Sep 21, 20205:28 PM - last edited on Oct 16, 20205:29 PM by jennysowyrda
HubSpot Product Team
[Closed] Ask Me Anything: Custom Objects
My name is Adrienne and I am a member of the Product Marketing team at HubSpot. As you may have heard, HubSpot introduced a very exciting new feature at INBOUND, custom objects. This tool is something we’ve been working on for quite some time, and we’re excited for you to finally get to try it out.
Whether you’ve been eagerly awaiting this release, or you’re just starting to familiarize yourself with the tool, we want to hear from you and answer any questions you may have about custom objects.
To ensure you're set up for success with custom objects, we've brought together our most knowledgeable HubSpotters to answer all of your questions.
We will be answering questions from Monday October 5 - Friday October 9.
Not sure what to ask? Here are a few sample questions to get the conversation started:
What are custom objects?
When should I use a custom object versus a custom field?
How can I learn more about custom objects?
Want a primer? Here are the basics:
Custom objects are a set of customizable records within your CRM that supplement standard CRM records in a more flexible way. Custom objects allow you to supplement data in a scalable way with flexible associations, so you can name the object, determine what properties it has, and decide what other objects it can be associated with in your CRM. For more details and use cases, I encourage you to check out the custom objects feature page for an overview of this powerful new feature.
How to get involved: Drop your question in the comments below and we’ll respond throughout the week. If you see a question you’re interested in following, give it an upvote to ensure we know you’re interested in learning more!
This AMA is now closed. Thank you everyone for your participation and questions. Stay tuned for more AMAs to come!
Thanks for being so responsive to our questions! I read through the documentation and thread but couldn't find anything about form submissions. Is it possible to create custom object records using HubSpot forms? The form would create both the Contact record (or update an existing contact) and the custom object record, then associate the custom object record to the Contact.
That said, workflows can create custom object records, and you can copy property values, too, so that would be a good workaround. For example, let's say you have a pet kennel, and you have a custom object called Pets. You want people to be able to fill out a form to submit information about their pets. If you Pets object has properties for Name, Age, and Breed, you could create contact properties for Pet Name, Pet Age, and Pet Breed and put those into a form. You could then create a contact-bsed workflow that's triggered by that form submission. It would create a Pet record, copy Contact:Pet Name to Pet:Name, Contact:Pet Age to Pet:Age, and Contact:Pet Breed to Pet:Breed. It would also associate that pet to the contact who submitted the form.
In this setup, the contact properties would work as temporary holders of the pet information. If I'm your customer, and I have five pets, I would submit the form five time. Each time, the contact properties would get overwritten, but a new pet record would get created and associated to me. I think this would get you where you want to be--you'd just have to make sure everyone on your team knows to ignore the pet-related contact properties and instead look at the associated pet records for information.
@KyleJepson that does make sense and I think could work!! The ideal flow would definitely be to create the custom object upon form submission, but this workaround is definitely an option for now. Thank you!!
I have a similar use case to hasan19 where I need to be able to associate contacts to product line items. We're a nonprofit that allows donors to give gifts in honor of friends and family in one checkout process (read: one deal with multiple donation products). I want to be able to associate the honoree contacts with the specific donation product line item that was given in honor of them so that we can send them an email notification. @rohri do you have a recommendation for this process?
@KyleJepson I've watched your videos, read your posts and taken ALL of your warnings to heart. My use case for Custom Objects is actually the Car example so I'm 100% in. I have thought this out. A lot. A whole lot. That being said... should I mess up in the development of my API call - how difficult (read: expensive) would it be for me to correct or remove the Custom Object from my HubSpot? OR is there a testing sandbox I can play in before rolling out a finished version I'm confident will work for my team?
@FlywheelKinetic All that preparation is appreciated! I'd suggest creating a Test Portal and making the calls in that portal first, that way you'll have some practice before you go into production. Once it's created in Production, you could also delete it with another call, so it's still low risk.
I attended Kyle's session at INBOUND and have watched the HubSpot Academy lesson on Customer Objects, but I'm still not sure custom objects are the right fit for our use case, or if there's functionality within deals and products that would better serve us. We already have multiple pipelines for different regions we serve, however we're moving towards multiple major product lines across all those regions as well, each of which would require very different sets of fields, which might make the deal records unruly. How should we go about determining which route to take?
Hi @KristaGruber there may be more than one way to set this up and have it work for you. If you have your sales team using the Products dropdown in the UI, then you might be breaking that process if you were to introduce a Custom Object to represent the products. My hunch is that you want to lean on the standard Products functionality here. I sent you a DM.
We'd like to use custom objects to manage property listings for a real estate agency. Will there be a way to associate contacts automatically based on specific Hubspot properties (for example city), to take advantage of personalization tokens within email marketing automation?
@KatlynPlummer I have a sense that "Property Listings" and other physical things may become more common use case for custom objects. Currently there isn't a way to do this from within the UI, but programatically (via API) this is something that could be built.
Just wanted to say your session at Inbound was very helpful and informative.
Since that time we've started to implement a custom object called "publications". A large portion of our business produces magazines and many deals, products, tickets, etc. get tracked, or have efforts rolled-up into a Publication or Issue. Happy we have this feature now as trying to do this before custom objects would have been difficult at best.
I saw mention of a use case for Subscriptions and it piqued my interest. We are currently trying to determine how to handle some subscription-based (annual) and/or VIP Programs that we are creating this year. We also have subscriptions for our magazines. Now I'm trying to determine would this be two objects or one? Technically a program and a magazine subscription are both "subscriptons" of a sort. So many choices 🙂
Curious if anyone else has thought of dealing with Programs in this way. Any inherent downsides of using an object?
@MShavalier Something like "Programs" seems fine to me, and you may be able to use a property to differentiate the type of programs that you include - that way you don't have a slew of new Objects for each program.
There could be some detail to figure out here, but something like a Program object with a field called Program Type might be enough to get to your end requirements.
Trying the implement custom object at my portal and need association with CONTACT+PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER type standard object. Initially testing at my sandbox but it seams association with PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER is not mapping properly. My script for test account:
Please check the screen-shot and let me know the right way to associate custom_object with PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER standard objects. Other standard object association(deals, etc) works but not working for PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER . I am sure It will will work but I think I am missing something at code. Custom object association issue
Actually I've got this PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER association possibility from an error message returned from server when tried to create the assocaition with PRODUCT. Looks like they have updated the error message and removed PRODUCT_OR_FOLDER. But you can see that the association is possible for CONTACT, DEAL, LINE_ITEM, TICKET, ENGAGEMENT, COMPANY, CALL, TASK, CONVERSATION_SESSION, MEETING_EVENT, NOTE, EMAIL etc. Please check the screenshot.
Now I need this custom object association with Product because some contacts will be selling LIVE webinar and others will buy them. Now those who buys it we can track it using Deals but those who will be selling them we want to track that by associating product with them. But looks like its not possible.
@hasan19 Clearly the product team is making continued progress!
You are correct that you can't associate a Product with a Contact. For the time being you may need to attach all contacts to the deal, whether they are the buyer or seller, and then separately mark contacts as either Sellers/Buyers/both. Obviously there is a lot of context I'm not sure of, but something like that might get you moving forward.
Down the road we are looking to allow for different types/roles of associations which may be a better solve as you'll be able to have both "buyers" and "sellers" associated to a deal and could differentiate that way.