INBOUND is an annual conference put on by HubSpot to discuss the latest and greatest in marketing, sales, and customer experience. It’s much more than that though – it’s a whole experience – with speakers like Katie Couric, Alexis Ohanian, and Jennifer Garner. There are breakout sessions discussing topics such as “Advanced LinkedIn Ads for the B2B Marketer”, “Testing New Markets and Verticals at Startup Speed” and “Tech Communication is Art”. Besides the informative sessions you’ll have choices to attend radio sessions, entertainment such as comedy relief and so much more. More than 26,000 people attended this year, myself (Jenna Clark) included. Here are some of my INBOUND 2019 takeaways and favorite speakers:
Brian Halligan on Experience Market Fit & Marketing Through Your Customers
Brian Halligan, the CEO of Hubspot spoke to the majority of those 26,000 people and somehow made you feel as though he were talking directly to you. This was my first year at INBOUND and I was blown away. I came home from the conference and decided to watch his INBOUND 2018 presentation. Not only is he a well-spoken presenter but he managed to make his presentation “an experience” which is one of main key takeaways he discussed this year. He pointed out that the “disruptors” in business all have great products but better experiences. As marketers and business leaders we need to think about how we can create a better experience and market through our customers. Word of mouth is the #1 most trusted form of brand awareness. (Interesting enough, I found out about Inbound two weeks prior to the conference via word of mouth!) We cannot control what and when people are talking about our businesses, but what we can begin to do is create better experiences for our customers so they want to talk about us and tell their friends/colleagues.
Create A Personalized Experience Using Data
At DDM, we’re all about data-driven actions. So what does this have to do with content? On a large scale of customers and clientele, personalization becomes difficult. With more personalization comes better experiences. Dan Gingiss pointed out in his “Don’t Just Create Content, Create Experiences!” presentation that there are over 6 million blog posts rolled out everyday and 500 million tweets everyday. That’s a lot of content. If companies want to acquire more customers and keep the ones they have, they need to provide them with great experiences. This is where data and branding come in to help enhance the experience. First, it’s okay for you to be witty. You don’t have to tell jokes, but be clever. Your brand has personality, so include that personality in your content and be interactive. Next, use data to learn about your customers and segment audiences so that valuable, customized content goes out to them. The more you know about your customers the better equipped you are to drive content to them and create an opportunity for them to share it.
Rethink Your Content Strategy to Empower Others
Now that you know the value of creating better experiences and how you can create personalized experience through content, we’re going to discuss how you can empower your team to work together. Content is important. But what’s more important is what you do with the content you create. Marketers can create content assets all day, but if they’re not sharing them to the proper channels and proper people, then they’re missing out. A content strategy has a lot of moving pieces but the INBOUND 2019 takeaway that I’d like to share with you is to:
Use Your Content Strategy to Empower Your Sales Team and Create Alignment between Sales and Marketing Teams.
Companies need to create a process to help sales and marketing work together to empower each other. It starts with alignment and communication. Schedule cross department meetings and dedicate someone from the marketing team to update the sales team on what and how to use the assets marketing has developed. The marketing team should be sharing assets they’ve created and any supporting content such as press hits, reviews, and feedback received on their end so the sales team can use these in their pitches. Below are some additional ideas to help support each other:
- Create a Slack channel for content ideas from the sales team of trends they’re hearing across calls;
- Sit in on sales calls to learn from a sales perspective; and
- Send a weekly email update from your department to keep sales informed.
As a marketer, create or update your documented content strategy with the sales team in mind. A special thanks to Kelsey Raymond for the great presentation on “How to Think Like a Product Manager to Supercharge Your Growth as a Marketer”.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my INBOUND 2019 takeaways and favorite speakers. Remember that putting thought and strategy into creating a better experience will benefit your business more than trying to talk about, or talk at, someone regarding a product or service. I can say with confidence that I will be attending INBOUND 2020. I would highly recommend and hope to see you there!
Above I had the chance to reference three of my favorite presenters. I also wanted to shout out a few additional speakers that really stood out in their presentation skills and content.
- AJ Wilcox who presented on “Advanced LinkedIn Ads for the B2B Marketer”.
- Selina McPherson who presented on “From Testing to Traction: How to Test New Markets and Verticals at Startup Speed”.
- BerlinRosen and West Wing Writers who presented on “Tech Communication is Art. Learn the Brush Strokes.”