Research on the Google HubSpot acquisition: 48% would consider switching

Google is in talks with advisors about a potential acquisition of HubSpot, according to a recent report by Reuters. Valued at $35 billion, an acquisition of HubSpot would be the biggest acquisition ever by the search giant. And even more important, a momentous change in the dynamics of the marketing and advertising industry.

The questions on everybody’s mind.
If the Google HubSpot acquisition were to go through, what would happen? With MarTech trends in generative AI, data, platforms, and the evolution of search, this is a big deal.

  • How will current HubSpot users react?
  • What would this mean for the marketing industry? 
  • Why would Google buy HubSpot, what is the deal rationale?

We did some research to find out…

The Impact of Google Acquiring Hubspot asked 200+ industry experts and HubSpot users about what they would do if there was an acquisition. Here are their answers.

Google HubSpot acquisition survey poll research stay leave alternatives
  • 51% would stay with HubSpot, no matter what
  • 33% would look around at alternatives
  • 15% would likely leave HubSpot

The most remarkable is that 48% would be triggered to look around, or already have one foot out of the door. 15% said they would most likely to leave.

Hubspot’s revenue was $2.17B in 2023. A quick calculation extrapolating the numbers means that in a worst-case scenario, the impact of losing 15%-48% of clients could mean a 325M to 1B revenue loss.

Now there is a bit of nuance to that. HubSpot has shown a high retention rate over the last few years. And adding that CRM and site migration aren’t easy, plus contracts span one or more years. Just to have these experts show such a huge shift in perception is quite remarkable in itself.

HubSpot fans are staying put (51%)
On the other hand, we are seeing a large group of loyal HubSpot fans. Some added “I’m a HubSpot fanboy” and “We love HubSpot”. This group, at least from this potential deal, wouldn’t even consider a different platform. The other story behind that is that many aren’t foreseeing big changes in their day-to-day operations, or even some upsides to the acquisition.

The acquisition would be a turning point in CRM. Google, now the largest AdTech provider entering into marketing technology (MarTech). It’s not a completely unprecedented acquisition direction, many bigger technology companies have bought marketing platforms in the past: Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, etc.

HubSpot has 205K clients ranging from small businesses all the way up to enterprises. Their functionality spans CRM, sales, marketing, content, and service. Our HubSpot review gave the CRM giant 4.4 stars. The platform is well-loved.

Scenario planning and alternatives to consider
If we look at HubSpot functionalities one by one there are a lot of HubSpot alternatives. If we base expectations on our data we expect quite the rush of midsize and enterprise companies doing a reevaluation.

A 46% looking at competitors on a base of 205K current customers would mean 94K companies looking into the market. Because HubSpot is such a big player, even if 2% extra goes into compare mode, it would make sense to look into it, as true expertise in software selections is scarce.

What are users to do?
We advise at least a scenario planning exercise in their next marketing stack review. Scenario planning is actively preparing for potential changes in the market. That way you have a plan in place for once changes happen.

We continuously see that many CMOs and marketing teams aren’t very experienced in doing software selection. This is where specialised selection professionals are here to help. Martech Ops are often well vested in running their current stack, but the CTO has to look ahead 3-5 years in planning their architecture and have a more high-level view of where the market is going.

Wait and see isn’t an option
Our research shows some industry experts default into “wait and see” mode for what would happen with this acquisition. Not per se passive though. That would overlook that a selection and migration can take substantial time and contract renewal dates are a hard cut-off.

For those not involved in the HubSpot ecosystem: take out the popcorn and look at how this will play out.  About 27% of the experts we asked would be undecided or other. But midsized and enterprise HubSpot users don’t have this luxury.

Additional resources:

Marketing automation industry and market growth statistics
HubSpot pricing guide with pricing of alternatives
Hubspot alternatives
HubSpot software review and user ratings
What is the HubSpot platform?

Deal rationale: Why would Google buy Hubspot?

What is the reason for Alphabet – Google’s parent company – to consider acquiring Hubspot? Alphabet has a huge cash pile of reportedly $110 billion. They would like to invest some of it, of course, but it’s also interesting to see what the experts think are the reasons in our poll.

  1. Proprietary data for training AI
  2. Targeting information for Ads
  3. Competitors and market positioning
  4. Revenue and cross-selling

1. Proprietary data for training AI
Maybe AI is just top of mind these days in tech. Google made a rocky start with the late launch of Gemini formerly known as Bard. It’s also struggling to transform search into a valid product incorporating the new content avalanche brought by generative AI and new AI-based competition.

Experts say that the HubSpot acquisition would unlock unique data that other competitors wouldn’t have access to. This to train AI, specifically trend and profile data in the SMB market. 

2. Adding to targeting and retargeting pool for ads
With the phasing out of third-party cookies, there is a new focus on first-party data. And companies build out their own datasets with profile and behavioural data directly gathered from their audiences.

The data can be used for targeting, retargeting, and ads, especially when contextual targeting becomes more important. Creating lookalike audiences based on first-party CRM data is an important part of what makes LinkedIn and Facebook audiences targetable.

3. Moving into MarTech as a strategic move and market positioning
Many pundits point out that other big tech companies already have a MarTech leg and have bought marketing technology in recent years like Microsoft is offering Microsoft Dynamics and SAP buying Netcore, and many years ago Salesforce did multiple acquisitions.

Google has a martech gap in its portfolio, which would make acquiring one of the bigger marketing suites a logical step. 

4. Revenue and access to the HubSpot audience
HubSpot is the biggest CRM provider in the market today. Next to gaining revenue, Google would definitely like to have access to the HubSpot customer portfolio.

The play would start cross-selling into the SMB market. HubSpot users to start using Google Workspace and Ads. And pushing SMBs to become HubSpot clients. 

The biggest worries about the acquisition

Now what are the concerns our panel is mentioning most often? With a few exceptions, the consensus is that an acquisition is never good news for the end users of the acquired company.

1. A pricing increase on the horizon
On the heels of the Intuit / Mailchimp acquisition, we see that users are wondering what will happen to their current pricing for their marketing stack. History has taught us that the monetization model with a new purchase is always going to be reviewed. At the moment HubSpot already is quite pricey for midmarket, with much cheaper HubSpot alternatives available.

A price increase right after the acquisition isn’t something to worry about, but other options like moving functionality into more expensive tiers, legacy pricing to exclude newer functionality, and changing the pricing model overall are options that are very common with acquisitions. As goes “With such a big investment, they’ll need to recoup and quickest is to raise the price”.

2. Slowing of the pace of platform development
A typical result of a software acquisition is that investment in software development slows down or even grinds to a halt and certain projects are canceled completely. If they try to integrate multiple tools (which is very hard and often impossible to do), development resources are relocated to integration projects.

3. Privacy and data concerns 

The market sees data as the main reason for acquisition. This directly raises concerns about the use of the data and privacy concerns that go along with them.

A call for onboarding agencies and marketing platform users

We, as software selection experts, are also preparing for future events.

1. Our first priority is to actively update our HubSpot marketing and CRM agencies lists. After our HubSpot review, we were already expecting to see more requests for advice on the platform and are compiling and vetting a list of specialised HubSpot onboarding agencies and experts to help people onto the HubSpot platform.

2. Now it makes sense to also update the expert list of migration onto other alternatives. Looking into costs, current clients, and team size for anything from small to enterprise and split into geographical regions.

3. We are looking for marketing platform customers in multiple industries for user interviews. It’s a common practice in an expert-led selection process to interview current and new customers. Having a list of companies to call on for interviews during a selection and scenario planning exercise is a great benefit.

We ask any users of alternative platforms that have done a recent migration to reach out to us.

More stats about HubSpot

  1. Hubspot’s revenue was $2.17B in 2023. That’s a 25% YoY growth compared to 2022. Subscription revenue was $2.12B, professional services and other revenue was $46.8M.
  2. Hubspot has 205K customers from 135+ countries with 23% YoY growth.
  3. Hubspot’s Average Subscription Revenue Per Customer was $11,365 in Q4 2023.
  4. 53% of Hubspot customers are located outside of the United States. These customers generate approximately 47% of Hubspot’s total revenue for 2023.
  5. Hubspot has 7.7K employees.

Press and inquiries
Please feel free to reach out to Jordie van Rijn through email or Linkedin.


1. HubSpot “Reports on Q4 and Full Year 2023 Results” Feb 2024
2. Hubspot “Overview of Q4 2023” Feb 2024
3. HubSpot “Reports on Q4 and Full Year 2023 Results” Feb 2024
4. HubSpot “Annual Report on Form 10-K” Feb 2024
5. Hubspot “Overview of Q4 2023” Feb 2024

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and analyst. He is the founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, online marketing strategy, software selection, campaign management, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. He tested, reviewed, and wrote about 100+ business software including email marketing services, CRMs, ecommerce platforms, and online course creators. Published in-depth email marketing guides for financial service, ecommerce, travel, restaurant, and fashion industries.
Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch" by Entrepreneur magazine. Companies like Scania, KLM, Unilever, AEGON, CZ, FNV, NRC Media have asked me for advice.

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