Play Matters

Playing it smart with an improved technical system for Play Matters

HubSpot Onboarding & Support
Project Location
Project Goals

Play Matters' mission is to empower parents and carers with skills and confidence to support their children, giving them the best start to life through the act of play.  Operational for over 50 years, Play Matters needed a fresh new look, a more advanced and functional system for their users, and comprehensive user experience improvements.

Tools Used
HubSpot logo Shopify Logo Miro

Their wants


A system that would allow their members to register and attend events put on by their affiliated groups


A logged-in user experience involving custom portal sites for members of different levels


Accessibility to in-depth reporting and insights on users in their system

Their needs


A website that prioritised UX for members, while showcasing Play Matters rebrand


Tools to aid in the marketing and support capabilities of the business to better communicate with their audience


A flexible and versatile system that could be changed and updated often

Identifying the problem

Play Matters provided an important and beloved service, but its functionality had not kept up with the times. With a dated and clunky website that required the manual entry of up to 6500 membership forms a year meant issues with data integrity, significant staff administration needs and extremely slow processes. A new site was required,  one that was better equipped to help the company grow, scale up and ultimately improve the value it could bring to its members. 

These limitations meant that management and reporting became difficult, stunting growth opportunities. A new, more efficient and effective system was not just a positive change, but a business necessity. 

The new platform needed to offer downloadable content, allow for detailed sign up forms and provide online training in addition to other admin features. The depth of the website needed to be reflected through its functionality, offering a richer experience to encourage user engagement while streamlining processes for greater internal efficiency. 

Scope of works

HubSpot Onboarding & Support
  • Onboarding into HubSpot at an enterprise level
  • Process development, documentation and implementation
  • Staff-wide training in best practices and recommended processes
CRM Overhaul
  • Data migration and cleaning
  • Setup of complex new data structure utilising custom objects
  • Automation of membership and affiliation processes across the business
  • Collection and maintenance of significant custom data for important reporting purposes
Websites & Integrations
  • Custom development of over 150 website pages
  • Setup of multiple members-only portals, accessible to only specific member types
  • Significant use of dynamic pages pulling from up to 4 custom objects at a time
  • Integration of the site with Userway, Shopify Cloudfiles, Zapier, and more. 

The Plan

  • Establishing sub-projects
  • Collaboration with stakeholders
  • Establishing onboarding training

Establishing sub-projects

  • The project was split into 4 major sub-projects:
  1. Developing a public-facing website based on designs put together featuring the new brand.
  2. Development of a 'Search & Attendance' tool that would allow users to find, register for and attend sessions run by playgroups, all managed internally and run through Hubspot.
  3. Setup of a dedicated CRM to manage parent, child, member, organiser and group data,  and marketing software to help communicate with all of the above.
  4. Development of private member-only portal sub-sites accessible via Hubspot's registration tools.

Collaboration with stakeholders

  • The first step was to sit with Play Matters and external contractors to plan the new site structure and requirements.
  • Additionally, the process for the creation of various custom objects through different aspects of the site needed to be planned and accounted for. Collaborating with the developers of the CompanyOS system, we ensured the requisite information was captured and utilised.
  • Together, several complex systems were drawn up in Miro to create the Member's journey to purchase and activate memberships.
  • Significant time was spent in pre-planning and strategy to ensure that the development went  smoothly and on track. 


Establishing onboarding training

  • Neighbourhood planned out onboarding and training required to give Play Matters the knowledge to leverage their new system.
  • The new system involved not only understanding a new website, but a new CRM, new marketing tools and new processes for the management of it all. 
Membership Activation x Shopify Integration

The Strategy

  • Developing the CRM with custom objects
  • Nine detailed onboarding workshops
  • Constructing 110 individual pages
  • Granular reporting on objects
  • Memberships
  • Nurturing customer relationships through automation
  • Optimising established processes

Developing the CRM with custom objects

  • Neighbourhood constructed the CRM to work in unison with the marketing software that stored users' data. Together, the system uses 10 different Custom Objects (CO) in addition to Contacts, Deals, Products and Tickets, each with unique associations.
  • The attendance system Neighbourhood built allows a website visitor to search for a Playgroup (CO) based on Suburb (CO). Results displayed are based on the proximity of the searched suburb, aiding the end-user to make a more informed decision. 
  • Selecting a result opens a dynamically generated page that uses the Playgroup to populate important information like group details and location. Supporting a push for smoother resource deliverability, this dynamic page gives additional visibility on upcoming Sessions (CO) associated with the selected Playgroup.
  • If users registering for their searched Playgroup have attended one previously, a simple sign-up form is displayed that creates an Attendee (CO) in the backend. If they have not previously attended a group, they are served a detailed form to enter the guardian and child's details, 'Children' and 'Family' Custom Objects.
  • Throughout all of this project, significant reporting and tracking takes place to ensure that the group facilitator can see RSVP and attendance numbers. 

Nine detailed onboarding workshops

  • With the backend established, we began onboarding and training workshops to equip Play Matters with the knowledge on utilising HubSpot, consisting of 15 hours spread across 9 sessions.
  • Sessions included;
    • Hubspot CRM and Basics
    • Marketing Hub
    • Marketing Automation
    • Sales Hub
    • Sales Automation
    • CMS & Service Hub
    • Reporting
    • Recaps and refresher sessions to ensure nothing important was forgotten


Constructing 110 individual pages

  • Using HubSpot CMS, Neighbourhood fleshed out over 110 individual web pages between the public-facing site and the private sub-sites.
  • Many of our pages utilised dynamic tools linked to Custom Objects to show dynamic information, offering a more personalised UI. Internally, this was used to display information for management of groups and data. Externally, it shows unique information to users relevant to a custom object such as a playgroup. 
  • The result? Instead of manually updating upwards of 700 Playgroup-specific landing pages, we were able to code a single page that could dynamically display the content associated with any playgroup.

Granular reporting on objects

  • Multiple detailed reports were build to cover all unique custom objects in use, often in comparison and conjunction with secondary objects. Some of the reporting created so far include; 
    • Detailed demographic reporting on parents, children and families
    • Performance reporting on Playgroups and sessions
    • Attendance reporting on attendees and the associated contacts
    • Marketing performance reporting across segments
    • Pipeline reporting that tracks group and contact membership


  • As Play Matters offers multiple types of memberships to facilitators and attendees, Neighbourhood established processes that allow users to enter essential data, and purchase their membership through Shopify.
  • Through automation, this sends an invoice and updates the CRM so their application can be managed and membership activated.
  • Memberships are also maintained through extensive automations that set, update and remove start dates and expiry dates. These get as complex as setting an expiry date based on the date that a families youngest child will turn 6. 

Nurturing customer relationships through automation

  • Neighbourhood assisted in the implementation of marketing and data automation to aid in nurturing Play Matter's communication and relationship with users.
  • This involved significant segmentation via lists to get accurate groups of members, the development of email templates and workflows to deliver those emails.
  • Automations are used to communicate regarding upcoming sessions, membership updates, application information and more. 

Optimising established processes

  • The new system has required a myriad of new management processes, including utilising deal pipelines to manage renewals and the associated reminders for affiliate groups. 
  • Building on top of a refreshed foundation, we did an overhaul of the search tool to improve speed and reliability.
  • New processes were planned and implemented to allow for the capture of 'Working with Children Check' credentials from facilitators and volunteers.


Untitled design

The Results


Searches on the Play Experience search tool


Family memberships created


Attendees created for Play Experiences through the website

The last few years have been a testament to the potential that was in Play Matters to grow and scale with the right tools. The website has proved an essential tool in facilitating the connection of parents to Play Experiences, with over 835,000 visits, 97,000 of which included a search for play experiences. 

Over 42,000 individual attendee objects have been created by parents RSVP-ing or Checking In to  play experience sessions, a process that was  formerly done manually with paper attendance sheets. 

Since the launch of the digital tools, Play Matters has seen a 287% increase in memberships, allowing them to reach an increasingly large and engaged audience.

From an internal admin standpoint, staff save hours of their week finding data, running reports and communicating with their members through HubSpot. 


The Impact

The Neighbourhood team was instrumental in our successful migration to HubSpot, creating a new website and suite of digital portals for us. Their expertise spanned across CRM, Sales, Marketing, Service, and CMS Hubs. Dom, Trav, and the entire team were not only a pleasure to work with but also went above and beyond to ensure our project's success. They delivered everything on time and with exceptional quality. We owe much of our current success to their support and dedication. I wholeheartedly recommend Neighbourhood to anyone seeking a top-notch agency for their next HubSpot project.

Dan Marais
Play Matters Australia


Play Matters has not just been a fulfilling and exciting project, but a truly rewarding partnership. Among the most complex tasks we've taken on, we have been able to create a digital presence that is powerful, effective and efficient and has helped Play Matters grow and scale just as they had hoped. 

We look forwards to continuing to push the boundaries and find new opportunities with Play Matters in the future. 

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Hours saved monthly on reporting


Hours saved monthly on administration tasks per person



Time Saved in Manual Data Extraction and Reporting


Time Saved in Filtering Data for Agile Decision-Making

Time Saved in Checking and Setting Customer Tiers