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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

HubSpot Podcast Network

Finalist in Business to Business, Large Media Buying Strategy

Entered in Emerging Platform Partnership


In early 2021, HubSpot, the #1 CRM, sought to create a platform for business professionals seeking inspiration and education on how to grow a business. In May, the HubSpot Podcast Network was established with six podcasts–Entrepreneurs on Fire, Salesman Podcast, Being Boss, Salesman Podcast, My First Million, and MarTech Podcast. With diverse voices and a variety of topics, no matter your role or goal, the network was able to provide business content to help you grow and scale. 

Why did a CRM company create an audio-first platform? HubSpot is built on the belief that you earn attention by being of value to your audience. The HubSpot Podcast Network is an extension of that, thus our objective is more than that of a mere advertiser. Our hosts, like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs of Fire, Sam Parr of My First Million, and Jenna Kutcher of Goal Digger, go above and beyond to create exceptional audio content and provide actionable business strategies to their listeners. The network taps into that content in order to provide the tools needed to execute those strategies.

During a time when the pandemic pulled people indoors and many were rethinking their careers, podcasts offered valuable information to millions of people–entrepreneurs, aspiring CEOs, moms with side hustles, teens with entrepreneurial dreams, startup teams, and so many more. Through podcast platforms–such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and many others–the network became THE place to find FREE educational and inspirational content that could support an aspiring entrepreneur as they turned their dreams into reality.

Strategy and Execution

Beyond providing value for listeners, the HubSpot Podcast Network also sought to be the destination for business creators. We started building the program by first creating a flexible and scalable operational model–one that could support a very large number of shows, amplify the brand voice, and take each show’s production workflow into account.

Our operating model allows us to…


Establish a unique brand voice through podcasting by collaborating effectively with our podcast hosts on ad scripts.

By building strong relationships with our hosts, we’re able to use their unique voice, personality, and audience insights in order to create a custom ad experience. We don’t write scripts and tell people to read them verbatim. We believe and admire our creators, thus we encourage them to collaborate with us on ad production. To do this, we’ve created streamlined internal processes that both amplify our brand voice and the voice of the creator.


Support the growth and development of podcast shows with streamlined processes.

We developed a number of programs that support our show's marketing initiatives. Our Match program allows hosts access to additional ad funding in order to create more impactful campaigns and experiment with a variety of ad vendors. Our marketing processes allow shows to allow tap into HubSpot audiences and utilize our social channels and/or newsletters.


Create a community of talented and insightful podcasters and connect their communities to each other.

To foster connection between our hosts and ensure visibility for our in-network shows, we’ve developed a cross-promotion strategy that effectively blends audiences. Every show in the network runs ads to promote other shows in the network. In addition, we also have a Guest Swap Program, in which hosts can select other members of the network to feature in their shows. Beyond blending audiences, these strategies also work internally to build relationships and rapport between our hosts. 


Celebrate diverse voices and their listeners.

Providing a branded listening experience for our audience is a priority for the network, as is celebrating our hosts, their incredible, ground-breaking guests, and listeners. To celebrate monthly observances, we curate playlists of episodes from across the HubSpot Podcast Network shows to bring awareness to outstanding creators and highlight the business professionals that double as changemakers. This year, our Black History Month playlist included episodes, such as iDigress' "How to Become an Ally for Black Businesses, Professionals, and Creators" and MarTech Podcast's "Why Marketers Should Listen to Black Voices." In March, we will celebrate Women's History Month in the same manner.



Host Reviews:

"The Hubspot Podcast Network is more than just a network. It's a collection of some of the smartest, and most innovative marketers, podcasters, entrepreneurs and business leaders. The ability to learn from one another, outside of just podcasting is more valuable than any other network I've ever looked into. You'll work with the best podcasters, which will push you to be better, but also the best people who know how to scale and grow your podcasting business." - Scott D. Clary, host of Success Story Podcast

“Since joining, our average monthly downloads increased by more than +112% year over year. In fact, we reached our highest download rate ever just 5 months after becoming a HubSpot Podcast Network member.” -John Jantsch, host of Duct Tape Marketing


Listener Reviews:

Online Marketing Made Easy: “...I’m in the process of building my own online business and sometimes I get soooo despondent! But whenever I’m having one of those days, I put an episode of this podcast on and I never fail to find something I can do today, right now, that will help me make progress.”

My First Million: “This pod is PACKED with unique insights. It’s actually mind-blowing that it’s free...They not only teach you things, they instill in you a method of thinking and a winning mentality.”


Video for HubSpot Podcast Network

Entrant Company / Organization Name

HubSpot Podcast Network


Entry Credits