Luminate Digital, founded by Lee Lummis, is a HubSpot Partner marketing & web design agency based in Spinningfields, Manchester, that specialise in inbound marketing and web design for the professional services sector. We recently caught up with Dan Strayer, formerly Head of Social Media at Brother UK, who has recently joined Luminate Digital as their Digital Marketing Manager. Dan talks about how his agency have been going from strength to strength since launching in November 2016 and how their partnerships and forward thinking have positioned them perfectly in the competitive digital marketing industry.
Dan Strayer- Luminate Digital
Hi Dan, thanks for chatting with us, so what does your role at Luminate Digital entail?
It’s always a pleasure. I started back in May as a Content Marketing Manager but even in a short space of time, that role has evolved to a more all-round Digital Marketing Manager. So really what I do is help our customers understand the benefits of inbound marketing. Traditionally people attribute marketing to newsletters, adverts in the media, impromptu cold calling, and paid for banner ad’s etc. but we take a different approach.
Inbound marketing looks more at attracting people’s interest through blogging, social media and content. Inbound marketing is more likely to gain a loyal following and gain credibility in the market, and our partnership with HubSpot has brought us on leaps and bounds. We always note that the appeal of inbound marketing is that it requires an approach structured around building trust with your customers.
Just for those who aren’t sure, who are HubSpot and what have they contributed to Luminate as an agency?
HubSpot is a CRM, sales developer and marketer software tools provider based in Boston and headquartered in Dublin for UK/Ireland. For marketing and sales best practice, their training, blogs and academy offer a wealth of free advice often associated with the right way to employ a full inbound approach, both agency-side and client-side. It’s great reinforcement for the HubSpot package in general.
For inbound, HubSpot, who are rumoured to have coined the term, have long been associated with best practice inbound marketing, and they certainly have contributed to what we define it to be now.
As for how it benefits Luminate Digital, the one thing I can’t stress enough is how our partnership with HubSpot has accelerated our appeal and success. We have experience of seeing agencies typically doing what they do, and then after say five and 10 years, they are picked up by HubSpot as a partner.
By contrast, that was our goal from the beginning. Luminate Digital mapped out our focus sector as professional services, serving accountants, law firms, crowd funders, financial services practitioners, just to name a few. We feel that this targeted approach made us attractive to HubSpot, which in turn has been our unique selling point.
What makes Luminate Digital attractive to clients and what is the typical process of your service?
Our main selling point is our partnership with HubSpot and our growth driven design approach to web design that maximises efficiency and results through time, team performance and resource allocation. We look at what the client needs, figure out how we are going to measure success, and layout a strategy and increase traffic and leads.
Breaking it down a little, typically our clients will make an initial contact via telephone or email. Here we find out what their goals are and map out their lead generating pain points. We then look at currently what processes are and aren’t working for them. From this, we map out marketing services designed to help the client attract, convert, close and then delight targeted leads the client is meant to reach.
As for retention, if a client is interested, the next stage is to take these goals and sketch out a plan around what has been done already and use what has worked best. Then offer solutions through a content and social strategy and buying persona aligning this with their target customer.
Beyond this, implementation and measurement through growth driven design, for example, looking at things such as website journey, user experience, keyword strategy and content.
The goal is leading a client’s customers through awareness, consideration, decision and hopefully through to delight where customers are engaging and searching for more information on blogs, emails, etc.
Great. So, what would your advice be for someone looking to get a job in an agency like yours?
If you’re on the design or development side, the most important thing a candidate needs to understand is Growth Driven Design VS traditional design.
As a marketer, a candidate needs to recognise the outdated nature of outbound marketing and how this compares to creative, pleasurable marketing experiences the inbound approach offers. The marketplace is teeming with this: it is amazing how many people are doing some form of inbound, but don’t recognise it.
I would also recommend that they get fluent in all of the literature that is out there and the good news is a lot of it is free. Free training from HubSpot is invaluable in understanding inbound marketing and this solidifies the person’s credentials in a range of areas such as Growth Driven Design and Inbound Marketing.
Truly, if you know HubSpot, you know Luminate Digital’s objectives. Do that, and you’ve essentially learned how to be a HubSpot partner. That approach put both myself and our latest hires in the marketing department (both from The Candidate, I’m sure you’ll appreciate 😊) in a great position to work with a HubSpot Partner Agency. Having gone through a lot of this training personally, I cannot recommend it enough.
That is great advice. Is there anything else you think is important to add in this area?
I think it is important that clients understand what growth-driven design (often referred to as GDD) is, particularly in how it is synonymous with creating an online experience tailored for lead generation.
Creating a website through GDD reduces the risks associated with website design such as high up-front costs and lengthy development time. GDD features a launch-pad site and then the rest develops over time driven by analysis and data. It really is the future of design as we see it.
To help clients we have a number of free resources on our website which is available to download and this is something we will constantly be adding to.
Thanks for your time and insight Dan!
If you would like to talk to Dan or anyone in the Luminate Digital team click here.