HubSpot Marketing Hub Review

Very User-friendly And Incredibly Scalable While Allowing For Intelligent Automation

What is most valuable?

CMS, social media tool, and analytics reporting.

How has it helped my organization?

I work for a marketing agency. We use the platform for a number of our clients. We typically run our client blogs and their social media programs through HubSpot. For some clients, their websites and reporting also goes through HubSpot. We don't typically rely on the HubSpot CRM or sales tools. The tools we do use are very user-friendly and incredibly scalable while allowing for intelligent automation. Scalability is hugely important to our clients and for me. As the person executing the marketing plan, it's very helpful to a have such a breadth of functionality accessible at one central portal.

What needs improvement?

Most of HubSpot's shortcomings come in functionality that is stopped just shy of the finish line, so to speak. For example, the social calendar tool should have a multi-select drag-and-drop functionality. The social scheduling tool similarly should be able to handle more than 15 unique messages at a time. The LinkedIn API seems to be somehow limited, as the social inbox tool often fails to pick up interactions/conversations on LinkedIn and frequently cannot retrieve the names of those individuals interacting with user messaging.

That said, there are some real issues, especially in the analytics reporting, where unexplainable gaps tend to show up. For example, the discrepancy between the number of social clicks reported and the number of social-media-generated visits reported often cannot be explained by the usual suspects - clicks directing to third-party content, partially-loaded page bounces, filtering, double clicks, etc. In fact, I've encountered instances where the reported number of social media generated visits exceeded the reported number of social clicks which makes for a real head scratcher. HubSpot support is usually of little help in explaining these discrepancies.

Another example can be found in the page performance reporting tool. In this view, the user is presented with a list of pages and some information associated with those pages - information like publish date, views, CTA %, etc. The problem is the figures presented under the CTA % column almost never match up with the numbers found if you click through to the individual page's reporting environment and divide the number of CTA clicks by the number of page views. In running AdWords campaigns, we've also found enormous discrepancies between the AdWords and HubSpot reporting. For these and other reasons, we tend to prefer data from Google Analytics.

Another feature leaving tremendous room for improvement is the keyword tool. This provides data on keyword difficulty and search volume that is frankly not very reliable, often contradicting more authoritative tools such as MOZ and Keyword Planner, as well as basic intuition.

For how long have I used the solution?

Over two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For a web application, HubSpot runs fairly heavy, which can cause stability issues on the side of the user (due to processing issues). While effectively the same, it should be noted that when these problems occur, they are not technically issues with the stability of the platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?


How are customer service and technical support?

Fair, a seven out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As an agency, we have to work with many CMS, marketing automation, and social media tools. In these capacities, I find that HubSpot tends to provide for a superior user experience while allowing for a more effective, scalable digital marketing program. In terms of analytics and SEO, HubSpot offers a subpar solution. As a CRM, HubSpot is infinitely more user-friendly than Salesforce but considerably less robust in its offering.

How was the initial setup?

In my experience, this depends more on the DNS you use than on HubSpot. I've been part of extremely smooth and easy setups and extremely difficult setups.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The Pro package should be adequate for most operations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As an agency, we don't chose the solutions employed; our clients do.

What other advice do I have?

I'd offer my strong endorsement. This is a very powerful tool that gets better each year.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: The agency that I work for is a Certified HubSpot Partner Agency.
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