Startup Secret: Hire Your Best Customer

The most important thing we did at Performable is to embrace our customers' feedback. In the early days, we were fortunate enough to have a handful of customers who believed in our vision and knew we were on to something much larger than conversion buttons and landing pages. Even now, we still maintain a sizable group of absolutely rockstar customers who constantly get involved in what we're doing:

Christopher O'Donnell

Originally from Transparent Language (now current customers), Christopher's feedback greatly helped shape the Performable toolset before we developed analytics, marketing automation or the idea of the customer lifecycle. Christopher's vision for the product and his enthusiasm for the team really made him stand out as a customer. He was emailing our developers nearly every day, asking questions and giving feedback. In the end, we literally hired him (in fall of 2010), and he's now a Director and Project Manager at Hubspot.

Robbie Mitchell

The skillset that Robbie possesses makes him an absolutely killer online marketer. He's comfortable in code, has an eye for great design and is deep into data and analytics. Most importantly, he values solutions that move the needle, something that's easily forgotten while buzz-words like "SEO" and "social media" are being thrown around so loosely these days. Because of that, Robbie has been great at keeping us grounded in reality. He sends us feedback at least once a week on our marketing tone, quality of support and the usefulness of the reports. Robbie's even come down to visit us and sat through user testing with several teams at Hubspot. He's even been a huge influence in the new social media application that we're developing right now. Robbie is an invaluable resource and a great sanity checker for features.

Sarah Hodges

Sarah is a marketer who is serious about analytics and data. This woman is so data-driven, we often use her data as a basic safety check that our systems were working properly. Sarah's helped us to answer the tough questions in analytics, like finding the lifetime ROI of paid and organic keywords. She's also helped us push forward on cohort reporting and communicating first-, last- and even-touch conversion attribution. You'll frequently see Sarah in Performable marketing material as well. She's helped us put together training videos, product videos and blog posts. Performable, now Hubspot Advanced, has so many other great customers who speak highly of us. People like Greg DeVore and Caroline Tien-Spalding have done so much to help push the product and the team in positive directions. Seth Godin has popularized the idea of making your customers into great sales people, but they can do so much more for your business. You just need the willingness to ask and the commitment to repay the favor.