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9 Honest Reasons Why HubSpot Doesn't Work

April 12th, 2016 | 5 min read

By Darin "Doc" Berntson

9 Honest Reasons Why HubSpot Doesn't Work

Just Because You Buy It, Sales May Not Come

As a certified HubSpot partner, I run into one of these two scenarios all the time.

  1. I will be talking to an existing HubSpot customer, and they will tell me flat out that HubSpot doesn't work, and that they think it was a waste of money.
  2. I will be talking to a prospect (non-HubSpot user), and they will tell me that they have heard that HubSpot doesn't work. Some friend or some other software vendor told them it's too hard, or it does not get the results promised.

And you know what I say to both of them? You may be right. But... It's probably you, not the software.

Here are my 9 Honest Reasons Why HubSpot Doesn't Work.

1. You Did Not Set Proper Expectations For HubSpot

Maybe you bought HubSpot directly, and like many people, you drank the orange Kool-Aid.

Everything you were sold sounded fantastic, so you signed on the dotted line. Now when you log into HubSpot, you are like a deer in the headlights, and you have zero idea what the hell you are doing. It happens. It happens a lot.

HubSpot is not a magic potion that will bring you business as soon as you buy it.

HubSpot is an empty but smart shell that you have to build out, and that takes time.

Your expectations must be set, and know that for HubSpot to work properly, you have to use the majority of the features, not just the email tool, silly.

If you properly plan and execute, and do not just dip your toes in the HubSpot waters, you'll want to plan on a minimum of 6 months to start to see the fruits of your labor.

However, every business is different, and you can see results sooner, and often later. But, you will see results.

And that brings me to strategy.

2. You Did Not Create The Proper Strategy For HubSpot

Now that you have the keys to the Ferrari, do you know how to drive it?

There are a lot of different aspects that go into a strategy for using HubSpot:

  • HubSpot Strategy (training/certification)
  • Inbound Strategy
  • Content Marketing Strategy
  • Email Marketing Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy
  • SEO Strategy
  • etc

Everything within the HubSpot platform revolves around the Inbound Methodology and is the guiding force on how you should plan to market your company online.

inbound methodology

Not only that, but all of these aspects happen within HubSpot, and everything talks to each other. Knowing how to plan a strategy to make it all work together is paramount to have success.

And this brings me to the execution

3. You Failed To Execute Your HubSpot/Inbound Strategy

What's a plan or a strategy worth if you don't execute it?

So either you have contracted with a marketing agency to help you with your content strategy, or you have worked on it by yourself. Either way, what almost always happens is the failure to execute the plan.

When it comes to execution, you can't stop the momentum. You have to keep at it. With HubSpot and Inbound Marketing, you get out what you put into it.

If you want results you have to do the work. Period.

And that brings us to commitment.

4. You Did Not Understand The Commitment. Did you?

Here is where we compare HubSpot and Inbound Marketing to some fad diet or new workout routine.

Do you give up on your new diet because you do not see the immediate results? Did you not realize that you must do certain things every day, or you will not see the results you want to achieve?

I have created content strategies for quite a few different companies, and it's sad to say that some of them failed at commitment. Why is that?

It's a lot of work. That's why! Content takes a lot of time to create. Not only that, HubSpot is not like a 20-minute daily workout routine, there is a lot to do.

Sometimes I see businesses that are just too busy to work on content. Heck, I know it has happened to me. But it's a mind shift and a commitment you have to make to see the results you want.

Don't give up!

5. You Are Not Creating Enough, Or The Right Content

When you don't publish content, there is nothing for people to search for and find your site.

Just from the content side alone, you have to plan on a minimum of 2-3 blog posts a week so the all-mighty Google will start to rank you as the authority in your space, over time.

Also, you have to figure that only 20% of your published content will see a decent amount of results. So, you have to create a lot of remarkable content.

One post or less per week just won't cut it. Sorry, Charlie.

6. Buyers Journey/Persona Stages Not Mapped Out

Do you know who your best customers are?

Many companies have gone into content marketing with only a vague idea of who they want to sell to, or better yet, who their product or service can help most.

You must have clear and concise persona mapping so you can create content that speaks to your future customers.

7. You Bought HubSpot For Evil

Just like in Star Wars, there is a light and a dark side to marketing. A good and evil if you will.

HubSpot for Evil

I have talked with, and seen many people buy HubSpot with decent intentions, but then they just resort to using it for spammy tactics. I have also talked to people who just wanted to buy HubSpot so they could load email lists up and bombard people's inboxes. Needless to say, That is not a good idea. (And I did not sell HubSpot to them.)

If that's you, please stop. Buy something like MailChimp, or GetResponse. Don't purchase HubSpot so you can figure out how to use old spammy tactics in this inbound world.

If you use HubSpot in this manner, it surely will not work for you. Not only that, your account may get blocked for email delivery. (I have seen it happen)

8. You Only Use A Fraction Of The Tool

HubSpot, like many other software platforms, has many features.

When I am talking to existing HubSpot users, I often find that they are only using a fraction of the toolset. Maybe only 30-50%. Sadly, this is a common problem. But one that can be improved.

HubSpot is not alone in this challenge. Software such as SalesForce has a deep learning curve and a lack of feature adoption as well.

With HubSpot, you need to have the resources available to help you run the system properly.

You can hire a part or full-time content manager, or you can work with a Certified HubSpot Partner that can help you with the heavy lifting.

HubSpot partners are extremely well-versed in the HubSpot ecosystem, and they can quickly get your HubSpot portal to speed, offer advice and training, and they can help you out with execution and content if you need it.

There is absolutely no reason to go it alone with HubSpot. It's OK not to have the answer. It's OK to ask for help.

9. Is HubSpot The Wrong Tool, Or Are You The Tool?

I often joke about this, but it's true. Sometimes the tool running HubSpot (you) is the problem, not HubSpot.

I will get some heat when I say that every now and again, but it usually hits home.

Some businesses will buy HubSpot and try to be the one-man-show, and go nowhere fast, and when they don't get the results, they blame the software.

In most cases, the software is not to blame. It comes down to planning, execution, learning what works, pivoting if needed, and starting back over again.

To be fair, Some businesses buy HubSpot that should not have. 

For whatever reason, they felt it was a good idea, but in the end, it was a bad choice for one of these possible reasons:

  • Their business could be too small
  • Cash flow could be too tight to hire the right people
  • Maybe HubSpot and Inbound were a last-ditch effort to save their business
  • Or maybe they needed even more features on more of an enterprise level

Before you buy HubSpot

  • Understand why you are buying it
  • Have clear goals defined and make sure that you are committed to the effort to get results
  • Understand that there are costs on top of the software you may want to plan for

There is a lot of work ahead on your HubSpot journey. But if you dedicate yourself to a solid plan, and execute it properly, your business will have success with HubSpot.

As a certified HubSpot partner, HubSpot is what I work in every day. If you are in a situation where you are evaluating the software, or maybe an existing business using HubSpot, and you need help kicking butt with the platform, drop us a line. 

My goal is to help as many companies as I can have success with HubSpot because it does work when you know how to work it.

Until next time,


Darin "Doc" Berntson

Owner/Head Coach @ Bernco Media. Digital sales & marketing since 1997. Passion for teaching companies to be the most trusted voice in their space. They Ask, You Answer Certified Coach & HubSpot Certified Partner & Trainer. Reversed Type 2 Diabetes doing KETO. Wears Mickey Mouse Daily. Daydreaming of next Disneyland Trip.