShots Spotify channel - HubShots Facebook group - HubShots Twitter - HubShots Instagram - HubShots LinkedIn

Connect with Ian Jacob on LinkedIn and Craig Bailey on LinkedIn


Please rate and leave us some feedback as this helps us improve and reach more marketers.


Episdoe 204 HubSpot and COVID

Full Transcript of HubShots Episode 204

- Hi everyone, welcome to HubShots Episode 204. In this episode, we discuss HubSpot and some Covid learnings. You're listening to Asia Pacific's number one HubSpot-focused podcast, where we discuss HubSpot tips, tricks, and strategies for growing your sales, marketing, and service results. My name is Ian Jacob from Search and Be Found and with me is Craig Bailey from Xen Systems. How are ya, Craig?

- I'm well, Ian, and as you allured to, we're going to talk about Covid tonight and we've deliberately resisted talking about this in the last couple of months, but we are going to make a change, an exception tonight, just because there are some learnings and also some responses, I guess from HubSpot, especially, which we'll chat about now in terms of how they're going to change the way Inbound is run this year.

- Correct, so this year they've just announced Inbound 2020 will be online and it will be moving from August in to September, so September 22nd and 23rd, and now's your chance to be a part of it, all the time that we talk about stuff, now's your time to be a part of it and they have a full list of FAQs and if you have a look, and you're using HubSpot, you'll notice that it's using Service Hub Knowledge Base. So have a look and it's your option to register and be a part of something that you might not necessarily be able to get to, so I encourage everyone to join in.

- Yeah, registration opens on the 1st of June which will be a day or two after this episode goes live, so good timing, check it out, and I think it's going to be interesting what they edit out because they're going from four days down to two days, so I'm sure the program will change, but it'll still be a very worthwhile event.

- All right, Craig, and our marketing feature of the week is HubSpot Dashboards, and now, what do you do, you get more.

- You get more, I've said they're bulking up.

- That's what Dashboard just grew better, Craig.

- If you were using HubSpot and you were thinking, "I would love another dashboard and I don't want to pay for the reporting add-on", well, now if you're on this data plan, you had three dashboards, it's now ten, if you were on pro, you had five and it's gone to 25, and if you were on enterprise it is now 50 as opposed to 25. Now if you use pro, you used to be only able to have ten widgets on that dashboard, now that's been increased up to 20 reports, so it's an increase in every way.

- That in itself is not particularly interesting, but what is interesting or useful is actually what's that meant in your response to it, Ian, so how have you embraced this extra reporting capability?

- So, we've started creating individual dashboards for each person on the sales team so they can track their metrics and I've also now started going in to the basic dashboards where you can set up ABM dashboards, marketing, website, and just use some of the ones that are pre-prepared as a launching pad to get to the next one but I think it's a really good start.

- All right, Craig, our HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week.

- Okay, so not so much a feature of the product, but a feature of HubSpot's research related to sales. So you may have already seen this, they have been promoting it widely on the socials, but worth calling out if you haven't had a look yet, and it's the insights that they've gathered from across all their 70,000 customer portals and they've pulled together insights around deals, marketing activities, and the like. Tonight I was just going to mention the Deals activity, so, you can drill into Deals Created and Deals Closed, you can drill in by region, industry, and work out the trends. We've got some screenshots and what I found interesting, I looked at APAC because we're in APAC, a lot of our clients are, and in the show notes, I've got some screenshots there just about Deals Created and what you can see is related to the benchmark, it's very clear at the start of March, the number of deals being created drops significantly, it bottoms out at the end of March, early April, and what's happening is that now at the start of May, we're seeing that pick up again. The number of deals we've created is kind of returning to normal and more importantly, the deals being closed follows a similar trend and that trend as well as APAC, which is what I was interested in, is common across all the regions, so we're seeing this real dip as the pandemic took hold, and we're seeing, I feel a positivity towards spending again so deals closing. Worth checking out and drilling into the other activities as well, marketing, sales, and marketing e-mail, Openwave and things like that as well.

- Craig, you know one thing with the deals closed by region that stood out to me is that the rate of increase of deals being closed in APAC and EMEA seem to be on par versus that of Latin America and North America which is a lot flatter, so, that is interesting I think that's reflective of the region and what's going on, I guess.

- All right, Craig we've got a HubSpots Stumper of the Week, tell us more.

- All right, so we ask our listeners, hit us up if you've got any questions, any way we can help you out and thank you to the listeners that do contact us on LinkedIn. One of the questions we had, this was a really good one by Martin, I won't call him out in his full name, but thanks for this one and he's asking around reporting on a contact journey, or a customer journey, really, but a contact, and his question is how would you report on it, say you've got the SQLs, you've got a list of SQLs, Sales Qualified Leads, and you wanted to report on what their last interaction was, the interaction before that, the interaction before that. Now, of course, you can go to the timeline of each individual contact and you see all of that, that's the wonderful thing about the timeline, but how do you report on it in a report that you can send around or in a more aggregated fashion, say for a list of contacts? It's a really good question and I don't have an answer for it, and that's why we've called it the Stumper of the Week. We've been looking at attribution reports as had this person that asked the question as well, you do get some insight into that but it's not really in the format that we're after, here, and the interactions, keep in mind, could be things like, they could be a significant website visit, they could be e-mail opens, they could be engagements with sales, they could be a number of things like that that you might want to define as part of your reporting, so, the reason we've put it in Stumper of the Week is listeners, do you actually have an answer? How would you answer, so, perhaps you can help us. Hit us up on LinkedIn or send either of us an e-mail in terms of your insights. How do you report on that kind of stuff, it would be very useful to know.

- All right, Craig, HubSpot Gotcha of the Week, and I'm sure some people might have seen this and we've been connecting quite a few HubSpot portals to Shopify lately and while I was training a customer, I was like, "Okay, cool, we can see all the products coming in, we've got the e-commerce pipeline, we can nicely see this happening." and they said "Oh, now if someone calls up on the phone, I'd love to be able to put this in and select the products, can we do that?" I'm like, "Hm, I don't see why not." Anyway, you see this, you can drill down, and you can see the products. If you're on starter, you cannot edit any products or add products to a deal, so, that's why we call it the Gotcha of the Week and you gotta have Sales Professional or Sales Enterprise to make this happen. Here's a bonus Gotcha for the Week, Craig, And maybe this might be right, it might be wrong, but I was showing someone in sales about adding a contact to their phone and then using the HubSpot app to import their contact into HubSpot as opposed to entering it manually means that they've got a record of it and sometimes it's more natural just to collect the contact on their phone or they might get forwarded that contact and they save it to their phone before they upload it. Anyway, this contact was in HubSpot already, they imported the contact via the app on their phone, went into HubSpot, had a look, contact didn't have a number before so the number got updated, and the contact owner got to change the person that imported the contact. Now this contact was owned by a different owner beforehand and so we checked it by looking at the history and went, "Oh, hang on, somebody else had that." So we had to reassign it back to that person, so just be aware of this if you upload a contact and they already exist, they will get assigned to you even though they were assigned to another person in Sales.

- That's definitely a Gotcha, that's a Bug of the Week, surely.

- I think it is.

- Are you sure there's no option if you import and override that it changes the contact owner? I guess I can understand the logic behind it because if you're importing it, "Oh, this is my contact," I can understand that but surely there should be an option.

- I have a feeling, Craig, that they are not checking, the assumption is that if it's being imported that it's always the owner and it's not being checked to see whether the owner is different or who is importing it. All right Craig, now our Marketing Tip of the Week, Facebook-Instagram Shop functionality is finally coming.

- Just ignore the messaging where they say "In the response to the difficult circumstances that we're under due to Covid..." and by the way, that's why we included Tinley, that we included this under the Covid episode. Just ignore that, because of course they've been working on this for years as we've talked about on the show, when's it coming, especially on the Instagram side and by the way, this is an announcement, so some of the stuff is appearing in Facebook but it's not on Instagram until later in the year, so there goes that messaging in response here where we're losing and oh, by the way, you can't get it now, it's coming later, but this is really good, I think, as we've said on the show earlier, having this whole e-commerce part of Facebook and Instagram especially, where has it been, of course this is the natural next step, what's going to be good about this is you can purchase on those platforms but also by WhatsApp and Messenger, it's coming, and you can get customer support through those, the Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp Messenger, so it all looks quite integrated from the Facebook announcement which, let's just be clear, is a press release we look forward to using this ourselves, but why are we including this in the show because it's nothing to do with HubSpot, but it is around functionality that marketers need to be thinking about and the takeaway that I wanted to mention from this is that just be careful you don't build your empire

- On somebody else's land.

- On somebody else's land, that's right. So, consider this a compliment to your existing e-commerce strategy through Shopify or Teachable or other platforms as well, unless you're just a small business starting out, I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket, but just be careful, I think that's what we always say, don't we? You've got to be careful, embrace this functionality, make it part of your strategy, but don't rely on it alone, especially when some of those things aren't even yet out in Anga and they're only announcements.

- Correct, and I think one thing they're gonna do is they said that they're working with partners like Shopify, Big Commerce, and other e-commerce platforms to make this an integral part, just like Google is with their shopping things, I think this will just change the landscape of the way people shop.

- All right Craig, our Insight of the Week, let's talk about the global Covid learnings.

- All right, so I've had a bunch of these links ready for weeks, I've been putting off talking about it so some of these are quite old, up to six weeks ago when we were first reading them, but I just wanted to list them out because it's insightful in some ways or instructive to look at what people were talking about a month ago and then what they were talking about a week ago, but Benedict Evans, who we've featured on the show many times, he talks about how the current crisis has accelerated change, I don't think that's a surprise to anyone, however, he has some good examples and then he looks at how whole advertising behaviors of industries have changed, and they tend not to revert back. This is the key insight, I feel, so he looked at TV advertising, radio advertising, and in times of crisis like GFC, things like that, people withdraw from them, but they don't go back in when the crisis or the event is over. So we're gonna see things like that in the wake of this one, so, things will change rapidly and permanently, that's the comment there. So, the push to digital and that's, of course, in Australia, we're seeing a consolidation in say, print media and a whole bunch of print magazines just being, well I say paused, but just putting on hold, and I'm sure that's globally that's happening as well. Even digital, people have pulled out of their spend there. Some of it will go back and there are opportunities, of course, as we've talked about in previous shows about getting less expensive clicks at the moment, but then moving on to the human experiences, Extensia had a good study looking at how people's confidence levels are changing and the effects of isolation, but in particular, how every company is becoming a health company of sorts. So that needs to be part of your culture now, it needs to be part of your HR policies, I thought it was quite startling that Google is halving their own internal marketing budgets. That's in two parts, they're slowing their hiring, of course, but they're mostly cutting back work done by outside agencies, so they're keeping their own staff, but they're reducing the budgets on outside agencies, so expect your Google support quality to drop significantly because they do outsource a lot of that.

- And you know, Craig, I was gonna say, I've also been reading that Google had a whole bunch of property deals that were supposed to be for new offices and even that's all being cut, so, we're not just talking digital, we're talking actual physical space and how people are working also changing.

- That's a good example, real estate's going to be really impacted, of course, cities, the composition of workers versus residential, that ratio may change. Also I was listening to the Dithering podcast with John Gruber and Ben Thompson this week. Just simple things, like going to the movies, cinemas, some people will be craving to go back to the movies but many people won't, they won't want to go in big crowds, to a house at a strip show, things like that will permanently change and of course, finally, the Google search results. An article on Search Engine Land just about how Google has added this tab on the left hand side. We've got a screen shot in the show notes, if you search for the term "Coronavirus", that search has no intent associated with it, so you don't know, are you searching for statistics, are you searching for treatments, things like that. Google is now adding this tab or a sidebar where you actually drill into intent, you're actually filtering on the intent of your keyword search and the article, Mordy Oberstein speculates, will this change the way search results happen? Because previously, Google would try and guess what your intent was, but now it's giving you the tools to just filter down on intent, so, changes there as well, so, all as a response of just what's happened in the last few months, fascinating times.

- All right, now our HubShot Throwback of the Week, Craig, and this was to do within Episode 159, we spoke about HubSpot Academy and some great training that was in there and you know, a year on, I would say it's getting better and it's well-organized and there are lots more free courses to get started on, so, I would encourage people if you're even using Starter or you're considering or you're just listening to this podcast, that is a great place to start, go educate yourself. The most simplest thing this week that I have told people is like, educate yourself on if you want to know about buyer personas or you want to know how to create a great marketing plan. There are some really simple things in there that you can learn, and so it's a great place to head so I'll put a link in the show notes to that. Now Craig, we've got a few Resources of the Week and they're all podcasts.

- First up, Carina Duffy, she had an enlightening interview with Tammy Duggan-Herd on the Hubcast, and you know, we love Carina, and her chat with Tammy in the podcast, they talk about the flywheel and how it came from a concept to actually getting mindshare. So if you want some insights on how that's all traveled and perhaps wasn't well-received at the start but is now much better understood, that's a good one. Moby Siddique's back and he had a really insightful interview with Luke Summerfield on HubSpot CMS, of course, but also around what a product owner or a go-to-market lead is responsible for and then finally Adam Steinhardt and Zaahn Johnson, they're back. They took a break

- They did.

- And Hubnspoke, and they're back with part two of what they started a couple of months ago, it's classic. So, they started it and then there was this break and then they're back to finish it, so, good to hear again, back in Hubnspoke.

- That's right, now Craig, our Quote of the Week, it's from a book you're reading from Brad Smith called "Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age" and the quote is "Almost every technology that has connected people who live apart has also created new barriers between people who live close together." When I first read this quote to you, you went "What the..." and you're like, "I don't get that." Anyway, you get it now, right?

- I get it now because we know all too well everyone sitting around in a room, we don't know each other but we're all on our phones chatting with people on the other side of the world, so, connected in some ways and isolated in others.

- And now, listen, we've got some bonus links in the show and it talks about enterprise software growth becoming a zero sum game and I think there's some great reading there. We'd appreciate it if you'd follow us on the socials, we are on YouTube by the way, and the videos of us recording this podcast, where you can actually see us will be on there shortly, but I would encourage listeners, go subscribe to the channel so you can get notified and you can watch us if you so please. And again, thank you so much for listening, thank you so much for reaching out to us on LinkedIn, thank you so much for submitting your questions, and again, the offer is there if you do need help with anything during this period, please feel free to contact Craig or myself and we will surely help your guys. Well, Craig, until next week.

- Catch you later, Ian.

- Thank you for listening to this episode of HubShots. For show notes, resources, HubSpot news including practical strategies you can implement, visit us at HubShots.com.