SMX West Speaker Series: Driving Human Behavior with HubSpot’s Luke Summerfield

Luke Summerfield is on a mission to help others achieve their peak level of performance. It’s what he does every day at HubSpot as the partner services manager.

luke summerfield“I’m inspired to help others unlock what they are fully capable of and see the impact that makes on their mindset and life,” Summerfield explained.

For brands and businesses, unlocking potential in the digital realm means healthy conversion rates, which is one of Summerfield’s specialties. He will take the SMX West stage next month to share his strategy and insights in “Conversion Rate Rock Stars.”

In a preview of what’s to come in his March 2 session, he joins us on the blog today for an exclusive interview. He talks about:

  • Performance coaching
  • Driving human behavior
  • Having a growth mindset
  • Brands that are winning marketing
  • And more!

KK: You recently moved into a new role at HubSpot, transitioning from a performance coach to the partner services manager. What does your new role entail? What’s on the professional horizon for you in 2015?

LS: Although I’m onto my next adventure, I’m still a peak performance coach. Joining the HubSpot team is a new vehicle for me to accomplish this. At HubSpot, my role is to take an 800-foot view of how we’re working with partner agencies to identify opportunities and engineer the program to hit peak performance. We really want to see our 2,000+ partner agencies growing and succeeding with HubSpot supporting them in any way possible.

I also just launched a new eye tracking service: Easy Eye Tracking. Starting at just $99, marketers and CRO professionals can run an eye-tracking study on real people to gain insights of exactly where their eyes are looking and attention is focused. I’m excited to offer this new level of insights [previously too expensive and difficult to do] to the marketing, CRO and UX community.

KK: “I wake up each morning excited to inspire others to reach their maximum potential.” That’s a powerful statement that you shared last year on Instagram. What makes you so passionate about helping others achieve their maximum potential?

LS: I firmly believe that both people and organizations are capable of accomplishing so much more than they give themselves credit for. Many times it simply takes a clear end destination, organization/structure and someone coaching you to offer a new prospective and push you to reach a little bit further.

Luke Summerfield’s inspirational ink, as seen on his Instagram.

KK: Who has helped you achieve your maximum potential? How?

LS: One of the biggest game changer moments for both my personal and business life was reading Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why.” He provides a framework for discovering, at your core, why you do the things that you do. I’m sure many people reading this are familiar with his world famous TED Talk. If you liked this talk, his book dives much further into the topic and includes other interesting concepts. In the book, Simon applies his framework to the business and marketing context; however, it can be applied to virtually anything including your personal life.

KK: At SMX East last year, you said the goal of a marketer is to drive human behavior. What common mistakes do you see digital marketers making when it comes to the science of driving human behavior?

LS: I’ll give you an easy and quick one. One of the biggest ways marketers are falling short is not incorporating video into their website and marketing. Video is SUCH a powerful format that draws on so many of the psychological factors … I can’t believe more marketers aren’t using video. They should find creative and fun ways to use video on things like website 404 pages, automated lead nurturing emails, social media, video blogging, product/service pages, etc.

KK: What brands are doing it right when it comes to engaging with their audience?

LS: One of my favorite examples is from the P&G Olympics marketing campaign. Their campaign started with a single commercial.

And then spiraled into a much bigger, powerful marketing campaign as they continued to create content around this theme. This series is so effective because they approached it from an emotional context.

I’m also a fan of everything BetaBrand does. Marketing-related companies KISSmetrics and Optimizely are also doing a great job.

KK: You advocate a “growth mindset.” On your website you write “everyone’s abilities, talents and intelligence are not fixed, rather, they can be grown by challenges and learning.” What are the best things digital marketers – and people in general – can do to keep growing?

LS: One thing I would encourage marketers to do is to take your marketing hat off and put on a scientist jacket. Thinking about certain marketing campaigns as experiments that you can run to learn and adapt your marketing is probably one of the best practices as a marketer. Yet, so few do it.

You have to know that not everything you’re going to try is going to work. Things will fail and that’s good. If you’re not failing, you’re likely staying within your comfort zone and not reaching to try new, innovative marketing tactics. But, you must learn when you fail and then adapt.

Additionally, it’s important to invest in your own education and knowledge. One great way to integrate this into your organization is to have each employee set a goal to learn a new marketing tactic/strategy that you’re currently not familiar with.

Have them book recurring time into their calendars for learning and application. Then at the end of the month, have each person put together a short presentation about what they have learned.

KK: What are your chief objectives for 2015?

LS: Above my work at HubSpot, my biggest initiative in 2015 is to refocus my time into developing my blog and content on my website. I just launched a new site and am in the process of creating lots of great video blogs.

I’m also focusing on growing awareness around Easy Eye Tracking so marketers, CRO and UX professionals know about this great service to help them do better work.

KK: What’s your favorite social platform and why?

LS: For business, Twitter is probably my favorite network to use when looking to drive marketing metrics. Additionally, the ability to discover opportunity through monitoring is great for creating new relationships. I also really love Quora. It’s such a valuable network with a ton of hidden gems and offers users the ability to establish themselves as an authority within an industry.

For personal use, Instagram. For those who know how to tell stories with photos, it’s an incredible platform. With one photo you can get a snapshot to someone’s world, emotions and experiences. Not everyone is good at capturing this (myself included), but those artsy minded folks are great to follow. And for the most part, Instagram is unique with that storytelling ability. Facebook and Pinterest have photo sharing, but I find the people using those platforms have a different style and focus.

KK: Can you share one of your favorite Instagram photos?

LS: Yes — this is a photo I took of the skyline of Milwaukee (my hometown) while by the lake writing.


KK: You read one book a week. What were the best books (of any kind) you’ve recently read?

influenceLS: I hit my 2014 New Year’s resolution and finished 60 books in 2014. Here are my top recommendations for marketers:

  • “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek
  • “Influence” by Robert Cialdini
  • “The Buying Brain” by AK Pradeep
  • “Brainfluence” by Roger Dooley
  • “Made to Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath
  • “Switch” by Dan and Chip Heath
  • “Contagious” by Jonah Berger
  • “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
  • “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Renee Mauborgne and Chan Kim
  • “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff

Have a question for SMX West 2015 speaker Luke Summerfield? Share it in the comments!

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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2 Replies to “SMX West Speaker Series: Driving Human Behavior with HubSpot’s Luke Summerfield”

Great article, after sometime spent time today going through few your blog posts. Thanks for the sharing.

Luke is definitely onto something with all that reading. I admit, I haven’t been reading that many books (unless you count the articles I read online everyday). This year, I hope I can pick up the pace. Unlike digital copies, books are more permanent and offer different insights as their online counterparts. Anyway, Luke’s passion for inspiring others is definitely contagious. Thanks for sharing, Kristi.


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