What is Inbound?
Inbound is a conference held by HubSpot that thousands of marketers attend in order to hear thought leaders and industry captains speak about how the field of marketing and sales is evolving and changing. Attending Inbound can give a marketer, or a team of marketers ideas and strategies for how to proceed, especially in these turbulent times.
This year speakers included HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan, Dr. Jane Goodall, CMO of NTWRK Jason Brown, Twitter’s Head of Global Content Partnerships TJ Adeshola, and Former President Barack Obama! It was quite the line up, and the speakers were unafraid to address the pains of marketers and content creators. They were able to provide what we needed in order to grow during the upcoming year, and have hope for the future in general. I learned a lot! I want to share what I learned with the world, so we can all grow together:
- Community is Paramount: InBound at 2022 proved the importance of community. One of my favorite speakers at the event, HubSpot Co-Founder/CTO Darmesh Shah, spoke about the importance of building a community. This is not just true in ordinary day to day life, but it is especially true for marketers. Building a brand is not just creating a logo for consumers to buy into. Building a successful brand means building a feeling of belonging among a group of people. That is how you gain a dedicated customer base.
- Communication Technology is Here to Stay: This was another major theme of Inbound, and it was actually implemented into the conference itself. I attended Inbound virtually, this allowed me and thousands of other marketers to get the chance to learn from industry leaders without ever leaving home. This is what consumers and business professionals have come to expect over the last year. When companies can deliver virtual modes of communication, such as virtual product demos, or virtual courses and webinars, then they can meet and then exceed expectations. This can also open up your business to new audiences, such as ones that live in other parts of the country or even the world. The possibilities are endless with this new tech!
- Give Creators Credit Where Credit is Due: With the rise of influencer marketing, brands are seeing the importance of hopping on trends with neck-breaking speed. But in doing so, they are neglecting proper research necessary to credit creators. Especially Black and brown creators who often create these viral trends. This is bad not only because brands are profiting off of others creativity, but it also de-incentivizes creatives which leads to a decrease in quality content. Black@Inbound speakers highlighted the importance of elevating creators rather than stealing their content.
- Be Flexible, Be Inclusive: For a long time, marketers used exclusivity as part of the appeal of their brand. Consumers are no longer buying in, diversity and inclusivity are in! This seems like it is going to be a lasting trend, as consumers continue to value diversity and inclusivity as part of their buying decision. This means marketing needs to reach a diverse audience, including people who you would not expect to be engaged in your brand.
- Show Your Value: As marketers, we need to show our product’s value constantly and consistently. It can be easy to get caught up in trying to make the right impression and giving the right voice in our marketing content. But we need to remember that the reason our audiences are giving us any attention at all is because our product may add value to their lives. This was emphasized by speaker Jay Schwendelson CEO of Subjectline.com during his talk: Email Marketing Tips: Do This, Not That.
- Embrace Technology, Especially AI: As a marketer, I did not think that a robot could steal my job since my job involves using a lot of creativity. Dale Bertrand, founder of Fire and Spark, explained that robots (AI) can, in fact, can have creativity! But they are not coming for our jobs. AI is going to make things like finding what attracts, engages, and delights a lot easier. And marketers who can use AI martech will be of high value to their companies.
- When Marketing B2B, you're marketing to humans: In a conversation with Amy Marino of Linkedin and Tusar Barik of HubSpot, they discussed the power of creativity within B2B marketing. This really spoke to me because this is what I have been trying to execute with my own B2B marketing content. Behind a business, there are humans. Actually, a business is really just a group of humans! Creative content is going to attract, engage, and delight them as well.
Inbound did a great job on delivering its message and practicing it at the same time. Consistency is key, and while speakers came from all different kinds of backgrounds, they all delivered on giving a consistent message. That being, building the fabric for a community. The last and most notorious speaker, former President Barack Obama tied this all together with his conversation with HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan. The former president contributed much of his success to the communities he not only belonged to, but helped build. Communities that are also diverse and inclusive help everyone to grow. This is invaluable for businesses, and especially marketers who are not only marketing a good or service, but also a community.