It’s three years since Scott Brinker – best known as the editor of with its ever-expanding marketing tech landscapes joined HubSpot as its VP Platform Ecosystem.

Now, with the perspective that time allows, we asked him to identify the key insight he has garnered from his stint managing the vendor’s ecosystem.

He nominated an issue which is covered in depth at Which-50, and which our marketing readers, in particular, identify as a continuing challenge.

“The industry has turned a corner in just recognizing that the integration challenge was really holding back so much potential for customers to actually get value out of these systems.”

He told Which-50, “ At a product level, good integration is actually one of the best features you could provide to your customers.”

That’s especially so as for most customers no one piece of software presents their entire stack, he said.

It has certainly been an area of significant focus for Brinker in his time at HubSpot. When he joined the company had about 50 app partners. It recently crossed over the 500 mark and there are now about 520 apps, integrated into the marketplace.

“The product team has opened up a lot more API’s and extensibility,” he said.

“We have made a lot of progress with our app partners, we’ve now got almost everyone doing a decent level of data integration. We’ve have a lot more partners who are integrating into our workflow engine.”

Brinker also stressed the importance of marketers looking beyond the boundary of their own departments – and technology – when they considered integration issues.

“It’s not just marketing software it’s every other piece of software in their business, and frankly at some level, you start wanting to be able to connect the dots between your system of record in your CRM, for instance, and your system of record in your accounting system.”

“Our customers need to think about marketing, sales, and customer service in this connected flywheel model and understand that what’s happening in sales and customer service has a tremendous influence on your marketing success.”

He suggested that the integrations that Hubspot now has into systems like Xero and Quickbooks are good examples of how this should work.

“In the past, you might have said, ‘Wait for a second, what does Xero have to do with my marketing stack.’ Now however we want a unified view that helps us to understand things like who are our best customers, the lifetime revenue of a customer, or the payment status of a customer.”

He described this as part of the grand vision of digital transformation. “You get the whole business connected around these shared systems.”

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