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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Oct 24, 2018

Ingunn Bjøru, COO of Avidly’s inbound line and Country Manager for Norway, is based in Oslo. A very recent merger of four former HubSpot Diamond agencies, Avidly is now the world’s largest inbound agency and HubSpot partner. With additional offices in Stockholm, Sweden, Aarhu, Denmark; and “all over Finland,” Avidly enables growing companies to use one agency to promote their products across four Nordic countries, with a fifth (unnamed) country to be added in the near future. The increase in staff from the merger brings the company an increased breadth of critical skills.

The merger of four companies in four countries has created some expected and unexpected problems. For instance, outsiders are often not even aware of the geographies of these countries and frequently assume that the Scandinavian countries are culturally similar. What to do with “all the staff” has been less of a problem since employees have taken advantage of the opportunity to redefine themselves and choose their areas of concentration.

Ingunn discusses how Avidly is involved in HubSpot’s Sales Enterprise launch, how that product will enable larger companies to convert their sales teams to inbound, and the product’s growth strategy. She suspect’s that it will be easier to add sales functionality to HubSpot’s Sales Enterprise Module than it will be for sales management software SalesForce to integrate marketing into its product.

Ingunn presented “Recipe for Growth: How We Became the World’s Largest Inbound Agency” at HubSpot’s Inbound 2018. She talked about cultural differences, recruitment, and forecasting.

One cultural difference is the concept of Tillitsbasert ledelse. Tillitt is trusting somone, basert is basing it on something and ledelse is management. Management trusts the team it has hired . . . inspiring the team to rise to the challenge and deliver. New employees don’t have to earn trust. Trust is implicit in the hiring and is only taken away when they fail.

Ingunn mentions how it is always difficult to know when to hire new staff. She described how Growit Group, a company that helps agencies grow, built Avidly’s budget and supplied a template using sales metrics to trigger hiring and identifying the roles to fill at various sales levels.

She endorses service level agreements as a way to manage intracompany and client expectations and compares and contrasts HubSpot’s non-transactional marketing flywheel with the marketing funnel. In particular, Ingunn notes that the flywheel model, which is built on the idea of maintaining long term customer relationships, is not appropriate for businesses selling a one-time product. Ingunn is concerned that, while marketing professionals migrate from the funnel to the flywheel, they will come up with too many “versions” and confuse the market.

The Avidly company website is and Ingunn can be reached on LinkedIn at