According to Gartner’s CMO spend survey, marketing budgets are expected to increase by an average of 6% over the next year. With this increased spend comes increased pressure on marketers to invest in the right tactics, trends and strategies for their brand. So how can you keep up to date with the latest trends and strategies within your industry?
At the root of all that’s going on in the marketing world is Hubspot’s INBOUND conference. Last week Boston found its streets flooded with marketers eager to learn about new trends and strategies emerging in the industry. This year SocialBro attended (and live to tell the tale, 14,000 intellectually hungry marketers - it’s a wonder we made it out alive). So sit back, relax, and prepare to take in the key takeaways from the sessions we attended.
A thought leader on the concept of ‘permission marketing’. Godin shared his thoughts on taking on responsibility, authority and provoking change with what you do. Finishing on an inspiring quote from Leonard Bernstein for marketers to live by.
[Tweet ""I'm no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is yes""]
In this Q&A session, Sophia shared insight into what it was like building a company through social media. Her advice to brands looking to own their social space now;
“Social media is constantly changing, hiring an expert in social media only means what they know now will be outdated tomorrow.”
As the CMO for the fastest growing SaaS (software as a service) business of all time, Slack’s Bill Macaitis had a captive audience during his fireside interview with Harvard Business Review's Sarah Green, where the strategy behind their success was discussed. The first thing Bill mention during the interview was the importance of Net Promoter Scores (NPS). More specifically, how Slack uses NPS data. Investing more into right marketing channels, make data-driven decisions and remaining focused on customer success were a few core data uses highlighted. This is what Bill had to say about the topic:
"It helps get your entire company behind and rallying around what the main focus of what your company should be," said Bill on NPS scores.
As the founder of an organisation that produces a mix of breaking news, entertainment, and shareable content, Peretti understands the value behind producing great content. Buzzfeed use data to identify topic trends among their audience and use this insight to inform their overall content direction. Buzzfeed’s view is that content is way for people to connect to each other.
“...the other thing we found important was basset hounds running; they’re both cute and LOL.”
With an audience of 14,000 marketers, there were obvious themes and trends present. From data to PR measurement to social selling, there was something for every marketer.
Among the PR sessions, this year’s key trend looked towards data to demonstrate value. The predominant idea that data collection techniques are changing the way marketers can measure PR. Exploring social from an owned, earned and paid media perspective. Overall setting the right goals for PR in an overtly social world, ie. understanding what and how to set, track and measure.
The use of social data for social selling. Not only was the topic of social selling hot at INBOUND, the idea of building social workflows to support inbound sales funnels was raised. Twitter’s session explored the concept of going #BeyondEmail. Encouraging brands to look at using Twitter to build relationships and guide leads down the sales funnel through promoted campaigns. There’s a torrent of data available from social networks, especially Twitter. Find your audience on social media and analyse them to uncover insights that will support and improve your targeting strategies. Social data can also provide deep insight into the different phases of the purchase cycle, help you develop and identify purchase intent in order to connect with people with the right content at the right time and inform other areas of your product strategy, such as placement and customer experience.
Which brings us to the last most common theme throughout the week. Content. At a conference called INBOUND, it’s not surprising to find out that all 14,000 attendees were completely aware of the importance of an effective content strategy in the inbound leads process. The key tip to remember is the concept of educating your audience. The value stems from a smarter audience understanding not only why they need your product, but why they need it over a competitor’s alternative offering. An effective content strategy identifies and creates demand from the reader. Identify your touchpoints, and produce content to create the path to end of the sales funnel.
Did you attend #INBOUND? Share with us your favourite piece of insight in the comments below.