Speaker Spotlight: Kieran Flanagan


The content marketing world owes a lot to HubSpot: since 2006, the Boston company have been committed evangelists for content- and data-driven marketing, and their methodology has now graduated from insurgency to orthodoxy.

This spotlight focus Kieran Flanagan, a veteran of Salesforce and Marketo who is now based in Dublin as HubSpot's EMEA marketing director. We can't wait to hear him talk about content strategy and how to drive ROI with your content at Full Stack Marketing this weekend...

What does HubSpot do?

HubSpot provides marketing and sales software that helps businesses to grow. We have over 15,000 companies and growing.

What's your role there? What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm the marketing director for EMEA. I honestly don't have a regular day, which is why I like the role. I spend my time working with an amazing team who are working hard to grow the business across Europe.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

The short story is, I got an honours degree in computing science and worked as a software engineer for a few years. I was pretty average at the whole coding thing. Luckily when working on developing websites I realised I was more interested in how people would arrive at the website than actually building it. From there I got a job as an SEO, went on to lead a search marketing team, worked at Salesforce.com as their inbound marketing manager, went to Marketo and then arrived in HubSpot as their marketing director. I've been at HubSpot for 2.5 years now and am loving every minute of it.

What are you going to talk about at Full Stack Marketing? Why is it so important?

I'm going to talk about how genuine creativity isn't required to win at content today. In fact, I'm going to argue that genuine creativity no longer exists. Instead I'm going to show how the best content marketers take ideas from others and reorganise them in a way that works for their audience. 

For companies that are getting serious about marketing for the first time, where do you think they can get some quick wins?

It's hard to give an answer that will work across all companies as so much depends on things like industry, size of company, is it B2B or B2C, etc.

It would be easy to say blogging, choosing the right keywords for your website, doing some simple A/B testing on your most important pages, but they're all pretty obvious. Something companies can start doing immediately is testing different content topics and ideas via social advertising to learn more about what resonates with their audience. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn advertising can give you a lot of great information on what your audience really care about. This is obviously dependent on that companies audience being on social in the first place.

What common mistake do you see marketers making that drives you nuts?

Not trying anything new. It scares me when I hear marketers tell me they're running the exact same playbook from 3 years ago. They come up with an annual plan and then just copy and paste it each year.

(This would have been measuring ROI from marketing activities, but often that problem isn't because of the marketer — it's because of the crappy software they're being forced to use.)

And lastly, our quick-fire round, just to give our readers some context about you...

  • tea or coffee? Decaf coffee
  • wine or beer? Wine
  • Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
  • iPhone or Android? iPhone
  • Favourite city? Barcelona
  • Last book you read? So You've Been Publicly Shamed (Jon Ronson) and Getting Goosebumps (Dave Hazlehurst, Bryan Adams)
  • Last gig you went to? I don't really do gigs much anymore. Last one I went to was Nas and Damien Marley, I think.

Full Stack Marketing at the Turing Festival comes to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday 21 August. Book your ticket now — and check back here for more speaker profiles over the next few weeks.