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Webinar Recap: Marketing Customer Education the HubSpot Way

Written by Bill Cushard

Published on March 7, 2016

Sarah E. Brown and I had the pleasure of being joined on a recent webinar by Sarah Bedrick, one of the founding members of the HubSpot Academy team. The idea was to talk about how HubSpot, a company that sells marketing automation software, promotes training to its customers. We are big fans of the way HubSpot approaches customer education, and we knew that we had to figure out a way to get Sarah Bedrick on one of our webinars to tell the story.

If you are interested in this topic, I urge you to watch the recorded version of this webinar. A link to it is below. I just wanted to highlight two key points that we discussed in the webinar to give you an idea of what we discussed. One thing to understand about this webinar, although we called it "10X Attendance to Your Customer Training the HubSpot Way," the discussion is not strictly about marketing training in the way one would expect. In other words, we did not discuss SEO or using display ads or event marketing or social media marketing or getting your marketing team to dedicate resources to marketing training or any of the usual and traditional marketing methods that can be used to "promote" training.

Instead, we focused on Sarah's story of how the HubSpot Academy team started, tested, grew, and adapted their training offerings over time. In this story is how HubSpot marketed their training. One of their key beliefs was that in order to successfully market training, the training had to be right in the first place.

That is were this blog post really begins.  

First Things First...Get the Training Right

One of the first and most important things we can do as training professionals, before we design any learning experience, is to understand the problems or pain points that customers have? Sarah talked about the need to go beyond asking customers, "What training do you want/need?" Instead, a deeper approach is required. We should be asking customers, "What would make you successful at your job?" And then build training that addresses issues around that question. 

HubSpot spent a lot of time understanding customer needs by talking to customers and collecting feedback along several points during the learning process. Sarah talked about how they used that feedback to continuously alter the training to suit customer needs. The conclusion here is that an important element of successfully marketing any training program is getting the training right in the first place. And that means, understanding students needs, conduct (market) research to uncover these needs, and use that data to develop training that will help customers be successful. 

Moving Training to Pre-Sales - Not Just For Customers Anymore

One of the best ways to market training to customers is to offer training to prospects before they become customers. When HubSpot started offering training, it offered it to customers only. However, as Sarah describes it, HubSpot saw an opportunity to educate the broader marketing community about inbound marketing as a concept. Sarah's team started seeing customers who took training become more successful in improving their businesses and figured, it might work if education was shifted into the pre-sales process.

The goal was to extend the brand into the pre-sales process to educate prospects on the broader concept of inbound marketing. The idea then would be that prospects who took the inbound training courses and later became customers would know to seek and expect to find and take product training. In other words, the public inbound training, promoted the customer product training without necessarily directly promoting it.

Watch the Recorded Webinar Now

These were just two of the many things we discussed with Sarah. I encourage you to watch it. Click on the button below to get it.

View Webinar

Originally published Mar 7, 2016 1:00:00 PM, updated Mar 7, 2016