Some of the best perspectives on HubSpot's product come from those who use it every day. In this new interview series, we profile HubSpot partners, providers, and customers, and ask their thoughts on what our product team should keep in mind while solving for them, and where the future of the industry lies.
In this installment, we chat with Desiree Whitehead, founder of digital growth agency Howl Marketing and growth strategist at marketing agency Square 2.
How did you first come to work with HubSpot's products?
I was first introduced to HubSpot as a customer while working for the largest drone distributor in North America, who started implementing the platform. After the rigorous five-day training with HubSpot customer training specialist Emily Morgan in Boston, I found myself enthralled with the capabilities and immediately went to work implementing HubSpot Enterprise for my company.
Now as a HubSpot solutions provider, I have a new appreciation for this sophisticated all-in-one platform. It’s one thing to be a marketing agency and another to be a growth strategist helping on a ground-level. Having had the opportunity to experience the ins and outs of HubSpot from both perspectives provides me a deeper understanding. I don’t believe my clients would be where they are today without my introduction to HubSpot two and a half years ago.
How did you get into marketing? What do you love about it?
Is it okay to say “I was born this way!”? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all clicked because I’ve always had a love for business, people and processes. I believe I found my happy place at a nonprofit Jewish organization in Plantation, Florida over 15 years ago. It was there that I realized my passion was rooted in highlighting the importance of finding a story in every single thing you do and having the ability to tell that story in a clear and concise way.
What do I love about marketing? It would be easier to say that I’m absolutely obsessed with being a marketer and I’m proud of it! I’ve found that I’m really good at stepping back, analyzing an entire business model at a macro level, and applying strategy on a micro level.
After perfecting my craft, I’ve discovered that diving into graphic design is where my creative side gets to shine and my love for people is where customer journeys live. I am marketing, marketing is me.
What's the most important lesson you've learned so far as a founder?
You could ask me this every single day and I would have a different answer. Every lesson I've learned along the way was important: patience, adaptability to different situations, and diversity. Being true to who you are, however, is the most important thing I’ve come to discover. Along my journey to becoming who I am today, I’ve knocked on every door and pushed every boundary, within reason, that stood in the way of my success. I’ve achieved my Bachelor’s degree, turned around and earned my Master’s degree, and to this day continue to take certification courses. Knowledge is power. My parents always remind me “You know who you are, we know who you are, now go out there and show the world who you are.” That in itself embodies the most important lesson I’ve learned — if I would have allowed outside influences to shape who I am, I wouldn’t be who I am.
In your opinion, what's the most important thing for HubSpot's product team to keep in mind when solving for customers today?
It is so very important for the product team to continue to grow, push limits, and continue to ask for feedback from those of us who are in the weeds of this platform every single day.
Having the opportunity to be selected as a member of the HubSpot Customer Advisory Board recently, I’ve found that these are the areas where listening to feedback is already proactively taking place within HubSpot.
The fact that the co-founders are so involved in the feedback cycle of the platform speaks volumes to their dedication to continued growth. The most important thing would be for HubSpot to continue doing what they do: grow better.
What's one small thing that makes a difference when it comes to choosing what kind of marketing software you use?
It’s not about the big, flashy name; my focus is to do good marketing and in order to do that, I’d like to provide the best all-in-one solution to my clients. The one small (but mighty) thing that makes HubSpot different is the FRIENDLY customer service. Your level of customer service, arsenal of resources, and friendly smiling faces I can tell are on the other side of the phone are truly unmatched.
What about one big thing?
Diversity. You may ask yourself why or how does diversity play a part in choosing marketing software or any consumer product, for that matter. The answer is simple. If I, the consumer, cannot see myself when I browse your website, in images of the founders, executives, account reps or content writers, then I don’t see myself in whom I’d be working with. So what would encourage me to utilize your platform?
Talking through the benefits of the platform, sure, that definitely helps in making a decision, but the key is diversification.
It’s evident that HubSpot is doing a wonderful job in taking leaps and bounds toward a greater tomorrow through the forums and meet-ups of Black at Inbound and I'm excited to see what the future holds.
What's one prediction you have about the future of marketing and demand generation?
This is something that digital marketers and growth strategists have been discussing for some time: marketing and demand generation go hand-in-hand. The marketing industry has gone digital and so many people have recently become more aware and willing to take note; whether it’s attributed to COVID or other areas, over the last decade the market has shifted and ways of getting your product in front of consumers have altered dramatically. The future of marketing and demand generation will remain digital. So find a platform that grows and evolves with you!
What do you want to see more B2B software companies focusing on in 2021?
In 2021 I’d like to focus on diversity, inclusion, and being the best version of yourself; this will be beneficial to us all.
Interested in working with a product team that solves for both marketers and developers? Check out our open positions and apply.