At day one of HubSpot’s fast growing INBOUND conference (14,000 in attendance this year), co-founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan introduced a few interesting product updates during their keynote address.
HubSpot Connect will probably draw the most attention as it allows Hubspot’s software products, like its marketing tools and CRM, to integrate with a wide range of business applications, including Zendesk, Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey, Freshbooks, and more. The company hopes that Connect will allow companies to bring all its departments — and all the various software tools they use — onto one platform. Eventually, I imagine Connect as a way for the company to win over the hearts and minds of executives outside of the realms of sales and marketing, as a way for HubSpot to be a bigger presence in boardroom discussions.
However, a product introduced at the end of Shah’s presentation may be the key to the company getting the attention of another group of potential customers.
LeadIn, which was developed in HubSpot’s in-house innovation/spin-off development studio HubSpot Labs, could have a greater impact as the company looks to grow beyond its devoted base of inbound marketing acolytes.
Described as “HubSpot for everyone,” Leadin is a freemium tool that allows small companies (read: bloggers, early-stage startups, and sole proprietorships) to have a better understanding of who is interacting with their websites.
As Shah explained in his introduction of the new product, Leadin will help small businesses convert leads from blogs and webpages, provide more context of who their users or customers are, and will help manage contacts like in a manner they haven’t been able to do before.
The product’s goal is to save time and money for those who want to benefit from the best features of HubSpots suite of marketing tools, but don’t necessarily need — nor can afford — all that the company’s products offer.
“Whether you are a marketing expert, or just getting started; whether you are flying solo or on a sophisticated marketing team; whether you are here in Boston or anywhere around the globe, we think it’s time to get growing with inbound,” Shah said to conclude his talk. “We believe inbound is for everyone.”
Following Shah onstage after the keynote, Halligan exclaimed that “I really like this idea of inbound for everyone, and I love the idea of spreading inbound to more and more partners.”
More than anything, the attempt to reach out to the massive (and growing) market of single person businesses and bloggers, is a smart, yet quiet approach to a potential growth problem for HubSpot which has definitely been a niche (yet successful) business product.
If the company can get new users to connect their WordPress or Drupal sites to Leadin, the numbers for next year’s INBOUND conference could be exponentially greater.