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GROUP-WIDE TECH STACK CONSOLIDATION: A MULTI-HUB HUBSPOT IMPLEMENTATION ACROSS 9 BUSINESS UNITS WITH DATA WAREHOUSE INTEGRATION

“Digital Litmus delivered the SEG project with a robust strategic process and exemplary technical skills. Managing a highly complex set of requirements, they designed a best-in-class solutions architecture incorporating everything from Business Units to Data Warehouse integration. The implementation was efficient and the client was given thorough onboarding and training. It was a hugely successful project from start to finish."

MART NIJLAND, Senior Channel Account Manager, Hubspot

SEG logo

The client
Supporting Education Group

Industry
Education

Location
UK

Website
www.supportingeducation.com

Service
HubSpot Enterprise Discovery, Setup & Onboarding

Supporting Education Group (SEG) is one of the UK's most extensive education businesses.

It comprises a number of subsidiary companies bringing together services that support every aspect of a child's journey through school and beyond.

They are trusted by thousands of schools to provide strategic solutions, specialist advice and hands-on operational management.

students in a classroom
Pointing at a screen showing graphical data
The fragmented approach posed significant challenges in data management, operational efficiency, and cross-company collaboration.…

THE CHALLENGE

SEG companies were operating their marketing technology independently, leading to a scattered landscape of different tools and systems. There were many technologies including Mailchimp, Dotdigital, SurveyMonkey, Calendly, and numerous CRM systems. This fragmentation posed significant challenges in data management, operational efficiency, and cross-company collaboration.

The primary objective was to centralise and streamline the marketing technology stacks across SEG.

Key project goals:

- Unify data for better management and accessibility
- Enable robust cross-group reporting
- Enhance marketing performance and automation
- Simplify operational processes
- Reduce the costs associated with using multiple systems
- Achieve seamless integration with the group's data warehouse
- Create a platform into which future group companies could be integrated

hubspot illustration

OUR SOLUTION

We started with a comprehensive analysis of their existing technologies, data structures, processes, and other specific requirements. This gave us a deep understanding of the group's current state and its unique needs. Based on these insights, we designed and built a highly customised solution based on the HubSpot Customer Platform. 

Our solution was carefully designed to optimise the group's marketing technology stacks, ensuring a seamless and efficient integration of various tools and systems. Adoption being the key to success, we focused on ensuring that the teams across the group were well-equipped and confident in using the new system. Our comprehensive approach ensured a smooth transition, enabling SEG to harness the full potential of HubSpot's centralised, streamlined, and powerful customer platform.

DISCOVERY PHASE

Spearheaded by our Chief Solutions Architect, the discovery phase was a critical step in developing the project's detailed requirements and designing the optimal solution. This phase involved a series of rigorous workshops, audits, and analyses across a number of key areas.

Tech Stack Analysis

The journey began with an exhaustive evaluation of each business's existing tech stack. We investigated each technology tool in use, covering:

  • Business processes and use cases - to understand how the tools were currently employed.
  • Automations - to identify dependencies and flows to migrate.
  • Integrations - review integrations with other systems.
  • People - analysis of tool administration and user roles.
  • Issues - identification of existing issues and potential areas for improvement.

Following this, we assessed whether to replace, integrate, or retain each technology as part of the future solution.

Process Mapping

Our team led workshops to map current and desired business processes, documenting all requirements. This included the development of a lead management framework to specify all aspects of lead handling: from lifecycle stages and qualification to sales deal stages and marketing-to-sales transitions. Additionally, we mapped out marketing funnels to trace the origins of new leads and their entry points into the systems, such as website forms.

 

Our discovery process is both rapid and rigorous - ensuring no stone is left unturned, all stakeholders are aligned, and there are no surprises.…

Seb Hardman | Digital Litmus Solutions Architect

workshops

Data Workshops

We explored the existing data model, identifying issues and opportunities. Key focus areas included data volume, integrity, segmentation needs, and other essential data points for the new architecture.

In collaboration with SEG's technical and data teams, we conducted rigorous technical workshops, concentrating on integrating the group's data warehouse. This central hub was pivotal for consolidating CRM data across the businesses.

The Report

Post-analysis, we proposed a new solution architecture based on the HubSpot Marketing Hub. Our solution leveraged a blend of HubSpot's Business Unit and Team functionality within a master HubSpot portal to strike a balance between shared and segregated data within each team. This approach, after being agreed upon in principle, was thoroughly documented.

We produced a comprehensive report detailing the discovery findings, proposed solutions, and data architecture. This report also included our approach to implementation, onboarding, change management plans, HubSpot configuration requirements, marketing assets, automations, project plans, and a fully itemised proposal for the rollout.

A core architecture question was whether to have multiple portals or use a single portal with Business Unit functionality. After detailed requirements mapping, the single portal approach was agreed. The finalised architecture was a multi-hub solution including Marketing Hub Enterprise (with 9 Business Units), Sales Hub Professional, Service Hub Professional, and Operations Hub Professional. 

One of the biggest benefits of our HubSpot solution is the fact it has connected all brands to the group data warehouse. This has enabled co-selling activities at a divisional and group level and has us thinking about how we might use HubSpot in other areas of the business…

Anthony Lee | SEG Group CMO

HubSpot business units

IMPLEMENTATION

After the Discovery phase, we supported SEG procurement to ensure the purchase of the best HubSpot licence based on their complex needs. Given the number of businesses and stakeholders, our project approach was to set up and onboard the group businesses in two phases.

Data Warehouse Integration

A pivotal element of the project was the seamless integration with group’s Data Warehouse. We worked closely with SEG’s technical and data teams to develop a custom integration for a robust two-way flow of CRM data between the HubSpot portal and the Data Warehouse.

Configuration Planning

Our team conducted in-depth workshops and analysis to plan the portal's configuration. This detailed process, covering every facet of the portal setup, included synchronising field rules, integrating forms, pipelines, automations, and more, ensuring a meticulous preparation before actual implementation. The configuration plan was consolidated into a comprehensive specification document for sign off.  

Core Setup

Post-approval of the configuration plan, we progressed to the core setup of the HubSpot portal. Our RevOps team carefully implemented the configuration plan before extensive testing to confirm all aspects were working as expected.

Integrations Setup

In parallel with the core setup, we ran a dedicated workstream to integrate additional tools into HubSpot. A number of key tools from the existing technology stack were identified to be retained and were integrated into HubSpot.

From the get go, Digital Litmus demonstrated the knowledge, expertise, approach, and attitude we needed to make this happen. Consistently maintaining this throughout the project.…

James Hanline | Supporting Education Group Head of Digital

HubSpot workflows

Web Form Integration

Given the scope of nine distinct businesses, each with their own websites, integrating web forms into HubSpot was a complex task. We conducted detailed analysis of all forms, aligning their fields and data types with HubSpot properties, followed by integration and extensive testing. We made use of both embedded HubSpot forms as well as API form integration depending on the technicalities of each website.

Asset Creation

To facilitate a smooth adoption process, we designed and built flexible HubSpot landing pages and email templates for each of the businesses, aligning these assets with company branding.

Testing & Go Live

The final stage involved thorough quality assurance checks, conducted in close cooperation with SEG stakeholders. After confirming the readiness of this phase, we transitioned to the 'Go Live' stage, launching the system to the relevant user teams in a phased approach. A feedback loop was established so any teething issues could be rapidly ironed out.

With Digital Litmus, there was a consistency from every member of the team we worked with. We were always supported at the right level. In some cases pushed in our view and approach. Which is vital in a supplier.…

James Hanline | Supporting Education Group Head of Digital

landing page designs

TRAINING & ONBOARDING

Successful change management is critical to any HubSpot migration. Our approach consisted of upfront training, objectives-based onboarding, and self-learning. 

Before each team was brought into the HubSpot portal, our HubSpot trainers delivered orientation training to introduce HubSpot and build up basic familiarity with the platform. 

This was then immediately followed by objectives-based onboarding. This comprised a 3 month programme uniquely tailored to each of the businesses. It focused on supporting the teams in achieving their specific HubSpot objectives and facilitating their learning along the way. 

We provided customised learning packs based on the HubSpot training library, complemented by practical, hands-on sessions supported by our strategic and technical expertise.

They are the experts and were happy to politely steer us towards a better solution when needed.…

James Hanline | Supporting Education Group Head of Digital

training sessions

THE RESULTS


"Digital Litmus have been integral in upgrading all SEG businesses onto the same, superior marketing automation platform. Already the effectiveness of marketing activities has been significantly enhanced, resulting in new customers and increased customer LTV. Taking advantage of HubSpot's automation workflows with the ongoing training and support of Digital Litmus, we are beginning to optimise and personalise a number of critical customer journeys. More importantly, we are already seeing this translate into increased MQLs."

anthony-portrait

Anthony Lee | SEG | Group CMO

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