Inbound 2015 is, by far, the most anticipated event on the marketing calendar. This year more than 14,000 delegates packed into the Boston Convention Centre to take part in a four day program bursting with keynote speakers, discussions and events dedicated to Inbound Marketing.
I’ve attended these conferences in the past, and can attest to the enthusiasm and interest each event generates among delegates.
I couldn’t attend in 2015, but I am catching up on everything I missed via Twitter and YouTube. I’ve just sat down to watch the keynote address from HubSpot Co-Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah - which alone clocked in at over an hour and a half.
I was so impressed at last year’s event which featured the announcement of the Hubspot Sales CRM. I was wondering how they were going top that. I must say, I can’t believe what they’ve achieved in past 12 months. With a focus on Inbound is for everyone – they have delivered. They haven’t disappointed, they haven’t left anything or anyone behind.
Here’s five things I’ve learned from this year’s event:
1. In 10 years, ‘Inbound Marketing’ has grown from a buzzword to a game-changer. It’s time to get on board
The annual Inbound Conference has become one of the most renowned industry events. This year alone it attracted 14,000 delegates, people all keen to discover the latest trends, tactics and tools that are helping marketers make a difference.
This incredible success is a sign that the Inbound philosophy has struck a chord with the industry. This year’s theme alone was ‘Inbound for everyone’ the entire premise being to create marketing content that is valuable, respectful and lovable.
Inbound pioneers HubSpot have enjoyed so much success they have now gone public on the New York Stock exchange. Need further proof that Inbound is here to stay? Consider these numbers:
- 1,000 HubSpot team members worldwide
- 2,500 agency partners
- 14,000 conference delegates in 2015 (up from 10,000 in 2014)
- 15,000 customers
- 100,000 Inbound.org community members (up from 35,000 in 2014)
2. Your website should be your star marketer
Marketers are still making the mistake of spending too much time on their content management, not their content marketing. There are a number of reasons for this, but for many, it’s simply due to the Content Management System they are using and its limited capabilities. And it’s to their disadvantage.
A website should be your star marketer. It needs to draw people in, and convert leads to customers through appealing and engaging content. But it also needs to look great, load quickly, be responsive to mobile and tablet technology and optimise content for search results. Does your website CMS achieve all those things?
3. HubSpot are champions of Inbound Marketing innovation
HubSpot uses each conference as an opportunity to announce a raft of new software features designed to make Inbound Marketing easier and even more effective. 2015 was no different. Here’s five new HubSpot features that the whole industry should be excited about:
The reporting add on - HubSpot's Reporting Add-on brings all the reports you need to analyse your marketing and sales data into one customisable dashboard
The Ads add on - You can now create ads right inside HubSpot and figure out which ads convert the most leads in customers.Predictive lead scoring - A new feature taking the pressure off of the marketer by providing a lead score based on behaviour, demographic, social, email, company, and spam detection data.
Hubspot website platform - A platform that ties your content into a full-funnel marketing system, optimizes it for search, adjusts to mobile, and even allows you to tailor your website to different visitors
HubSpot Connect - With the launch of HubSpot Connect and a collection of new integrations, HubSpot is bringing data from all of your front office systems into one integrated platform. See billing data alongside website activity. Trigger workflows from help-desk tickets or event participation. Drastically expand the inputs you can use to better target and communicate with your customers.
4. ‘The old Sales Book is dead’ - Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO
I’ve been a part of the inbound journey since 2007 because I loved how HubSpot were making marketers better. They were doing more than providing tools and software, but advocating an entire philosophy around marketing that focused on the customer and their needs.
Now they’ve expanded that to sales. This year, HubSpot is introducing a collection of great updates that uncover new sources of warm prospects, reveals connections between your network and the companies you sell to and revolutionises the following-up process.This approach allows sales people to optimise their time with prospecting and identify people who are interested in their product – better for the sales person and the buyer. Ultimately, HubSpot is improving the way sales people interact with people to improve the buyer experience. Something I’m passionate about.
5. We must (must!) adopt Inbound as an organisational culture
Inbound is not a marketing tactic, it is a whole philosophy. The Inbound 2015 event is just further evidence of the extraordinary success of Inbound when it is embraced as an organisational culture, and core way of doing business.Traditional marketing methods were interruptive and ROI was questionable. Consider advertising, email blasts and direct mail. They all forced a company’s message onto an audience, regardless of whether that audience was actually looking for it or not.
Inbound marketing flips this idea around. It focuses on creating quality content that naturally draws people into your company and directs them to your products.
It achieves this by producing content that appeals directly to your ideal customer – a person who is actively looking for your product anyway. It generates leads, converts leads to customers and has the ability to create long-term ambassadors for your brand.
Businesses that don’t adapt to this new movement are at risk of falling behind.
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