As long-time HubSpot fanatics, we’re always jazzed when something new comes along with the power to improve the HubSpot experience. A recent example is one of HubSpot’s latest solutions: CRM custom objects.
The CRM custom objects feature extends HubSpot CRM by allowing businesses to define objects other than HubSpot's standard ones. With it, you can store any kind of data directly in HubSpot. That data can then be associated with one another, accessed by CRM users, and used in marketing campaigns and reporting. The feature is available to all HubSpot Enterprise customers.
While just recently announced, the CRM custom objects feature has long been suggested by HubSpot users -- so, we anticipate it being a huge hit. Ready to learn a little more about it? Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about custom objects in HubSpot.
What is a Custom Object?
To define a custom object, you need to know what a standard object is in HubSpot. HubSpot’s default objects are contacts, companies, deals, and tickets. As your team creates records of these objects (i.e., a contact record would be a person such as a lead or customer), you build the data in your HubSpot CRM. All this data can then be associated with one another and used in campaigns.
That is unless you require an object that’s not a standard HubSpot object to build a data schema that works for your business’s unique processes. For example, if you’re a gym, you may need a “membership” object in your CRM to effectively manage those kinds of relationships. How would you go about this? A custom object, of course. In the initial creation, you’ll need development help to build it via a HubSpot API. Once it’s made, you can start creating these membership records, associating them to their appropriate contact (or other standard objects) records, and use them in your sales and marketing efforts.
Why Use Custom Objects?
As mentioned, if your business needs a different object than HubSpot’s standard ones, you should define one. When doing so, be sure to include its properties and customize the associations between your custom object and your standard object. Again, a gym’s “membership” object may consist of properties like a state or region and is likely associated with a contact object.
Another reason you should consider utilizing custom objects is the fact you can use them to connect contacts, or other objects, to multiple companies. With standard objects, HubSpot contacts cannot be associated with more than one company – it’s merely a 1:1 situation, which doesn’t work for larger organizations. Workarounds can be created, but they are not as defined as custom objects.
What Are Some Possible Custom Objects Use Cases?
If you haven’t noticed yet, we like our gym scenarios, so bear with us as we continue. National gyms that have locations across the country can benefit greatly from custom objects, because not only will they need to create objects for their memberships, but those memberships may have to associate to different centers. Similarly, gyms offer various services that are not necessarily products. A patron may be registered as a member but want to buy a registration for a yoga class or summer camp. With custom objects, you can associate these memberships records (i.e., the various services they’ve purchased) with a single contact.
Sick of the gym references? Fortunately, all business verticals can take advantage of custom objects, because they essentially can use it however they want. Take the radio marketing business, which is built on layers. Different radio stations may work under the direction of a Market, which all work under the umbrella of a single media company. Still, standard objects may not be able to tell this story accurately.
A common use case for custom objects might be associating contacts to multiple companies. A brand representative may technically be employed by one company but regularly represent other companies. So they’re ultimately considered an “employee” or “contact” of all these different companies. With standard objects, you cannot associate this one contact with all these different companies, but with custom objects, you can!
Using Custom Objects in Workflows and Reports
It’s well-known that all standard objects can be used in workflows and reports, but thankfully, custom objects can also be used. That means you won’t miss out on any opportunities to add them to lists or campaigns, or whatever you need to engage with them. And even better? You can use personalization tokens in your automated email campaigns!
Here’s how to enroll them in workflows:
- Log in to your HubSpot portal
- Navigate to automation/workflows
- Click create workflow
- Select start from scratch
- Select your custom object name
- Create your workflow and set up enrollment triggers
You can also report on your custom objects based on their properties. However, reporting for custom objects is currently limited. You can only build single object reports. Here’s how it’s done:
- Log in to your HubSpot portal
- Navigate to reports/reports
- Click create custom report
- Select single object
- Select your custom object, then click next
- Build, customize, and save your report!
Last Thoughts on Custom Objects
While the CRM custom objects feature is exciting, users need to have an understanding of the HubSpot API to define a custom object. If you’d like an easier way to manage and launch your custom objects efforts, check out SyncSmart’s Custom Objects HQ. The app makes tapping into the customization of custom objects possible in minutes, without needing a developer, third-party vendor, or knowledge of the API.
If you’re interested in learning more please reach out!