What is HubSpot and what the heck does it do, anyway?
Over the years, HubSpot has grown far beyond its roots as a singular marketing automation platform, founded in the principles of inbound marketing. Now, it unites marketing, sales, and service automation for companies under one virtual roof.
Editorial Director, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast
September 8th, 2020
What is HubSpot?
HubSpot began solely as a marketing automation platform, powered by the inbound marketing methodology. Today, HubSpot is a holistic marketing, sales, and service automation solution for companies to achieve long-term, sustainable growth.
I first got into the inbound marketing game back in 2014, and the one constant in my life since then — first, as an account manager, then a senior account manager, then a content manager, then a content strategist, and now the content director here at IMPACT — has been HubSpot.
Back then, HubSpot was known for one thing: marketing automation.
Put simply, marketing automation solutions like HubSpot (and Marketo) quite literally host and automate marketing activities under a single digital roof like blog hosting, email marketing, landing pages, lead collection forms, automatic email workflows, social media publishing and scheduling, and so on.
Today, that still holds true. However, over the years, HubSpot has grown far beyond its roots as a singular marketing automation platform, founded in the principles of inbound marketing.
Why HubSpot doesn't just focus its solutions solely on marketing anymore
Once upon a time, the inbound approach focused solely on marketing — creating blogs and landing pages, focusing on lead generation, and so on. So, that's where HubSpot began its automation domination story, creating tools for marketing teams, based on the more traditional funnel approach:
...and this beloved buyer's journey some of you may have already been introduced to in HubSpot certifications of yore:
But, over the years, digital teams and business leaders all over the world began to feel a disconnect.
Sure, inbound marketing was generating a lot of leads, but deals were still not closing. And, as a result, marketing and sales teams were feeling more fractured than ever, as marketing leaders struggled to justify the results they were getting (and their budgets).
Instead of the broad focus really being on activities owned by marketing — where sales swoops in at the end to try and close deals from those inbound leads — the more modern flywheel unites three units under the banner of positive growth for organizations:
That's why HubSpot now offers automation solutions for marketing, sales, and service
Here is an overview of some of the automation solutions HubSpot offers under each of its three "hubs" — although it should be noted that what is included as well as pricing is dictated by the level of HubSpot service you choose.
The marketing, sales, and service hubs all have three tiers: starter, professional, and enterprise.
The other thing I'll note that is critical to understand is that you cannot effectively report on or even begin to quantify the success of your content marketing without both HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs. Seriously, it's impossible.
So, if you're making the jump into HubSpot, at the very least you will need the free HubSpot CRM. Otherwise, you'll never be able to connect the dots between your traffic and lead growth to closed deals with any specificity.
You have an edge with SEO, thanks to HubSpot's built-in SEO solutions, that you don't see with more traditional business website hosting solutions.
HubSpot has an incredible support system in place, including an extensive, always-updated knowledge base, live phone-based support, live chat, and more. WordPress has an online community, but no real, centralized support.
In addition to all of these points, our crack team of award-winning developers swear by HubSpot as being the more secure option than WordPress for business website hosting. And in today's climate, security is everything.
But is HubSpot the right automation choice for your business?