Well it’s a wrap, three plus days spent with more than 5,000 marketers at the Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston. Inbound 2013 http://www.inbound.com lived up to its tag line, Come together, Get Inspired, Be Remarkable.
The Hynes Convention centre buzzed all week with marketers from 35 countries. 159 speakers, more than 140 sessions (often over flowing), 14 best selling authors and all sorts of cool (some what geeky marketers). The inspiration and insights had #inbound13 trending on Twitter for the entire three days.
The week was jammed packed with: amazing speakers, like Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, Nate Silver and all the gurus behind Hubspot. Dates have already been released for Inbound 2014 – September 15 -18 in Boston. I’ll be there for sure. Right now I feel like the learning and inspiration gathered should be just enough to carry me through till 2014 (as well as the list of things I made for myself to do). But before I board this plane for home, I thought I’d capture just a few of my highlights from the conference. I am just picking a few that stand out loud and clear, but I did make a list of 50+ blog topics I ‘d like to cover, so there is more to come.
Despite the varying background of the many speakers at Inbound 2013, trends and themes rang true for me.
Market in Context – it sounds obvious right? Any marketer knows the four p’s of marketing – product, price, promotion and placement, and we know context finds its home in those marketing guidelines. But I am talking about way more context than that.
Today as marketers, we should be marketing to our website visitors in THEIR specific context. First time visitors to the website should get a message customized for them, the message should change and evolve for repeat visitors be unique again for existing customers. What about truly meeting the technological needs of a web visitor every time?
We can do this too with responsive web design and with the new tools offered by Hubspot, marketing in context has never been easier.
What if you could look at your social fans or followers in light of their customer lifecycle (context again) would that be cool? Well you can with Hubspots new Signals tool.
Reporting and analytics needs to be in CONTEXT as well. There use to be a time when we had little to no data on our advertising and marketing efforts. I love to quote John Wannamaker who once said, “Only half of my advertising is working, I just wish I knew which half”. We’ve come full circle, as marketers we have (or we should have) oodles of data at our fingertips. I love the analytical side of marketing, but let’s keep them in context and remember they are only one matrix, let’s pay attention the human side of things and listen to our gut. (pulling this theme from Dharmesh’s amazing talk).
Connectivity is the answer – (Seth Godin kicked this one off in his opening remarks, but the sentiment carried throughout the week from many other presenters). Great things come out of collaborating and really connecting with people. Great work isn’t done on the smart phone, put it down and really connect with others. Seth shared his well known views on the ‘connected economy’. I love the idea of the connected economy, but Ariannna Huffington addressed ‘connectivity’ on the personal side. She impressed upon us ‘super connected marketers’ to leave it all behind to connect with our own wisdom – I felt a bit guilty tweeting while she talked, I am sure she would have liked me to be ‘present’.
Arianna’s talk was fun and engaging with a good does of conviction. We really can’t create if we are always time starved and falling behind the eight ball. She challenged us to consider a digital detoxic and referred to sleep as a leadership tool. Given the intensity of this week, I am pretty quick to buy in, as she’d say…. There’s a nap for that! I guess at the Huffington Post they have napping rooms.
Generosity – there was also a significant theme of generosity at the conference. Seth Godin talked about creating art and giving generously to what we do! I attended several presentations from other marketers who gave away their ‘secrets’ on inbound and shared how they’ve succeeded. That is hard to do! But something that has helped many of the marketers at Inbound to succeed and something we all should do! We came together, and authentically shared and it was refreshing!
Of course the generosity was a common theme throughout the week as Hubspot brought such awareness and gave so generously to Charity Water. An amazing cause that needs our attention, learn more here http://www.charitywater.org
So there you have it, my ramblings on Inbound 2013. Three themes from three amazing days of Inbound Marketing. Lots more to come as I work through my notes, in the mean time, connect with me if you’d like to learn more about Inbound Marketing!