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Austin Hay Examines What's Next for HubSpot's Newest Acquisition, Clearbit; Plus a Defense of Freemium

Hosts: Brian Balfour & Fareed Mosavat

Topics: Clearbit Acquisition; Freemium

Release Date: Nov 09, 2023

This week, we're thrilled to discuss the biggest bombshell acquisition in the marketing space - HubSpot's acquisition of Clearbit. To really understand the implications here, we tapped Austin Hay, a renowned expert in marketing technology.

Austin, who currently leads MarTech at Ramp, has previously worked with prominent companies like Branch and Runway and advised industry leaders like Notion, Walmart, and Postmates on their marketing technology strategies. Today he joins us to discuss:

1️⃣ HubSpot’s acquisition of Clearbit (Starts at 2:36)

2️⃣ A blog post by Bobby Pinero, the insightful CEO of Equals, where he tackles the complexities of Freemium (52:48)

Below, we’ll unpack the critical takeaways from our in-depth discussion on HubSpot's pivotal acquisition of Clearbit. For summaries of our rebuttal of Bobby’s Freemium takedown and Austin's views on which Martech tools are underrated and which are overrated, you’ll need to listen to the episode 🙂.

Finally, scroll all the way down for some key definitions for those who haven’t taken Reforge’s Martech course.

HubSpot's Clearbit Acquisition

Clearbit has three core products:

  • Prospect: A contact database, much like ZoomInfo. 📚
  • Enrich: A tool for enhancing your contact data. 📈
  • Reveal: A tool for identifying anonymous web traffic. 🧩

Here's why this acquisition is a win-win, and a word of caution for Clearbit customers. 💡🔔

1️⃣ Why it makes sense for HubSpot:

  • HubSpot is uniquely positioned to extract value. It can integrate Clearbit into all of its different hubs. 🔄
  • It aids the core business. CRMs are evolving to auto-fill over time, becoming more powerful and user-friendly. 💼
  • A seamless Clearbit integration could provide particularly strong value for HubSpot’s small to mid-market customers. 🎯

2️⃣ Why it makes sense for Clearbit:

  • Data has been commoditized. Multiple vendors offer enrichment services making Clearbit's core competency an add-on. 🌐
  • Clearbit didn’t own the workflow, limiting its growth. 🚦

3️⃣ Key Questions:

  • Will this still be a standalone product in a few years? We think not. ⏱️
  • How will AI factor into this? Could AI mine consumer data in an aggregate way? Or, could it leverage Clearbit data to auto-customize emails? 🤔

⚠️ A word of caution for Clearbit customers: If you're not a HubSpot user, it might be time to explore alternatives. 🧭

Key Definitions:

  • Good Redundancy: The ability to use multiple tools to perform a subfunction, with a clearly defined preferred tool. 🔄
  • Bad Redundancy: When a single vendor performs the same function across different parts of the stack at distinct times, leading to data becoming out of sync, outdated, or inconsistent. 📉
  • CDP: A system that helps companies unify customer data from multiple sources. 📊
  • CRM: A tool to manage interactions with current and potential customers. 💼
  • Enrichment: A process that enhances existing information with additional, relevant data. 📈
  • Reverse ETL: The process of extracting data from a data warehouse and loading it into cloud-based operational systems. ☁️