In our world of online marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and sales technology, the term "custom objects" often comes up. But what exactly are Custom Objects? Why would you want to use them? And how can they help you manage your customer data more efficiently?
Custom objects are a way for users to store additional information about their contacts, companies, deals, and tickets that is not available in the out-of-the-box (standard) HubSpot objects. They allow users to customise their CRM with any additional fields or properties that are specific to their business processes.
Custom objects provide an extra layer of flexibility and control over the data that is stored in their CRM, allowing users to organise it in a way that works best for them. As HubSpot puts it: “We are giving businesses the opportunity to build a data schema that works exactly as they need it to.”
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what custom objects are but before we get there, let’s first take a look at standard objects.
Standard objects in HubSpot
There are several standard object records that make up the data structure within HubSpot, these are contacts, companies, deals, tickets and products.
For every person that communicates with your organisation, a contact record is created. While separate from company records, contacts may be associated with a company. Organisations and businesses that communicate with your business are categorised as companies.
The interactions between your contacts or companies, and your sales or customer service teams are either stored as deals or tickets. Deals consist of opportunities, and tickets encompassing support tickets and customer requests. Products are information on your offerings.
For each standard object, HubSpot has a list of default properties such as name, email, phone, fax, industry, job title, etc. Properties are elements of your object that you wish to store data on. These default properties are automatically created when you create your HubSpot account and are available without any setup. If you are using the HubSpot Company Insights or HubSpot AI, these default properties will be populated.
While these default properties are quite inclusive, they still don’t fit every scenario. If you need to store data that doesn’t fit within a default property, you can create custom properties to suit your requirements. Creating these custom properties is fairly straightforward – simply add a label and choose the property type (text, number, date, etc.). These custom properties help you record information that is unique to your business, like the number of printers a specific company has or whether a lead would be interested in joining your Beta program.
Within your CRM, connecting your leads with their companies, or companies with deals or even deals with tickets is a great way to keep your data organised.
Now that we understand standard objects, their properties, and the associations between them, let us explore HubSpot’s custom objects.
HubSpot Custom Objects
Custom objects are precisely what the name suggests. They allow you to extend and customise the functionality of HubSpot’s standard objects by giving you the flexibility to define objects as your business data requires. This means you can customise your CRM and website to fit in with your data schema, rather than the other way around.
HubSpot custom objects look and act exactly as standard objects do, and can be used in reporting, marketing campaigns and accessed by all users. They can even be associated with other already existing standard objects.
When to use Custom Objects vs Standard Objects?
A common dilemma that many HubSpot users face is whether to use Standard Objects or Custom Objects to manage their data. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it can be difficult to know when each option should be used.
The biggest indicator of when you need to use a custom object should be decided on whether the relationship between information is one-to-one or one-to-many.
Let me explain: If you are trying to determine whether you should use a standard or custom object for storing information on the email client that a company uses, you would look at whether this would be one value or multiple values. Do companies use one or multiple email clients for their business? In most cases, this is only one, and you would easily be able to create one custom property to store the name of the email client which they use.
But if you wanted to keep track of the certificates one of your students has completed, would that be one-to-one as well? No, because a student could have completed multiple certificates that you need to track. In this case, you could also create custom properties to keep track of the certificates, but how many would you create? Certificate 1, certificate 2, certificate 3 and on and on.
Instead, it would be easier to create Certificates as a custom object, with the ability to associate contacts to multiple certificates.
But while you can customise custom objects to your specific needs, don’t go out of your way to create them unless you know they are absolutely necessary. HubSpot standard objects carry several key or AI-enabled functions that should be recognised and utilised to put more power behind your data. If you create a custom object in a scenario where a standard object would be applicable, you only lose out on these features.
Added benefits of Standard Objects
HubSpot harnesses the Contacts standard object to send marketing emails to lists generated through the system. Those contacts are often associated with a company, and that company has public data.
Using the standard object for a Company versus creating a custom object, allows published data for the company to be automatically populated by HubSpot Company Insights. All the interactions between contacts and companies are meant to bring you to a sales goal and using the Deals standard object assures revenue reports and forecasts can be generated from the information obtained.
Within the Tickets standard object, you have the power to automatically create support requests with incoming emails or calls from customers. And with the Products standard object, you can add line items to deals and quotes.
How would you use custom objects in the CMS Hub?
CRM objects can be displayed on HubSpot-hosted webpages, blogs or landing pages, allowing data to be shared between your business operations, website, and emails.
HubL tags allow you to pull CRM object data into your HubSpot-hosted pages, to help you provide the most personalised customer experience possible. Using HubL, you’re able to create customised pages for your audience that are powered by the data in your HubSpot CRM.
You can build custom profile pages showing a contact their most recently purchased products, when their renewal dates are, what contact information you have on file for them, who their account representative is, and so much more. This feature has been available for standard objects for quite some time but now includes custom objects too. And while standard objects (except Products) are only available on pages that are password protected or require CMS membership login, custom objects and Products are available for display on any public page.
In conclusion, HubSpot Custom Objects are a powerful tool that allows you to customise your CRM and website’s data schema to mirror that of your organisation. With customisable fields, relationships between objects, and automation capabilities they can help you capture deeper insights into your customer data so that you can create more personalised experiences.
Whether you’re looking to increase your understanding of customer behaviour or streamline workflows, HubSpot Custom Objects have the power to help you achieve your goals. Give it a try today!