As a B2B electronics digital marketer, I like HubSpot, and this post isn’t meant to be an attack on their service offering. In principle, what they’ve done is great for less tech-savvy marketers: pulling key digital marketing concepts into one nicely designed interface.
I know of several electronics companies who in the last couple of years have either made the step into marketing automation, or are planning to make this step in the near future. There are several marketing automation tools on the market: Marketo and Eloqua being just two; but HubSpot is often touted as the simpler approach, more suitable for smaller, less experienced teams.
For those who haven’t reviewed it yet, HubSpot provides an online platform to manage all your digital activities in one place:
- Email marketing platform.
- Blogging platform.
- Landing pages (with data capture forms).
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) advisor.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with lead management functionality.
- Social media integration with the above mentioned CRM.
- Marketing Automation to qualify leads and prospects, automate email response, and personalise website content to match their stage within your company’s customer lifecycle model.
- Analytics by channel: email, SEO, social, etc as well as by customer/prospect.
In theory, it’s a great idea. Why have multiple pieces of software that need to be manually managed and integrated? But in practice, problems can occur if your company wants to operate in a different way than the manner in which HubSpot prescribes.
However, that’s not my issue here. Even assuming that your company fits into the HubSpot model, this isn’t a magic solution. Many digital agencies employ individual specialists to cover each of the disciplines that HubSpot includes in its service offering. Why? Because many of these disciplines are actually very complicated, and take a lot of time and experience to master.
A HubSpot account isn’t going to magically perform all your digital marketing activities for you. You still need a qualified and talented digital marketing team (or one very talented individual) to help you manage your digital marketing activities.
But don’t worry, help is at hand. HubSpot can provide you with all the support you need. At a price. Alternatively, you can use a HubSpot certified agency. An agency that has been tested by HubSpot to ensure that its digital marketing model aligns with theirs (and that the agency knows where all the buttons are). It’s a bit like certifying a copywriter by testing whether they know how to format a Word document. Neither of these scenarios is ideal, and can be costly in terms of wasted time and money.
As I say, this isn’t meant to be an attack on HubSpot, or any other platform that promises to make our working lives more efficient. This post is meant to serve as warning.
Automation and integration are key components of a digital marketing strategy, but these are ineffective without talented and experienced individuals at the helm.