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HubSpot CMS: What it is + how to use it (HubHeroes, Ep. 25)

HubSpot CMS: What it is + how to use it (HubHeroes, Ep. 25)

 

If you can believe it, we've already dedicated an entire deep-dive episode of HubHeroes to virtually every single HubSpot Hub:

But we haven’t talked about one of the most powerful and increasingly popular hubs of all — the HubSpot CMS Hub. Until today, that is! 

Now, like all of our other hub episode deep dives, you don’t need to EITHER be someone considering the HubSpot CMS Hub (but doesn’t have it yet) OR someone who already has it! This episode is for everyone, because we’re unpacking topics around it that are relevant to everyone:

  • What are its true superpowers?
  • What do most people get wrong about the HubSpot CMS Hub?
  • How are most current users still not maximizing its potential?

And that's only the beginning of our conversation. To help us out today, we are joined by the legendary, the one and only growth-driven design champion Luke Summerfield who is also the Director of Product, GTM of CMS Hub at HubSpot. 

Here's what we cover in this episode ...

  • Why does the HubSpot CMS Hub exist? Is it really that beneficial to have your CRM and website existing on the same platform?
  • What are the most powerful features within the HubSpot CMS Hub and why?
  • What are the most common ways companies using the HubSpot CMS Hub are getting it wrong and why?
  • How accessible and easy-to-use is the HubSpot CMS Hub really for those with no technical chops? And is that kind of accessibility a good thing?
  • Who do we trust more with our taxes? HubSpot or WordPress?
  • What do you need to know about smart content, why it's so amazing, how to use it, as well as how not to use it?
  • What are some juicy secrets and tidbits about what's the come from HubSpot?
  • Will Liz ever stop creating AI-generated haikus that no one asked for?

... and much more! 

YOUR ONE THING FROM THIS EPISODE

There's a lot to love about the HubSpot CMS Hub, but what makes it so special — especially for those who are already using other HubSpot Hubs as part of their MarTech stack — is that its accessibility is unmatched. No more waiting two weeks for a developer to implement a simple change on your site; HubSpot CMS Hub is built for agility.

Just remember, though, with great power comes great responsibility. Like we talked about last week in our HubSpot playbooks episode, processes will matter a great deal here if you want to see success with HubSpot CMS.

RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE

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⚠️ Is the HubSpot CMS Hub actually worth the hype? Is it better than some of the more established options out there like WordPress? 

Will Liz ever stop creating ridiculous ChatGPT haikus about HubHeroes guests, like this week's Luke Summerfield?

Find out on this week's episode of HubHeroes: https://hubheroes.co/3EtHDxt 

#hubspotcms #hubspotcmshub #b2bwebsites #businesswebsites #hubspotvswordpress #b2bwebdesign #hubspot #hubheroes

⛔ If you're on the fence about HubSpot CMS Hub, or if you've already made the leap to hosting your website on WordPress, this episode is for you! 

This week, we're joined by HubSpot's Luke Summerfield to talk about what the CMS Hub's true superpowers are, what most people don't get about it, and how many are still failing to maximize it to its fullest potential:

https://hubheroes.co/3EtHDxt 

#hubspotcms #hubspotcmshub #b2bwebsites #businesswebsites #hubspotvswordpress #b2bwebdesign #hubspot #hubheroes

🤔 Is the HubSpot CMS Hub as accessible as everyone thinks it is? And, is so much ease and accessibility a good thing?

This week, we're tackling the big questions as we unpack everything you need to know about the HubSpot CMS Hub with HubSpot's one-and-only growth-driven design king, Luke Summerfield.

https://hubheroes.co/3EtHDxt 

#hubspotcms #hubspotcmshub #b2bwebsites #businesswebsites #hubspotvswordpress #b2bwebdesign #hubspot #hubheroes

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy

HH-LM-300

Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy

HH-DB-300

HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen

HH-MJC-300

HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas

HH-GBT-300

HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] Liz Murphy:

I think before we get into today's episode, we can all agree that our theme song is Straight Fire . 

[00:00:08] Luke Summerfield:

Let's Go Fire I Everything y'all do, everything y'all do. The quality of the production, the prep work you did for me, the graphics, the everything's a plus. Plus. I

[00:00:19] Liz Murphy: 

am a huge I, although I think my favorite part of that BOP continues to.
max and Dev are corporate shills, and if they say something we don't like, God's speeding. Good luck to both of you. That I think that's my favorite. That's the bridge that leads to the chorus that brings us here to this moment where every week I tell you all. Hello, I am Liz Murphy. I am a content strategist.
I am your hub Heroes w Wrangler, because we both know George, Devon and Max need wrangling. And welcome to this week. Love the Hub Heroes podcast. And we. A very special guest today, the growth driven king himself, Luke Summerfield. I'm so excited. How you doing, bud? I'm so happy you're here. 

[00:01:01] Luke Summerfield: 

I'm, I'm doing awesome.
And, uh, yeah, we are firing up already on 2023 at HubSpot, uh, and essentially c cms. So I'm like excited to talk about cms, but also maybe shed some light on where we're going the rest of the year. 

[00:01:14] George B. Thomas: 

Aw. Say it outside. , 

[00:01:16] Liz Murphy: 

okay. I'm sorry. Are we saying that people, people should probably stick around for a little bit?

Maybe we'll have some other goodies to let out of 

[00:01:22] Luke Summerfield: 

the bag today? Hopefully. Yeah, I mean, there's only so much I could say at this point, but I'll give you at least directionally, you know, where we're headed, uh, with the product. So you're gonna be like 

[00:01:31] Liz Murphy: 

a little, you're gonna be like a little orange fortune cookie.
Breaking out. Little sprocket. Little sprocket. Oh my 

[00:01:38] George B. Thomas: 

gosh. I was like it. So excited about, that's Christmas time. I really feel like it's Christmas time right now. I I was excited. Now I'm doubly 

[00:01:45] Luke Summerfield: 

excited. . So we 

[00:01:46] Liz Murphy: 

weren't enough for you 

[00:01:47] George B. Thomas: 

George. Devin, enough. No, you're always enough. You're always enough. Man. I have had this conversation with my wife before too.
You, you're always enough. 

[00:01:53] Liz Murphy: 

Uhhuh. Anyway. we've dedicated episodes to for No, just kidding. We have dedicated episodes to virtually every single hub. Actually we have, right? We've talked about why you need to go with Marketing Hub, why you need to go with Sales Hub, why you need to go to Service Hub. Heck, we even brought out Ops Hub.

We have talked about Ops Hub, and yet somehow we have not talked about one of the most important. Out there, and that is CMS hub, and it's increasingly becoming one of the most popular as well, which is what we're gonna be digging into today. Now I'm gonna give my usual disclaimer that we have for these episodes where we're digging into a hub.

At a top level, you can either be someone who is considering HubSpot. CMS hub, or you can be someone who already has it. This episode is for both of you because we're gonna be unpacking topics like what are the true superpowers of the HubSpot cms? what are most people getting wrong about the HubSpot CMS hub, and how are current users not maximizing it to its fullest potential?

[00:02:57] George B. Thomas: 

Oh, I can't wait for that part. That's just, I can't wait for that part. I'm just gonna say I'm 

[00:03:00] Luke Summerfield: 

so. You are just having a good day, George. You're just excited man. I 

[00:03:04] Liz Murphy: 

am. I really am. Okay, but let's set you up for success this week, George, cuz we can't have a repeat of the last two episodes. Who are we doing this for? George. 

[00:03:13] George B. Thomas: 

The, this whole episode is for the humans. Yay. We 

[00:03:19] Liz Murphy: 

go. 

[00:03:22] George B. Thomas: 

He did it. So proud of you, George. Back, baby, right out the bat for you. . But 

[00:03:27] Liz Murphy: 

of course, as we already let the cat outta the bag, we are not Max, we miss you. Congrats on your new house. Go over to LinkedIn and say congrats to Max. But this weekend the chair we already have told you we've got the one and only Luke Summerfield, who not only is our G D D King, he is the director of product and G T M of CM S Hub, and we are here to talk about all things cms.
Gentlemen, are you ready? Let's go. .

Awesome. Let's do it. So I'm gonna start with, I'm gonna start with a deep existential, like philosophical question. Why does the HubSpot c m s exist? Luke, talk to me.

[00:04:03] Luke Summerfield:

Well, here's the thing. I mean, as y'all know, one of our, our mission at HubSpot is to help millions of businesses grow better, and there is no world where a business grows better without a.

And so when you think about what marketers are trying to achieve, they're trying to generate traffic and attention, they're trying to convert those visitors into leads and then eventually turn those folks into revenue again, there's no world where the website doesn't play some part of that.

And so what we've found over the years, we've had a c m CMS for a really long time, actually since the Donna HubSpot history, and it's sort of taken a couple different forms over the years to, to the point where we relaunched it in 2020 as official. . what we've realized is that when folks try to work with systems outside of hubs spot, , they run into a lot of walls, and I think we're gonna talk a little bit about that as we go.

But we said the best way that the best way that we can empower marketers is to do something all in one and do something that combines with all our other tools. And so that's why we double down on c m s Hub.

[00:04:55] George B. Thomas: 

I love, by the way, I gotta jump in here. I love the, Luke painted the picture of a journey around the c m s and, and Liz, that your first question is why does it.
Because again, as the person who is not here shilling for big orange sprocket, when if you would've asked me this when it first came out, my answer would've been like, Hmm. I don't know why it exists, but it's here now after 2020. It's real simple for me to make my life easier and to give me more power where it's important.

That's what I would say why the HubSpot CMS exists now today in 2023 and 

[00:05:28] Luke Summerfield: 

moving. . Yeah, and, and maybe actually to just give a little like context on why we decided to invest heavily and relaunch it as a hub in 2020. We saw a couple things. One, we saw that when we talked to customers who inevitably needed to work on their website and they were using some other system, they were just sort of handcuffed in terms of making any changes to the site.

They always had to work through a developer, through an IT team. It was just really slowing down everything that they could do. And like Georgia setting, they just were not. To be able to get the work done that they needed. The other thing that we saw was if you look at all of SaaS, everyone in SaaS has moved to a cloud-based SaaS structure, I should say.
Everyone in software has moved to a SaaS-based structure and for some reason the only software that hasn't moved to cloud-based SaaS, Is the CMS world. You still have this world of having to self-host, having to do plug-in updates, having to do maintenance and management, security issues, all these things that really don't help your business grow.

And we saw an opportunity, as you see emerging CMSs like the wick, the square spaces, the Shopifys, who are all moving to. That we could continue to build a SAS-based cms. And so we wanna do that. And the third thing that we saw, which I think we're gonna talk a little bit more about in the future too, is, you know, that we're uniquely able to solve for what a company needs.
Because if you look at the way the world is going, the companies that are able to personalize the experience that they give their customers are the ones that are winning. And so there's no world to be able to create a personalized. If you don't have all your customer data at your fingertips. And so that's the other thing that I think we were seeing is that customers were struggling to be able to craft these good personalized experiences when you have your CRM over here and your Google Analytics over here and your CMS over here.

And so they're just really limited on what they could do. So all those things came together along with the fact that we had at the time and still have very. , customer NPS on the c m s, really strong usage. Uh, we have a ton of folks using multi hubs with. It just gave us the confidence to go big in 2020 and, you know, since then it's changed even a lot more and it will continue.

[00:07:33] Liz Murphy: 

This leads me nicely into my next question because my response to that, first of all, the question is what do we love about it? And I feel like we're already waxing poetic. We're writing those belated valentine's to cms. And Devin, I'm gonna wanna get your thoughts on this, but. Luke, you touched on something, which I think is the number one thing that I love about it, cuz I've been using HubSpot now since about 2013, and I remember just those friction feelings of, okay, cuz I was at an inbound agency.

My client's website is in WordPress. Our agency website is in WordPress. Now I have to shift platforms in order to. From website work to HubSpot work and back and forth, and I think all of us know, and probably people listening know, or if you don't, you should, every time you have disparate pieces, disparate connect things connected together through APIs or permissions or Zapier, you're introducing potential points of failure, but you're also creating the scenario where you have to know two different platforms.
So I love what you said about like having all of the data intelligence at your finger. But even in a more practical way, you have everything in one house. It's data that's all talking to each other. It's not trying to patchwork together two separate systems, but make them look externally like it's the same experience for your customers.

And I think number that, number one, that is one of the big things I like about it. And number two, That, that accessibility feature of

I can do some AP testing, I can make some changes on the fly and not have to wait three weeks for a developer to actually get around to helping me. That is a huge check in my book.

But Devin, what do you love about it? What do you love about the cns? I'm ready for him to spit fire. I don't know about you. 

[00:09:12] Devyn Bellamy: 

Well, honestly, I, I feel like the fire has already been spat. Liz, you, you absolutely crushed. I'm the fire spitter. You are the fire spitter all, all the, the best that I can do is continue to, uh, to build on what you were saying, the, the biggest thing is that I loved about it and, uh, when I was using it, I've built my first cms, hub website when it was just the website add-on in 20 15, 20 16, something like that.

But the, the, the, the thing that I, I love about it is, , your entire conversion path is in one system, and that's nuts. The fact that you can do your, attract, engage, and delight all in the same place, where before, like Liz said, you would have to jump out and hop into WordPress and then depending on your skill level will be determined whether or not someone in their right mind will actually let you touch.

And so with, with CMS hub, I mean, you have, revision history in case somebody blows something up. this is something that we use regularly at HubSpot when we're troubleshooting things that we've done wrong happened literally the other day, one of my coworkers is like, I'm trying to embed this code and it's not working.
What's going on? And it's like, okay, let me jump in and I'm gonna help you with this. and me being, having, uh, part of my background is as a developer, I was able to get a little deeper into the weeds on what we were working on, but it's all the same system and she doesn't need to be a developer to use it.

She doesn't even need to be a designer. She didn't even need to learn CSS from when she was updating her MySpace page back in the day. , it's literal. You could just go in and if you can use Word, if you could use Google Docs, you'll be able to survive in HubSpot. Cms,

[00:11:07] George B. Thomas: 

it's interesting because when I hear Liz and you, Devin, the word that comes to mind for me is it enables teams.

It enables humans, right? And, and a big pa. I, I want to go in a different direction than what you guys have talked about, because there literally is some mental angst that happens when I help clients that have a, WordPress, a Droople. you know, dot net, nuke, whatever type of website that they're trying to actually just integrate with HubSpot, because where my brain goes is the idea of something being able to be a campaign.

And it could be the product pages, it could be the landing pages, it could be the blog pages, it could be the form, it could be the email, it could be the call to actions, it could be the workflows, it could be the list. Ladies and gentlemen, that's a lot of ish. But having all of that connected in one place and being able to easily report and able to easily report the success or failure of major buckets of your online presence and sales process is fricking priceless.

And the other thing I'll add here is what HubSpot has done an amazing job at with the HubSpot CMS is it bridges the gap of being as nerdy as the most nerd would need it to. and as simple as the most simple marketer would want it to be, and that that is, that is freaking phenomenal to be able to say that about A C M S.

[00:12:30] Liz Murphy: 

Luke, how did you all pull it off? Cuz I have to agree that's what's wild about it. Indeed. You know what I mean? Like there are the baked in benefits of like if you're using HubSpot, I don't care if WordPress can do my. Why don't you have your website on HubSpot? You know what I mean? But there is that piece of, if we're just looking at the quote unquote features and benefits, our favorite thing in the B2B space, how did you guys pull that off?

[00:12:53] Luke Summerfield: 

Yeah, I mean, like in terms of, of balancing the flexibility for a developer and the easy use for a marketer, I. I mean, it wasn't easy and we're still working at it. And actually some of the things that I can hint to in the future, uh, that that's in beta right now, actually be taking steps even further.

But, you know, I think at the end of the day it's important that, that, the reason, going back to like the why we built c m s hub, to empower marketers to build personalized digital experiences that. Those business results. And so it is important to note that this is a CMS for marketers that we are building for marketers to empower them.

But to your point, we recognize that developers and designers are absolutely important, absolutely critical to the process. And so what the way we approach it is we wanna make sure that develop, uh, designers are not limited in any way. They can design anything they want on the system and they. Pass that off to a developer.

And from there, a developer is not limited in any way either. They have all the frameworks, the tools, the local development, the um, the revision history, tooling, everything that they're used to working with. And they basically can be off to the races. But where meets is the intersection of all of that sort of backend systems.

And then the really easy to use UI that we layer on top for marketers, the, the Iage editors where the marketers do their work and. Figured out a way over time and it, it wasn't easy. Some of you probably remember over time where we used to have do a lot more in the design manager and like that was like, okay, for the marketer, not as good for the developer.

And now we have local development, c l i and local development for the developers. We have this like really slick drag and drop, easy to use visual interface. That's really one of the big changes when we relaunched it was to create two distinct editing experiences for each group. But, it's something that we're gonna.

Chipping away at and just make it easier and easier for marketers and give it more and more power for developers. 

[00:14:39] George B. Thomas: 

Yeah. Liz, I know you've got another question, but before you do, I have to go back a few steps here. And Luke, by the way, straight up fire. Love it. Liz, you said it, you don't care if WordPress can do your taxes, Liz, I, I personally would not want WordPress to do my taxes because fundamentally I know that WordPress is not secure.

And if you think it's secure, it won't be with some plug-in update. And that's one thing else that I'd love about the HubSpot C. They have an entire security team. I would much rather HubSpot, CMS do my taxes than WordPress do my taxes. I'm just gonna draw the line right here. 

[00:15:15] Liz Murphy: 

I completely agree with that.
That's one of my favorite things is that I literally have clients where I just watch periodically, part like I watch. It's not if or when, when parts of their site will break. Plugins become unsupported. Developers become non respons. , if something happens catastrophic with your website, there is no, there is no WordPress real customer service that can help you.

So that's a good point. But again, even if the value prop was there, George, Even if it did my taxes, talk to my girlfriend so I don't have to, when their guy does them wrong again over brunch and I could just show up when it's mimosa time, well there I genuinely do not care. It could literally be Keanu Reeves incarnate as a CMS platform.

If I have HubSpot, why am I not also putting my website there? It just doesn't make sense to not have it all on under one roof. Totally agree. So yes, I did have another. So here's what I wanna throw out to the group. One of the things that we've talked a lot in previous episodes, and George, you talk about this all the time, is the fact that at its core, HubSpot, whether you're, when you're looking across the hubs, is a crm.

So what does that need from a CMS on top of a cm? What superpowers come with that? And just so we're all clear, Cms. That's our, that's your content management system crm. That's your, that's your customer relationship management system. I know we're throwing out a lot of acronyms. It's like we're in my hometown of DC people talking about all the different acronyms that they work for. But Luke, can you talk to me a bit about that? 

[00:16:40] Luke Summerfield: 

Yeah, and, and I think it's actually one of the things, going back to, you know, the, we talked a little bit about the personalized experiences, but it's really one of the things that sets us apart from really any. SMB and mid-market cms, and I'm gonna get techie for a second.

When you think of any cms, there's basically two layers that you talk about. There's the data layer that's like all the information, all the content, all the, bits and bytes in, WordPress. That would be like you're MySQL database that's storing all this data inside of it. And then you have the presentation layer, which is the visual layer that when someone comes to the site, what do they actually.
And so I think it's important that we do have a CMS that's living on top of the crm, and basically what we've done is turned our CRM into that data layer. And so the beauty of that is a couple things. One, for anyone who's used our crm, you know that for mere mortals, non-techie people, it's quite a bit easier to use than jumping into a MySQL database and trying to make updates to a database, So it empower. Your team to be able to go into the crm, update data and sync data from other systems very easily using things like Ops hub, to be able to have like a source of truth of all of your customer data and have it in a way that's easily usable by your team, easily usable and modifiable. Then we're able to pull that data up into the presentation layer and dynamically change the experience on the site based off of the CRM data that we have.

And there's a couple ways that we can. , we have marketer tools to do that. We have developer related tools to do that. If I touch on one that, uh, I'll, I'll talk about the developer one cuz I, I think probably some of y'all are more familiar with the marketer, the smart content. So maybe one of y'all can chime in if you've used that before, but

[00:18:16] Liz Murphy: 

I know Devin wants to talk about that for short. Look at that face. You can't see it, but oh my god, the. 

[00:18:21] Luke Summerfield

so the developer side, again, getting a little techy here, essentially you're able to use, languages like GraphQL to query any data within the CRM and pull that data up into that presentation layer and display it. So that's uniquely for that individual.
So I'll give you a, a concrete example.

Listening. Imagine that you have a bunch of realtors who are using your CRM and they have a bunch of things like realty listings. They have the realtors. You have, you know, your customers or your prospects, you know, basically your contacts property. You can now create associations between all these things.
When a customer comes to your website and they favor it, one of the properties, or they like one of the properties that gets stored on their contact. , there's an association created between the property and there's an association that's created between the realtor who manages that property. Then we can pull all that information back up, and then next time that someone visits the site, we can dynamically change everything around it knowing that there's those associations with the person coming to the site.

So, again, a little techy, but um, kind of the developer angle of how to do some of this personalization And where it gets real powerful is, you know, again, if you. The C R M and you use the c m s and that's it. You don't use any other hubs, you don't use any other outside systems. Like there's some value there in terms of like you can get into the data on the C R M side and update it and make all these connections that we talked about gets more powerful when you also have your marketing automation tool.

Marketing hub, also feeding data into that unified data layer, and you have your sales rep and your service reps all using it and all feeding into that unified data layer. now, you can get even more complex experiences on the site, enrich it with third party data, not third party data, but external data sources, like if you have a D R P, having that unified data layer again, is just like your, your source of truth, your snapshot, and gets super, super powerful for bubbling that up to the experiences you build on top of, you know, your.

[00:20:10] Liz Murphy: 

That's amazing. Now let's, let's go back to the others piece of this though, George, I know you wanna chime in here, but I wanna have Devin talk for a moment about the thing that Luke teep, which is smart content. 

[00:20:20] Devyn Bellamy: 

Smart content, is to me one of the greatest unsung heroes on the internet, let alone, HubSpot If, you wanted to, have a message and position it in two different ways for two, two different groups of people, and they go to the website, you know, someone has dropped information on a form and so now you know that this person works in vertical A, where another verse person works in vertical B.

You can change the content based on their form submission, which is. , the sexiest and simplest thing that a marketer with no developer experienced. Someone who's, who doesn't have custom objects set up someone who doesn't have anything special going on in their their setup. This is something you can do out of the box and you can do it, even without having the cookie dropped.

You can do it by region, you can do it, by, time zone. You can do it by language, though. I don't recommend that one. Issues with, SEO can prop up later. I'll give you an example. I used to work in, and I, I, I talk about this a lot. I, I, I used to do marketing for a shower base manufacturer, and I know that the military has completely different nomenclature for shower bases than a university, and they both have different nomenclature for shower.

Than, uh, a mental health institution. And so we have all these different verticals that have all this different nomenclature. What I can do is I can, make it so people can identify which vertical they're in and then tailor the language not completely change it, just tailored enough that it makes sense to.

So instead of saying shower base, I'll say shower pan. A very small change, but it means the world to the people who are working on it because I, they say shower base actually means something completely different to someone else. They think it means the floor underneath what they call a shower pan. If you're shopping at Home Depot, home Depot calls 'em shower pants.
But regardless, What they call 'em. What I want is I want messaging that I can put in that'll resonate with them. If it's someone who is a repeat visitor, who has downloaded a whole bunch of my stuff, who has landed themselves on a smart list that says I should possibly be more aggress with, with my calls to action, their website experience can be completely different than Joe Schmo off the street who is just pulling information off my website That.

One of my favorite out of the box non nerdy things that you can do, like, and when I mean nerdy, I mean nerd like, like Luke, not nerd, like George , but 

[00:22:57] George B. Thomas: 

whoa, 

[00:22:58] Luke Summerfield: 

whoa. 

[00:22:59] Liz Murphy: 

George is gonna have to lay down on his Davenport after 

[00:23:02] George B. Thomas: 

that. Dang. Yeah. Yeah. I moved it out to the veranda after last week, by the way, too. So I'm good to go.

[00:23:09] Liz Murphy: 

George stuck on a weather. Cause it's not your term yet. 

[00:23:11] Luke Summerfield: 

We'll get to you. 

[00:23:12] George B. Thomas: 

All right. Let me put my cane to the side and get my candy. I 

[00:23:15] Devyn Bellamy: 

actually use a cane, but the thing, o only when the weather is bad, my osteoarthritis acts up. But the thing is, is that you can make an experience that resonates with your target audience out of the box.

It's, it's a functionality you don't need a developer for, and it's something that people know about in landing. Something that people know about in email, but it's so criminally underutilized in the CMS product that you can, you know, change your website based on Zoom. Like we could talk about Netflix for example.

Most people don't know this, but if you look at my. And then look at, say, Georgia's Netflix. It's going to be two completely different experiences, even if we're being recommended the same title, because Netflix makes subtle changes based on demographics. Case in point. I'm going to see a whole lot of black people in the thumbnails, even if it's a black guy who was in the minute in the movie for six minutes.

And the reason is, is because Netflix knows, surprise, I'm a black guy and I'm probably gonna try and get content that resonates with me as opposed to George is not. And so he's going to have content that has people with him in it. And that's a thing that most people don't think about because they're.
into their own experience, but my Facebook looked completely different than George's Facebook. My internet experience is different than his just because of how we use the internet and who we are demographically. There's no reason why you can't do that too in order to create something that resonates with 

[00:24:50] George B. Thomas: 

your audio.
Yeah, put me in one coach. Put me in, coach. Come on, put in. George. It's 

[00:24:55] Luke Summerfield: 

time. Time to 

[00:24:55] Liz Murphy: 

rise off the Davenport. Rise off the Davenport. Let's do it George. 

[00:25:00] George B. Thomas: 

Let a rip. I took a nap. I took a nap. I'm excited. Listen, here's the deal. Like if you're listening to this and you still think of your website as a brochure, even if you just think of your website as just a website, you need to listen to the words that are about to come outta my mouth.

Everything in your being. Fiber needs to realize that no, it is an experience. And if you start to think about experience and what Devin laid down about smart content, and if you listen to what Luke was talking about, which by in my simple brain, if I simplify it, it's literally streamlined intelligence.

And if you can take that intelligence in that smart content, you can start to create these experiences specific to the humans. That you're actually helping. And by the way, when you customize experience for the humans, I'm just saying that's when the cash register rings and you start to drive revenue.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, I got a little bit of a story here because Devin, you talked about the content, the language. Let's imagine for a second there was a website. I don't know, we'll call it hub heroes.com. Let's imagine that you could actually get badges, and because you got a badge, you got added to a list.

Not only could I change the language, I can change the color scheme, the sections you see, and don't see the new content that you're provided because you're a member or not a member, like the power that you have to create any type of experience. It's not a website. It is literally your 24 7 store, your 24 7 sales rep, your 24 7 theater that you can bring people into.

I'm gonna cut it down. Somebody else take the mic. 

[00:26:46] Liz Murphy: 

I don't know about you all, but did, did we just go to Marketing Church ? Did that just happen? , 

[00:26:53] Luke Summerfield: 

I'm gonna riff on what j George was saying for a minute, cuz I think this was like a big epiphany for me and a big epiphany for us at HubSpot was for years we've sort of grown up that like, hey, the website is to generate leads, generate visitors.

It's for like, top of the funnel marketing. And like, that's where, that's where we're gonna start. That's where we're gonna focus our. and it's kind of like blinders on as marketers. I, I grew up as a marketer. It's like kind of blinders on as a marketer that that's like the purpose of the site. And although that's true and although that's probably the best place to start, depending on your goals, that's such a limited view on the power of how you can leverage your website.

What we found is that we think of the terms of digital experiences, like George was talking. Those digital experiences aren't limited to just the main corporate.com marketing site. And so what we've seen at Hub Site with our customers is folks using C M S Hub for all kinds of different types of experiences from building event platforms on top of it to building member subscription sites like George was alluding to, dedicated regional sites or product launch.

learning management systems and course sites. You could have intranets. We have customers that do internal sites for their employees, for employee onboarding and employee, enablement sites, portals, partner, relationship management portals. If you have a partner program and you need to like onboard new partners and give 'em access, you can build.

Those are all like different experiences that you can build. CMS can power and Right, so there's, there's this whole idea of like, we have a lot of customers that like their main corporate.com. They're like, we just redesigned it. It's gonna be a massive thing. We're like not ready to like tackle another redesign right now.

Totally cool. You could still use CMS hub in all different ways to empower these other teams and just think about other parts of the flywheel where there's an experience that you need to power. So I think George, you know, George, you're spot on with. Different ways to think about your site in terms of, just think of it like an experience, not just a marketing.

[00:28:46] Devyn Bellamy: 

and, and you can do all of those things without having bloated js and bloated, CSS in the background. You can do all of these things with, I don't know if any of you guys remember what it was like buying a computer in the nineties and early two thousands, but it came with everything you don't need, and it was immediately slow.

If you bought a computer, the first thing you did for the first three hours was take everything that the manufacturer. Off of it.

That's what it's like running with a lot of the free websites. You're getting what you pay for, where you're ending up. Even if this one page is only doing one thing, it's running the scripts for the 30,000 things that you use the different aspects of the website for, which is how you slow down with HubSpot.
That's not something you have to worry about. 

[00:29:31] Liz Murphy: 

So I wanna pivot the conversation here. I wanna pivot a bit because we have waxed poetic about so many incredible things. The CMS hub, right? We've talked about security, we've talked about drag and drop, we've talked about accessibility. George talked about membership and doing all of these really fantastic things.

We talked about smart content, but I wanna talk about some of the ways it can go wrong, some of the mistakes that people can make. And I actually wanna start this discussion. It actually piggybacks off of the thing that I said I love, right? It is so easy to use. It is so accessible. It reminds me of Jurassic Parks sometimes of just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

How many of you have ever succumbeded to this urge yourself or work for people who do not understand that this is something that's not good. You do testing, but you don't run. Long enough, you're constantly tinkering and changing. You're not making smart iterations based on data feedback. You're doing it on guts and assumptions.

So I think the most common mistake that people make is that before they get the keys to the HubSpot Corvette that is being pulled up to their driveway, they're not sitting in there having the conversations about how are we not gonna. How are we going to make sure that when we decide to make changes, that's with proper governance?

It's with proper reasoning and feedback. I'm not saying introduce tons of bureaucracy and red tape, but I have seen things where it's like my dudes, my sisters and brothers and HubSpot church, can we please stop touching something and let it run? That's the one of the number one things. 

[00:31:10] George B. Thomas: 

man, I don't know who wants to follow that.
I think that was like Church 2.0 right there for a minute. . but, but here's the thing. I do wanna double down on some things that I think go in this place of mistakes too. one is I'll be like, Hey, are you using the HubSpot cms? And they'll be like, yes. And I'll go and look and they'll actually be on old school HubSpot templates and I'll be like, oh honey, let's.

Because I'm about to change your world and, and honestly, like probably a good 70% of my business since I started George B. Thomas, l l c, has either been migrating people to HubSpot, cms, or migrating people from templates to themes. because going from templates to themes dramatically changes the things that you're maybe doing wrong.
But also, even when I get people into themes, there's still some things I want to talk about. HubSpot, cms, and what they might be doing wrong. One is maybe a feature that you don't know exists. Is that they are not going into the content tab and actually renaming their sections and modules so that they make sense to what people will need to put in in the future for those sections that easily understand this is the page, the page layout, and what's happening on it versus like, I don't know why there's three image modules.
Well, those, there's, there's supposed to be certain things you can rename. , right? So doing that. Also, the amount of people that are not using saved sections. To actually duplicate parts of their website across like pages with ease is absolutely mind blowing to me. When I go in and show people, look, I can create an entire pillar page functionality section that you can now drop on the next five, seven pillar pages that you create over time with that nice little sticky table of contents that you don't have to worry about building.

They're like, oh my God, it's the second coming of Jesus or something. No, it's a saved section in HubSpot. That's all it. And here's the other thing that drives me nuts when you have this much power that we've talked about, is that you're not thinking mobile first and not to beat a broken drum. But the fact that you're not thinking user experience first, like those are the majors for me.

That you haven't moved to themes, you're not using themes and save sections properly, and you're not thinking about experience and the mobile user, cuz we're all busy and we're all 

[00:33:27] Luke Summerfield: 

on. I'll, I'll definitely second the, uh, the templates and themes. again, in 2020 when relaunched it, that's when we switched to the theme concept and it is, it is literally a different product 2020 and and beyond.
So if you haven't ch taken a look at it, if you looked in the past, if you built your site pre 2020, it's worth another look at what it does today. I'll give one quick, quick pet pee of mine, uh, in addition to what George was saying, and then Devin. You got something to add? The, the one that just, and this is not CMS specific.

This is not CMS sub specific. It is using bad best practices for speed and performance, uploading two megabyte images, having like six widgets all triggering at the same time on a page, having a video in bed with a chat with four CTAs in a form and this and that. . It's just very, very simple. We hear the feedback.
A lot of times we're like, man, my site's running slow. Like, what can I do to improve it? And it's nine times outta 10. It's just use good, best practices because the things they're tripping up on are gonna trip you up on any c m s, not necessarily exclusive to c m s hub. 

[00:34:32] Devyn Bellamy: 

Yeah, absolutely. And to go along in the same vein, waiting for the site to be quote unquote finished before you.

A, your site's never going to be, if you're doing it right, your site's never gonna be finished. Your site is something that's supposed to, grow and be iterated upon, and you can get stuck in analysis paralysis and try and nitpick until you're done. If only there were some sort of methodology that you.
I don't know, apply the growth driven mentality to your design then almost as 

[00:35:04] Liz Murphy: 

if you need a, like a launchpad. Yes. And, and then you move on from there, from sort of like iterate a 

[00:35:10] Devyn Bellamy: 

launchpad website that covers the core of what it is that you need in order to function online and then iterate and grow from there and, and, and just, you know, progress in sprints.

That, I think that's, that's a really helpful. , idea. And, and like, like Luke, uh, said, these, these aren't just specific to HubSpot, cms, these are best practices in general. If, if you want to, be successful, it's, it's basically like waiting to get into water before you learn how to swim.

It's, it's like you, you, or learning how to swim before you get in the water. I should say it. It doesn't, it, it's not gonna work. You can't. You, you gotta get out there and then build. Now on the flip side, like Liz said, what you don't wanna do is over iterate and constantly tinker and toy with this thing.
you, you want to build weight, analyze, repeat. But yeah, that's, that's I'd say one of the biggest mistakes people make in general, along with the absolute gold of two megabyte images uploading to the website. Non-optimized images, uploading gifts that are three megabytes, that could just as easily be a vector file.
It's like, 

[00:36:21] George B. Thomas: 

ladies and gentlemen, first of all, learn what, uh, WebP and S v G graphics are. Please, if you don't do anything else after this episode, learn what those are. And by the way, Devin, the icing on the cake, it would be great if we lived in a. That you could actually get a certification on that whole like launchpad, growth design thingy.

That would be amazing. HubSpot Academy should think about doing a growth driven design certification that people could take to do what we're actually talking about today. 

[00:36:49] Luke Summerfield: 

That would be nice. Uh, there is 

[00:36:50] Liz Murphy: 

one. I'll link it. I was gonna say something quippy, but at that point I think the shtick had already gone too far.

Okay, so, uh, two, two points of order here cause I wanna bring this conversation to a close. Number one. All those in favor of Luke coming back and talking about this mythical, wondrous, beautiful thing called growth-driven design. All please say aye. 
[00:37:09] George B. Thomas: 
Aye. 

[00:37:09] Liz Murphy: 

Aye. Motion. Motion carries. Fantastic. We'll have you back Luke.
Now. Luke, you were promised you were gonna crack open your little orange sprocket fortune cookie. What's the future hold for HubSpot, cms, whatever you've got, muffin. What do you, what do you wanna share? 

[00:37:22] Luke Summerfield: 

I mean, I, I think a lot of the things that make us unique is really what we're gonna continue doing, right?
It's, it's helping marketers, empowering them to build personalized experiences that drive business growth. It's finding balance between the power for developers and the easy use for marketers. And so there's a number of areas we're exploring, one area exploring. I probably, anyone listening here, you probably.

Are sick of chat g p t at this point and what generative AI possibilities are out there. But that is a world that we're looking, uh, and exploring into on how we can empower HubSpot customers in C M S A, but also across all of the platform, to empower them, um, through some of these new technologies.
There's another area that's booming right now, which is the world of digital commerce, e-commerce. And I think there's a lot of opportunity that we can help our customers do commerce better, whether they're doing it a hundred percent in HubSpot or whether they're using dedicated tools. There's a lot of work for us to do there.

And so that's a big place that we're exploring as well. The, uh, some of the other areas, I think, um, that's exciting maybe for some of the more techy folks down here. You know, again, trying to, do more for the developers. There's a world we're working towards. Let's see when we get there that we're exploring where, you know, today you can build that presentation layer that we talked about using a lot of the things built into HubSpot today.
Things like Hubble and obviously CSS and html. And we're working towards a world where you can build the entire front end in JavaScript and you can have fast static, front end presentation layer websites all built in. And so that's like an interesting thing that we announced at the last developer day in October, and we're making good progress on a beta there.

and so let me think if there's any other, like juicy ones I could, I could, um, throw out here for you. Are there any like, areas I'll get in 

[00:39:08] George B. Thomas: 

trouble, don't, don't get in trouble. 

[00:39:11] Luke Summerfield: 

there any, uh, juicy areas that are on your minds that you're like, man, I would love seeing s sub to be able to. I, 

[00:39:16] George B. Thomas: 

I mean, to be honest with you, when you said like e-com and HubSpot, CMS has started to like, that gets me excited.
Like for years. I'm like, I wonder if there'll ever be like an e-com hub that you can actually like plug in. And I love payments by the way, and, and, and steps that we're going with payments. And I think maybe that's the, the child that might grow up to a teenager and an adult in the future. So that excites me.
So, uh, 

[00:39:41] Luke Summerfield: 

It's early, early days. I mean, we're, we're, there's a lot you can do in the commerce space from, you know, events to full-blown shopping systems, to subscription systems. There's a lot we can do, so it's early days, but we know that there's a lot of customers that, uh, you know, we have some opportunities to help 'em with.

So we'll see where it all comes to fruition. 

[00:39:58] Devyn Bellamy: 

When you said eCommerce, I almost started drooling. May have at one point had to design an entire product catalog using Hubble and Hub DB in order to have a dynamic product catalog, of shower bases, so that, um, and, and shower accessories.
So the idea of, uh, e-commerce and the product catalog website, having native functionality and HubSpot, cms, it, it brings me great joy in and around my. . 

[00:40:26] Luke Summerfield: 

I'll give you one last quick hit, one that just came to my mind. The other thing that we've been investing a lot in the last year is our ecosystem around, our marketplace and the themes and the assets that are available in the marketplace for you to download for free and paid.

we are working on the ability to, I would say by the end of the year to be able to do individual modules. So if you need an individual module, pop in there, find the module. Download it in. So just gonna open the door to like, basically, you know, adding and adjusting and, and you know, building out your site iteratively, uh, as you need one module at a time.
Yeah, we might 

[00:40:57] George B. Thomas: 

need a minute after that. But here's the thing, Liz, before we close, I wanna re-ask this question because you asked what does the future hold for HubSpot, cms? Where I want to go with that is I want the listeners to ask themselves. What does the future hold for HubSpot? Cms? If it's my website, what are all the things that I've heard The hub heroes tell me.

The hub hero in training, the hub hero in my organization that I can be like, man, the future with HubSpot, CMS would equal X, Y, Z, ABC 1 23 for me. That's what I wanna leave him thinking. . 

[00:41:35] Liz Murphy: 

That's way more profound than what I'm gonna leave everybody with , because guess what I did? Luke sparked, Luke sparked a fire with me in me to bring back my great chat G B T Haiku Writing machine.
I feel like this is gonna become a periodic feature. So I had chat G B T while you guys were spitting fire Write haiku's about each of you. Write me a haiku about Luke Summerfield and Hub. Amidst HubSpots growth. Luke Summerfield, brilliance glows. Marketing Magic . 

We got two more. I'm very excited about these. Write a Haiku about Devin Bellamy being my favorite hub hero. Devin Bellamy. My favorite hub hero shines Bright Lake inbound stars. Finally, write me a haiku about George B. Thomas and where there's originals. Oh, here.
George B. Thomas Rocks. Were, there's originals in hand, sweetness in his talks. 

[00:42:32] George B. Thomas: 

Oh yeah. I'll take that one. Ah, that's 

[00:42:34] Devyn Bellamy: 

actually came out pretty dope. 

[00:42:36] Liz Murphy: 

I'm a little mad about it, but it works. I, I'm almost wrote back. Be meaner. Try again. But I'm not gonna do that. I don't wanna say he's old. No kidding. . Anyway.
And with that, thank you so much for joining us today. Luke, you are amazing. There was a lot of fire spit in this episode. Luke, if anybody wants to find you, connect with you, ask you more questions, where can they find you? 

[00:43:00] Luke Summerfield: 

LinkedIn's the best you can shoot. Shoot me a message on LinkedIn or connect on LinkedIn and, and, uh, would love to, love to chat with folks.

[00:43:06] Liz Murphy: 

Fantastic. To all of our listeners out there, thank you as always for listening to us each and every week. If you have a topic you want us to cover, let us know. If you have a HAI coup request, let me know. If you wanna tell us how stink and smart and amazing we are, go do that in Apple Podcasts or Spotify or whatever your provider is, cuz homies, we love reviews and I told you I have a goal of 50 reviews this year.

Let's get that number happening. So more people have the chance to become hub heroes like. and that's it, guys. Get off my recording line. Goodbye.