Leading CMO implements HubSpot Business Units to drive integrated marketing strategy

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

Altron is a leading South African technology business with divisions in IT, fintech, payments, Healthtech, vehicle tracking, and more.

The Brief

A consolidation of businesses by one of Africa's leading IT businesses and a new centralised marketing team to service the businesses led Chief Marketing Officer Marisa van Vuuren to look for a solution to optimise the marketing function at the 4,500-person business. 

The challenge

Consolidate fifteen separate businesses with dedicated marketing teams and websites into an internal agency of 35 marketing professionals. 

Reduce a patchwork of marketing technology platforms to a single platform in HubSpot. Set up a platform for growth, centralised reporting, and a data-driven marketing function. 

Do the above without disrupting business operations. 

Primary goals

Altron Group leadership determined and led the change:

  1. Consolidate the distributed marketing teams into a centralised internal agency.
  2. Consolidate marketing customer data and integrate it with the group's Microsoft Dynamics CRM used by sales teams.
  3. Consolidate technologies into a marketer-friendly and data-led solution.  
    1. Part 1: Consolidate websites from 15 to a manageable handful.
    2. Part 2: A single marketing CRM with visibility across all Altron businesses.

The solution

We started by folding five businesses, each on their own WordPress website, into a single HubSpot Content Hub website, linked to a single HubSpot CRM.

Altron - HubSpot CMS

Altron’s branding agency provided MO Agency with a creative direction and an updated brand. Our UX designers developed this direction into an online design language.

Wireframing enabled the Altron team to see how the content from multiple businesses could live in a single website.





Below are shots of the final design after being developed in HubSpot Content Hub. 





A phased approach to the website migrations was added the the calendar. Below is a shot of Altron Security in its original WordPress template. 

However, forms on all the remaining WordPress websites were updated to HubSpot forms. The net result is that all of Altron’s websites now push contacts to a central location in HubSpot CRM. All inbound requests are now centrally managed, scored and reported.  



Setting up their portal

A HubSpot functionality called Business Units is key to managing all the businesses in a single CRM. Business Units enable Altron to organise assets such as forms, branded landing pages, and email templates by associating them with a business unit.

Business units also enable Altron to track contact interactions and communication preferences with each brand and to keep contact information private for the divisional teams that work with the data. However, Marisa, as the CMO, can see and report on contact data across all the brands. 

This empowers the Altron internal agency to cross-sell and upsell campaigns to reach every audience segment and track contact interactions and communication preferences with each brand to respect data privacy requests and regulations.

Below, you can see that the customers - Kish, Mpho and Jane are clients of multiple Altron Businesses. Group Marketing now has a complete view of customers and prospects across all the businesses. A view that was impossible with the silio'ed system before HubSpot. 

Altron - Business Units


Team training and best practices

As with any strategic HubSpot implementation like this, we run extensive discovery sessions with the business and carefully plan our HubSpot onboarding. Our role is to set up HubSpot and the team for success.

This included creating branded email templates and landing pages for campaigns, and best practices on how to run campaigns like webinars and events that attract the correct audience.

Problems we ran into

Projects of this nature always throw up a few complications that need to be solved. 

Migrating subscription preferences from multiple platforms

The key to migrating contact data from legacy email applications like MailChimp or Everlytic is to migrate the subscription preferences accurately. Some platforms we found easier than others. We found the state of the lists inside Everlytic was dated because the platform itself is very hard to manage. Literally 1000s of old lists with 200k plus contacts. We cleaned the data extensively and uploaded accurate and subscription-preference-accurate data into HubSpot.

Locating access to platforms

Finding the logins to all the websites, email platforms, social media, and more took weeks. The distributed nature of the teams accounted for the time for the head of Marketing Operations, but thankful this is a once-off task, and now everything is accessible behind a single HubSpot login, even for managing all the social media platforms.

When we are done with all the migrations, 35 separate WordPress websites and marketing and sales platforms will now be located behind a single HubSpot login

Upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics CRM & Data Lake

Much like the marketing team platform consolidation, Altron is consolidating several businesses into a single instance of Microsoft Dynamics for sales users. Due to Altron’s massive size and the key role the CRM plays in the business, this process was not yet complete at the time of writing.

The last step of our project is to sync HubSpot CRM with Altron's datalake, whose structure will change due to the implementation of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As such, this element is not yet implemented. 

The final element is creating a bidirectional data sync between Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot CRM via the datalake. Simplified, lead data will be shared with MS Dynamics, and customer data will be shared with HubSpot CRM. 

The results

The marketing team has access to the brands they need to work on from website pages, campaigns, email, social media and paid media. We can provide and limit access from a central location using teams and permissions. 

Digital marketing performance reporting is all provided centrally and in real-time via HubSpot. 

The website is more straightforward to manage, and the metrics have increased substantially. Strategically redirecting backlinks from the older websites to has significantly increased the website’s strength (see Domains Rank, DR below) beyond that of its competitors. This provides an excellent platform to publish content for high-quality organic traffic growth. 



All website contact forms across the organisation are HubSpot forms, even on WP websites. This ensures all contact information is securely and compliantly transferred and stored to empower the business responses and subscriptions the contact requested. 

Clean data can be shared with the Altron data lake when required.

Our impact

The marketing team at Altron is enjoying HubSpot and the platform's cutting-edge tools and capabilities. The platform's additional functionality has unified their data and improved their processes. Currently, we are working on adding more workflows to refine and optimise their marketing and sales handover processes.

We look forward to the next phase, where we will integrate their Data Lake and Microsoft Dynamics CRM and expand their HubSpot platform.

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