What is a HubSpot Agency?
This isn’t a trick question.
An agency, as you know, is a business established to provide a service.
HubSpot, as you ought to know, is the greatest marketing technology platform on this side of the Milky Way. Debatably. (We’re happy to debate that any time.)
It follows that a HubSpot Agency is an agency that helps you get the most out of your HubSpot platform. These agencies are all part of HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program -- which has been rebranded to the Solutions Partner Program as of 02/05/2020. So these mercenary martech masters may also be called Partner Agencies, or Solutions Agencies.
We’ve also heard them called VAR (value-added resellers), which we think is weird and clinical sounding, but marketing and sales do love their acronyms.
Or should we say marketing and sales and service? A HubSpot Agency deals in all three.
A HubSpot Agency is Marketing and Sales and Service, Oh My!
Well, we can’t speak for all HubSpot Agencies. Some will specialize. But what is a HubSpot agency if not a master of the tool? And HubSpot tools include a complete software stack for marketing, sales, and service: It’s not part of a complete breakfast -- it’s all the breakfast you’ll ever need. The Grand Slam. The Continental. The International.
But imagine if that breakfast came to you as a box of ingredients (p.s., this is a real thing these days, because apparently no one taught Millennials how to cook) as with Blue Apron or any of a dozen other meal kit delivery services. And there’s not an exact recipe, just some vague suggestions. And because I really love half-baked cooking metaphors, we’ll say that you have to cook for a lot of customers. All day. Every day.
The only way to make that work is by implementing systems; the only way to make it work effectively is to train your people on these systems and automate as much of these systems as possible.
A HubSpot Agency is the team of seasoned chefs who come in and show you how to run (and automate) these systems.
Okay, done with the metaphor because it’s been sufficiently milked.
Put concisely, a HubSpot Agency is a provider that works with you to get what you need out of the platform. Sometimes it’s training on the tools; other times it’s optimizing your existing systems; and still other times it’s masterminding your entire inbound strategy (Chief Martech Officer is pretty good at this; i.e., $3-million-dollars good).
That being said, not all agencies with the “HubSpot Partner” stamp of approval are really HubSpot partners. Here’s where you need to watch out.
Flavors of HubSpot Agency
There are thousands of HubSpot agencies across the globe. Some are retailers, some are consultants, some are both. What your needs are will determine who you partner with:
- The Noncommittal. At one end of the spectrum is the partner who offers several product lines or services, even competing software stacks. They layer in HubSpot in the event that a client wants it.
- The Side Piece. Then comes the company that primarily offers once service (like web dev or PR), but offers HubSpot on the side.
- The Lifer. These are the agencies that are 100% dedicated to HubSpot and the inbound marketing model. And to the above partner types we say, in our best Bane impersonation: “You merely adopted the HubSpot; we were born in it, molded by it.”
So, how do you choose a good HubSpot agency? One of the best bits of criteria you can use is HubSpot’s tiered levels. Tiers are based on “monthly recurring revenue (MRR), acquired and managed, retention, software engagement, and actual inbound marketing success.” There are six tiers of HubSpot agency:
- Solutions Provider
- Solutions Partner
- Gold Partner
- Platinum Partner
- Diamond Partner
- Elite Partner
Choosing a HubSpot Agency
What you need from an agency (on the retailer to consultant spectrum) and an agency’s tiers are the two most straightforward criteria for paring down your options. But there are some other considerations to take into account.
You’re likely familiar with a marketing funnel (or better yet, a flywheel). The idea is that you insert leads and output customers, with less qualified leads leaving the funnel on the way down.
We’d suggest passing all your prospective partner agencies through one of these. On the HubSpot Agency page you can run some basic filters such as:
- Budget Types
Under Additional Filters you can also sort by certification. This is helpful if you need a specific kind of task completed. For example, sorting for CMS Implementation will show you only agencies that have completed that certification, and therefore are best qualified to assist with your website redesign and CMS implementation.
If you like face time, want in-person training, or need an agency that understands the locale, you may also consider sorting by State and/or city.
That’s it in a breakfast burrito. Want to learn more about HubSpot Agency? If you found this article helpful, you may also enjoy:
If you are a HubSpot user and want to master the platform, feel free to contact us with any questions and book a Free Chat with one of our HubSpot experts.