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Alex Winter

By Alex Winter

May 15, 2024

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HubSpot IMPACT Stories Endless Customers Podcast
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HubSpot  |   IMPACT Stories  |   Endless Customers Podcast

Data-Driven Success: HubSpot Fuels Berry Insurance's Massive Growth [Endless Customers Podcast S.1 Ep. 32]

Alex Winter

By Alex Winter

May 15, 2024

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Corin

HubSpot for me is the number one tool when it comes to looking at data and metrics. It's so user-friendly I am NOT a techie person whatsoever when I get into like Google Analytics and Google Search Console and all that stuff It's a little over my head


Alex

Yeah


Corin

HubSpot can be too because there's so much in there But if you really like dive in there's kind of a way to do Everything like there's been certain problems that I've wanted to solve like I really want to get a report on this like how do I? Do it and sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error and solving a puzzle, making a workflow. How do I make this work?


Corin

But there's kind of a way to do everything. So I would definitely recommend it to all marketers out there.


Alex

Welcome back to Endless Customers.


Alex

My name is Alex Winter. And today I'm joined by Corin Cook, who is our Senior Marketing Manager at Berry Insurance. Welcome to the show.


Corin

Thanks. Thanks for having me.


Alex

Thanks for being here. And we're live. We're at Impact Live. We're in Chicago. We're learning a lot. We're like, I feel like at some points today, kind of


Alex

drinking from a fire hose.


Corin

So much great information. Yeah, definitely.


Alex

Are you having a good time so far?


Corin

Oh, for sure. This is my fifth conference, I believe. And every time I just get so much out of it to bring back to the team.


Alex

Excellent. Excellent. So I think a good place to start, for our listeners and for our audience, is to talk a little bit about Berry Insurance and give people the high level what Berry Insurance does


Alex

and how your journey started at Berry Insurance.


Corin

Sure, so Berry Insurance is a small, independent insurance agency, family owned. We've been around for over a century and we're located in Franklin, Massachusetts. We offer both personal and commercial insurance.


Alex

Nice.


Corin

And I started there in 2019. So actually after our owner, Kaitlyn, she attended an impact conference in Hartford, saw Marcus Sheridan speak there and said, we have to do this whole, They Ask, You Answer thing. So she came back, had the whole team read the book.


Corin

And then at that point, she decided to hire a content manager, which is when she found me, brought me on the team. I started doing all of the content manager things, blogging, writing a ton, working on the website. And then after about a year, we brought on a video producer


Corin

and now we have a content writer who took some of that load off of me and also a community manager. So we've grown a lot in marketing in the last five years. That's amazing.


Alex

There's been a lot of growth. And I was lucky enough to come film a customer journey video a few years back because you guys have been crushing it. So were you previously doing content manager type stuff or was this your first time in that role


Corin

as being a content manager? First time in that role, prior to that I was doing, I started off in journalism and then I was doing a little bit of PR and it's internal writing the newsletters for companies, for the company I worked for.


Corin

But then when I came to Berry Insurance it's the first official content manager role.


Alex

Cool.


Alex

John has some really great questions that he put together, right? And I wanna hit some of these questions. We're talking about insurance, and that's something that everyone has to have. Everyone has to deal with.


Alex

It's like a necessity in life, right? So is that something that most people don't know a lot about? And if that's true, how does Berry influence the market and educate people and get them the information that they need to make better buying decisions


Corin

and make better decisions overall? Yeah, definitely, that's a good point. It does touch almost everybody's life, but most people don't really think about it very often. You think about it when you first need to get it or upon renewal if you have a good agent


Corin

who's gonna actually sit down with you and make sure everything's up to date or if you have a claim. So it's really not something that's on top of mind for people. So, you know, the whole catchy, fun marketing strategy


Corin

wouldn't really work for someone like us. I mean, we still do our fair share of fun, catchy things, but that's more for community purposes and retention. So that's why the They Ask, You Answer principles and education really do work for us because insurance is such a confusing topic.


Corin

There's so many different types of insurance, so much that goes into it. So, you know, over the past few years, we've written hundreds of articles on insurance and we have hundreds in the queue. There's so much to write about.


Corin

And it's always great to have that information out there for people who want to look up a question and find an answer, because it's not easy for them with some of those questions.


Alex

Yeah, yeah, no, and I was fascinated with what you were doing. And I felt like you and Kaitlyn were a driving force of getting this content out and starting the blogging train where most insurance companies aren't doing that. Most insurance companies don't have a content manager,


Alex

don't have a videographer on staff.


Corin

And years later, they still aren't. I feel so ahead of the game in the industry.


Alex

Yeah, so how has that affected the success of gaining new customers and building the business as you've scaled over the years?


Corin

It's been great. We've grown so much. We see even, not even looking at the data, we've seen it, personal stories, people coming to us and telling us how much things have impacted them, the articles they read, how great videos you made are, how informative they are, whether or not they're a client of ours or someone who just found us online and said,


Corin

wow, thanks for this. This is great information. So we've grown a ton. We've had to add a couple new account managers. Like I mentioned, marketing has grown. So there's just, it's been tremendous.


Alex

Yeah, that's amazing. So as a content manager, I know you've advanced in your role and the company's grown, but when you were doing your content manager thing, is there like a blog or something that really stood out to your point of like, you had somebody come in and they were like, this helped me out so much. And I made a way better decision because of it. Like, do you have a story you could share with us


Corin

that's kind of like that? There's one situation that was kind of strange for us. When the pandemic happened, there was something called EIDL loans. And I don't even remember fully what that was about, but we wrote an article on it.


Corin

It had to do with insurance and everybody was looking it up because everybody, I think it was small businesses need to apply to like a loan to help their business during that time and they need to the certain type of insurance for it. And so we wrote about it, we were the first ones to write about it, the only ones, and so that article blew up almost to a point that we needed to like we had to start put like a header on it like we


Corin

only serve Massachusetts, we're getting all these calls. Oh like all over the country? Yeah, all over the country like every 10 minutes you could hear a receptionist pick up the phone and be like sorry we only serve Massachusetts. So that was really cool to see like how much of an impact a blog can have. And it also really helped give us a lesson in how to cater our content better. It's good to have out there for people who want that information, but to cater it to show this is our audience, this is who we serve.


Alex

Right, and this is the state that we're living in.


7

Yeah, that makes sense.


Alex

So let's talk a little bit, too, about how HubSpot plays into all this, right? So having a CRM or having a centralized place where you can store all this content and you can track all this data, how, had you messed with


Corin

HubSpot before or was this like your first foray into using a CRM like that? So when I started in 2019, we did have HubSpot, but at that time it was really only being used for email marketing communications. Our website was on WordPress and so in early 2020, we decided we were going to redo our website and we had the option whether to stick with WordPress or do HubSpot.


Corin

Immediately I said, please HubSpot. I know just from the email newsletters we had sent out and stuff, it's just so user-friendly. I did a little research and I'm like, yeah, this is definitely the right decision to move over to HubSpot.


Corin

And after we did that, it was really a game changer being able to have all of our content up there, all of our videos, everything just integrated into the site and being able to look at the the analytics of everything and see what's performing well, what isn't, how can we, you know, change just looking back at blogs like this one is performing well, what can we look at in terms of data to see how we can improve it so it


Corin

starts performing better. There's just so much you can dive into in there and you can see we have our emails integrated so you can see everybody's, you know, customer journey if you want to and all of our clients and customers and what's working for them and what's working for us. Yeah, it really helps to make better decisions. And even though they may be tough, like if an article isn't working, it gives you the


Corin

chance to like update it and fix it and make it better so that you can serve people better and meet them where they are. Absolutely. Yeah, that's cool that you were in the headspace for that. So how does HubSpot today as you've evolved play into like your overall strategy and how


Alex

you create content as a team?


Corin

So in terms of data, it's actually kind of maybe a controversial answer, because we do things a little differently. I don't think a lot of business owners would agree. But we don't really use the data in HubSpot to track our success, per se.


Corin

One of the reasons is that we have an insurance-specific CRM that we also have to use the account managers, and it does not yet integrate with HubSpot. So we can integrate with Excel spreadsheets and stuff, certain reports, but it's a time consuming thing. And it's just never been, we're a small company and our owner


Corin

sees the success and day to day stuff. So she's always like, I don't really care about the numbers, I can see it's working, I can see it's working. But what we do really heavily use it for is seeing what's working well, and how we can improve upon things based on that. So right, like leaning into it more, like if you see something


Corin

that's really working, you can create more content similar to that


Alex

to just like really push it forward.


Corin

Definitely. You look at the blogs that are working well and everything and just say, this topic's really working. Well, of course, I always go to our account managers first and foremost and say, hey, what questions are you being asked


Corin

to really see what they'll use. And we also use HubSpot to track the content that they're sending out so we can see what they're actually using too.


Alex

That's great. And how does your sales team and the rest of the team, how do they feel using HubSpot and having their emails tracked? Was that like a process getting them to start using the CRM and to start really


Corin

like leveraging this to their advantage? Or what was that journey like for you? If I'm being honest, the account managers don't really use it too much per se. It is tracked through their emails and on the marketing side we kind of look at some of that, but they don't really dive too heavily into it.


Alex

Gotcha, so it's really more for you and your team on the marketing side to just really get a sense of what's going on and have like


Corin

your finger on the pulse basically. Yes, definitely.


Alex

Cool, very cool. So we know that better data means better decisions. We've been talking about that a little bit. What information from HubSpot is like critical that you really focus on? Let's get granular on like what are some of the metrics


Alex

and things that really help you make


Corin

the decisions that you make? So in terms of, we definitely use it a lot for articles. We track web traffic, but we also do a lot of just like looking at what articles are performing well each month. And then also, we have a really built out content library that we use internally.


Corin

So each quarter, we'll pick a couple different types of insurance and do an audit on every single article in that type.


6

Oh, great.


Corin

So we'll go in and look at the bounce rates and time on page, that sort of thing. Our content writer does a lot of that. He'll go through and say like, people drop off this article early, maybe we should add an intermediate CTA in the middle


Corin

rather than just have it at the end to see if people want to take action sooner. Or if the bounce rate is high, could mean like maybe it's title isn't really portraying what they think they're going to be getting when they get into it.


Corin

So we get really granular on looking at each article and making sure they're all optimized and up to date so they're performing the best that they can.


Alex

Yeah. And that's critical. We do that too. So Austin over here and I, we do a lot of video content and a lot of content in general and it's the same thing. We are always looking at engagement and where people fall off and looking at watch time


Alex

and then also tweaking titles. Titling is huge and I don't think people realize how important if your title is positioned correctly how that affects if people will engage with the content or not.


Corin

Yeah, absolutely.


Alex

So what do you do to shift? Like if you're looking at some of these metrics and you're seeing that maybe it's not optimized fully, what's that process look like? Do you like go back to your team and then like how do you start to like try to


Alex

fix the titles or update things so that it does, it does work to your advantage?


Corin

Yeah, so our content writer, Robbie, he'll tend to look at each, you know, aspect of it and he'll, in a lot of times, he'll ask the team like, hey, this isn't performing as well, is this still accurate, is this any way we can make it clearer and kind of just go back in and change things up a little when we need to. Nice.


Corin

So for other content managers out there and for marketing leaders out there, what advice would you give them for if they're not using HubSpot or CRM and what maybe would you tell them to like encourage them to like, hey, this is going to help you do your job better and help your team do your job better. HubSpot for me is the number one tool when it comes to looking at data and metrics. It's so user-friendly.


Corin

I am not a techie person whatsoever. When I get into Google Analytics and Google Search Console and all that stuff, it's a little over my head. Me too.


Alex

It's intimidating.


Alex

No, there's a lot.


Corin

Yeah, there's a lot there. There really is. And HubSpot can be too because there's so much in there, but if you really dive in, there's kind of a way to do everything. There's been certain problems that I've wanted to solve. I really want to get a report on this. How do I do it? Sometimes it takes a little bit of trial


Corin

and error and solving a puzzle, making a workflow. How do I make this work? But there's kind of a way to do everything. So I would definitely recommend it to all marketers out there.


Alex

For your experiences, I know you worked with the IMPACT team. You had some coaching and training. Did that help with your learning curve and getting you to understand HubSpot better and to leverage it to your advantage?


Corin

Definitely. Like I said, there's so much in there that you can do. They're always changing around where stuff is too, so it's making updates. It was definitely good to have that training. Still to this day, I go to Joe at Impact


Corin

and I have a question, be like, I'm really trying to figure out how to make a report for this, but I'm not sure that this is quite gonna work how I want it to. Can you help me out?


Corin

The training was crucial. Joe Bashir is a HubSpot expert. Yeah, he's unbelievable the stuff that he knows Yeah, I've solved many problems for me He's really good people yeah, there's a question here that I think is really interesting I want to talk to you about so John put in is there a particular workaround or like a hack that


Alex

You like to share with the audience that maybe has really helped you do your job better


Corin

Sure, so one thing that has been kind of helpful for us, that actually one of the things I just mentioned that I was really trying to figure out a report for that I reached out to Joe, is we really wanted to see which content was being used and sent out and how each of our account managers were doing in terms of sending content out. It took a bit of figuring out how to find exactly what we wanted. But we made a report for both articles and videos. And using the email tracking, we basically said, if an email contains the word article or video, and it would pull up a report of all those emails. So in our content library, basically all we had to do, it took a lot of time,


Corin

but we had to add article colon video colon in front of everything. And that's where all the account managers copy and paste from. So if article or video appears in an email, it shows up in the report. And that's something that's helped internally too, because that's a goal that the team has to send a certain amount of articles and videos each month.


Corin

And so it's been really cool to be able to go in there and track that data and also see which content it is, because I can go into each email and see what are they using and what situations are they using it. So that's been really cool to test out. So you're using the semicolons to almost tag


Alex

these specific keywords that you know you want to track.


Corin

Yeah. It kind of serves as a hashtag because it's going to be, because they copy and paste that title, so it'll say article, colon, video, colon, and just using that term shows when it appears in an email.


Alex

That's really cool. I think a lot of people are going to find that helpful.


Corin

Yeah, that was a fun one to start.


Alex

Nice, very nice. Since using HubSpot and integrating HubSpot, have you seen a difference in conversions and in sales? And can you talk maybe a little bit about how that's affected numbers?


Corin

I mean, can I see a difference? Not necessarily, but that's because we didn't know before. Like, it was the lack of knowledge. It wasn't until we got HubSpot until we could really look at how much our form submissions, I mean, they've definitely skyrocketed


Corin

since we started using it at the beginning, but what it was prior to that, like, we really don't know. That was not something we were ever looking at. So it's been cool to see, like, you know, how many people. We look at each month, web traffic as well as new contacts


Corin

and then which contacts I actually converted. And every time, usually I'll go into each contact too just to like check out their customer journey because it's cool to see like, hey, look, I'll bring it to the team. Look, Shelly, you did a great job this month,


Corin

assignment selling with this. This person went to all these web pages that you sent them this article. They checked it out, they reached back out the next day. So it's cool to share with the team like what you're doing is working


Corin

and assignment telling really works.


Alex

Totally, no, it's amazing to go from not tracking any of this stuff to now really hyper focusing on what you said, the customer journey. And what that looks like is you can really fine tune that and customize it to a place where it's exactly how you want them to experience it.


Alex

It feels really concierge and you're meeting them where they are, you're building trust.


Corin

Yeah, I was so amazed when I started, because before I never really did any sort of website management. I knew you could track traffic and certain things, but the fact that I could just kind of look at all of our clients and see


Corin

what they're looking at on our website is pretty amazing. I had no idea you can go that detailed until I really started doing it.


Alex

Yeah, so cool. So for everyone out there that's listening and watching, you gotta get your Sierra up and running because you-


Corin

You can do some digging.


Alex

You can do some digging, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it could really help your business. So we're at IMPACT Live. We're in Chicago. We got it We got to ask the question. How is IMPACT Live? I know this is your fifth. You said yes Wow That's a lot of impact lives to come to that's really cool So why do you keep coming back and what's what's uh, what's most exciting about coming to these events for you?


Corin

I feel like over the years like when we first started out with IMPACT we had relationships with so many different people on the team You know weekly meetings with different trainers and they helped so much just bring stuff to our attention that we weren't even aware of and now that we've sort of graduated a little bit we don't really talk to them unless we have a specific like thing we want to solve an issue we want to help them work through we just don't


Corin

have that communication as much anymore so I'm very adamant about going to all of these because every time I come I say wow this new stuff's going on and this is great and I got to like dip my toes back into some of the stuff that if you're not doing it all the time you can fall off on certain things so it's really like refreshing and motivational to come back here and be like, oh yeah, we do really need to focus in on this.


Corin

We do really need to keep optimizing our website and keep adding new self-service tools. And there's always just, it's invigorating. And I love hearing from other companies here too and what they're doing, because everyone's doing so many amazing things and everyone's doing


Corin

the ask you answer a little bit differently in their own way. So I love getting little nuggets from other people to bring back to the team and say, hey, we should test this out.


Alex

Right.


Alex

Right. No, it is definitely a good refresher to get back into the They Ask, You Answer mindset. And I agree with you, too. I think some of the coolest parts about what happens here is other industries and other people that you get to


Alex

interact with, you get to see the ways that they use They Ask, You Answer that might be different than how you're using it, could give you ideas that maybe you never would have entertained in the past.


Corin

Yeah.


Corin

I've gotten so many great ideas. We have been able to start using They Ask, You Anawer not only for clients, but also for recruiting and internally with our own team. And I think that idea started here, somebody talking about how they made


Corin

a separate learning center for careers. And I did that, I made a career learning center that's filled with content for basically every single, just general working at Berry Insurance, but every single one of our roles as well. And so when I'm hiring someone for marketing,


Corin

it has made a world of difference to be able to say, read these two articles first, here's everything you need to know. If you're still interested, let's have a conversation. So now I use assignment selling for recruiting and it has saved so much time for me,


Corin

getting on that initial phone call and realizing someone is just not really aware, it's not what they're looking for. So, and that's been a huge thing that I got from just a person's idea here.


Alex

Yeah, that was, I think, was that in Boston? I'm pretty sure that happened in Boston. Yes. Yeah, because I remember being, I think I was in the room too.


Corin

I think it might have been ATS who was doing it.


Alex

Yeah, yeah, and I was blown away with that too.


Corin

Yeah, and I was like, we're doing that immediately. I've got to do that.


Alex

Yeah, no, it's crazy how well They Ask, You Answer works on the client-facing side, but it also for recruiting is, it's great. Yeah. It helps you get better recruits and better talent, but it also is great for people that are applying


Alex

because when you go through assignment selling and you go through the motions, you can disqualify pretty quickly and know if it's not a good fit or if it is a good fit and you wanna really


Corin

let it go out for this job and take the next steps. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I used to have so many phone calls where I'd get to the end and they're like, actually, I was really looking for something remote and I was like, you didn't know that from the beginning?


Corin

Like, so now we have like everything laid out, everything about the job. And it really helps too. We have usually for each position, there's like a day in the life article and FAQ article. Cool. And it kind of covers most of what they need to


Corin

know and so when we do sit down for interview, we can really like dig deep and say like is this the right fit for you, is this the right fit for us and so it helps us like dive deeper quicker. Yeah, that's awesome. So I know we're only like halfway through day two but is there anything that you've seen or heard so far that like you're going back and that's the first thing you're gonna implement


Alex

when you get back?


Corin

Yeah, like I mentioned, there's always something that I realize that I'm not doing enough of that I need to get back into, and just seeing Vin's talk about optimizing your website and how it's performing and how important it is, I know I don't do enough of that.


Corin

We redid our website in 2020, and we're like, it's pretty good, it's working well, but I need to really do an audit on everything and make sure it's still, because things change in the world of the internet, and it's very important to make sure your website


Corin

is up and running. So I'm chomping up a bit to dive deeper on that stuff and


Alex

make sure it's performing well. That's a good one. We actually just interviewed Vin not too long ago about websites and whether to use WordPress or HubSpot and he talked a lot about how your website's a living breathing thing and even though it might be great when you redesign it, you can't like set it and forget it and not touch it for a few years. You have to keep up with it. So that's definitely true.


Alex

And for everybody out there, Vin Gayat is our lead web strategist here at Impact. He's also just a web developing guru. I don't know how he does what he does. He's a wizard. Yeah. Anything before we wrap up that you want to share or that we haven't talked about?


Corin

No, I'm just excited to, you know, see what other segments we have today, chat with some more people. I always get so much out of it. So I'm excited to keep going.


Alex

Well, we're pumped to have you here. Thank you so much for being on the show. For everyone out there listening, we always do this at the end. If they have questions and they want to follow up with you, what's the best way to get in touch with you?


Corin

Should they hit you up on LinkedIn or you on Impact Plus? Like what's the best way? Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn, Impact Plus. You can email me, you can look me up on the website, Berry Insurance website, email me, whatever, whatever. Sounds good.


Alex

We'll make sure to drop her info in the show notes if you have any follow-up questions. But that's our show. Thank you for being on the podcast. We really appreciate it. Great. Thank you so much. That was great.


Corin

Absolutely. All right, everybody, this is Endless Customers. I'm Alex Winter. Absolutely. All right, everybody, this is Endless Customers. I'm Alex Winter.


Alex

We'll see you on the next episode.

About this Episode

They say a decision is only as good as the data it’s based on. For Massachusetts-based Berry Insurance, better data means better decisions — and better decisions mean better outcomes.

Corin Cook joined Berry in 2019 as the company’s first content manager. At that point, Berry was early in its They Ask, You Answer journey. Corin focused on writing educational content that would be helpful to anyone in the market for insurance. Soon, traffic began to explode, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the Berry website. 

Self-service tool chatbot Berry Insurance-jpg

With visitors come opportunities, but only if you have the necessary tools.

Berry began using HubSpot to track its website engagement. HubSpot became the platform where all digital marketing efforts could be centralized — from email communications to full website management.  

“HubSpot is just so user-friendly,” says Corin. “It was really a game changer being able to have all of our content up there, all of our videos, everything just integrated into the site and being able to look at the analytics of everything."

In time, Berry’s marketing team grew to include a videographer and another content writer. That means a lot of content spread out across Berry’s website, social platforms, and YouTube. "Over the past few years,” Corin estimates, “we've written hundreds of articles on insurance, and we have hundreds in the queue.”

Today, Corin and her team use HubSpot to publish their content — and they use its reporting capabilities to track how that content performs

In turn, they use this information to inform their future strategy. After all, better data means better decisions. 

Connect with Corin

Corin Cook is the Senior Marketing Manager at Berry Insurance — a 100-year-old business based in Massachusetts. 

Learn more about Corin

Connect with Corin on LinkedIn

Learn how Berry Insurance tripled its revenue by creating better content

Keep Learning

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Endless Customers is a podcast produced and distributed by IMPACT, a sales and marketing training organization.

We coach businesses to implement our They Ask, You Answer framework to build trust and fill their pipeline. 

For inquiries about sponsorship opportunities or to be considered as a guest, email awinter@impactplus.com.

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