After having spent an incredible amount of time in the marketing industry and having worked with dozens of marketing platforms, tools and gadgets, when we founded our consulting firm, we certified our team as a HubSpot Solution Provider. This doesn't mean that we're not knowledgeable in other areas of the marketing tech stack world.
This simply means that we made a decision and chose the best, single, all-in-one solution for our clients. Now, does this mean that we're sticklers for "only" HubSpot? No, because at the very end of the day, it's always about what works best for our clients. It also means, however, that we have done the research and do tell our clients what works and what doesn't. We know what the marketing platform competition offers and we have yet to work within a single, unified marketing machine that can accommodate the requirements needed to increase lead generation, enhance user experience and amplify client messaging for every size organization - literally.
We've created unique solutions, some of which have contained the following platforms - all of which we have experience working within and creating successful solutions for our clients within:
Client Relationship Management (CRM)
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Email Service Providers (ESP)
Marketing Analytics Tools
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Project Management (PM)
If you've noticed, there's a theme here. And where there isn't (project management), there actually is. Out of all the listed essential marketing platform categories above, HubSpot is in almost every one - and it connects to almost all the above project management solutions. Crazy, right? But, isn't it better to not put all your marketing eggs into one basket?
Unlike other areas of life, such as investments, placing your marketing eggs into a single basket is actually ideal for several reasons, but mainly because HubSpot has all the robust capabilities you need to evaluate your marketing efforts from all angles. And, when building a marketing campaign, all angles matter. If you're not able to track the effort and assets that go into your KPIs, you'll never be able to understand the efficacy of your efforts.
How expensive is HubSpot and what do I really need?
The most common question that we're asked is about the pricing model for HubSpot. It's often the most common complaint as well. When you view HubSpot's pricing, it can be overwhelming as you don't always know what you need and what's worth it when considering your immediate needs. This typically leads to companies overspending on HubSpot tools that are premature when considering their present marketing status, or underspending and trying to find other solutions to plug-in to HubSpot that actually end up costing clients more than overspending in HubSpot (yes, this happens often).
So, from a high level, here's the best way to approach what you need for a HubSpot set up:
If you don't have a HubSpot account - don't sign up for one until you've spoken with a HubSpot strategist
Just so you're aware, we will work with you directly at no cost to make sure that you have chosen the right HubSpot tool. So, contact us before you get started.
If you have a HubSpot account and it's just sitting there, it's time to scale back to the free toolsHubSpot, if you're on a Premium account or higher, will typically make you agree to a 12-month agreement (which can be paid either month to month or in full with a small discount up front). Log in to your account and then your billing section to turn off your auto-renewal immediately. This will ensure that you're downgraded automatically when your contract expires. If this is you, then we'd highly encourage you to evaluate the goals of your marketing efforts. Not using HubSpot either means that you don't understand the platform or your business model isn't digital - which is OK.
If you don't have a website, it's less than $30/mo. to build and maintain a 15 page site on HubSpot by yourself - and it's 10x easier than WordPressWe do work with clients that have WordPress websites. I mean, WordPress is the mother of CMS systems. But, one thing that I often tell clients is that if WordPress had a real tagline it would be, "WordPress - Yep, it's broken again." WordPress is a very robust and customizable website platform, however, the problem is that unless you're a developer, your site will be built from endless amounts of plugins which will slow down your site speed and also require your plugins to be updated constantly. HubSpot's website building abilities were created with business people in mind - not developer. HubSpot does have it's own coding language, but they have done a wonderful job templating things for citizen developers and also incorporating drag-and-drop capabilities that are beyond anything offered by a platform like Wix - and it doesn't look like an easy, cheap website like most Wix sites do.
If you have a HubSpot account and are only using it for email marketing - you're missing the whole pointHubSpot is not an ideal email marketing-only tool. In fact, if you're using it just for email, you're probably flushing a ton of money down the drain. If you're looking for an Email Service Provider (ESP), we'd recommend something like Constant Contact which is trying to catch up with the world by offering all the marketing bells and whistles that HubSpot does, but really does email marketing well and at the level that most businesses require (i.e. not Einstein-level-advanced). The other tools Constant Contact offer are kind of clunky, so we suggest email only.
If you have HubSpot and are only using HubSpot CRM, that's OK... but not ideal
Many companies only use HubSpot's CRM - typically the sales teams. Now, HubSpot's CRM does have some significant features, including scheduling and automated communications. The one question we always present to CRM users is, "OK, you have your prospects, leads and customers set up and they're being nurtured by your sales team. But what happens after the sale?" Your relationship with that contact doesn't end after they've accepted or turned down your offer.
If they're an ideal existing or new customer, you want to make sure that you're retaining their business by maintaining your relationship with them and continuing to provide value. If you're dealing with a list of leads that didn't bite on your offer, the challenge has just begun. They need to continue to be communicated with and be convinced that you're the best solution. By utilizing both HubSpot's CRM and CMS, you can easily see the journey of your ideal customer from start to infinity.
Why we recommend HubSpot solutions and what that means for you
In all transparency, as a HubSpot Solutions Provider, we do receive a small commission when suggesting their solutions to clients. If you've explored our Services, however, you'll see that as marketing consultants, we offer services that provide a full, holistic solution for growing businesses. And if our solutions don't benefit our clients, we're out of business.
So, we recommend HubSpot solutions to our clients because of two very simple and straightforward reasons: #1 - it's easy for our clients to maintain and manage after we're out of the picture, and #2 - it unifies their marketing needs into one, powerhouse platform that gets results.
As a client working with us, we'll always suggest HubSpot as a solution for you, but only if you need one. If your systems are beautifully set up and polished, there's no need to fix things that aren't broken. We'll work alongside your existing tech stack processes and work to educate your teams about how to best leverage what you have in order to yield the results you're looking for.
If you see yourself as a struggling or indecisive HubSpot user or are looking for a new solution, let us know - we'd be happy to set you up on the right path and will even throw in a free content planner template for you to help you make the most of your platform.
Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn for more information about HubSpot and other marketing best practices.