Have you ever wondered how to use HubSpot property groups more effectively? Or what are best practices for keeping your CRM nice and organized?
Or worse - looking at an export of property data and you have no idea what the data was created to do?
Property groups in HubSpot are very helpful when used correctly. And if you’re a HubSpot tinkerer or looking for the next best hack, this is not the best topic for wild ideas. Sorry.
HubSpot property groups are meant to do one thing: stop inefficient data creep by limiting duplicate property creation.
While property groups seem fairly straightforward, they have a tricky side:
Property groups are automatically created when new properties are introduced by integrations.
If you don’t pay close attention to how integrations are working with data in HubSpot you’ll soon discover a handful (or more!) of new property groups that may or may not be relevant to the way you organize data.
Avoid data creep because it creates creepy data!!
Whatever you do with HubSpot property groups - stay far away from using them as a “hack” to segment information represented by data.
Property groups are meant to organize “containers” of data, not the information itself.
For example, if I want to understand users who have purchased a particular product or attended a specific event, I would not use property groups. Property groups do not make effective “tags” to segment the information or insight they represent.
The best way to think about property groups is through the lens of RevOps. That is - through a lens of collaboration between all teams who depend on accurate data from HubSpot.
Development, support, sales, marketing, operations, finance - everyone who gains insight from HubSpot will look at data properties a little differently - and you will need all the help possible to wade through (potentially) hundreds of properties to determine if a new property needs to be created.
What are HubSpot property groups?
Property groups are unintelligent, non-sortable GROUPS of properties. The better your property group naming convention, the quicker you’ll find and understand the information you’re capturing.
Note: Property groups are mainly helpful when determining whether a property exists or not, and preventing duplicate properties from being created. Again, avoid costly data creep!
If I’m a dev I’ll need to create custom properties to hold values for important downstream workflows. If I create a property group for these properties in a “dev vacuum,” nobody else will have any idea what information those properties represent, even if they are created for another department’s daily use.
Reality check: Export your property lists and ask someone who didn’t create them to tell you the importance of each property. Would they need to phone a friend?
And if you’re wondering - yes property descriptions are very important (just not discussed in this article).
The downside to poor property grouping is that another dev might create duplicate properties or someone in another department might make a request that results in duplicated data collection.
All property groups (especially for custom properties) should follow a standard naming convention that conveys meaning to users in other departments. For example:
- Customer Service - Survey Data
- Customer Service - Churn Data
- Customer Service - Product Usage Data
- Development - API Temporary Data
- Development - API Order Information
- Development - API Marketing Data
- Operations - Data Hygiene
- Operations - Workflow Data
- Operations - KPI Data
- Marketing - Customer Product Data
- Marketing - Customer Segmentation Data
- Marketing - Company Analytics Data
- Sales - Company Segmentation Data
- Sales - Company Geographical Data
- Sales - Pipeline Data
The way you group properties is entirely dependent on your integrations, internal teams, workflows, products/services, and reporting requirements.
The best way to approach organizing HubSpot property groups is to start with the end in mind. Why is the information collected in a property important? How is it used? And by whom?
Consider everyone who works with HubSpot data - what information do they need to be successful? How would they search for property information that would be useful to them?
While the average HubSpot user will not be (shouldn’t be!) creating custom properties to solve problems, the reality is that someone will.
By creating and following a documented plan for property group naming, you will stay one step ahead of dangerous data creep that is eager to rear its ugly head.