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👺 HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

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HubSpot has recently made big changes to Marketing Campaigns to make them more useful to marketers, and we are very bullish. We can tell that Campaigns has been an area of product investment for HubSpot (which they have needed to compete with other Enterprise CRM Marketing solutions). Frankly, Campaigns were of little value previously, and we never trained clients on using them. Recent product improvements are excellent, but, no shock, we have complaints. Here is the 4-1-1.

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What Are HubSpot Campaigns?

HubSpot Campaigns are a way to connect marketing assets that belong to the same marketing endeavor. 

A typical campaign includes the landing page, CTAs, submission forms, webinar signup pages, emails, downloads, social posts, newsletters, lists, event information and any other piece relating to one marketing effort.

HubSpot Campaigns enable you to connect these assets across channels to report on their performance in one consolidated place. Using the Campaign reporting section, you can see how each email, landing page, workflow, ad, etc is performing towards achieving your goal. And compare performance across campaigns.

When To Use HubSpot Campaigns

The HubSpot Campaign feature should be utilized whenever you want to group marketing assets and report on their performance as a whole and compare various initiatives to one another.

  • Webinars and events. Track ROI for the invitation, registration, & post-attendance communications and assets for each webinar.  
  • Ebook or other lead magnet downloads. Like webinars, creating a campaign for a content asset allows you to track the ROI of a specific content download in your overall marketing efforts.
  • Product releases. Track the performance of Product Announcement assets & influenced revenue for those assets leading to a conversion or upsell around that product.
  • And so much more. You can track all your nurture emails or tag your social posts not associated with other campaigns. We tag our blog posts by year to a campaign to compare across years (blogs unrelated to other initiatives).

Video Tour | HubSpot Campaigns

 

The Good | HubSpot Campaigns

Here are the things we love about HubSpot Campaigns

1. Naming And Campaign Details

We are big fans of using intelligence in campaign names. We like the new fields HubSpot provides with start & end dates, owner, goals, etc. 

Our naming convention is (loosely):

YYYY-MM-Type-Description

We start with YYYY-MM for data sorting purposes. And you can give your campaign a color dot to make the reporting cute. 

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

Being able to store Campaign Goals is excellent too.

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

2. Adding Assets To Campaigns Is Easy And Has Been Expanded

Static Lists (e.g. tradeshow lists) and Marketing Events (e.g. Zoom Webinars) are two of the latest twists to campaign assets that we really dig. 

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

 

3. Metrics Are Starting To Shape Up

Metrics within the campaigns themselves are pretty helpful.

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

These metrics allow you to understand the performance of each of your asset types and then dig down even further.

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

You can easily compare between campaigns:

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

Video Tour | Campaigns Metrics & Analytics 

 

The Bad | HubSpot Campaigns

Let's get to it. Metrics and analytics for campaigns drive us crazy. 

1. Lists

You can add static lists to campaigns. YAY! This was a substantial positive change only recently rolled out. But these contacts attached through lists only count as “Influenced Contacts,” not First Touch contacts. WHAT? Have you never heard of a third-party webinar list, HubSpot Development Team? Or perhaps you are unaware of Tradeshow Booth Scanners? These lists can only be attributed to the Campaign as an “Influenced Contact” not a "First Touch Contact.” Despite the fact the contact was created when the list was imported.  (We ignore the great debate on First Touch vs. Last Touch marketing attribution. You can read more and pick your poison. We are picking First Touch.)

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

The List SNAFU means that your First Touch Contact statistics for some of your campaigns are 100% wrong. And to add up the First Touch contacts that your campaigns created, you HAVE TO GO MANUAL in Excel or Google Sheets to add these various metrics across all your campaigns, which renders cross Campaign Reporting instantly useless.

Suggestion for HubSpot Product Development: How about when we upload Lists, we can select a campaign to attach the contacts to so that anytime a contact is created with a list upload it is a First Touch Contact for that list rather than Influenced.

2. Influenced Contact

At this point, it is essential to quote from HubSot EXACTLY what an Influenced Contact is:

A contact is influenced by a campaign when any of the following conditions are met: 

  • They visit a URL with a corresponding utm_campaign parameter.
  • They visit content associated with the campaign.
  • Their first-page view has a referral keyword associated with the campaign.
  • They click or view a CTA associated with the campaign.
  • They interact with an associated social message.
  • They enroll in an associated workflow.
  • They open or click an associated email.
  • They're in a static list that's associated with the campaign.

Although "Influenced Contacts" is a fun cocktail party fact, showing that your content and marketing efforts are wildly successful, it doesn't do much for revenue attribution. Meaning, can "Influenced Contacts" lead you to the answer to the magical question: "What did this campaign do specifically to drive revenue?" "Influneced Contacts" cannot. Only "First Touch Contacts" or "Last Touch Contacts" (depending on your religious marketing preference) can do that.

"Influenced Contacts" is, frankly, kind of a BS metric. We simply don’t use it. 

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

The Ridiculous | HubSpot Campaigns

And the HubSpot TOTAL fail. Campaign Revenue Attribution. Since Hubspot bases revenue upon “Influenced Contacts” (see above for why "Influenced Contacts" is a BS metric), the Revenue/Deal numbers in the campaign reporting are BS too. (Note: these comments all apply to HubSpot Marketing Pro Subscriptions, which nearly 100% of our Clients have; HubSpot says this will be fixed in Enterprise in June-2023, which doesn't help Marketing Pro).  

1. Closed Deals

Directly from HubSpot 

This metric measures the number of closed won deals associated with "Influenced Contacts." For a deal to appear in this report, it must meet both conditions:

  • The deal must be closed as won after the campaign influences the contact.
  • The deal must be associated with the contact when closed as won.

Dumb metric based on "Influenced Contacts" which we have already proven, is dumb.

2. Influenced Revenue

This metric measures the total revenue of closed won deals associated with "Influenced Contacts." The total is from the sum of the Amount property of closed won deals. Only influenced deals will contribute to this total. 

Again, silly metric is based on "Influenced Contacts," which we have shown is silly.

3. Revenue Attribution Reporting

Based on items 1 and 2, you can't do marketing revenue attribution “out of the box” using HubSpot Marketing Pro. Let us repeat: using your HubSpot Marketing Pro CRM, you cannot easily attribute close/won deals to your marketing efforts. This is actually a somewhat shocking sentance.

HubSpot will run an intervention and tell us the HubSpot Marketing Enterprise product has correct revenue attribution metrics. And I present this report below from our single customer who has HubSpot Marketing Enterprise.

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

 WTF does it all mean? I couldn't tell you how .43 of this compares to .32 of whatever. 

What a typical JOE/JANE MARKETER wants to know is: 

  • Did the campaign create a contact?
  • Did that contact eventually get associated with a deal?
  • How much was that deal worth?

Where, dear HubSpot, can we find this?

We can see in our customer's Enterprise account that there is a note: "From June 12, 2023, influenced revenue changes to “attributed revenue,” and replaces the “influence” metrics." We don't know if this solves the list upload problem in that lists added to campaigns ... all contact are named as influenced. We doubt it solves this key problem.

It could solve the problem of first or last-touch contacts and revenue attribution and perhaps negates some of our complainings, however, it brings us to our fourth and final ridiculous point.

4. Enterprise HubSpot Cost

Enterprise HubSpot Cost is the point that chaps us the most. Enterprise HubSpot is 100% out of reach of our typical B2B SaaS clients, as the pricing is challenging. Enterprise is 4.5 times more expensive than Pro. And you don't get 4.5 times the value. Custom Objects and Hierarchical Teams are the best things in Marketing Enterprise; you can grab those by buying HubSpot Sales Enterprise (a much better value). And honestly, we have explored the out-of-the-box revenue attribution reporting in Enterprise and are NOT seeing what is needed. YET. Maybe after June 12, 2023 we will.

HubSpot Marketing Campaigns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

Suggestion for HubSpot Product Development: Allow attribution of Deals and Revenue based on First Touch or Last Touch contact as out-of-the-box metrics in HubSpot Marketing Pro instead of leaving it at the fake "Influenced Contact" metric which does no one any good.

HubSpot Marketing Pro is not cheap, and it is a little unbelievable that accurate revenue attribution metrics are unavailable until you pay for HubSpot Marketing Enterprise. Revenue attribution will not incent anyone to buy up to Marketing Enterprise and will only serve to frustrate your customer base due to manual reporting workarounds.

Read Next:

Part 2 | 🤪How to Create Marketing Campaign Attribution Reports Using Hubspot

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