Interview with Resa Gooding: becoming leading Hubspot expert in Israel

via Resa Gooding
via Resa Gooding

English speaking immigrants in Israel choose digital marketing as a conventional career path. Native English language skills help them to stand out from local professionals even despite poor Hebrew. Moreover, the best marketing technology solutions are released in the English language, so it is easy to learn them using the original online sources. According to data from 2019, there are more than 6000 startups in Israel selling products and services online with the help of English speaking marketing professionals. 

Even during this COVID 19 pandemic, when most companies have cut their operational costs, marketing vacancies are the most widely advertised on job-seeking platforms such as Glassdoor and Linkedin.  

It is easy to secure marketing -related employment in Israel provided you are a native English speaker; in fact, this is the most common entry requirement listed on job descriptions. 

 I have interviewed Resa Gooding, Co-founder and Client Services Director of Cacao Media with offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and Nairobi. Resa is a self-taught Hubspot expert and a successful entrepreneur. I wanted to learn about Resa’s journey from a math teacher to a leading marketing professional in Israel. Today Resa consults top hi-tech companies not only in Israel but also abroad and is teaching and building an international team of Hubspot experts. I hope her story will inspire the readers of my blog, just like it inspired me to succeed as a new immigrant in Israel. 

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Resa now lives in Israel with her family (having first come to Israel in 2007 for a 2-week vacation). When she’s not planning/executing her clients’ marketing strategies or training teams, she is most likely to be found sharing her marketing and sales expertise with a captive audience at any given co-working space. 

Resa very kindly spent an hour with me to do this interview.

Photo: facebook.com/cacaomediamarketing, via Resa Gooding

How did you start your marketing career in Israel?  

Back home in Trinidad and Tobago I worked as an economist, and I thought I could scale up my English to get a job as I did not know any Hebrew. This is how I ended up in this field. My first job here was as a Math and Computer Science teacher at Tabeetha, an International School in Jaffa. But after a year I realized that teaching kids demanded a level of patience I didn’t have, so I moved to a company called Outform which is a subsidiary of Nur Advertising (the company that does all those amazing billboards on the Ayalon Highway).  

Photo: gramho.com, via Resa Gooding

Outform specialized in indoor interactive displays for retail stores. So I worked as an Accounts Manager and had the privilege of working globally for brands such as Motorola, Microsoft, Absolut Vodka etc. Did that for eight years but in my last two years with the company, I morphed into the role of Marketing Manager, and in exploring options on how to succeed in this role, I came across HubSpot.  

I used their material to learn as much as I could about digital marketing and began doing their certifications and placing them on LinkedIn – and before I knew it, companies were approaching me to set up their HubSpot portals. To gain more experience I began offering to undertake projects for free with one of Israel’s first HubSpot agencies, Penguin Strategies. After six months, they offered me a full-time position, and this is where my love affair with HubSpot began. 

Did you get any specialized training or education in digital marketing and automation?  

Officially no, most of my experience came from a lot of self-learning and hands-on experience. I did have great mentors at Penguin that taught me a lot, but my knowledge of HubSpot came in putting in the 10,000 hours necessary to become the expert I am today.  

Photo: reachormiss.com, via Resa Gooding

How and why did you decide to connect your services and business around Hubspot?  

HubSpot is one of the fastest-growing marketing technology companies today. I thought that their concept of inbound marketing was really on point and could see the value-added factor it could bring to so many companies once it’s implemented correctly.  

And I think 2020 and the current uncertainty we are experiencing shows even more why such a company as Hubspot is important today. Companies that managed to keep the world of work functioning remotely have seen the most success during this time. And HubSpot has been one of the leaders in this space as it helped companies stay connected with their customers more than ever.  

Any company that was ready to adopt this technology found themselves actively working and growing online with the help of Hubspot, especially during a pandemic when many companies had to move their communications and teams to online working. 

Photo

Photo: facebook.com, via Resa Gooding

As a Platinum Consultant Certificate holder, can you consider yourself an employee of Hubspot? What rights do you get with this certificate? What is the main in the corporate culture that you like about Hubspot as an employer or partner? 

Ok, first things first, technically I am not an employee with HubSpot. I am what is called a Certified Partner. Just like B2B businesses generally work with resellers and partners to implement their software in local territories, especially where they don’t have a local presence, HubSpot has this same business model. 

So there are over 4000 HubSpot Certified Partners in the world and just over 25 or so in Israel. HubSpot also rates their partners in different tiers, so there are four levels – Elite (being the highest), Diamond, Platinum and Gold, there are only four levels here. To achieve each status, it is based on how many HubSpot accounts you’ve sold as an agency and how many you manage as well.  

They have also recently opened up their partner program to also include individuals who are service providers of HubSpot. So you don’t have to have a fully-fledged agency to be in this ecosystem you need to apply to their Partner program, purchase a HubSpot portal, and complete a few certifications to be qualified.

Now that we’ve cleared that up HubSpot is really one of the best places to work as a direct employee or a partner. As I work very closely with their employees through my Channel Consultants, I see that their employees have such freedom for creativity and to contribute to the company’s growth. For example, one of the gifts each employee gets is a free HubSpot portal so they can create a “side hustle” with it if they wish. Of course, this serves two purposes as it helps employees to use the platform and internalize the success it can bring to a business instead of just learning about it theoretically. But I also think the other and a sometimes less obvious bonus is that it allows an employee to set themselves up for the future and realize even after they are no longer working for HubSpot they can continue on this entrepreneurship path.  

Another key concept HubSpot gives to their employees is the freedom of remote work even before it became a thing this year. Their employees have the freedom to work remotely, and some have also formed a club where they choose a country to go to as a group and live for three months to work from there. So hands down I think it is one of the best places to work for sure. 

But since I am an agency partner I would also tell you from this side of the coin it’s also a great place to be. The support level they give us is unbelievable. We do get a lot of training and advice from the team at HubSpot, and they are always open to hearing from us on how we can help each other grow better – which by the way is their motto (author comment – Hubspot’s motto says: Powerful alone. Better together)

What do the Israeli companies that you work with like most about Hubspot to grow their business?  

Well for Israeli companies I think the most attractive thing is the price point. Lol! HubSpot recognizes that Israeli companies love a bargain and they created individual price points for such countries. So for example, startups that are funded by a VC get a 90% discount in their first year, and a 50% discount in their 2nd year which gives them sufficient time to ramp up their marketing and sales for success. 

But once the price issue is compromised, I think the next thing Israeli companies love about HubSpot is the ease of use. Now don’t get me wrong. Every system has a learning curve and HubSpot, especially being built on the foundation of Inbound Marketing methodology means that users must understand and appreciate this concept to reap success on this platform. 

Hubspot is more than just a marketing tool for businesses, what is unique in other devices that Hubspot provides – sales and marketing? And why?  

In my experience, I have seen that the reason why most businesses appreciate HubSpot is that it is the only platform that allows you to see the entire customer journey from the time they land on your site to the moment you close them as a customer. You can even serve them on the platform. Most platforms offer just part of this experience, and you are often required to use another platform to see that entire journey. 

For example, the most popular competitor to HubSpot is Salesforce, but Salesforce is a sales platform. The marketing aspects of it – email marketing, landing pages, automation etc. exist on their other platform Pardot which does not sit within Salesforce. So essentially you will need to manage two platforms to see the entire journey. 

Can any marketing or sales representative learn to be a Hubspot consultant?  

Hey, if I did it, anyone can. As I said earlier, I learnt this platform all on my own over seven years ago. Today there is so much more information and resources out there—the only thing required to become an expert is your time and willingness to learn new concepts. So yes, I firmly believe anyone can learn HubSpot and more than ever this is the time to learn it as more and more companies expect this expertise.  

Photo: facebook.com/cacaomediamarketing, via Resa Gooding

What advice and tips can you give to new English speaking digital media specialists in Israel? 

Firstly, for marketer or sales reps out there do take the time to learn any marketing technology system, whether it’s HubSpot, Salesforce, Pardot or Marketo. You cannot stay relevant in the market without understanding at least the basics of how these platforms operate. More and more, these are requirements in every job posting. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way for English speaking digital media specialists I urge you to take the time to learn HubSpot. It is one of the most accessible platforms to learn, as I mentioned before.

Hubspot will grow exponentially in the coming years. So if you missed the first wave, don’t be left behind in this 2nd chance. Get on the bandwagon today and if you wish to get any specific advice or assistance do connect with me on LinkedIn. 

Thank you for participating in this interview Resa and good luck in promoting amazing Israeli tech products to a broader world. 

About Resa Gooding

Resa is marketing automation and CRM expert who specializes in leveraging platforms like HubSpot, InfusionSoft, and Salesforce, which help companies generate more leads, improve conversion rates, and close more deals. She is the Co-founder and Client Services Director of Cacao Media with offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and Nairobi. Using CRM and marketing automation processes set up by Resa and her team, startups and traditional companies can devote more time to closing deals rather than getting bogged down in administrative tasks. Today Cacao media is the only Platinum Certified Consultant for the steadily growing Hubspot – world-known marketing, sales, and service software that serves businesses all over the world. 

About the Author
Nadia Katzir is a young woman from Russia - Siberia, who came to live in Israel and loves it. As someone, who chose to be in Israel not as a returning jew, she cannot count on the extended family network, the institutional help of absorption or Jewish agencies. Nadia makes her way based on the social connections found mainly through her networking and social media. She writes about people, who create art, communities, opportunities and her life in Israel at Haifisha.com, a website for social events updates and community life for English speakers in Haifa. In the past, Nadia worked in different international cooperation, education and NGO promoting projects in Russia, including the only news agency for social subjects in Russia - Agency for Social Information.
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