Interview with James Gilbert, Head of Marketing, APAC, Hubspot

James Gilbert, Hubspot
James Gilbert
James Gilbert
Head Of Marketing, APAC, Hubspot

“One advantage we had while building our CRM was that we were able to look at what other CRMs had done before. What worked, what didn’t, and designs we thought would be effective and enjoyable for the end user.”

On Marketing Technology

MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role at HubSpot and how you got here?
I head the APAC marketing team. We’re split between an office in Sydney and one in Singapore. HubSpot is reasonably new to the region – we opened up the Sydney office about 3 years ago. It’s a really exciting time in HubSpot as we are growing fast in this region as Inbound Marketing has grown in popularity. In Marketing, it’s hard to not know about HubSpot as we practice what we preach. If you’re looking for help with Marketing or Sales, you are likely to have come across us. So when I saw HubSpot was expanding into new regions, I knew I had to apply. I was really happy where I was but the opportunity to come to HubSpot and learn from other great marketers was too compelling.

MTS: How can marketers in APAC benefit from HubSpot’s free CRM?
Well, the price is right! Hahah, half joking. I love our CRM – speaking to people that have had to use a CRM before sounds like an oxymoron. One advantage we had while building our CRM was that we were able to look at what other CRMs had done before. What worked, what didn’t, and designs we thought would be effective and enjoyable for the end user. As a company, it is something we are investing a ton in so you can be confident that it will continue to be enhanced over time.

MTS: Which of the following sectors– SMB, Mid-market or Enterprise– are you seeing the highest traction from and why?
We primarily see traction in the SMB and mid-market. Our software has been designed to help smaller companies gain efficiency by having all their tools in one place as it helps them compete with bigger companies.

MTS: Why do your biggest customers choose the HubSpot over other competing offerings?
They want to run all their marketing efforts through one platform that’s simple to use instead of a composite of other tools. There are great tools out there, I’ve used a lot of them in my job before HubSpot. However, there’s always one problem which was never properly solved – how do you integrate everything together? At some point, I had to remember 6 different logins and the ability to use which platform for different parts of the marketing funnel.

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
Two of my favorites are Canva and Safety Culture. I am friends with the founders of both and they have the kind of humble, authentic and raw ambition that I admire.

MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
HubSpot. Seriously, we use our own tool and I love it.

MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign?
Last year, some members of the APAC team and I, made a free tool which helps you generate an email signature. This has since become HubSpot’s biggest source of new leads bringing over 100,000 new leads every month. Our target audience was people starting a new job people or people who were new in a role. Both of which could be relevant people for HubSpot to start speaking to.

MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
You embrace it, you don’t have a choice. I think this is the future of HubSpot. We’ve made some great moves with our predictive lead scores but we’ve got a lot more things coming. I remember making a lead score before AI. In hindsight, it is embarrassing. None of us should be trying to deduce what we think the right lead is when we can get a computer to do it. It’s a dream of any sales team to come in and filter their leads by the best predictive lead score. Not just on a per sales rep basis, but the same for any company as a whole. I’m so excited for AI — it will help marketing and sales leaders work leads in the most efficient manner, doing away any biases individuals might have.

Also Read: Dreamforce TechBytes with Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem, HubSpot

This Is How I Work

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.

MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Asana, Boomerang for Gmail, Evernote, Google Documents, Slack, Facebook Messenger

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I love using boomerang for my email, it makes sure I don’t let any emails slip through the cracks.

MTS: What are you currently reading?
Sapiens, Poor Charlie’s Almanack and then I save a ton of articles to pocket.

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I didn’t receive this personally but Charlie Munger has a saying. “The best way to get what you want is to deserve what you want” and another I like is “you want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”

MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I think my key strength is curiosity and subsequently asking questions. It comes in waves but I love exploring new ideas and processes.

MTS: Tag the one person, from the Martech sector, whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
It might be a stretch to say he is in the Martech section but I would read every interview Ken Lerer gives, he seems to have the best understanding of timing his entry and exits of business.

MTS: Thank you James! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Also Read: HubSpot Acquires Motion AI, One of the Top Visual Chatbot Builders

James is the Director of Marketing for APAC. He leads the marketing teams in sales enablement and demand generation. He has experience in both B2B and B2C companies from startups to large size companies with an in-depth understanding of how to scale their businesses. His passion in numbers helps him to come up with insights that will help drive a business forward.

HubSpot Logo
HubSpot is the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, 31,000+ customers in more than 90 countries use HubSpot’s software, services, and support to transform the way they attract, engage, and delight customers. HubSpot is a global company with offices in Cambridge, MA; Dublin, Ireland; Singapore; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Berlin, Germany; and Portsmouth, NH. HubSpot has been recognized by Inc., Forbes, and Deloitte as one of the world’s fastest-growing companies. HubSpot’s software has helped companies worldwide change how they market and sell, while our innovative approach to company culture has helped redefine transparency and autonomy in the modern workplace.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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