HubSpot CEO Divulges Success Secrets and Future Trends to Baltimore Business Leaders

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Brian Halligan Joins Groove and More Than 100 Guests for His First Trip to Charm City

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Creating your own culture and language comes with a cost. But, I believe that you shouldn’t follow the herd.

Groove, a Baltimore-based creative marketing, web design and development agency, hosted a “Fireside Chat” with Brian Halligan, HubSpot co-founder and CEO, yesterday morning.

During his first trip to Baltimore, Halligan addressed more than 100 area business leaders from various industries. He discussed topics ranging from HubSpot’s IPO journey, establishing an award-winning company culture, HubSpot’s top-rated platform, his future vision for the company, and where he sees the marketing industry heading.

“Creating your own culture and language comes with a cost. But, I believe that you shouldn’t follow the herd,” Halligan said. “Disrupt the herd and start your own, recognizing that it will take work and investment.”

Today, HubSpot has nearly 900 employees and has accumulated over 15,000 customers in more than 90 countries. In 2014, Halligan helped launch HubSpot’s impressive IPO, raising $125 million in fresh capital and leaving the company with a market valuation of $880 million.

“When a company is private, employees can know everything. When a company becomes public, everyone in company, all of the buyers, and the whole world have to have same information at same time. This limits information to employees,” explained Halligan. “When we went public, it was important to maintain open communication with our employees, so all employees have become insiders. While that is expensive, it allows us to still operate like a private company.”

Groove’s Executive Vice President and Principle, Mack McGee, moderated Halligan’s discussion. Groove is the only HubSpot Platinum Partner in Baltimore, one of 16 globally.

“As one of the highest ranked CEOs on Glassdoor, what do you think the role of a CEO is today?” asked McGee.

Halligan likened the Baltimore business leader to a bus driver, suggesting the following advice:

  •     Point bus in right direction.
  •     Make sure the right team is on the bus to help execute the company’s strategy.
  •     Make sure that there is enough gas in the tank to reach your destination.
  •     And then get out of the way - don’t stop the bus.

The “Fireside Chat” closed discussing the future “State of Marketing.” Halligan summarized that most companies resort to the way their marketing as always been done.

“Companies are still throwing money into mediums that are traditional, not tractable, and don’t work anymore,” he said. “Today, the buyer has the power. The buyer no longer has to go through a sales representative. Therefore, we must continue to disrupt the industry. The nature of how we sell has to change to match the nature of how we buy.”

About Groove
Founded in 2007, Groove is one of the nation’s premier creative marketing, web design and development agencies. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Groove delivers digital solutions to small and mid-sized businesses, ranging from eCommerce, web design, inbound marketing, and branding. The growing company has been recognized nationally on the 2013 and 2014 Inc. Magazine “Inc. 5000” list, as an Agency Post “Agency 100,” and as a “Best Young Company to Work for” by turnstone. Groove was also named a 2014 “Best Place to Work” in Baltimore by the Baltimore Business Journal, taking first place in the small business category.

Groove has forged partnerships with some of the world’s leading software programs like Magento, HubSpot, Bigcommerce, Shopify, and The agency is the only Magento Gold Solutions Partner in the tri-state area and the only HubSpot Platinum Partner in Baltimore (one of 16 globally!). To learn more about Groove, visit

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Erica Mechlinski
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