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I have been studying Marketing automation for almost two years now, and before my studies, I did not know what a CRM was, and now after using it for a while, I think it is crazy how organisations could work without it. The more I work with Hubspot, the more eye-opening it is. It is just like a steam train. The more juice you put in, the faster it goes!
The fact that workflows can control just about everything and that you can use properties to segment audiences makes the possibilities endless. In school, we took a couple of Hubspot certifications and had an introductory course in Marketing automation. We learned the basics of workflows and creating content associated with the buyer's journey. Sitting in Hubspot building workflows and automation with "real" data is the best medicine for learning. It is one thing to be certified and pass tests, but another to be able to put in the work and navigate through the CRM. At Zooma, I have tried all the Hubspot tools I have wanted to and even used integrations like Linkedin to get the whole omnichannel perspective.
Zooma has a few departments like the design, tech, content and project managers, sales and marketing team. I have been introduced to them all and learned how they all cooperate. A lot of the teamwork happens through Hubspot, but some are in a separate project management system since Hubspot currently lacks some functions that Zooma employees need.
It may seem easy when doing the Hubspot certifications and looking at your teacher's walkthrough. A CRM is just like any other platform. You have to put in the work to learn. The more work I put into it, the more I understand the context, and it all gradually makes more sense.
Working as a team in a CRM may seem more straightforward than it is. From my experience so far, the sales team and the marketing team both have the benefits of using CRM. Even if the communication and the categorisation of an MQL and SQL are not always 100% clear. When doing the Hubspot certifications, working in Hubspot seems like it will be so easy and life-changing for a company at the exact time of implementation. I changed my mind about this after the two internships I had. Observing this when coming out on an internship or a new workplace is crucial. Cooperating along a CRM seems very powerful, but it also requires employees to work along it and use its benefits as a team.
With a CRM as complex as Hubspot, you could do anything. My expectations when I started working with Hubspot were high since it is one of the top choices. It has lived up to its name for being the best of the best. So far, I have been working in MailChimp (not on Zooma) and Hubspot. I have experienced that both systems are great for automation, but Hubspot is a clear winner in the B2B industry. Although, Mailchimp is suitable for those who use email as their only marketing channel. In the end, the importance is to learn the fundamentals and possibilities a CRM has. You can work in any CRM in the future with just a few hours of discovering the interface. The best way of learning is by doing, which is precisely what I have been able to do here at Zooma.
The CRM system builds up the fundamentals to do any marketing automation. Before writing this blog post, I never thought about it, but this is a fact. Marketing Automation could also be done in campaign management systems like Meta or Linkedin campaign manager. This is because these types of systems are CRM systems as well. The only difference is that we cannot see the contacts and their properties.
At the beginning of the course I am currently studying, I would explain a CRM system as a contact database, which it is, but it is so much more than that. The fact that you could manually or automatically add properties to contacts or companies makes the possibilities with workflows infinite. The fact that you could enrol a contact doing certain things depending on what properties they have set for them is fascinating, and I love that the possibilities are endless. I love that we play with Hubspot, which is packed with various data inputs.
I think that any business that has customers needs a CRM. Back before, I was studying and didn't know what CRM was. Now that I know what a CRM is, I struggle to understand how business work without them. It is like visualising a company working with pen and paper, sending physical mail for communication. From my understanding, most businesses have a CRM today, but they do not often use it to its full potential. It is fascinating that a business nowadays can do 95% of the work inside the CRM, and I think companies working in a CRM has a huge advantage in today's market.
When learning more about CRMs and their possibilities, I have learned a lot about business in general. Working in a CRM is a great way to understand and get a broad business perspective. Along with my studies and internships, learning and working in a CRM has made me change my career goals many times. I keep discovering new things that I find interesting and want to learn more about so often that I regularly ask myself, what do I want to work with in the future? I would explain it a bit like walking around your favourite store wanting to buy everything, but you can only afford one.
To wrap this up. After two years of studying Marketing Automation, and two Internships, I think CRMs are the future and a backbone for scaling businesses.
The best lesson I have learned during my studies is to have one internship at a company without a CRM and another with a well-established CRM and a team working alongside it.
If you're looking for an experienced HubSpot partner to help your business implement and optimise your CRM, read more here. Investing in a CRM and the right team to support it can take your business to the next level.