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John Bonini

By John Bonini

Apr 29, 2014


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“Why I Despise HubSpot”: The Story of an Ignorant Entrepreneur

John Bonini

By John Bonini

Apr 29, 2014

“Why I Despise HubSpot”: The Story of an Ignorant Entrepreneur

Ignorance is bliss?

Well, maybe from a protagonist's standpoint. But for those in observance, it can be tiresome, frustrating, and downright comical. 

That's where I found myself last week after checking my email one morning. Bob Ruffolo, our CEO, had shared with me a video from Luke Nesler, co-founder of Impakt Creative Marketing & Branding, where he discusses why he feels HubSpot is a failed attempt at any company's marketing efforts and a company he's "really grown to more or less despise." 


He also praised the founder of HubSpot as a "genius" — although it's unclear if he meant Brian Halligan or Dharmesh Shah – but that he hates everything [his] company stands for. 

Much like your friend who knows everything about politics, and therefore could change the world if only his views on foreign policy were heard, Nesler speaks with a confidence so genuine that it's a shame it's so misguided.

See for yourself. (Video after the jump.) 

The Video

Here is Nesler's take on "Why HubSpot Doesn't Work." There's a lot to digest here, so please, take your time. When you're ready, I've included some takeaways below. 

"Let me tell you right now why I would never offer [HubSpot] to you if you were one of my clients. Basically, what they do is email marketing. How many of you go home at the end of the day and can't wait to find all of the spam that's in your inbox? Yeah, me either." – Nesler

Saying HubSpot does email marketing is like saying Apple makes navigational apps. While both are technically true, both statements are comical in their seemingly purposeful exclusion of just about everything the company does and the true value of what it offers. 

HubSpot is a software that streamlines just about every marketing channel and platformyou could think of, enabling users to execute more holistic campaigns. Email marketing is only a small part of that. 

They also pioneered the inbound marketing movement, to you know, counteract traditional, less effective methods of marketing. The antithesis of spam, if you will. (More on that in a second.)

Nesler goes on to reference Polo as a brand that he likes, but is disgusted at the amount of spam and deals offered to him after signing up for their email newsletter.

"It's made me devalue them as a company since I've given them my email."

Let's not denounce the entire practice because of one brand doing it poorly. That'd be like giving up on hamburgers forever because you weren't impressed with McDonald's. 

Are there brands out there executing horrific email campaigns? You bet. Are there brands out there doing it right with great results? Absolutely. No marketing tactic functions in a vacuum. They work differently for different brands, verticals, and industries. Marketers who believe otherwise are exactly why many companies are left with a bad agency taste in their mouths.

HubSpot, among many other things, provides users the tools to succeed at email marketing. The tool itself isn't the real value, but rather the methodology that HubSpot preaches in regards to doing it successfully with inbound marketing. 

If you're getting spammed, that's not HubSpot's fault. That's the marketer's fault. Read into the inbound marketing methology, and you'll be surprised at how off-base your analogy is Mr. Nesler. 

"If you've ever seen a website built on HubSpot, they are the most atrocious things ever."

Blatant generalization aside, every platform has its share of atrocious sites built on it. You get what you put into it, and the HubSpot platform certainly provides marketers the tools to build amazing websites. We have no complaints.

Naturally, after such a public undressing, I was curious as to what Impakt's website offered. 


From an inbound marketing standpoint, this homepage is very "me, me, me, marketing."

Learn about us. Learn more about us. See our stuff. Contact us. Call us.  

Where's the content? Blog? Resources that help the audience? 

It's funny, because this is what HubSpot is all about. Not hype. But help. Whether it's in the form of an email or a blog post, HubSpot coined the phrase inbound marketing to focus more on the audience much more so than the agency.

"Don't have word vomit all over your page. Mass amounts of text is very unappealing. That's what a HubSpot website looks like. I really just don't like the company at all."

Kinda like this? 


"You want a beautiful website, right? That's not what you get with HubSpot." 

You're right. It's what you get from a talented group of marketers, developers, and designers that makes a beautiful website. 

Again, HubSpot provides the platform to create a beautiful, lead generating website. If the agency you're evaluating says otherwise, look elsewhere. As generalizations like these speak to the overall capabilities of the agency who makes them. 

Moral of the Story

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And because of the internet, we're all entitled to publish them as well.

This is both a blessing and a curse, as you could stumble on a review like Nesler's, who I'm sure had good intent, but lead viewers astray with his misinformation.

Do your own research. Check out HubSpot's content for yourself. Educate yourself on inbound marketing and be informed.

Now that's bliss.   

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