Why HubSpot is Investing in Account-Based Marketing Firm Terminus

May 15, 2017 · 3 min read

by Bradford Coffey, Chief Strategy Officer at HubSpot

I’m happy to share that HubSpot, the leader in inbound marketing and sales, has decided to invest in Terminus as part of its $10.3 million Series B growth investment. I’d like to tell the story behind what led to this groundbreaking investment for our company, but first I want to answer what I imagine a number of you are asking: Why would a company known for inbound marketing decide to invest in one known for account-based marketing?

Inbound marketing is fundamentally about adapting to the way people shop and buy. At the individual level, this means creating relevant and useful content to meet people at the search box and then personalizing communications all the way through the purchase process and beyond. But B2B purchase decisions aren’t always made by single individuals empowered to act alone. In those cases, it can be useful to include an account-based marketing approach in your inbound strategy. Account-based marketing applies the personalized approach core to inbound to situations where you’re building a relationship with multiple stakeholders at once.

To be honest, there were aspects of ABM that concerned our team. When done poorly, ABM can overwhelm a company with incoming messages and ads. It can resemble the spammy marketing that we all hate — and that inbound practitioners know simply don’t work. However, our customers were starting to successfully tap into the positive, personalized aspects of ABM, and doing so without alienating their prospects. So, we became increasingly curious about what ABM might look like when done in a truly human-friendly, inbound way. At the end of that investigation, we discovered Terminus.

We first met Terminus as we started studying the account-based marketing space in general. Terminus is the clear leader in ABM, but they also really get the philosophy of inbound. They understand that account-based marketing should be about precision and personalization not brute force. That is the kind of account-based marketing we want to see spread in the industry.

We invited Terminus CEO Eric Spett and the team up to Boston during our Agency Partner Day. The goal was for them to get to know us a bit better, and in return, help us get to know them. As fate would have it, I broke my hand the weekend before, and had to be in surgery while the team was in Boston.

As I was getting back online, it became very clear very quickly that the Terminus visit had gone over well. Here is a glimpse of what I came back to (these are actual messages):

Email from our CEO Brian Halligan:

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And then a Slack from our VP Product Christopher O’Donnell imagining a potential product integration:

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Needless to say, things clicked. We loved what Terminus was doing in the ABM space. We saw how powerful their approach could be to the global inbound community, HubSpot customers, and the customers they serve. We had no hesitation when we were given the chance to participate in their round of funding a short time later.

We look forward to building on this partnership with Eric and the Terminus team and are excited to bring inbound marketing and account-based marketing together for our customers. Please join me in congratulating them on a successful Series B round of funding.

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