Over 14,000 marketing and sales professionals descended on the Boston Seaport last week to learn, network, and evangelize inbound marketing and sales at HubSpot Inbound 2015!
While the keynotes included notable speakers (and sales and marketing staples) Seth Godin and Daniel Pink, this year also included omnichannel celebrities such as Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer, Marc Maron and Sophia Amoruso. Needless to say, this year’s speaker lineup made for both an educational and hilarious conference. Here are a few of my favorite observations from a joyous week of Inbound inundation.
I thought that the standout speaker this year was Brené Brown. If having the 4th most-watched TED talk of all time isn’t enough to spark your interest, she also currently has three books on the top 10 New York Times best seller list.
Brown’s Inbound 2015 talk followed in the theme of her TED talk, and her area of primary research of shame and vulnerability. Brown challenges traditional concepts of viewing vulnerability as a weakness, and her research unveiled the positive impact that results from not only risking failure, but embracing it as an inevitability.
Brown laughed recalling a conversation with a Pixar executive. After encouraging the executive to be prepared to fail, they responded saying, “Ok, I am prepared to risk that when making myself vulnerable, I may fail”. She would have to stop and tell them, “No, it’s not enough to risk that you may fail, you will fall flat on your face. That is a fact, and the sooner you are ok with that, the more successful you’re going to be. You will rise again.”
For marketers, this means being willing to experiment, challenging the status quo, and embracing the “fail fast” mentality. Best practices became best practices by those who were willing to try something new, measure it, and try something new again until perfected. Even then, there is always room to grow for those who are willing to risk it.
Inbound Sales was the hot topic this year. Agencies, brands and entrepreneurs shared their stories of the shifting funnel, and the importance of Sales teams embracing the new habits of their customers to align with the modern marketing practices within the organization.
At the keynote with HubSpot founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, it was announced that there are now more companies using the HubSpot CRM than the HubSpot marketing automation software, and clients who are running both are realizing ROI previously thought unimaginable and engaging with their customers in deeper and more meaningful ways.
Simply having two well-integrated systems isn’t enough. There needs to be clear alignment between sales and marketing to ensure the “right” leads are accurately scored, nurtured based on their personalized interests, and passed to sales at the appropriate time. A clear process needs to be defined between the business units so that the transition is seamless and frictionless for the leads. Organizations embracing the inbound marketing methodology need to also embrace the inbound sales methodology. It’s the job of the marketing technologist to coordinate with the Sales leaders to provide the sales team with the tools, information and resources they need to be successful.
While the inbound sales movement is building, it may take some time. Inbound speaker, Marcus Sheridan, noted in his Inbound wrap-up that there is a serious inbound sales education problem. His rough poll this year showed that only 5% of attendees primarily associated themselves with their Sales department. Hopefully next year’s Inbound will shift the scales as more businesses invest in training and modernization of their Sales teams.
Highlight HubSpot Release
While HubSpot has almost religiously preached inbound as the marketing methodology of the future, with their release of the HubSpot Ads add-on, they have also embraced that new paid media opportunities that are less focused on interruption and more focused on relevance and interest, bringing the underlying philosophy of inbound into the paid media realm.
Mambo has helped our clients recognize tremendous success with LinkedIn Sponsored Ads, and HubSpot has now integrated the Ads platform directly into their system! The entire process can be setup and tracked from click to close. While closed-loop reporting could be accomplished previously with HubSpot, the new tool significantly improves the efficiency with the ability to execute everything from HubSpot. This includes all-in-one ROI tracking, so less time is spent in Excel spreadsheets cobbling together data from two disparate systems. This equates to more time for marketers to spend testing, and better insight into what campaigns are providing the greatest ROI.
Finally, an easy-button for paid media marketers using HubSpot!
Did you attend Inbound 2015? What were your thoughts? Thinking of going next year? Let us know as we’d love to see you there!