“The idea of being all things to all people is a thing of the past.” Michael Dell
For those in the inbound marketing world, Hubspots’ announcement of their new Content Optimization System (i.e. COS) at its annual Inbound 2013 event was greeted with much enthusiasm by B2B marketers. Finally! A way to personalize my website with dynamic content!
So why is Hubspot right? Because personalization is what B2B marketers need to do to stay ahead of the latest trends. And because it shows results: According to Econsultancy, 68% of marketers say personalization based on behavioral data has a high impact on ROI, and 74% say it has a high impact on engagement.
Hubspot is also right because your website is where prospects are engaged and attentive and therefore the best channel to use personalized content – especially if you can identify their company, industry, location, and digital behavior. According to research firm Marketing Sherpa, 82% of prospects value content targeted to their specific industry and 67% of prospects value content targeted to their job function.
Hubspot is definitely headed in the right direction and has a real understanding of the future of digital marketing.
Or are they?
So why is Hubspot wrong? The problem with Hubspot’s approach is that the only way to take advantage of their COS is to also use Hubspot’s CMS. Hubspot’s COS personalization platform is only available for Pro/Enterprise members, and in general market their COS as the latest version of their CMS. Brian Halligen, Hubspot’s CEO, encourages users to just upgrade to Hubspot’s COS next time they have to redesign.
But Hubspot’s CMS is far from being a CMS leader. Nor is it anywhere close to providing the CMS functionality offered by Omniture, WordPress, SharePoint, and other open-source systems, as noted in the Twitter universe:
Adopting Hubspot’s CMS would mean losing much of the functionality you learned to rely on with your current CMS. Even if you did consider changing your CMS, think of the time it would take. Your CMS has extensive content, plugins, widgets and management capabilities, and migrating to a new one requires a lot of time and money.
A new B2B website launch can cost anywhere from $27,000 to $110,000. And unfortunately, with many websites such as Hubspot, migration incurs a lot of the same costs – re-design, coding, site architecture, etc.- as a new website launch.
Hubspot is right because website personalization is the future of digital marketing. It is wrong because it doesn’t offer a “best of breed” approach allowing marketers to choose the best CRM, CMS and marketing automation that suits their needs. With the right blend of these tools, marketers can then choose a real-time personalization platform that integrates these systems and leverages data for targeting and personalization.
P.S. Wouldn’t it be even better if you could also target anonymous traffic to your website for top-funnel engagement? We’ll talk about that in a future post.