Eric Peters, Product Owner, Hubspot Academy, Hubspot took the time to answer audience questions after his presentation: Building Academy: Spinning Hubspot’s Flywheel with Content and Code at The Future of SaaS Festival.  

Eric talks personas, what a product owner looks like at Hubspot and how to effectively support and prioritize users.

Check out the replay in the OnDemand section of our membership area.

Q: I find personas get created and get forgotten. How do you keep personas in people's minds, especially when they have a lot of detail?

A: “Every time a new team member joins our team, we have them interview users. Not only is that a really good onboarding tool for bringing someone into the team, getting them to know who they're working for. But it also allows them to present this very fresh perspective to the rest of the team about what they've learned in those user interviews.

“We now do this with every new team member, we say, OK, go interview 20 people, find a broad mix, and tell us if you've found any adaptations to our personas that you can talk to us about and teach us about.”

Q: Are there any techniques you use to keep those personas that you do have top of mind. We review them periodically.

A: “I think it's expected that when you join the team you really learn your personas deeply. And then you talk about them in meetings. You ask questions like ‘what does marketing Mary think about this?’ You keep the persona at the forefront of your mind and try to keep an ongoing dialogue about them.”

Q: What is a product owner versus a product manager in your company?

A: “So a product owner, in my opinion, is a little bit more responsible for the farther-reaching business impact.  So I'm not just worried about people signing up for HubSpot Academy, I'm worried about the MRR per sign up and the way they monetize, and the way they retain and experience HubSpot. So for us, it's a little bit farther reaching and a little bit more business-oriented than our product managers, who are very zeroed in on ‘does this tool do what it needs to do for the user?'"

Q: You mentioned in your talk about translating one of your courses into Portuguese and how one of the more advanced courses didn’t work out. How did you fix the translation and how long did that take?

A: “Well, we really swarmed on it when it was happening because obviously support tickets are no good when there are thousands of people going through. Your support team is supposed to be working on real stuff, not content issues we created for them.

“But basically, we had to have our regional marketers who speak Portuguese go through the course in a very detailed fashion. We took all the feedback that we were getting in those tickets and made sure we fixed them. Fortunately, these users are super emotionally engaged and they want the course to be good. So they'd tell us, ‘OK, you have a typo here, you're using the Brazilian version of Portuguese here and the rest is a different version of Portuguese’.

“So we learned a lot from our users, and we listened to them. And that's part of the DNA at HubSpot, to really listen and have your ear to the ground with what your users are saying.”

Q: When does support end and Academy begin?

A: “We think about it as proactive and reactive. Academy is proactive. When you call into support you tend to have an issue that you want to be solved within two minutes of calling support. So that's reactive, that's I'm having a problem now and I need a human to help me out with it.

“We try to get people to use HubSpot Academy by discounting things like onboarding if they get certified before they sign on. We find that they submit a lot less support tickets when they know where to go to learn stuff. They're proactively self-educating  about the platform, and we can proactively avoid support tickets by getting them into Academy first.”