On September 3-6, over 26,000 marketing execs and industry thinkers from around the globe joined guest speakers Katie Couric, Jennifer Garner, HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines and many others at the Boston Conference and Exhibition Center for HubSpot’s INBOUND 19 Conference. And we were there as well, enjoying four days of inspiring talks centered around Inbound Marketing, with energetic events and educational sessions.
This was our fourth trip to INBOUND, and like past conferences, it was high-energy, motivational and provided a boat-load of relevant information that left us wishing we could attend all of the breakout sessions and hear all of the speakers. But, without time-traveling or self-duplicating capabilities, here are our top takeaways from the keynote speech and events we were able to attend.
1) Become a Customer Experience Disruptor
In Hubspot co-founder Brian Halligan’s keynote speech, he challenged us to take a hard look at our current business models and to focus more on delivering exceptional customer experiences. By using technology to make shopping and customer service frictionless, by offering more personalized communications and by embracing unconventional, even counterintuitive, marketing approaches, you’ll build stronger customer loyalty not through the products and services you’re selling, but by how you’re selling and servicing them. And you’ll grow better too!
2) Your Prospects and Customers Have Changed Drastically in the Last Year
This was the focus of a session from one of our favorite speakers, the energetic Dan Tyre, Director and original employee #6 at HubSpot. Todays’ buyers are smarter and don’t always follow the typical buyer’s journey. These days, they’re looking for more, and they’re looking for it faster than ever before. Dan’s recommendation is to research and find good-fit prospects and to try to quickly add value and build momentum with a freemium model. When it comes time to demo a product or service, ask better questions and make sure they understand a product or service in their context, not yours. Finally, be a problem solver and earn the sale. In short, they expect more, and if you can’t deliver, they’ll go somewhere else to get it. It’s up to us to evolve our process to keep up with the changing times.
3) SEO for B2B
This was another informative session led by Dominic Woodman from Distilled. We all know that search engine optimization (SEO) is vital in B2B marketing, but organic search is getting very competitive and it’s become increasingly more difficult to get high rankings. Dominic recommends focusing on business problems when choosing your keyword phrases. It’s okay if the term gets low searches, as long as it matters to the right person you’re trying to reach. He also mentioned that if you’re a smaller company, you shouldn’t focus on home or product pages. The home page is the end, not the beginning! Finally, after you publish your page, remember to monitor your performance in Google Analytics or HubSpot. If your page has a very high bounce rate, your keywords and content are most likely not aligned.
4) New HubSpot Conversational Tools
A key to building a great customer experience is to communicate with them in ways they want to be communicated with. This is why HubSpot has added new channels to its conversations inbox to help you build the right service help desk for your business. New additions include integrations with Facebook messenger, chat bots and live web support forms, which allow you to manage and scale service as you grow. They’ve also made team collaboration on customer issues easier with new internal commenting and inline ticket status updates.
5) HubSpot’s App Marketplace
Today’s small businesses use an average of over 100 applications, from Slack to Zero to WordPress and more, serving multiple purposes from office management to creating exceptional experiences for their customers. This is especially true with inbound marketing. That’s why HubSpot has introduced a new app marketplace that allows companies to connect their tools, teams, processes and data through a single system, creating a simple streamlined way to create and manage your apps.
There were plenty more highlights and insights over the four-day conference. We walked away with a ton of new ideas and tactics that we can’t wait to implement. And we’re already looking forward to Inbound 20!
Looking to bring some inbound marketing expertise to your business? Contact Brainstorm and one of our experts will help answer any questions you have about digital marketing opportunities and provide you with a free inbound marketing assessment.