Custom objects are without a doubt the biggest product news from HubSpot at INBOUND 2020. But how can a technical addition to the platform's enterprise level get so many HubSpot users out of their seats?
Because custom objects add unprecedented flexibility to the platform, enabling it to be used in innovative ways, and giving large companies all the flexibility and robustness they need in a CRM.
What are custom objects in HubSpot?
But what are custom objects? You can get an understanding of this by looking at the "objects" that HubSpot has so far been limited to - primarily these 4:
- Contacts - all the contacts you have in your CRM.
- Companies - all the companies you have in your CRM.
- Deals - all the deals (potential customer agreements) you have created.
- Tickets - all the tickets created in the customer service section, Service Hub.
Each of these objects has a number of data points associated with it, and it has been possible to find connections between and report across these objects. It offers really good opportunities to conduct coherent and data-driven sales and marketing, but the opportunities have been limited to these objects.
But now custom objects come into the picture and blow up the frame. For custom objects means that you can add new objects with just the data you need. All of a sudden, it is actually only the imagination that sets the limit of what you can tie together with your activities in sales, marketing and customer service.
Listen to Avidly's Head of Strategic Partnerships, Jeppe Nyrup, explain how you can use custom objects:
Examples of using custom objects
Let's take a few examples of how custom objects create new possibilities:
Custom objects for partners or agents
Many of the companies we work with sell through partners or agents. It has been a bit tricky to handle this level in HubSpot, but now the partner or agent network can be added in the form of a custom object. In this way, you can create an overview of which contacts and companies are associated with which partners, and you can optimize the communication to the partners and achieve greater transparency in relation to which partners create the greatest value and which ones need more attention.
Custom objects for subscription based businesses
Custom objects open up new, powerful opportunities for the many SaaS companies that use HubSpot. In addition to the fact that HubSpot already ties marketing, sales and customer service closely together, you can now use custom objects to put your entire subscription structure into HubSpot, so that it becomes possible to differentiate between different types of subscriptions - these can be payment terms (e.g. monthly, annual), level (e.g. basic, pro, enterprise) and a number of other parameters that you can now actively use and report on directly in HubSpot.
At the same time, you can create and manage your entire onboarding process in HubSpot: See how far a company is, which contacts are involved, send them automated onboarding emails from HubSpot, get notifications when someone is "stuck" and much more.
The opportunity to use HubSpot to create customer-friendly onboarding processes applies not only to SaaS companies, but to all companies that want to ensure that their customers succeed with their product or service.
Products as custom objects
If you sell products with just a certain complexity, you can now also handle this via HubSpot by creating the products as custom objects.
Let's say you are a real estate agent - then you can create "properties" as custom objects, so you in HubSpot can gather an overview of which contacts are interested in what type of houses or apartments and ensure that they are automatically notified when a property , suitable for those appearing on the market.
Custom objects for your marketing processes
Custom objects are not only useful in relation to sales and as an extension of the CRM. Custom objects also make it much easier to manage some of the marketing processes that previously required some work.
Let’s say you run webinars on a regular basis as part of your marketing, and you use a webinar tool like Zoom or TwentyThree for that. The general integration between the tools makes some fixed fields available - e.g. “Last Zoom event” with data on the most recently registered webinar, but the challenge is that this field will be overwritten the next time the contact registers for a webinar.
With custom objects, you can add a new data point every time a contact signs up for a webinar, and you can add additional information, such as whether the contact has participated or not, so you will in a better way be able to manage your communication directly from HubSpot to your webinar participants.
Build your entire business into HubSpot
These are just a few concrete examples of how you can use custom objects to add unprecedented flexibility to HubSpot. Basically, you can now build exactly the data you want directly into HubSpot and create a unique context across your business processes.
How to create custom objects?
Custom objects sound technical, and so are they. Basically, it requires the help of a developer to get it set up, as you will need the HubSpots API to create them. However, there is a way to create custom objects directly in the HubSpot user interface - see how in this article from Auxilio. It is still technical, and there is still a bit of work to be done, but the benefit is the possibility of adding a huge extra value to your HubSpot platform.
Custom objects will be available to all customers at the launch in September 2020 with an enterprise version of either Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, Service Hub or CMS Hub.