When I first got into marketing in 2010, Hubspot’s blog was my go-to for research about how to do… anything! From landing pages to web design, they had easy to read articles that helped shape my marketing philosophy. As I gained experience in marketing, their entry-level blog posts weren’t always useful for me; however, their investment in quality content shaped my positive conception of the company, and I hoped that I would someday work at a company willing to invest in their marketing automation product.

That’s why I was so excited to learn that Cheshire Academy was planning on giving Hubspot a go! We launched Hubspot this summer in August, and now that we’ve now had one month using the product, I wanted to share some of my reflections.

Like any software, Hubspot is what you put into it. Even though my primary role is to work with the website and email marketing as part of the strategic marketing and communications office, I often provide recommendations to other departments about different software options. I always say that software is what you put into it. That means if you don’t set it up well or put a lot of data into it (or put inaccurate data into it), even the most amazing software will fail for you. Software is not magic, and it can’t work miracles. It can only make your job easier and your work more effective if you use it correctly, which can sometimes mean more work at the outset. Hubspot is no exception!

Building workflows in Hubspot, not to mention designing the blog and landing pages, is certainly work. The hardest part for me, though, is figuring out the logic I want to use for the workflows and lead forms. White boarding and bouncing ideas off of team members is a must!

Cookies are incredible. One of our admission officers called me last week, asking if we could move someone out of a Hubspot workflow because of their address. The admission officer pointed out the IP address that cookies had collected for us. I was so excited that our sales team was looking at (and loving) the information gathered by cookies.  On a personal level as a website administrator, I love seeing all the different pages on our website prospective students go. It even helps me weed out who might be a fellow administrator (are they going to employment pages?) rather than a student.

Good content is everything. Before launching Hubspot, we created to-do lists in Basecamp based around personas. Each of our five personas had blog posts, emails, and premium downloadable pieces. It’s been really fun to watch the leads pour in from social media and Google search as people download the content most interesting to them, sorting themselves into our persona groups along the way. We have yet to send out any email marketing to leads not in Hubspot asking them to opt-in, but that’s one the schedule for this month.

We’re only been at this a month and already we’re seeing great results and really interesting information. I can’t wait to see where the fall season takes us with Hubspot!