Calibrate Brands Blog

Marketing, Creative and Branding Blog

John Middlebrook

John is a managing partner at Calibrate Brands, a creative, branding, marketing and web design agency. Previously John headed up technology and marketing services at a Baltimore agency as the Director of Client Services, working and refining the agency’s customer experience, consulting with customers on key initiatives and strategies, and assisting in expanding key technology partnerships. In his technology role he was responsible for the development of technical plans and implementation of eCommerce and B2B sites on platforms such as Magento, Bigcommerce, HubSpot COS and WordPress, to name a few. Living and breathing HubSpot, John helps with implementing the latest web techniques to help increase revenues for his clients nationwide. He holds current certifications in HubSpot, HubSpot Design, HubSpot Sales Software, Inbound Marketing and in the Growth Driven Design methodology
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Recent Posts

How Marketers Can Help During Hard Times

I don't need to tell anyone across the country and the globe, we are facing the most trying times in our lifetimes. Not only a medical pandemic that is terrifying, but the face of economic losses for millions of people and businesses. This has affected everyone, in so many varied ways. Small businesses and restaurants have shut their doors or had to find creative ways to sell products, retail workers, restaurant servers and bartenders, tradespeople, all finding themselves unemployed in less than 2 weeks.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

How to efficiently work from home

I have been remote and without an "office" for the last 4 years. I'm far from a guru but I have learned the ups and downs of remote work and feel very effective in how I manage the agency life, while managing clients' needs and being home.

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Topics: Techy Talk

What's in your browser window?

As a marketer for the last 20+ years, a computer screen, or 2-3, is essentially my "cockpit" to the Internet. I usually have a MacBook, a second (huge) Samsung monitor and my iPad Pro on my desk. Anytime someone takes a second to look at my Google Chrome window, they will almost always say "My God, how many tabs do you have open?". Well, that answer right now is 24.

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Topics: Growth Stack

The Buyer's Journey and SEO, a Match Made in Keyword Heaven

We all know by now the importance of listening to our customers. However, during two recent conversations with clients about this same topic, I began to think more about how we listen and respond.

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How We Landed our Client a $1/2 Million Dollar Deal


I have been drinking all of the Inbound koolaid for several years now, 4 to be exact. During that entire time I have read, studied, and taken certification after certification about how to effectively build Inbound nirvana for our brand but our clients as well. We build, implement and test campaign after campaign, always looking for areas to improve and win.


Recently while reviewing deals closed by one of our clients I came across a contact timeline of a deal that recently closed and found it very intriguing. This deal was marked "closed/won" in our client's CRM and was for a whopping $567,000! How did we do it? After looking back at the details, the customer literally followed every single step of the Inbound process we had put into place and we won.


In this post I will walk you through the timeline of the contact record, what we did and what they did to get this huge deal so that you can do the same, and believe in this methodology.

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Topics: Agency, HubSpot, Growth Stack, Inbound Marketing, Case Study

Review of the iPhone 8Plus

As an ardent supporter of everything iPhone, I felt it was only right to post my thoughts on the short time I have had the iPhone 8 Plus. The reason I feel like this for the launch of this phone and not it's predecessors is that this phone launch actually brings us three choices, not just one or two.

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Topics: iphone8, technology, iphone

5 reasons why working with a small marketing company may be better

I've been around the block a few times. Well, I mean I've been a marketer for many years, even before you even heard the name Google or Facebook. I may be dating myself a bit but I'm also telling you, I've seen a lot. I've been on the client side, in fact I was there for nearly ten years. Then I was an independent consultant for nearly two years. Next it was time to try out a big agency, nearly 40 employees at the time. Lastly, I have settled comfortably where I am today, a small business that has one goal, helping other small to medium businesses like Calibrate Brands.

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Topics: Partner, Agency, HubSpot, Growth Stack, Inbound Marketing

Must-Have Tips for Surviving Inbound 2017

For anyone that attended Inbound last year, a few things that stood out as odd, and this was my 3rd conference. One, it was very late in the year, November to be exact. Historically, Inbound was held in September, like it is again this year. But due to issues with the venue, they had to settle for later in the year. Two, for the majority of the attendees that woke up on November 9th, in a predominatly blue state, it was shock to their systems to see an election upset of monumental proportions. Now not taking this into a political rant but it changed the overall emotion of the event and speakers used the outcome as a pulpit.

Jump forward almost a year, and it's time to look at 2017 and 2018 for "inbounders". 

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Topics: Web Design, Social Media, Branding, Growth Driven Web Design

Case Study - A story of Sales, Marketing, and COS Success

Executive Summary

Signals Defense, LLC was founded in Owings Mills, MD in 1999 with the introduction of an innovative optically clear window film technology that provides high RF (Radio Frequency) and IR (Infrared) attenuation for RF Shielding and Thermal Imaging defense purposes. Signals Defense patented window technology has been engineered to meet stringent U.S. Intelligence Community security requirements for facilities handling classified information. Over the nearly two decades of being in business, they have expanded their product offering to rFoils, safety and decorative films, window treatments, ballistic glass and other building shielding products for both government and commercial customers.

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Topics: Social Media, Performance Driven Web Design, Marketing, Agency, HubSpot, COS, Growth Stack, Inbound Marketing, Case Study

Repost - The state of Inbound 2017

Let's face it, HubSpot owns the term "Inbound". That's why it makes total sense for them to research and produce the latest data on what online marketers are reporting on the marketing challenges and wins.

Click read more for nuggets from that report:

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Topics: Marketing, inbound

About this Blog

The Calibrate Brands blog is a resource for marketing and branding professionals looking for place to go for news on website design, branding strategies and how to build traffic to your site.

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