Inbound Smarketeers

If you are in the market for a communication agency, you could do a lot worse than enquire as to their credentials in terms of Inbound Methodology. All communication rockstars worth their salt work within these parameters, paying mindful attention to today’s consumer who is seriously fed up of traditional approaches – ad blockers are on the rise, spam mail is a massive concern, and who today consumes media in the same way as 5 years ago (think YouTube, iPads, SnapChat, NetFlix)?

Do not fear, as of today I am the proud recipient of a refreshed Hubspot’s Inbound Sales Certification, yet another of their excellent online training courses. The excellence is not just in the price either, but free is definitely a bonus – the value is in the content itself. Inbound is all about customer-centricity and being mindful of the key role the internet plays in arming potential buyers with the information they need to compare and contrast competing services. And I say “refreshed” as these courses are updated annually to ensure we stay on top of latest developments in the digital space.

Essentially, those of us who operate in a sales environment need to tailor and personalize our approach to a customer who has already made certain decisions before you even get the opportunity to present your wares. To rephrase something I have been previously guilty of:

A salesman who assumes his buyer knows nothing makes an ass out of u and me.

The logic behind Hubspot creating such an insightful course is clear – by equipping sales teams with an effective inbound methodology the company will solve your entire sales and marketing – or smarketing if you prefer – needs, reducing friction across departments in the process. The Inbound Marketing team generate the useful content in the form of blog posts, social media content, ebooks, webinars and white papers that the buyer is looking at before the Inbound Sales team step in.

The opportunity to roll this sophisticated and logical communication approach out for clients and see the success in terms of ROI and improved bottom line is incredibly satisfying and, although not a fully signed-up Hubspot afficionado at this stage, here at Ashton and Ashton we are fully commited to Inbound Methodology and content marketing.

Certification as it now stands, July 2016:

Hubspot Inbound Certification 2016

Hubspot Inbound Sales Certificate 2016

To follow: Email Marketing and Growth-Driven Design Hubspot courses – watch this space. And make sure you check your agency or in-house team are up to speed too 🙂

Hungry Experts

This post premiered earlier this week on LinkedIn as part of an ongoing SEO experiment…

Leaders eat last. A fantastic sentiment, highlighting how great leaders put themselves at the end of the queue to be sure their team are well looked after. Leaders show a parental love for those under their care and engender  a reciprocal exchange of respect as a result. This is something within us all, a biological possibility ingrained since humans began socialising, and something I aspire to achieve.

I am working my way through two books at the moment, the one that is moving the fastest (because it has pride of place on my bedside table so has been allocated the prime “bedtime read” slot) is Leaders Eat Last. The author is also one of the most-watched videos on TED, so well worth 18 minutes of your time. The other book, though equally brilliant and useful (The First 90 Days), is not riddled with a cunning mix of science, sociology and history brought together in tightly -woven sentences that delight the mind at every turn.

This week we kick off the first in a series of lunchtime training sessions where we begin to build conversations with champions of industry and how we can elevate and communicate their insights. The intention is to extend a well-oiled machine onto digital channels, maintaining the already excellent quality levels whilst stepping into slightly unusual territory. Wish us luck, both with the training and with eating last.

Image courtesy of Paulina Lohunko, via