Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K
May 18th, 2016
Your website is the most important marketing tool you have, but your playbook for building and maintaining it is completely broken -- at least that’s what Luke Summerfield thinks.
In our next episode of our Expert Insight Series below, the HubSpot Project Manager, Speaker, and Peak Performance Strategist, talks about the universal problems facing agencies and businesses in general when it comes to inbound marketing and how Growth Driven Design can help overcome them.
Like David Meerman Scott and Karl Sakas, Luke will be speaking live at our event, Brewing Marketing & Sales Success on June 3rd. To learn more about the event, Luke’s session, and get your tickets click here.
BR: Alright, welcome everyone to the third episode of our five part expert insight series. I am Bob Ruffolo Founder and CEO of IMPACT and today I’m honored to be here with our very special guest. He is the leader of Growth Driven Design, he is a partner of Program Manager at HubSpot and today he’s joining us all the way from the other side of the pond. Luke Summerfield, welcome buddy.
LS: Haha Hey. How’s it going? Yes, I am coming to you live from the great country of Ireland, I’m in Dublin right now and our office is out here. I had the pleasure of travelling around a bit here.
BR: Yeah, You’re on a little bit of a world tour right now.
LS: HahaYeah; Yup.
BR: Awesome. So Luke tell us a little bit about yourself.
LS: So, I’ve been in the marketing web design world for maybe about 10-15 years now and worked both internally at companies on the marketing side and on the web development side and then also worked on the agency side, working with clients and learned a lot throughout the years, made a lot of mistakes, figured out how to fix those mistakes and throughout all that craziness, you know, found a good aptitude to jump over to HubSpot and now not only just work on going from how do we grow a website, how do we grow our marketing program internally or an agency with clients to now let’s teach all these agencies about some of these things that I’ve learned over the years so that you know, hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes.
BR: That’s awesome. That’s actually when you and I really started connecting. It’s about a year and a half ago and that’s when you first went over to HubSpot and you came down our office to meet our team and we were all incredibly impressed by you. You had some great ideas and you’re really implementing those now, it’s very exciting to see the changes that you’ve done in this industry in a very short period of time. I think the one thing I was most impressed about was at INBOUND, the longest lines in INBOUND were at your sessions and that’s really saying something.
LS: (laughs)I guess, I’m just the messenger in trying to solve a problem that everyone’s running into and so I guess when you hit the nail in the head with a problem that everyone’s kind of running into, I think it’s the long lines and all that is just a by-product of showing that a lot of people are having this challenge.
LS: I’m excited. Looks like an awesome event. Super excited! You can’t go wrong with marketing, beer and sales and a bunch of talented, smart people.
BR: We’re pumped about it. For the listeners here, that don’t know what Brewing Marketing and Sales Success is, it’s an all day event hosted by IMPACT on June 3rd, at the Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, Connecticut. We have some awesome speakers, Luke is going to be there. So, Luke why don’t you tell us what you’re going to be talking about that day?
LS: Sure. So maybe what was this, like 7 years ago, I worked for an online eCommerce business who sold martial arts equipment and stuff like that and you know, really our main source of revenue is our website right. That was our bread and butter and that’s how we paid all our bills and everything like that and they are just like any website needs some updating from time to time and so we went through working with an agency trying to get together to build the new face of the brand online and it turned out to be an absolute nightmare.
Launched about three months late, it was supposed to about a four month project, it took us about seven to eight months to get the thing out the door. We had some technical complications, our orders weren’t coming through properly right out of the gate. We had a decrease and in kind of conversion throughout the shopping process just because some of the I guess some of the I guess assumptions we made along the way and so that was really like kind of that story of launching something and running into some problems.
At the time, we just kind of were like well this is just what happens when you build a website, there’s always a pain in the butt, and we moved on but it was tricky because it was like the main source of revenue for our business.
So, if you fast forward a couple of years when I moved into working for an agency, the majority of the work we did was website related work and it was really interesting to see where there was this pattern of the same exact challenges that I experienced when I was in the eCommerce business. We run into the exact same challenges with a lot of our clients. And it really got the gears turning where, you know, basically this challenge of things of kind of the risks of traditional design, the risks being the upfront cost at the time and our money being spent on this big project.
The fact that when I was working at the eCommerce shop we had to shift all of our time and resources away from our other marketing to try and get this website together; Then after all of that it ended up launching late, we saw decrease in performance and we were like scrambling and trying to get back to where we were. So all these risks, that’s really like---we thought it was unique to us, when we were at the eCommerce shop. When we went to the agency I saw it was across there, talking to other agencies I heard that it was kind of common for all of them. It turns out it’s an industry-wide problem and it’s not for any reason other than we are all using and we all have been using a very broken playbook for going about building websites.
All of those risks and then we end up launching the site and letting it sit for a year and a half to two years for very minimal small updates if at all because we are so thankful for things out the door we don’t want to touch it for the next two years.
That’s really what my talk is about... those challenge that I have ran into and I am sure many of you who are listening to this and who have ever been a part of a website redesign, you’ve probably had some of these things.
BR: We’ve been through this plenty of times, Luke. When we first started we were just a website redesign company and that’s what we did and one of the first things I noticed was that, even not just me noticing, I think my clients were noticing as much as I was when we build these websites for them and we spend enormous amount of time, effort, resources and it’s a completely frustrating project to try, and exactly like you, get them at the door and we’re doing this day and day out so you can imagine how frustrating it was.
Tom and I were here until 11, 12 at night and come back at 7 in the morning and try to get this portfolio websites launched and a lot of clients were coming back to us they would be like "we like the site and we love the design of it, but it’s broken. I’m like "what do you mean it’s broken?." They are like "well we thought we’ll get big uptech in and traffic and leads and that wasn’t happening."
So is that kind of what you’re talking about with GDD as well?
LS: Yeah, I mean, that’s the challenge, and again it’s not for any reason of lack of talent or lack of expertise. It’d be like going to the New England Patriots and given them a broken playbook and expect them to go to the Super Bowl, it is never going to work, and---
BR: Yes, the Jets actually run the scenes open playbook, since like the 70’s---
LS: (laughs) That’s a whole different conversation.
So we are kind of setting ourselves up for failure when we are going about doing these types of things and so Growth Driven Design is a new methodology, a new playbook that you can run that not only solves all of those risks, it makes sure you’re not spending that upfront cost, you’re not having to shift all your time and energy away from all these other things.
It gets launched on time, it gets launched on budget and then it’s a living and breathing thing and we lay out in the talk we will be laying out what does that road map look like, where should you be focusing your time, what kind of process can you go through for evolving your website and so we talk about all these things and that’s what this Growth Driven Design methodology is. It’s a new playbook to solve all those things we have all been struggling with for years.
BR: I think, you know, as Inbound Marketing when I first came up they were doing content marketing and they had this first mindset where we were going to start doing work on our site on a regular basis we going to create content and do social and do all the regular work and prove our website built out many pages, it almost seems like kind of a phase one, so what Growth Driven Design might be; which takes all of that to the next level right?
LS: Yes they go really hand-in-hand. So when you look at you are putting together what your ideal program is to hit peak results, you are really going to need a program that incorporates inbound marketing and the marketing side of things, Growth Driven Design, which is more focused on website and it actually like connects the website and conversion of the website and then probably looking at how do we transition that off to the sales team and really get a good bridge between sales and marketing alignment.
So it’s really those three pieces is what it takes to have a peak-performing site because you are right they are so interconnected and as you’re doing things on the inbound site it really can affect and improve what you’re doing and Growth Driven Design and vice versa. The things you are learning about your users, the things you’re improving, that can help influence what blogs you write and what content you produce and they really go hand-in-hand.
So we actually have used growth driven design with a few of our clients over the last year since you talked that to us. Getting a lot faster in launching websites because our clients know this is not the final product, we are using user data to understand how people are actually interacting with the site, testing different parts of the site to make sure we are getting the results, and within months you are starting to see an uptick where that usually would take six, months twelve months, eighteen months before anything starts changing on the site.
LS: Well, I mean how half the time it’s like you don’t even have to set up the door in six months like, that's a hard pill to swallow where you are a marketing manager and you are paying forty or fifty grand for a website and you don’t even see anything for six months, that’s challenging.
I always talked to your team and it sounds like you got really awesome things going on and it’s good to hear this.
I like to give out the playbook, it’s another thing to take that playbook and implement it successfully and so it is always good to see all the progress you’re making over there.
BR: Our clients are loving it, they absolutely are and I appreciate all the hard work you’re putting into this, Luke. It’s been phenomenal. To wrap this up, my last question to you would be, why should people make sure they are at Brewing Market and Sales Success to see your presentation?
LS: Simple fact: every single person who owns a business and is watching this has a website and if you don’t, I don’t know what kind of business you are in, come to the event and let’s have a beer and you can tell me how you run your business without one. I would love to hear.
The simple fact is every single business has a website and it’s really their number one marketing asset. It’s where you are driving all of your marketing campaigns, where all your visitors are coming to. Many times, it's the first impression that customer gets or prospect gets of you and it’s your number one salesperson. It’s working round the clock, 24/7 always trying to nurture people, close people and so to have something like that and be working with a broken playbook that’s really pulling yourself down and not allowing you to hit that peak performance, it just doesn’t make sense.
So, I think coming to my talk will help open your eyes to some of the things on how to look at approaching your website in different ways so you do end up finding a better playbook and make sure you get to the success and the results that you, your boss, your company, and really the user experience for your customers all really deserve.
BR: I am looking forward to it. I know my entire team, big Luke Summerfield fans, so we are looking forward to it.
We’ll see you in a few weeks when you are back from Dublin and one more last question before we go, besides coming to the event and meeting in person and having a beer and talking GDD, how do you recommend viewers get in touch with you if they want to connect?
LS: You can find me on Twitter @savvyluke, otherwise if you go to growthdrivendesign.com you can see some of the things that are around and that will probably will be the next step after the talk is gone there and if you are ready to learn a little more the deep dive that’s where all the resources are or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I try to be as open and easy to get a hold of as possible.
BR: Awesome, man. Well, have fun over in Ireland and we’ll see you in a few weeks.
LS: Yeah, take care.
BR: Thanks Luke.
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