When HubSpot’s Chief Product Officer, Chris O’Donnell, announced HubSpot’s custom objects, he emphasized how they allow users to “store any kind of data.”
Too good to be true, right? Well, thankfully, it is! With custom objects, you can structure your data to work for your unique business needs.
What does that mean, exactly? Consider this: if your data doesn’t fall under the bucket of a HubSpot standard object – contacts, companies, deals, or tickets – you can define and create a custom object to organize your information accordingly in your CRM. After that, you can use your custom object in all the same ways as a standard one, including workflows, reporting, and more.
Feeling a little overwhelmed with the possibilities? It’s understandable! The flexibility of custom objects is second to none. Keep reading for a little more information about custom objects, as well as some examples of ways to utilize them.
What’s a Custom Object Again?
As noted, custom objects have all the functionality of standard objects and work in the same way but can be customized to grow with your company. They can be given a unique name and be assigned custom properties and associations with other objects.
Who Can Use Them?
Any HubSpot Enterprise user has access to custom objects. An Enterprise level subscription – Marketing, Sales, or Service – allows for up to ten definitions, or ten custom objects, that have up to 500,000 records each.
What Are Some Ways to Use Them?
If you’ve taken Kyle Jepson’s academy class on custom objects, you’re familiar with his veterinary or pet kennel example. If you haven’t, we recommend it, but we’ll provide a brief overview:
When you take your cat or dog to the vet for the first time, chances are the receptionist is going to have you fill out paperwork with questions about you, your home, your work, your address, your pet, its species, its diet, and more. The list could go on. With standard objects, you can store the owner’s contact information in HubSpot and use custom properties to include things like email, phone number, and more.
But where does the pet data go? What if there is more than one pet? Where do the associations of all those pets go? This is where a custom object, called “Pet,” would come into play. You could associate that Pet property back to the owner’s contact property (or multiple owners!) and include all the Pet information through custom properties tied back to that custom object.
You may not own a veterinary clinic or an animal hospital, though. So, what are other ways to utilize custom objects? The possibilities are truly endless, but they’re beneficial for tracking things like:
- Delivery of different products or orders to separate shipping addresses. With custom object associations, you can connect a single mailing address or contact to multiple shipping addresses.
- High-value sales, like a boat, RV, car, or house. The buying process for any expensive item can be drawn out, with many people in various departments involved. Custom objects can help keep the entire process straight and tied back to the person ultimately owning the item.
- Complex business structures. If you’re a major corporation with subsidiary brands or locations across the country selling your products, custom objects can help you organize your efforts. For example, “Company” could be your main brand or parent company, and then a custom object called “Retailers” could track your various brick and mortar.
- Memberships or subscriptions. Have tiers of membership or subscriptions? Can people purchase other packages from your company? Custom objects can be used for each subscription, package, or membership type, and used to take back to a contact record.
- Applications. Being able to track applications properly is relevant to many business verticals, like educational bodies, apartment property management companies, or recruitment centers. Using custom objects can help you associate different applications from the same person back to a company, or applications from different people back to their contact record.
- Tours of college campuses, living centers, and more. Custom objects’ one-to-many relationships let you associate all the details of a tour or visit back to a single contact record. For instance, you can track when they visited, for how long, and with what tour guide or assistant.
- Digital conferences or events. As more events go digital, more people can attend. Tracking multi-event registration and attendance could get tricky fast. A custom object with a one-to-many association set up can help you track everything a contact signs up for or engages with during an event.
- Pharmaceuticals or medical device sales. In this industry, the traveling salesman still exists in some capacity! A custom object can ensure the contact is associated with multiple companies appropriately with the right contact, deal, parent/child associations, and the correct property name.
By now, it should be clear that custom objects truly do allow you to store any data in HubSpot. Our examples only scratch the surface, and we suspect HubSpot users will continue to find new and exciting ways to use custom objects in their organization. Have an idea for a custom object but want to talk through the details? We’d love to chat! Drop us a line at any time.