This past week, I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts alongside 24,000 other digital marketers to take part in Hubspot’s #Inbound18 conference. It was my first year at Inbound and I really had no idea what to expect. With the event hosting nearly 300 independent sessions and keynote speeches over the three and a half days, there was plenty of knowledge on offer.
Suffice to say, I was blown away during my time at Inbound 18. With what I am calling my ‘scatter gun’ approach, I was able to attend sessions on email marketing, search marketing, new technology (including a whole session devoted to chatbots) as well as new product methodology from brands like HubSpot.
My time at Inbound 18 reaffirmed the importance of keeping our finger on the pulse in this ever-changing digital landscape. Although I chose an array of different sessions, each full of unique learnings and topics, there were three central themes that every session seemed to touch on:
Build Products and Solutions With Your Customers Front of Mind
This often means giving your customers a voice. A great example of this was given in the unveiling of Hubspot’s new ‘Flywheel’ during Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah’s keynote presentation where Brian suggested letting your customer’s delight go on to fuel your next product innovation.
HubSpot are really putting their money where their mouth is on this one as they look to solve more problems by moving to a platform model and providing plenty of new integrations.
It’s Time to Completely Rethink Our Customer Journey Models
Unfortunately our old models are too basic. The real customer journey is no linear and it rarely makes sense in line with our intuitions. To do this we need to rely more and more on quality data, to set our new intuitions and expectations. Of course, this means we need to set up systems that capture and categorise our data in the way that best suits our business.
The Role of Marketing In An Organisation is Changing
— Tom Anders (@tom_anders_93) September 6, 2018
With the rise of digital, it’s becoming more technical – but it’s not all doom and gloom. Your marketing team does have some help on the way. The platforms and tools that are emerging and already available to marketers are becoming more and more suited to us! This also means that soon enough, programming and designing AI to work alongside us will be the norm and it should help reduce the number of tedious and repetitive tasks in our day-to-day.
There were plenty of more important takeaways over my three and a half days at #Inbound18, but these three themes really seem to capture where digital is at in 2018 and where it is heading in the near future. I’d like to thank Reload for the opportunity to attend this year’s Inbound and learn from some of the world’s best digital marketers. I’m already looking forward to what might be on the horizon for Inbound 2019…
Until next year!