What do Frankenstein, a bull, and duct tape have in common? It might be your marketing plan?
A good friend of mine once “Frankensteined” together a metal trailer, a hitch, and a flatbed truck with duct tape to transfer a bucking bull to a farm across the state of Ohio. And it worked great — until it didn’t. When the trailer broke loose, and his 2-ton bull went whizzing past him down the freeway, he realized it was time to upgrade his towing system.
Frankensteining means combining various items to make something that works, but not very efficiently or effectively. It's not just a term for dangerous farmhands anymore. Now, it can apply to online marketing strategies.
Here's the deal:
Over time, many tools have been developed for marketers to up their online game: email programs like MailChimp and Constant Contact, social media platforms galore, Google Analytics, Survey Monkey, CRM tools like Highrise, etc.
Just like Frankensteining, FrankenSpotting is when marketers combine various tools to mimic what an inbound marketing system like HubSpot does all-in-one. If you use different services for email marketing, website analytics, landing pages, and social posting, your system is FrankenSpotted.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. If your team is competent and versed in using all these tools in an organized way, then your FrankenSpotted system can be helpful in driving a successful inbound strategy.
However, there are definite pros and cons to using both types of systems. We’re going to go through the advantages of using FrankenSpotting for your inbound methodology versus our favorite all-encompassing system: HubSpot.
- Many tools are available online for free or for a small fee.
- You can focus on certain aspects of marketing without building a full inbound marketing funnel, which provides a certain amount of flexibility.
- HubSpot is great for almost all companies, with varying packages and price points. It also is useable whether your company sells a good or a service.
- HubSpot is extremely user friendly and comes with a huge support team to help you learn how to fully utilize the tool.
- Of the major all-in-one tools (Marketo, Paradot), HubSpot is the most affordable and is recommended 98% of the time.
- HubSpot helps increase productivity by cutting down on the amount of time it takes to complete tasks.
- Comparing metrics and data is a breeze with HubSpot analytics, which makes running reports much easier.
- HubSpot’s team works at all hours to ensure your accounts are secure.
- The tools you choose for your strategy may work, but not necessarily well together. You must be careful as you choose tools to ensure they all form a cohesive network.
- Frequently switching between tools can waste time if your team doesn’t know how to use them all thoroughly.
- Seeing the whole data picture is more difficult because you have to manipulate and add data, which can become time consuming and even costly.
- HubSpot offers flexible pricing, which in the end could be less expensive than the services you choose to patch together a FrankenSpotted system.
- Your team has to be organized for FrankenSpotting to work. Between separate logins, support, and education on each tool, they have to be on point with their research.
- Security can become a problem when you have so many different platforms to worry about.
- Brand consistency can become an issue when you are using multiple platforms for your inbound strategy.
- While HubSpot is the least expensive of the all-in-one tools, it is still more expensive than the free or low-cost options available from some platform providers.
- Because HubSpot is all-in-one, it may provide services that your team isn’t ready to commit to. When you use a large platform, you need to commit to a strategy and try to utilize all the tools you have.
- HubSpot isn’t the most flexible platform when it comes to building custom solutions for your business. While it’s user friendly, it’s not the most flexible.
So what did we learn?
You have to think long and hard about your budget, investment, people-power, customization, and analytics when choosing your inbound marketing platform(s).
If you’re a company with a limited marketing staff that would benefit from an all-in-one tool to drive your campaigns, position the strengths and value of your products and services over time, and nurture prospects through your buying process, HubSpot might be an extremely beneficial tool for you. Especially if you have a certified HubSpot agency to help you with implementation, ongoing campaign development, and to help you make the right tweaks at the right time based on the findings in your analytics. That’s why we ultimately chose HubSpot for our business, and we’re happy to show you how we use it and answer your questions if you decide that HubSpot might be the best solution for you.