In this case study, learn how we helped Corinium Global Intelligence to migrate its 16 websites to HubSpot, as well as set up custom templates, configure complex integrations and manage its new HubSpot portal.
Corinium Global Intelligence is the world’s largest community designed to inspire and support emerging C-suite executives focused on data, analytics, customers and digital innovation.
Migrating Corinium’s large websites
Corinium’s site was built on Event Engine – a content management system (CMS) designed specifically for conferences and events.
But while Event Engine enabled Corinium to manage speakers, agendas, payment, attendee registration and schedules – it didn’t provide the flexibility and scalability that the Corinium marketing team needed. It was clunky and changes took far too long.
For real-time event management, the marketing team needed the ability to easily add and edit web pages on the fly. This would enable them to add and remove speakers, update or modify event agendas and provide attendees with the most up-to-date information; which is absolutely crucial in the events space.
Another key aim for Corinium was integration between its systems (which were all independent) to gain a more comprehensive view of customers and prospects. This included Corinium's email platform, website and CRM.
Website migration and HubSpot
Corinium decided that the best approach would be to migrate its existing website to another CMS. However, the issue was that its contract with Event Engine was due to end on 09 July 2019. Corinium needed to migrate more than 16 microsites before then.
First, Corinium needed to find a suitable replacement. After researching the market it eventually decided on the HubSpot CMS – an all-in-one platform.
The platform needed to be set up perfectly – and to that end Corinium needed expert support. It reached out to HubSpot’s migration team for assistance, but they only migrate websites with 150 pages or less as standard. Corinium wanted to migrate more than 350.
It was at this point – in early April – that Corinium reached out to The B2B Marketing Lab (B2BML), requesting support migrating its existing corporate website, blog posts and event microsites.
“We wanted to migrate our existing corporate website, microsites and assets over to a flexible and easy-to-use platform. HubSpot was the solution, and The B2B Marketing Lab team helped to build the websites and functionalities we needed.”
- Amy Brierley
Addressing complex third-party applications and integrations
The first hurdle for the B2BML team was finding a software solution that would enable Corinium to 1) manage attendees who wanted to register for the event and pay online, and 2) integrate with the finance department’s system, Xero.
Though clunky and slow, Event Engine dealt with several things that could not be done easily in HubSpot. Things like attendee registration and payment management, for example, would require a third-party application (such as Eventbrite) to be connected to HubSpot.
B2BML found a number of tools that met Corinium’s requirements, but these tools had limited native integration options and didn’t play well with others. To empower Corinium’s marketing team, B2BML needed tools that could seamlessly integrate with each other. This would enable the Corinium team to see a ‘single source of truth’ in regards to marketing and lead generation activity.
So, instead of wasting time and slowing down the development process, the B2BML team suggested developing a bespoke integration. This integration would utilise HubSpot for event registration/creation and Xero for payments and tracking.
In essence, this custom integration would enable people to register for events using just a HubSpot form. The form would then automatically issue a request for payment (using Xero) to the registrant.
To develop the custom integration, B2BML engaged its integrations partner, SideClick (now MPULL), scoped out the project, and got to work.
The integration between HubSpot and Xero is bi-directional – this allows for both the creation of invoices in Xero and the tracking of invoice statuses in HubSpot. Every event registration is tracked as a Deal in HubSpot, and a link is created between the Deal and the invoice in Xero, ensuring the two systems are constantly in sync.
“For us, having a custom integration that managed both registration and payment would remove unnecessary admin and remove friction, resulting in a pleasant experience for us and attendees.”
- Amy Brierley
Migrating Corinium’s websites
Having developed the custom integration, B2BML then had to work to rebuild Corinium’s corporate website, the templates for the new event sites, and the 16 event sites that needed to go live in HubSpot. The main Corinium website was migrated by HubSpot’s migration team, while B2BML had to build 16 sites before 09 July. The rest of the microsites were migrated by Corinium’s marketing team.
In addition, to maintain consistency, B2BML cloned the look and feel of Corinium’s original website and used it to inspire the build of the microsites.
One of the main challenges for the B2BML team during this process was deciding whether to advise Corinium to use sub domains or sub folders for the website’s structure.
From an SEO perspective, sub folders would have been preferred over sub domains, but the B2BML team advised going with sub domains for the following reasons:
They would provide a clearer separation of different event content on the main corporate site.
They would make it clearer to users as to why pages looked so different (each event site would have different templates).
They would reduce the potential for human error (such as putting pages in the wrong places) by:
1) Removing the need to develop complex naming conventions for pages in HubSpot (when looking for an event page Corinium’s marketing team would be able to select the event subdomain it’s hosted on).2) Removing the need to manually add the correct subfolder to the URL when building out new pages. If the Corinium team wanted to build a new page, the correct subdomain would already be in the URL.
They would simplify reporting in terms of understanding which events performed best.
They would make it easier to deploy separate Google Analytics (GA) tracking codes for each event whilst retaining a top-level roll-up GA property.
HubSpot configuration and management
Corinium’s marketing team needed customisable – but easy to use – templates for the event websites. This would allow them to add and change information on speakers, topics, agendas and resources quickly.
The B2BML team worked to build these templates to specification.
The templates for the agenda pages, however, were a little more complex. These needed to be much more flexible than normal event site pages and required tables for information to be pulled in to. The B2BML team used HubDB to set up tables that dynamically pulled speaker information into the agenda(s).
As well as setting up these templates, the B2BML team used HubSpot’s native blog functionality to upload speakers, sponsors, advisory board members, exhibitors and media partners to the website.
The B2BML team uploaded over 200 sponsors and 500 speakers. With speakers, sponsors, advisory board members, exhibitors and media partners uploaded as blog posts, content could be readily tagged to a specific event in HubSpot and for information to pull through to certain pages automatically.
Simple modules and documented processes
With Event Engine – the main problem the Corinium marketing and production teams had was editing and updating things. To resolve that issue, the B2BML team built everything using customisable HubSpot modules; this meant that everything on every Corinium page could be edited – in real time – without going into the HubSpot Design Manager.
Also, having set up all the integrations and configured Corinium’s templates, the B2BML team wrote a detailed website guide which explains how to add speakers, sponsors or make changes to website pages. It also includes troubleshooting information to help the Corinium marketing and production teams better manage their website(s) as well as some of the more technical areas like connecting sub domains to HubSpot, changing the order that sponsors appear in, and a few things that someone would have to venture into Design Manager for.
“The B2B Marketing Lab team provided us with the knowledge and information we needed to manage our websites effectively and in line with best practice.”
- Amy Brierley
Thanks to B2BML and SideClick (now MPULL), the Corinium marketing team now has full control over its websites. They can quickly and easily edit website templates, put new pages live, and manage their growing database of speakers, sponsors, advisory board members, media partners and exhibitors.
Furthermore, the custom integration between HubSpot and Xero enables invoices to be sent automatically based on a HubSpot deal moving to a specific deal stage. This automates part of the invoicing process and saves the Corinium team valuable time.
Also, having consolidated reporting for both Corinium’s corporate site and event sites, Corinium now has a holistic view of marketing activity across the enterprise and can drill down into individual event sites to assess performance.
And finally, by using the HubSpot CRM to manage contacts, Corinium has a ‘single source of truth’: every contact has a contact record and all of their interactions/conversations are recorded in one place.
Corinium is now in a position where its websites function exactly as its marketing team needs them to and can look to build them out further in the future.