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HubSpot Review

 

HubSpot Marketing Software Suite

The HubSpot application converges (at least) two overlapping marketing software segments—inbound marketing and marketing automation software. The two are highly complementary which gives HubSpot unique positioning, but also presents challenges for customers evaluating HubSpot or for HubSpot when competing against software provides who focus in just one of these areas. This CRMsearch.com HubSpot evaluation will first review the marketing automation activities of campaign management, email marketing, landing pages, lead scoring, lead transfer, website integration and lead analytics.

Campaign Management & Nurture Campaigns

HubSpot uses a suite of integrated tools to create campaigns, emails, landing pages, forms and calls to action. As compared to most other marketing automation software systems, the tools are less graphical and less Visio-like, and more table-row oriented. At first this may seem like a limitation when compared to the free form design ability of a drawing tool on an open canvas, however, when looking deeper at particular use cases and business processes, the bulk of scenarios are empowered with an unintimidating user interface that requires little training. Sure, we uncovered some more advanced campaign processes not accommodated by this construct, but in reality they were outside most SMB uses cases and we believe the ease of use from this tool structure seems to more than make up for one-off exception scenarios.

As opposed to many marketing automation systems which assign leads to a nurture campaign based on a single event (i.e. form submit, email open, etc.), HubSpot’s campaign management design organizes nurture campaigns by the combinations of persona and buy cycle phase (i.e. Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase) in order to apply multiple lead behaviors, assign leads to more relevant nurture campaigns and display content with greater context. Each contact record thereafter reflects their persona and buy cycle phase, and analytics can illustrate how campaigns are performing by persona and phase so that more precise adjustments can be made.

Other nurture campaign management benefits include:

  • The initial process of importing your existing database(s) is relatively simple and flexible enough to include custom fields. Additionally, you can use the HubSpot API to sync HubSpot with an external marketing database or system (such as a CRM system).
  • Simple design which is particularly helpful to SMB business owners and marketers. Campaign setup is logical and aids users in configuring each step in a controlled manner.
  • With HubSpot campaign setup, lead behaviors, not just a fixed or period-based schedule, can determine when to deliver emails to leads. This is significant is delivering more relevant, and contextual messaging, which in turn increases conversions.
  • During the initial test, I was pleasantly surprised by the software error handling, which was user friendly and helpful is resolving simple issues such as misconfiguration, incorrect source data or missing required fields.

Some HubSpot weaknesses include the following:

  • For leads already being nurtured but exhibit a new behavior which suggests they will be better served by a different nurture campaign, HubSpot is not able to transition the lead to a different nurture campaign and pick up the sequence at a designated step (i.e. skip the company or product introduction email(s) messaging which the lead has already received).
  • HubSpot campaigns do not capture campaign costs and revenues. Therefore, there is no ability to calculate campaign ROI or ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment). It is possible that ROI and/or ROMI may be calculated in the CRM system, but this should be thoroughly explored as very few CRM systems capture the campaign specific costs to calculate payback.
  • HubSpot does not offer appropriate PPC integration. HubSpot can track the PPC campaign and keyword (in the Sources report), but not the cost and performance metrics important to businesses with significant PPC spend. However, there is a third party app from the HubSpot marketplace which may satisfy some customers.
  • HubSpot does not offer workflow based approval processing for content/asset production or permit flexible (role-based) security permissions to designated campaigns, content assets and the like.

Next: HubSpot Email Marketing Review >>

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HubSpot Review

 


HubSpot Review

 


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