Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

What Decisions Do You Need to Make About Your Data When Implementing HubSpot?

Posted June 18, 2024
4 minute read

Data is the lifeblood of a successful HubSpot implementation. The rich data HubSpot provides powers personalization, segmentation, and ROI tracking - essential for effective credit union marketing. But to get the most out of HubSpot, you need to make some key decisions about your data upfront.

In this post, we'll explore the critical data decisions you need to make when implementing HubSpot at your credit union.

1. How to Structure Your Data in HubSpot

One of the first decisions you'll need to make is how to structure your data in HubSpot. HubSpot provides a standard object model consisting of Contacts, Companies, Deals, and Tickets. For many businesses, this standard model works well. However, credit unions often need a more tailored approach.

At Webstrategies, we often recommend a custom object model for credit unions. This involves creating a custom "Member" object in addition to the standard objects.


Many credit union members share an email address, such as families or joint account holders. With the standard object model, HubSpot identifies contacts primarily by email address. This can lead to data issues and limitations with personalization. 

With a custom Member object, you can associate multiple Members with a single email address, enabling more accurate data and personalization. The Member object can also house member-specific data points. The standard Contact object is then used for general communication and non-member contacts.



2. What Specific Data Points to Bring into HubSpot

The next key decision is determining which data points to bring into HubSpot. This will depend on your specific goals and use cases, but some common data points for credit unions include:

  • First name and last name
  • Email address
  • Birthday
  • Phone number
  • Member ID (Unique ID for HubSpot purposes, not necessarily the true member ID for security reasons)
  • Account type(s) (Example: Deposit accounts, savings accounts, loans)
  • Account balance(s)
  • Loan type(s) (Example: HELOC, personal loan, vehicle/auto loan, RV loan, boat loan)
  • Loan balance(s)
  • Interaction history (this wouldn't necessarily be data we bring into HubSpot but more what we track in HubSpot such as interacting with an email, form, landing page, etc.)
  • BONUS – Transaction history (this would be financial transaction history)

When deciding which data points to include, ask yourself:
  1. Will this data point be used for segmentation, such as creating lists based on product holdings?
  2. Will this data point be used for personalization, such as personalizing emails with account details?
  3. Will this data point be used to measure ROI, such as tracking the revenue associated with a loan?
If the answer to these questions is yes, that data point is likely worth including.

3. How to Bring Data into HubSpot

Once you've decided on your data structure and key data points, the next decision is how to bring that data into HubSpot. There are three main options:

1. Manual Import: This involves manually exporting data from your core systems and importing it into HubSpot via CSV files. This is the simplest option but requires ongoing manual effort.

2. API Integration: This involves directly integrating HubSpot with your core systems via APIs. This enables automatic, real-time data syncing, but requires significant technical work and can raise compliance concerns.

3. Middleware Solution: This involves using a third-party middleware tool to sync data from your core systems to HubSpot automatically. This provides the automation of an API integration with less technical complexity and compliance risk. 

How to Bring Data into HubSpot

At Webstrategies, we often recommend the middleware approach for credit unions. It provides the best balance of automation, simplicity, and compliance.

Making the Right Data Decisions

Making the right decisions about your data structure, data points, and integration method is critical to the success of your HubSpot implementation. These decisions should be made early, ideally before purchasing HubSpot. 

If you're unsure about these decisions, seek guidance from a HubSpot partner with credit union experience. They can provide valuable insights and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Remember, while getting your data into HubSpot can seem complex, it's worth the effort. With the right data setup, HubSpot can become an incredibly powerful tool for driving personalized, effective marketing at your credit union.

We have created a 60+ page detailed guide for Credit Union Marketers looking to implement HubSpot. Would you like a copy? Just click below! 

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Download Credit Union Marketer's eBook


Topics Hubspot, Credit Union Marketing, HubSpot for Credit Unions, Credit Union Marketing Benchmarks

Caroline was born and raised in Richmond, VA, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the VCU School of Business. She has over a decade of experience in digital marketing and is passionate about all things HubSpot from data management to content marketing and automation. Caroline’s proudest professional achievement to date was winning a HubSpot Impact Award for a client’s inbound marketing campaigns and outcomes that utilized HubSpot’s CRM, Marketing, and Sales Hubs. Prior to WebStrategies, Caroline has experience working in agency account management, HubSpot strategy, as well as digital marketing execution for a national nonprofit health organization. Her professional mission statement is to identify processes and communication that can be automated and create the digital infrastructure to support that automation thus making space for teams to focus on the human work that can’t (and shouldn’t) be replaced by automation for businesses to create better relationships with their prospects and customers.

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