Scott is the VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot. He is also the Program Chair at MarTech Conference and the editor of chiefmartec.com.
As fascinating as it sounds “Democratizing Martech”, it’s definitely not implied to the Digital Government Technology.
In simpler term, it refers to people who are not experts in a particular discipline — such as data analysis, data science, software development, systems integration, etc. — but who are able to wield a new generation of tools to accomplish tasks in those disciplines as if they were experts.
Let’s take an easy example of website creation, mentioned in the article by Scott Brinker
Back in 1994, if you want to create a website, you needed to know HTML, how to set up an HTTP server, how to run it on a Linux box somewhere, etc. It pretty much required an IT discipline expert.
Over time, however, new tools enabled non-IT experts to build websites too. For a while, you still had to be a “power user,” even to figure out something like Microsoft FrontPage.
But today, anybody can build a beautiful website in minutes with tools like Squarespace and Wix. Superbowl advertisements for these services have become a cottage industry.
Ironically, the best way I can describe this phenomenon is to use another political-sounding phrase: the democratization of technology. It’s a progression of taking the power to create and discover out of the hands of an elite few and putting it in the hands of every day many.
We’re going to discuss the future of MarTech – what the word really means in today’s ecosystem and for.
Democratization of Marketing w/ ￼￼Scott Brinker, VP of Platform @ HubSpot
Welcome everybody to the marketing automation discussion. I’m your host Alex Glenn. And today is a good day because we have with us the VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot. Now. This guy is no joke. He’s the program chair at the mar Tech conference. He’s the editor of Chief martinek.com. Scott’s educational background is as follows.
You got his BS from Columbia and computer. Then he goes on to get his master’s from Harvard in computer science and to top that off scott received an MBA from MIT now Scott and I were connected by hi Lacey at lesson Lee. So thank you very much Kyle for the introduction now today. We are going to talk about the democratization of mar Tech marketing technology.
We’re going to talk about where HubSpot fits in in the big picture. What’s coming from HubSpot? Of course, but more importantly where [00:01:00] Scott sees the industry trending with regards to both feature sets and user interactions as well as user understanding of what it means to be a marketing Tech professionals.
Now Scott, why don’t you start by explaining what exactly a VP of platform ecosystem does at HubSpot? Sure BB of platform ecosystem. So my responsibility at HubSpot is to help HubSpot better engage with the community of other software providers. In the broader Mark Tech and sales Tech landscape, you know, so finding other products other providers that can be complementary to the solutions that HubSpot offers helping them get integrated into our platform and then working with them to promote their solutions to our customers.
All right, great. So now that we’ve been introduced to Scott we know why he’s here and what we’re here to discuss and we’re all on the same page with what Mar Tech is. [00:02:00] Let’s go ahead and talk about Trends in the industry. So Scott, what’s happening in the industry that interests you most and has to do with enabling sales and marketing to do more better.
So I think the most exciting thing that’s happening in marketing is this democratization of technology and I think we can look at it almost is two stages of democratization. There’s what’s been happening for the past five years, which is really exciting and then we can talk a little bit about where it may go in the next.
Years for the past five years the big shift is what used to be in the hands of it organizations, right if you were a marketer and you need a certain set of Technology capabilities, you generally had to turn to your it folks and wait for them to get that capability. Versus you know, what’s happened here in the past five years is the rise of these marketing technologists and [00:03:00] marketing operations teams that are based inside the marketing org and increasingly take more of the responsibility for finding selecting operating really making successful these technology tools for the marketing organization.
And if you are a small business, you know five years ago. Okay, you didn’t have an IT team doing this necessarily but you were somewhat Limited in the marketing technology that you could bring the bear. And now that is definitely not the case. Right? I mean you just have a plethora of solutions available that are incredibly affordable.
I mean certainly HubSpot is one of them, but I mean even within HubSpot our ecosystem has. Dozens and dozens of really cool vendors that extend the capabilities. We do complement it that are very affordable for smbs. So that that shift from what used to be very, you know, big and expensive and required it2 now in the hands of marketing Tech [00:04:00] and operations leaders small business owners cats.
It’s been just incredible shift. So empowering the founders and powering the marketing teams is a big part of it, of course and just in my short career my 10-year career. I went from you know, having to involve development in any sort of marketing automation. To the point where some Founders I work with know more about the marketing automation systems than I do because they’ve died why Founders that really like to just roll up their sleeves and build it out themselves.
And in that scenario. We are in a world where the enablement of Marta is in a totally different realm as it was three years ago, which puts a lot of pressure on companies like. To come up with new better faster because the founders and the marketers are leveraging every [00:05:00] aspect of the tool and the industry is Shifting.
So it’s one car price the tools of today are becoming more accessible because it’s not just a monthly per user price drop, but there’s also the factor. Not having to involve a developer not having to involve it like you mentioned so you can go from one day not having any marketing automation to 12 hours later having a CRM with data tags statuses and campaigns that get triggered based on those statuses out of pixel to your website.
And you’re off and running so that puts a lot of pressure back on HubSpot that changes the industry and it makes it a situation where you know, we have to for see trends that are coming in a world where the founder is going to be executing these processes and is going to know what marketing automation means not that it’s just a cost on a balance sheet.
He’s going to actually have touch that system at some point and really understand what it does. So let’s talk about hypotheses. Let’s talk [00:06:00] about what you foresee happening in the world of marketing technology and then tie it back to the democratization of the. Yeah, well, I think you really put your finger on it here that you know, it’s there’s a certain amount of this that is a cost curve just in the tools themselves and you’re right.
There’s just always constant pressure for any vendor in this space, you know to continually offer more, you know greater value, but the real cost savings are the fact that you don’t need specialists. To run this stuff. You don’t need specialist executed that you know, really anyone, you know, I mean, I guess if you’re the DIY owner you can you know, certainly do that.
But you know, even if you’re a large organization, you know, it’s a big difference between having to have like a very highly paid developer type person do this versus having something that any one of your marketing managers is empowered to be able to go in and build the campaign and build the landing page and, you know [00:07:00] run it out be able to get the.
That accident report on and understand it. I think we’re just only going to see more of that over the next five years. It’s going to continue to accelerate the sorts of capabilities that the average marketer is going to be able to do. Yeah, it’s it’s going to feel like science fiction, you know in some ways.
I’ll give you one example, right? I mean even just this idea of you know apps, you know used to be if you want to build an app. You needed a software engineer. Well, you know now we’ve got these low code and no code platforms that are coming up drag and drop where yeah, actually anyone can build an app.
That might be a mobile app. It might be a web app. It might be a bot, you know, so yeah. Courage, you know marketer is going to have super powers. That’s pretty cool. Yeah, and I can tell you this from my development with marketing automation going from junior level marketer using [00:08:00] one or two tools using the smaller end tools using the single use case tools like the male chimps of the world or the individual crms going from that world to learning how to obviously integrate all of the systems, which I think takes you into that.
Of now you’re past the having to go off to another department to commit that next step. And now you’re in that world where the marketer can implement the tools fast-forward and the real value of marketers in five years from now is not just the fact that they can build the system and they understand the system and they can run the system but a world where they can plug and play and they understand the benefits both on the cost side on the speed side and.
Flexibility side of deciding whether or not that tool is the best or what use cases require or deem necessary to use an all-encompassing tool versus plugging and playing and you become [00:09:00] a use case expert and I don’t know if that makes a ton of sense, but the specific premise. I’m considering. The value proposition of a marketing automation expert is not have you built this system before but can you give me five variations of this system that could potentially either save me money or save me time and then can you build it out for me moving from the citizen technologists?
That’s a specialist to the citizen technologists that is both a specialist in marketing automation. But also a specialist in the strategy aspect and understanding how these systems talk to each other something like that. Now Scott your plan to stay relevant. And this is where I think when I put out the questions in the communities about HubSpot and having you on today, you know, a lot of people had technology specific questions feature based questions.
I got rid of most of those I kept the AI question which will touch on in a minute but specific to democratization of technology and specific to the technology itself. [00:10:00] What would you say your plan is to stay relevant in this space. Sure. So this my focus here at HubSpot is with this journey. We’re on from having come from being primarily A Product Company focused mostly on our own products that we build to becoming truly a platform company where we don’t look at it as just our products.
We look as our products plus this entire ecosystem of Partners who are collaborating with us to bring a much richer set of capabilities. To customers and this goes far beyond Mark Tech, you know, it’s how do you integrate? All these things at HubSpot can do with all sorts of adjacencies, you know, so I think yeah, this is this journey.
We’ve made tremendous progress in this past year. I think we’ve got a lot of work to do in the next couple of years ahead as well too and we will keep working on making the product a better [00:11:00] platform product and I will keep working. On reaching out to the ecosystem here and making sure that yeah, we find ways.
We can make our existing Partners more successful and new partners who could have a great opportunity collaborating with us as well. Yeah, and I think it’s more of just what’s happening with HubSpot the power of your platform and how you just continue to build and continue to stay relevant while in that time period you can list out how many tools have come and gone and how many tools have tried to do what you guys have done but fail and stayed in their Lane, maybe they try to go Upstream a little bit or maybe they tried to add on marketing automation to a CRM but fail, you know the trend line for marketing automation.
It goes steadily up in 2017 and then dips a little bit you guys. One up and to the right. So it’s not that marketing automation is becoming more of a popular keyword or the pain points are getting higher. It’s more of you guys that just continuing to be [00:12:00] the most relevant name in marketing automation that to me is just like I mean I commend you guys and what you guys have been able to do and it’s a situation where from a marketing standpoint.
I just love everything that you guys have been able to do with accommodation to this high speed High Velocity industry. It’s incredible. Well, you know like everybody hear it. Up every morning and I discovered new things that are happening in my attack. This space is changing so fast that nobody certainly me among everyone else here, you know, you can’t just sort of sit back and say okay, I understood this last month.
So clearly the industry is going to be the same today everyday changes, which is exciting terrifying a lot of work a lot of fun. So if ever you feel overwhelmed rest assured, Everybody anybody who is in any way connected to Mar Tech feels feels overwhelmed by the pace of change. That’s just the new normal in my mind.
And in my experience is [00:13:00] necessary for me to connect with someone like you even though I may not use HubSpot right now. It may not be relevant. I have to know everything that’s going on just like you do in order to be the best at your job and to give as much value back to HubSpot as a platform. You have to connect with those people you have to kind of understand the way they see things and have those conversations and your conference as well as your blog is a perfect opportunity to go ahead and do that and tie it all back in and the subject matter expertise versus thought leader.
I believe you can you can be perceived as a thought leader simply based on your title and based on some content that you push out but to be a thought leader or sorry to be a subject matter expert. You really have to know your stuff. You really have to live it on a thousand hours type stuff. So so let’s do this.
I mean, let’s get back to the crowd questions. I put out a little post on the LinkedIn group. As well as a slack workstation that we have [00:14:00] a bunch of really smart people and and I have a cool bunch of questions for you. I think you agree to answer a few of them and we have time to do so. So let’s see if we can answer five questions here rapid-fire.
The first is from Stephen its sales porch and he says HubSpot just integrated video in their platform through vidyard. Would love to hear about how you see future video in sales service and marketing. So pretty broad question. You can boil it back down to how it relates to you and your job, but go ahead and touch on video and HubSpot.
Yeah. I mean the short answer is you know videos on fire. I mean, it’s a preferred content format for some of the use cases, you know, and I think it’s actually great, you know the position we have to be able to see use cases across the marketing Org the sales Org the customer success. Service organizations.
So yeah, I only see that continuing to accelerate. Got it. And any other product [00:15:00] Vance men’s features anything around video that you guys are quote unquote doubling down on that would be relevant right now that you can mention. So yeah, I think they shoot me if I talk about future product releases, but I can say from an ecosystem perspective right?
It’s not just the video capabilities at HubSpot has you know natively now, we also have an incredible set of partners for helping with everything from how you create different kinds of videos to you know technology for vet. Webinars have been advancing in on the video side here tremendously as well, too.
So yeah, lots of capabilities out there in the video ecosystem got it. That’s exciting stuff. Okay. So let’s move on now Krish at fireflies. That II he asks, I’d be really curious if their support is more tailored around messaging and email or even voice calling in the near future. Yeah. I think the day it’s more messaging and email.
You know, what we see is the key. Libby’s of our support product or you know based around [00:16:00] ticketing knowledgebase customer satisfaction, you know, I mean, there’s web interactions that happen around that to and having all that stuff come to a common system of record. I can’t comment about the future functionality.
But I do agree that the number of channels through myth which customers are seeking service is expanding and I expect we’ll keep Pace with that. Yeah, and I think we’re he’s getting at knowing Chris you knowing fireflies. I think he’s getting at more of the ability to have a voice interaction with your marketing automation campaign be supported in a way that like an email interaction is supported inside HubSpot so voices voices.
Is obviously a big proponent of new marketing stacks and how you use voice whether it’s falling or allowing them to to chat with you via voice in on the front end, but moving on Ron from Moodle.com. What are the new platform trends that Scott sees looking ahead we touched on this but anything you [00:17:00] didn’t mention go ahead and mention it there.
Sure. Well, I think everyone is sort of headed towards this open platform world. I mean open open open including this idea of. La petition, you know that even companies that are competitive to a certain degree. We’re also seeing them integrate with each other, you know, because there’s customer overlap inevitably and helping those Mutual customers be successful and to being good for everyone.
So I really see the the mission is for you know, all of us Mar Tech vendors to make integration as seamless as easy for our customers as possible. I think we’re increasingly up to the task. I believe so and the trend line speaks to that and I like that keyword coopertition. So bringing in your competitors leveraging some of the value that your competitors have.
Tie them in don’t box them out, right? Okay. So Nolan from Clemens dot IO, he asks about Integrations with chat box. [00:18:00] That’s an easy one. You guys have a chatbot solution, correct? Yes so bad two thumbs up. But again, you know as begin coopertition. We also have Integrations on our ecosystem with many other chap profit providers to like intercom and draft love it.
All right moving on. I was an easy one two last questions here, so. Ryan from infinite grow asks, it would be interesting to know if Hub spots vision of AI in marketing and its practical role in the HubSpot. So knowing about Ai and its role in the HubSpot platform anything you can say about that.
So the a I work at HubSpot is very practical in the way. We’re looking at use it mostly, you know, machine learning focus on everything from lead scoring to the optimal time to send a prospect an email, you know, just as as we get more data, you know from more customers for more kinds of touch points those just increasing opportunities for us.
Apply [00:19:00] machine learning. Yeah to understand algorithmic ways. We can optimize all these different capabilities for our customers. I love it. I love and we’re almost out of time here. So without diving in too deep. I just got back from I’ll just a number of months ago, but I went to the AI Summit and VP of marketing director of marketing CMOS.
All seeming to be very very confused with the difference between Ai and machine learning confused in the sense that they mistake machine. For a I can you just give us high level differences between machine learning and AI? Oh, well, you know the joke goes that you know AI is anything we can’t do yet and machine learning is anything we can but I mean, you know machine learning is a subset of a I you know, it’s generally a very data-driven, you know, like almost sometimes called statistics its speed and scale a little bit more than that, you know modeling and what not, but it’s very much about looking at.
To finding patterns [00:20:00] extrapolating from those patterns making decisions. There are many other kinds of aii right now, you know natural language processing is a whole field of AI both very, you know, interpreting language for being able to generative language. So. Yeah, the AI field is very very large machine learning is a very well-defined subset of that.
Most of the things that people are doing in Mark Tech are actually in that machine learning category. That’s really what I was getting at people are confused because the date’ eyes of the world confuse them you need to understand that you have data that’s being collected on you or any given data set and you can apply algorithms to that data set to make predictive responses whether that’s a new Landing.
Age that shows you content based on your historical interactions with the website or email Etc. That’s a machine learning. It’s a necessity to create AI but it is not AI so I’m glad you guys take the [00:21:00] Practical approach and not the approach that some marketers take where they claimed AI when it’s not AI sorry some Brands take when they claim AI when it’s not a.
So I love it. This has been a very awesome open honest conversation about the future of democratization of mar Tech and your role in that democratization. I think you are at the Forefront and by that, I mean you should be number one. I believe for that keyword your your blog post that I will link to so because we’re marketing automation expert Scott.
We’re going to segment our audience and we’re going to give them some calls to action. So why don’t you give us a call to action for speakers? Gyros and influencers in the space that want to get involved in your conference. Go ahead great. Well, we have a call for speakers for our 2019 spring event open now go to Chief Mark Tech.com.
You’ll see the post for that yacht it and next we have startups that want to get involved in HubSpot, but may have a misconception that it is out of their price [00:22:00] range. What can they do? Oh goodness come to HubSpot.com. And then you can download a free version of all of our tools. Give it a try. I have not heard.
Cheaper price than free. So that’s a great call to action for all you startups out there to try out HubSpot if you want to now finally the Upstream organization leads that may want to switch. Maybe they’re on Marketo or whatever and they want to come and join HubSpot. I assume that’s just a hub spot.com or is there a specific funnel for the larger Enterprise level heads of Martha?
I’ll start with appspot.com again actually even to you might want to download a free version just to see it. But then yeah, we can certainly, you know get connect on the phone number very right there to talk to someone who can walk through a more advanced implementation come on it and finally for you if anyone wants to connect with you, would you like them to do it on Twitter LinkedIn all the above?
What should I link to Sure? Yes. I am at Chief martinek without the H at the end on Twitter. And yeah SJ Brinker [00:23:00] on LinkedIn. I love it and I’ll link to all this in the notes it all. On the automated day of logs. It’s check that out. I’m Alex Glenn that’s got Brinker the VP of platform ecosystem for Hub spot.com.
We are lucky to have Scott and thank you for the time. I believe we’re two minutes shot. So we’re good. So thank you sir. Let’s chat offline. And again, this has been great. Sounds great. Thank you so much for having me. Alex. Talk soon. Bye.