To help put these announcements in context, I sat down with resident HubSpot ninja Carina Duffy.
Putting the updates in context
John: HubSpot has announced its new Marketing Hub Enterprise updates. Is this a big deal or not?
Carina: I would say somewhere in between. It’s probably not as big a deal as HubSpot made it sound, but it's not insignificant.
A lot of the features HubSpot rolled out with this announcement have been teased, or announced, or had active beta tests. So it wasn’t like nobody knew these features were coming out.
They're calling it the new Marketing Hub Enterprise, but it's really just a collection of the developments and updates that HubSpot has been putting a lot of effort and energy and focus into for their enterprise-level platform.
I think it’s HubSpot's way of saying, "We want you guys to know that this is a priority for us. It's a big focus for us going into 2020, and we want you to see that all of these things we've been working on fit into this bigger strategy."
John: Are these updates things that HubSpot had to do to keep up with the marketplace?
Carina: I think that HubSpot is trying to catch up, more so than anything. Historically, HubSpot was built for SMBs, and they've really only recently gotten into the mid-market and enterprise-size companies. Suddenly, we’re talking about companies with multiple marketing teams, different business units.
Of course, those companies have much more complex needs, and HubSpot has been working on building out the enterprise-level toolset to be able to cater to those companies.
They're now trying to catch up to platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics and really trying to compete. This is why I think this announcement is significant. It's saying, "Yes, in the past we've really been focused on SMBs, but we're getting into the big leagues and we want to compete."
That doesn't mean they're going to become Salesforce and they're going to try to do everything that those other platforms do. But they really do want to be a solution for those big companies that have complex needs and multiple teams.
A lot of these updates that they've announced are all catered to those types of companies.
What's actually in these updates?
John: So what about this update is the most exciting for you as a HubSpot aficionado?
Carina: I'm excited about the account-based marketing features because it's something that people have been asking for for a long time. They really haven't existed, but a lot of people are doing and trying account-based marketing right now.
So, some of the new features HubSpot has built out are more focused dashboards and reports around account-based marketing. They’re also going to roll out company scoring.
Right now you can do things like lead scoring and other types of scoring at the contact level. You can create multiple scores, but right now there's no way to do that for a company. With company scoring, you're going to be able do more sophisticated identifying of those target accounts.
John: What else excites you about this update?
Carina: The second thing that I'm excited about is the advanced targeting in Conversations.
A couple of the things that you're now going to be able to do is target your live chat or chat bot conversations around are the country, the browser language of that person, and their device type.
Those are kind of standard, but the things that I'm more excited about are new: the number of visits that a visitor has had on the site, and the number of days since their last visit.
So, you could say, "Hey, if they've visited within the last five days, we want to give them a different message than if they haven't visited for more than five days," which is really awesome.
We can know if they're coming back, and we can get a lot more targeted there. Then, it's forms that they've viewed, calls to action that they've clicked, and segmented lists, which is huge for any kind of targeting or segmenting.
If I already have contacts in my CRM and I know how I want to segment them, I can just build these lists and then I can target my specific chatbots that I'm building out based on what lists people are on.
To me, this shows a renewed focus on the Conversations tool, which I think is only a win for everybody.
Most of the time, when these new tools and updates come out at the enterprise level, eventually they trickle down in some form to all users.
What isn't in these updates?
John: Is there anything you wished this update included that it didn't?
Carina: I have gotten to know a lot of people on the product teams at HubSpot, whether it's product marketers or people directly working on the products.
And I have so much respect for what they do, and the things that they're working on, and I have so much respect for what it takes to develop software. So when any update comes out, I'm excited.
But I will tell you something that I'm excited about that I know is on the radar of the product teams and is potentially going to be coming out soon: more detailed reply routing for marketing emails.
Right now, if you send a bulk marketing email to 1,000 people and 10 people reply to it, there's no way to automate where those replies go or what happens — and there's no way to track to see who replied to it.
So you send out this really amazing, engaging marketing email and people start replying to it, but there's no way to track that in the CRM. And that's something that they're going to be working on and they've been working on this year, which is very exciting for me.
The other thing that I will say that I was hoping would be in an announcement like this is custom objects.
John: What are custom objects?
Carina: Objects in HubSpot are things like your contacts, companies, deals, and tickets. But in order for HubSpot to really be competitive with Salesforce or Dynamics, or any other big, configurable CRM, they need to offer more customization options.
This is something that they've explicitly stated that they're working on, and I’m excited for them to roll out.
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