Oliver Wendell Holmes called the Massachusetts State House the “Hub of the Solar System,” a nickname that was later shortened to “The Hub” as a reference to the city of Boston.
How fitting that I spent last week in “The Hub” soaking up a wealth of ideas and inspirations from marketing experts around the country. And that the Inbound 2013 Event was hosted by HubSpot, a Boston-based company that has positioned itself squarely in the center of modern marketing through its inbound methodology, context-driven software tools and broad curriculum of training.
HubSpot brought together 5,300 marketers for 4 days to connect and learn from inbound experts around the world. With more than 100 sessions from keynotes to product demos, the only drawback was choosing which sessions to attend! I’ve returned to Allegory recharged and ready to move our clients ahead as a HubSpot Certified Partner agency.
While I continue to internalize this new learning, I thought I’d share some of my conference “ahas” and highpoints as shared by well-recognized thought leaders, growing inbound agencies, and HubSpot platform geeks.
Big ideas in marketing
Reinterpreted from best-selling author, Seth Godin:
There are no shortcuts.
While the Internet provides an expansive platform for building a tribe, we need to be doing work that matters. There is no roadmap; each of us needs to boldly reinterpret the world from our own unique perspectives. Copies don’t sell, but we connect with human beings by being real and personal.
What is weird is what’s growing.
In the days of Mass Media, the goal was to create campaigns that spoke to the masses in the middle. But the more technology connects us, the more the curve of normal has flattened out and the easier it is for the groups on the outer edges to come together.
The future belongs to artists.
The only path forward is being the “only one” who sees the world the way you do. When Beethoven added a “fromata” to his 5th Symphony, he was telling musicians to “play the music as you feel it” – not as its written. Make more art.
A few thoughts from Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion:
Business owners are control freaks.
That’s why they are going to love HubSpot’s inbound platform. From tools like Sources, and Contacts, to Page Performance and Social Inbox, marketers are able to track the success of every dollar invested and clearly align marketing campaigns with sales goals. With HubSpot we can answer questions like: Where are my customers coming from? Is social media worth my time? How can I convert more leads into customers? Are my Blogs converting leads into customers?
A good match is the most important thing.
Not every client is going to succeed with an inbound marketing program. They need to “get” the concept of inbound (attracting customers through generosity and nurturing leads by serving as an inspiration and a resource). They must also be willing to invest the time and resources to build the right program to meet their goals.
Several speakers from the HubSpot tech team and the field, emphasized the need to “think digitally first” and offered some compelling rationale.
Did you know there are 5.1 billion Google searches a day?!?
That means your website needs to do a lot of work to be found and to engage prospects who are pre-qualifying themselves through extensive online research.
And we look at our smart phones an average of 150 times a day!!
Have you ever role-played as your own customer? Have you Googled keyword phrases, been able to find your website and be able to use it from your phone? Could you inquire, sign-up or purchase from a mobile device?
So media powerhouse, Arianna Huffington was on hand to remind us to take time every day to retreat from a hyper-connected world, “Burnout is the great disease of our generation,” she said, and leaders can’t lead from behind.”
She shared some Huffington Post de-stressing strategies from the GPS for the Soul App to the success of the company’s nap rooms.
It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.
Gone are the days of a one-way positioning of your company and your brand. Today consumers are actively making or breaking brands through online reviews, user-made YouTube videos, mobile apps, online engagement and social media sharing. Yes, it’s still important for you to build a great brand story, but as your share your story across a marketing platform, you need to intertwine multiple avenues for client and customer experiences and feedback.
“The more brand advocates we can create, the fewer ads we need to buy,” Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot Co-founder.
Speaking of advocates, Inbound 2013 closed with a heartfelt keynote given by Scott Harrison, CEO and Founder of Charity: Water, a non-profit on a mission to end the global water crisis. Scott shared his personal story and the story of his growing non-profit that is built on the ideals of transparency and accountability. Since its founding in 2006, the organization has funded 8,944 water projects in 20 countries. These projects have brought clean water to more than 3,400,000 people.
Scott talked about the people helped by Charity: Water, but he also told the story of the inspiring individuals who have gotten involved with the organization’s mission by launching their own donor-inspired campaigns, adopting water projects and helping to spread the word. It was a powerful testament to the entire message of inbound – doing work that matters, creating a compelling story around it and strategically implementing an online platform to build community.
Charity: Water is launching a September Campaign bring clean water to 100 villages in Orissa, India. Allegory will launch a campaign shortly to help fund this effort. More on that initiative soon!
It would be impossible to cover 4 jam-packed days in a single blog post, so also stay tuned for future posts on how we are incorporating inbound marketing at Allegory!