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Inteview image for Adam Ruhland

Adam
Ruhland

Hubstaff Tasks

Hubstaff Tasks is a simple agile based project management solution for productive teams. Our team is fully remote across over 20 countries and we use our own product to get more work done.

What led you into marketing?

I was trained in video production. After freelancing for a short period, I was hired to run video marketing for a startup. We sold internet marketing tools so a lot of the content I made was educational, focused on teaching people how to capture leads and market their business online. This role evolved into several more traditional roles, which led me to where I am today.

What does a typical day look like?

I start working at around 7:30 am. I’ll try to clear out my inbox in the first hour and then focus on a few projects throughout the day. I’ll keep checking email around midday and afternoon to make sure I’m not holding anyone up on anything. We don’t have a lot of meetings at Hubstaff, but if we do, they tend to be earlier in the day to accommodate multiple time zones. I work on a lot of different types of projects including page design, testing, content creation, and automation.

What’s your setup?

What are your go-to marketing tools/blogs and why?

I use a lot of tools, here they are

VWO - I use this for A-B testing our site, it’s pretty user friendly and doesn’t require dev time for basic test.

Hubstaff Tasks - Our entire company uses this for project management. We use weekly sprints to stay focused, and it always helps to use your own product.

Optin-Monster - I use Optin-Monster to run and test pop ups and other attention grabbing tools.

Woopra - Woopra is embedded in how we track the performance of just about everything. All our sales data is connected there so we can track multiple types of conversions across multiple pages, down to the individual visitor level.

Google Analytics - GA is still our best tool for our site traffic analytics.

Invision - Our primary design mockup tool. I spend most time commenting and giving feedback on what our designer comes up with.

Slack - As a remote team, this is our primary communication tool.

Zoom - We use Zoom for larger meetings.

Drip - Drip is our preferred email automation tool. The workflow builder makes it simple to set up custom email experiences for users based on behaviors and actions.

As for blogs….
postfunnel.com
Well thought out marketing insights without all the fluff and hype.

wistia.com/learn
Great tips on using video to build your brand.

sumo.com/stories
Proven marketing tactics shared with an intense level of detail.

invisionapp.com/inside-design
All things design and always well written.

What’s your favorite growth hack of all time?

I have a hard time with the concept of “hacks.” Early on in the world of internet marketing and startups, there were many famous hacks, like how Airbnb used Craigslist to get their service noticed. However, now there are fewer opportunities to game systems to raise attention. Hard work is the most reliable way to yield results now that marketing tactics are so overused and channels are so saturated. Content still works and SEO is the bedrock of any product sold online.

What company do you admire for their brand?

Wistia does a great job of sharing their enthusiasm for video as they build their brand. It allows the company to promote video as a marketing tool and not have to constantly talk about itself, which is a mistake I see a lot of brands making. The team is passionate about the way the product helps its customers, and you can sense that in just about everything Wistia does.

If you had to give a marketing course, what would you teach?

Simple Messaging 101. People don’t read every word we write, and attention spans are limited. It’s so important to get to the point right away and speak like a human, not a marketing robot.

What’s the most exciting opportunity you’ve seen to grow your business this year?

We’re launching Hubstaff Tasks, our agile-based project management tool. Going from a single product company to a two product company is a big leap and a big opportunity. It’s also fun to take on a new space (project management solutions) and be able to shift our thinking to something else.

What marketing challenges do you face at your company?

Paid marketing has traditionally been a way for many SAAS companies to rapidly grow. We have tried to utilize paid advertising several times and found that the ROI just wasn’t there for a product like ours. Like every company, we are in a very competitive space and there are always new companies starting with similar product offerings. Thankfully, we have spent a lot of time on the development side and always scaled our product in a methodical way.

What do you think most marketers get wrong?

Circling back to my response on the growth hacking question, most marketers think there is an easy way to get results. Obviously, to use a cliche, there’s always low hanging fruit, but I haven’t seen a reliable substitute for putting in the hard effort. No magic tactic alone will get you noticed, but a focus on tried and true strategies over time will certainly yield results.

Any advice for ambitious marketers?

Be picky in the roles you accept and always exceed your team’s expectations. Not all companies are created equal, so don’t just accept any offer you get. Make sure you’re in a place with smart people that will help you learn and build more skills. Do your best to make connections with people in your company as they will be your best advocates for future jobs.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Yes, our agile based project management tool Hubstaff Tasks. As I hinted at above, it’s our new agile project management tool that utilizes visual workflows and sprints to keep everything on track. It’s a great tool for teams that need help being more focused and only want to spend time on the work that matters most. Marketing, development, startups and customer support teams can all benefit from a tool like this. We’ve been using it on our own team as long as I’ve been here so it’s been exciting to start spreading the word now. It’s free for teams up to 5 users.

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