Too many tools
Jennifer Lewis wears many hats at Kaplan Early Learning: She’s the President of Gryphon House, the General Manager of Kaplan’s curriculum, assessment, and professional learning division, and she recently inherited oversight of marketing and merchandising for all of the company’s business units.
Like most busy professionals, Jennifer prizes efficiency. Unfortunately, Kaplan’s disjointed tech stack made that very difficult, especially for the marketing team. “We had multiple CMSs and partial home-grown tools for some parts of the team, and different competing products for other parts of the team. It was so many different tools, and none of these products really talked to each other,” Jennifer explains.
Having so many different tools led to lots of issues for the marketing team: there were too many logins to keep track of, and there was no overall visibility into their customer journey. Attribution was difficult. “Knowing which efforts are productive and which aren’t is difficult when you’re using different tools. You're comparing data from different systems and it’s hard to get a complete picture,” Jennifer says. “It's time-consuming and frustrating.”
On top of that, many of the tools required high levels of technical expertise that most marketers don’t have. “I needed the marketers to be able to do what marketers do best and not have to go to a developer for every little step,” Jennifer says.
Sales and marketing at odds
This disjointed system and lack of attribution led to some friction between the marketing, sales, and service teams. “Without attribution, our sales team couldn’t see the value in what marketing was doing,” Jennifer says. “We weren’t aligned as one force, growing together in the same direction. There was a lot of frustration between teams, and a lot of duplication of effort because of a lack of visibility.”
12 tools consolidated into 1
With HubSpot, Jennifer has been able to consolidate at least a dozen tools into a single platform, eliminating the need for multiple logins and streamlining the flow of data into a single source of truth. “The different parts work together so intuitively and cleanly and easily. The user interface is very friendly,” she says.
On top of that, her experience as a HubSpot customer has been stellar. “I always found [my onboarding specialist] available, ready to answer, and able to direct me to the right team if she didn’t have the answer for us,” Jennifer says. “HubSpot is very human in their approach, and everyone I've dealt with is kind and delightful to work with. I feel like we are very valued as a customer.”
A new revenue team
Consolidating their sales and marketing efforts onto HubSpot has been a powerful impetus to align the sales, marketing, and leadership teams. Kaplan has created a revenue team to restructure how they approach sales and marketing activities, which helps the sales, marketing, and leadership teams work together more closely. “HubSpot allows us to see holistically. It helps with communication. It helps with transparency. Very simply, it has taught us new ways of communicating with one another and with the customers themselves.”
Improved customer communication
With improved internal alignment comes better customer experiences. “Whether it’s pre-purchase or post-sale, customers want that personalized touch,” Jennifer says. “It allows us to see all of the relevant information in the same place and keep track. Nobody gets lost in the communication shuffle. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure a good experience for our customers and deliver that personalized touch that we’re known for.”
An exciting path forward
Today, sales and marketing are excited about what they’ll be able to accomplish together. “We’re looking at data differently. We’re planning activities together. I’m excited about where we’re going to go because those steps have been incredibly positive and exciting,” Jennifer says.
Improved attribution has helped sales see the value of the marketing team’s efforts, and HubSpot’s reporting and transparency are going to be game-changers for Kaplan, Jennifer concludes. “The possibilities for employee development, for coaching, for communication are wonderful. I think it's going to positively influence a lot of different aspects of our working environment, and I’m very excited about it.”