An interview with Geoff Whiting, Content Strategy Manager at Hubstaff
We sit down with Geoff Whiting, Content Strategy Manager at Hubstaff. Hubstaff helps businesses reach new levels of productivity through better team, project, and time management.
How did you end up at Hubstaff and what problem does Hubstaff solve for its clients?
My career has largely focused on telling stories around SaaS and innovative digital technologies, both in marketing and journalism. After a brief detour into the logistics market, I wanted to get back to this digital space and focus on what's positive for people. I've also been a remote worker for about 15 years and used a lot of remote workforce tools, including Hubstaff. The company's commitment to transparency stuck in my brain, so when I saw the opportunity with them I dove right in. Hubstaff provides workforce management and reporting tools that can tell executives and managers how people are spending their day. We started in time tracking and payroll support, and are now moving into more robust analytics to help leaders identify employee experience patterns that can signal important items, such as top performers or risks around burnout. Our core mission is to make it easier for leaders to help their teams have a good day at work.
As the Content Strategy Manager, what are your main responsibilities at Hubstaff?
The crux of my work is to help companies and executives better understand how Hubstaff's approach to workforce management and support can help their businesses. A big part of that includes research and discussions with our partners so that Hubstaff understands how to be helpful and address the problems that these partners face. In terms of day-to-day elements, my core responsibility is to read and learn as much as possible about the modern workforce and look for ways to share insights and emerging best practices with our team and our partners. The finished product includes a variety of content on our blog and website, thought leadership pieces for LinkedIn, support our PR efforts, and internal documents and presentations to help us talk about and promote our values of trust and transparency when it comes to workforce data. I'm really excited about some upcoming work highlighting our leaders' thoughts on how companies can unlock the real potential of remote and hybrid work. It's not only the future, but a bright one.
How do you lead your team to organize and improve the marketing-sales process to increase sales and enhance the customer experience?
We're a fully asynchronous team and company, and every day means working with Hubstaffers in different time zones, countries, and continents. It's an amazing thing, and you can only lead and support a team like that by prioritizing collaboration at every step. For us, that collaboration is often a mix of task management and sharing opportunities across multiple channels and methods. Slack is our big discussion tool, while the Tasks software Hubstaff creates is central to project management efforts. One thing that sets Hubstaff apart from other places I've been is that we create a lot of small explainer videos for discussions. With these, you can clearly discuss a topic and share any relevant product elements or presentations, and there's no need for late-night meetings. Taking this approach helps us understand how deeply customer and employee experiences are tied, and what we do to improve EX has an impact on how we think about CX. I'm lucky to work with a lot of amazing people in all our departments, so questions get specific and detailed responses and are backed up by data. My role never feels like a traditional manager; the closest thing I can think of is when I played football and everyone has a role that is theirs but supports every other position on the pitch.
At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' Marketing and Advertising strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the overarching revenue-focused strategy of Hubstaff, and what key elements does it encompass?
We have a very robust content marketing engine that we’ve tailored to core ICPs. Hubstaff not only has amazing marketers creating content but we’ve got one of the best teams around to help us optimize it and put the right spend behind it so that we’re getting in front of those ICPs. It's a consistent, core strategy with multiple visibility targets, so final execution can vary. In SaaS, demos still reign. So that’s the common end goal. To support it, we focus on building a human connection by providing both high-quality education and customer service as people start to discover Hubstaff. Thoughtful answers to core workforce issues and clear responses to a company’s unique questions help us ensure quality leads with partners that are a good fit for our software and our mission.
What is an efficient marketing technique that you've implemented at Hubstaff or previous companies, which you believe is underutilized by most management teams - and why do you think that is?
I love a short email (warm or cold) with a good P.S. line. For me as a consumer, that's where I want to see personalization and a reason to click. And when a company does work there, I know they're thinking about the email as I'll see it in my inbox. It also captures my attention when I've scrolled to the bottom of a random email to see if I actually know the person or company who sent it. My focus is 'who is this and do I trust them,' which the signature line and the P.S. line can answer, respectively. At Hubstaff, we're expanding our case studies and will be building out email around those. I'm super excited to craft some P.S. messaging there, test what works, and look for opportunities to expand it into other flows.
Has your Marketing team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?
I know it's a little obvious at this point, but for a SaaS company focused on workforce management and remote employee support, the pandemic years changed everything. Now that some employers are moving to hybrid or returning to the office, we're seeing another major shift in who might benefit from our suite and who we need to speak to. What that means for cold outbound is we've tried it and definitely found some success, but what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow (and don't even think about copy-pasting from 6 months ago). With more companies entering our space over the past couple of years, the big goal for me is to ensure cold outreach is a differentiator for us. Hubstaff just got named the best overall employee monitoring software for 2023 by Forbes Advisor, and you can bet we'll leverage that.