Back to basics


Consider the following annualised generative AI revenue comparison:

People are spending more on AI advice than they are on the actual AI.

(Sure, there’s lots of other AI companies besides OpenAI. There’s also lots of other consulting companies.)

Thinking more broadly (not just AI), we’ve seen increased velocity of feature releases from HubSpot this year (admittedly many of them include AI).

And yet, when we review the HubSpot portals of prospects and new clients hardly any of them are using any of the new features (let alone the AI ones).

Not for lack of interest though. Recently, Ian Jacob (who I co-host HubShots with) ran a webinar with HubSpot, focussed on AI features. More than 1000 people registered and HubSpot said it was one of their most successful. There’s definitely plenty of interest. Or is it FOMO?

Lots of interest, very little implementation

The reality is that most businesses struggle to get even the basics in place.

In our HubShots Framework we outline a maturity model for using HubSpot. Starting with the foundations, then moving to activity, automation and attribution.

Most conversations with new clients start with excitement and interest around the advanced areas – personalisation, smart content, A/B testing, automation, advanced reports, customer journeys, attribution, etc.

But when we dig into their business we find they rarely have the foundations in place.

You can’t build an automated sales activity report, if no-one is actually logging their sales activity…

And so we have to steer the conversation to the ‘boring basics’ if we want to do the best by our clients.

We all want fast cars, yet most of us can’t seem to get out of first gear…

Some days I wonder if we’d be better serving our market if we got rid of all our advanced consulting & implementation services and instead simply focussed on the basics.

Time to build? 

Always be learning about technology and its potential. But don’t skip the fundamentals.

As we start a new financial year, consider if now is a good time to resist the temptation of advanced features and AI overpromise, and instead knuckle down and shore up the foundations. 

Otherwise, how else will we be able to unlock the full potential of our business platforms?

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