Mastering HubSpot's Business Units: A Comprehensive Guide

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
March 25, 2024

Introduction to HubSpot Business Units

HubSpot Business Units have revolutionized the way companies manage their multiple brands, presenting a streamlined approach that enhances both brand management and customer experience. But to truly appreciate the value of this feature, it’s crucial to understand its structure and how it can help you in your Go-to-Market Strategy.

The Genesis of Business Units

Businesses aren't confined to just one brand, one target audience, they often have several markets.

Many enterprises expand, diversify, and even merge, resulting in the presence of multiple brands under a single corporate umbrella. And here's the challenge - managing these brands efficiently without causing brand dilution or customer confusion.

HubSpot recognized this growing need. As more companies onboarded multiple brands onto their platform, it became evident that a single-account structure was too limiting. There was a need for a feature that could provide segregation yet unity, autonomy yet centralization. This is where the idea of 'Business Units' was born. It's not just a feature; it's HubSpot's answer to the multifaceted challenges of modern brand management.

The Fundamental Need for Organized Brand Management

Imagine juggling several balls at once. Each ball represents a brand, and each has its own weight, color, and bounce. Some may require more attention, while others need a certain technique to be juggled properly. Now, what if you had a tool that could help you juggle them more efficiently, ensuring none are dropped?

That's the metaphorical scenario HubSpot Business Units address. In a world where brands are not just logos but represent stories, values, and promises, ensuring that each brand gets its unique space while still leveraging shared resources is paramount.

The fundamental need arises from challenges like:

  • Branding Consistency: Every brand has its unique voice, style, and messaging. A centralized system risks blurring these distinct identities.
  • Customer Segmentation: Different brands might cater to diverse audience segments. Mixing them can lead to ineffective marketing strategies.
  • Resource Utilization: While brands need their separate spaces, there are shared resources like analytical tools, CRM databases, and marketing assets that need central management.

To address these challenges, a structured, organized, and efficient brand management system is not just preferred; it's essential. And HubSpot's Business Units beautifully fill this gap.

Setting the Stage: Pre-Setup Considerations

Before diving deep into the practical aspects of HubSpot Business Units, it's essential to understand some preliminary considerations. After all, a strong foundation is key to ensuring that your brand management is not just effective but also efficient.

Available Subscriptions for Business Units

HubSpot offers a range of subscription packages, each tailored to fit different business needs. However, not all of these subscriptions come with the Business Units feature. It's crucial to ensure that your chosen subscription supports Business Units to reap its benefits.

If you're considering this feature, make sure to consult with HubSpot's pricing page or a HubSpot representative. They can guide you on which subscription packages include Business Units, ensuring you don't miss out on this powerful tool.

Essential Preliminaries Before Diving In

Setting up Business Units in HubSpot is straightforward, but there are some things you should get in order before diving in:

  • Brand Segmentation: Clearly define which brands or segments you wish to manage under separate units. This step will help streamline the setup process and ensure clarity in future management.
  • Access Rights: Decide who in your organization should have access to each Business Unit. HubSpot allows fine-grained access controls, so plan who gets what level of access.
  • Resource Pooling: Identify shared resources, such as marketing assets, that might be used across multiple brands. By organizing these resources beforehand, you can save time during setup and avoid redundancy later.
  • Goal Setting: Understand what you aim to achieve with each Business Unit. Whether it's enhanced brand visibility, better resource management, or more effective campaigns, having clear objectives will help you tailor the setup to your needs.

Remember, the key to a successful implementation of Business Units is not just in the setup but in the groundwork laid before it. Preparing in advance will ensure a smoother transition and more effective brand management.

Creation and Customization of Business Units

Navigating through the HubSpot platform, the versatility of Business Units stands out. These units, when harnessed correctly, can be the backbone of your multi-brand strategy. In this section, we'll delve into the intricacies of creating, renaming, deleting, and customizing these Business Units to mirror your brand's unique identity.

Step-by-step Guide to Creating Business Units

  1. Log into HubSpot: Head over to the dashboard and ensure you have the necessary permissions to create Business Units.
  2. Navigate to Settings: Usually represented by a gear icon, this will lead you to a plethora of options.
  3. Find ‘Business Units’: Under the 'Organizations & Teams' section, you'll come across an option labeled 'Business Units'.
  4. Click ‘Create Business Unit’: Here, you can name your Business Unit, ensuring it clearly represents the brand or department it's meant for.
  5. Assign Users and Teams: Depending on the scope of your brand or department, designate users and teams to the respective Business Unit.
  6. Review and Save: Double-check your configurations and save your settings.

Remember, creating a Business Unit is not a one-time task. As your organization grows and evolves, you might need to come back and adjust accordingly.

Renaming and Deleting Business Units: Best Practices

Renaming a Business Unit:

  • Always have a concrete reason. Whether it's a brand overhaul or a minor tweak, the rationale should be clear.
  • Inform your team about the change. Especially those who operate within the unit. Any change can be disruptive; pre-information minimizes chaos.
  • Simply navigate to the desired Business Unit in HubSpot settings and select the ‘Edit’ option.

Deleting a Business Unit:

  • Proceed with caution! Remember that deleting a Business Unit is permanent and might affect associated data.
  • It's always best to back up any relevant data or analytics associated with the unit before deletion.
  • Similar to renaming, navigate to the desired Business Unit and select the ‘Delete’ option.

Infusing Brand Identity: Customizing Brand Elements

Each brand carries its own soul – a unique identity. HubSpot’s Business Units allow for this distinction.

  1. Logo and Brand Colors: Within the Business Unit's settings, you can upload your brand's logo and select brand-specific colors. This ensures that every report, dashboard, or document generated aligns with the brand's visual language.
  2. Brand-Specific Content: Differentiate content strategies. Business Units allow for content customization that speaks directly to the brand's audience.
  3. Tailored Reporting: Customize the metrics and KPIs that matter most to the brand in question.
  4. Email Signatures and Templates: These can be tailored to the brand, ensuring consistency in communication.

When you intertwine HubSpot’s functionalities with your brand essence, what you get is a powerful tool ready to skyrocket your brand's digital presence.

Technical Aspects: Behind-the-Scenes Management

The power of HubSpot's Business Units doesn't just lie in their front-end functionalities but also in the robust technical framework they offer. While they provide a seamless experience on the front, there's a lot happening behind the scenes to ensure smooth and efficient management of multiple brands. In this segment, we’ll delve deeper into the integration of HubSpot's tracking code and the nuanced intricacies of access levels and admin management.

Integrating HubSpot's Tracking Code

For a holistic view of user interaction, integrating HubSpot's tracking code is crucial. It not only tracks visits but also provides invaluable insights into user behavior, helping in crafting tailored strategies. Here's how you can integrate it:

  1. Locate the Tracking Code: Within your HubSpot account, navigate to 'Settings' and under 'Website', you'll find the 'Tracking Code' option.
  2. Copy the Tracking Code: This is a snippet of JavaScript that you'll need to insert into your website's header.
  3. Paste onto Your Website: This step might require assistance from a developer if you're unfamiliar with the backend of your site. Ensure it’s on every page you wish to track.
  4. Verify Integration: Return to your HubSpot dashboard. If done correctly, you'll start seeing visitor data stream in real-time.

Remember, integrating this code not only tracks visits but can also provide insights into form submissions, user sessions, and more, equipping you with the information you need to enhance user experience. You can get more information in their knowledge center HubSpot tracking code.

Access Levels and Admin Management

Managing a team, especially across multiple brands, requires a clear hierarchy of access. HubSpot’s Business Units provide granular control, ensuring that the right people have the right access. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  1. Super Admins: These are the overlords! They have complete control and can create, modify, or delete Business Units. They can assign roles and determine who gets to see or modify what.
  2. Regular Admins: These individuals manage specific Business Units. They might not have overarching control but can manage their designated Business Unit efficiently.
  3. General Users: These are individuals who don't have managerial control but contribute to the Business Unit. They can be content creators, analysts, or other team members. Their access is usually restricted to specific tasks.
  4. Setting Permissions: Navigate to 'Settings' in HubSpot. Under 'Users & Teams', you can assign or modify roles. Ensure clarity in role assignment to avoid conflicts and maintain a smooth workflow.

By setting clear access levels and ensuring seamless integration with HubSpot's tracking code, you pave the way for efficient management and data-driven decision-making.

Reporting: Extracting Value from Business Units

Harnessing the true potential of HubSpot’s Business Units extends beyond mere creation and management. The real value emerges when businesses can tap into the insights these units generate, guiding them towards more informed decisions. In this section, we'll explore the creation of dashboards tailored to Business Units and the art and science of generating meaningful reports from them.

Crafting Business Unit Dashboards

Dashboards serve as a visual representation of a brand's performance, offering a snapshot of key metrics at a glance. With HubSpot's Business Units, each unit can have its unique dashboard, ensuring a targeted view of its performance. Here's how you can craft one:

  1. Determine Your Metrics: Before setting up your dashboard, it's pivotal to ascertain what metrics matter most to your brand. It could be website visits, lead conversions (you can use lifecycle stages or lead status), sales numbers, or customer satisfaction scores.
  2. Navigate to the Dashboard Feature: Within HubSpot, go to the 'Reports' tab and select 'Dashboards'.
  3. Create a New Dashboard: Click on 'New Dashboard', select the Business Unit you wish to create it for, and choose from a plethora of templates HubSpot offers or start from scratch.
  4. Customize with Widgets: Add widgets that showcase your determined metrics. HubSpot offers a wide array, from simple graphs to intricate data visualizations.
  5. Regularly Update and Review: A dashboard is dynamic. As data flows in, ensure you're reviewing and, if necessary, tweaking it to better serve your brand's evolving needs.

More information in their knowledge center on how to create and manage dashboards.

Generating and Interpreting Business Unit Reports

While dashboards offer a quick glimpse, detailed reports dive deeper into the data, offering richer insights. Here's how to generate and derive meaning from them:

  1. Selecting Data Points: Determine what data you wish to explore. It could be the efficacy of a marketing campaign, sales conversion rates, contacts & companies, or even customer behavior patterns.
  2. Generating the Report: Navigate to 'Reports' in HubSpot and select 'Reports Library'. Here, you can either use HubSpot’s preset reports or create a custom one tailored to your Business Unit.
  3. Filter and Segregate: Use filters to refine your data. You can segregate by date ranges, user activity, geographical regions, and more.
  4. Analysis: Once the report is generated, take time to analyze. Look for trends, anomalies, and patterns. For instance, if a marketing campaign is generating leads but not sales, delve deeper to understand the disconnect.
  5. Implement Insights: The goal of any report is to inform action. Whether it’s tweaking a campaign, enhancing user experience, or even revisiting branding strategies, ensure the insights you gain are being actively utilized.

Remember, the value of Business Units isn't just in the data they accumulate but in the actionable insights they provide. Regularly reviewing dashboards and diving deep into reports ensures brands remain agile, informed, and ahead of the curve.

Optimizing Business Units for Brand Strategy

Navigating the HubSpot Business Units tool isn't just about understanding its features or technicalities. It's also about leveraging it to supercharge your brand strategy. Successful businesses know that any tool, no matter how powerful, is only as good as its alignment with the overarching brand goals and strategy. In this section, we’ll delve into how you can make Business Units work in harmony with your brand’s aspirations, and some common pitfalls to steer clear of.

Aligning Business Units with Brand Goals

Your brand goals are your compass, guiding every strategy, action, and decision. Let's explore how to ensure your Business Units resonate with these objectives:

  1. Clarify Your Brand Goals: Before diving into Business Units, have a crystal-clear understanding of what you aim to achieve, be it increased brand awareness, higher conversions, improved customer loyalty, or all of the above.
  2. Segmentation for Precision: Use Business Units to segment your audience based on their interactions with your brand. By doing so, you can tailor your messaging, campaigns, and content to resonate with specific audience subsets.
  3. Feedback Loop: Regularly gauge the performance of each Business Unit against your brand goals. Are they contributing positively, or do they need recalibration?
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: The business landscape is ever-evolving. Ensure that your Business Units can pivot and adapt to changes, always keeping those brand goals in sight.
  5. Consistent Brand Voice: While each Business Unit may cater to a different segment, ensure a consistent brand voice and ethos. This ensures that no matter the touchpoint, your audience experiences a consistent brand identity.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Overcoming Limitations

Every tool has its limitations and potential pitfalls. Awareness is the first step to mitigation:

  1. Over-segmentation: While segmentation is powerful, overdoing it can lead to diluted efforts and messaging. Ensure you're not creating Business Units just for the sake of it.
  2. Misalignment with Broader Strategy: A Business Unit might be performing well on its own but might not align with the broader brand strategy. Regular audits can help identify such misalignments.
  3. Resistance to Change: Don't get so anchored to a particular setup or structure that you resist necessary changes. If a Business Unit isn't serving its purpose, be ready to pivot or even dissolve it.
  4. Over-reliance on Automation: HubSpot offers fantastic automation tools, but remember, the human touch is irreplaceable. Ensure you're blending automation with personal interactions.
  5. Not Leveraging Data: Business Units generate a wealth of data. Not tapping into these insights is a missed opportunity. Regularly review, analyze, and act on the data at your disposal.

HubSpot's Business Units are a potent tool in the hands of businesses that know how to wield them. By ensuring alignment with brand goals and being aware of potential pitfalls, they can serve as powerful catalysts propelling your brand towards its objectives.

Concluding Thoughts on HubSpot Business Units

HubSpot Business Units, without a doubt, have transformed the way businesses manage their multi-brand strategies, making it infinitely more seamless, efficient, and effective. They embody the philosophy that a tool can be powerful yet flexible, sophisticated yet user-friendly. However, as we've journeyed through the various facets of Business Units, some key takeaways have crystallized:

  1. Empowerment Through Organization: At its core, HubSpot Business Units is all about organization. By segmenting and managing multiple brands or departments under one HubSpot account, businesses can streamline their processes and keep a sharp focus on individual brand goals.
  2. Flexibility Is Key: The real power of Business Units lies not just in its ability to organize but also in its adaptability. As businesses grow, pivot, and evolve, Business Units can be tailored to match every twist and turn.
  3. Strategic Alignment: It's not enough to just use a tool; the magic lies in using it right. Always ensure that every Business Unit, every segment, and every campaign aligns with the broader brand and business objectives.
  4. Continuous Learning and Evolution: The digital landscape is always in flux. Regularly revisit your Business Units strategy, be open to feedback, and be ready to adapt. HubSpot frequently updates its features and capabilities, so stay updated and harness them to your advantage.
  5. The Human Element: While automation and segmentation are indispensable, never lose sight of the human element. Personalized interactions with efficient icebreakers for your sales, empathy, and genuine customer engagement are what truly differentiate great brands.

In wrapping up, HubSpot Business Units is not just a feature but a paradigm shift in brand management. It beckons businesses to think smarter, act faster, and deliver unparalleled customer experiences. As with any tool, its power lies not just in its features but in how businesses choose to wield it. Here's to creating more organized, aligned, and successful brand strategies with HubSpot Business Units!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use Business Units in HubSpot?

To use Business Units in HubSpot, navigate to your account settings, select "Business Units" under "Organization", and follow the prompts to create or manage your brands.

How much do HubSpot Business Units cost?

The cost of HubSpot Business Units varies depending on your subscription level and specific business requirements, so it's best to consult HubSpot's official pricing page or a HubSpot representative.

How do I switch between Business Units in HubSpot?

Switching between Business Units in HubSpot is easy: once logged in, use the drop-down menu at the top of your dashboard to select the desired Business Unit.

What is a business unit in HubSpot?

A business unit in HubSpot is a feature that allows businesses to manage multiple brands or segments under one HubSpot account.

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
Bastien is the CRO of Hublead. With over 5 years in marketing and sales, using Hubspot, Bastien has written several studies and marketing guides based on data, many of which are well-known in the industry. Bastien likes to question standard marketing and sales beliefs and aims to make things simpler and more efficient.
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