Inbound conference is always a time of reflection, a time of absorbing all the knowledge imparted and looking inward to how your company or brand can benefit from these insights.
At least that's what it's like for us at Struto. It's during this time that we like to pick the brains of our representatives who attended, in this case our Managing Director, Craig, and Growth and Marketing Director, Jonathan, were the lucky ducks who went to Boston for the event. We interviewed them before they left, and caught up with them when they returned. Here's what they had to say about Inbound 2017.
Plenty of inspirational talks
A large part of attending the inbound conference is about networking and doing reconnaissance. It’s about catching up with other leaders in the industry and taking in the newest trends and latest best practice. Inbound is the place where you learn what’s hot and happening in the inbound and digital marketing world and apply that to your product/services/solutions.
Craig already has six consecutive Inbound conferences under his belt and has always walked away from them with a stronger vision for the Struto brand and how we can differentiate from the “competition” while still offering competitive and innovative services.
Both Jonathan and Craig expressed interest in taking in speakers like Pixar’s Dr Ed Catmull, Paul Roetzer, Marcus Sheridan, Brenѐ Brown and Michelle Obama.
We were in constant contact with them about what they were enjoying and what value they were getting. For one thing, Craig got to meet up with HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah, and we’re absolutely thrilled to hear what came out of that talk!
Of the speakers that blew our guys away, standouts mentioned were:
· PR20/20’s Paul Roetzer on his talk about “Hacking Inbound”.
Hacking Inbound: 25+ Proven B2B Lead Generation Quick Wins and Campaign Ideas from PR 20/20
· Opening speaker Brenѐ Brown, who set the tone for the entire conference.
· Rand Fishkin’s talk on “The Invisible Giant (that mucks up our marketing)”.
· Square2Marketing’s Mike Lieberman on “How to Predict Inbound Marketing and Sales Results”.
· Michelle Obama and her inspirational address.
· Uber’s chief branding officer, Bozoma Saint-John, whose sass and savvy captivated the entire room.
Craig also mentioned of his time in Boston, that:
"The conference is always a perfect balance of educational and inspirational, and while you might not always get what you wanted, you still leave with something valuable."
The biggest HubSpot highlight
While the guest-speaker talks are exciting and insightful, the bulk of inbound marketing agencies and attendees are mostly excited to learn what HubSpot has in store, and will be unveiling, during their segment of the conference.
And the HubSpot crew didn’t disappoint. With one eye firmly fixed on the future (bots, AI, Shopify integration), and another tracking the pulse of what marketing and sales require (better engagement with leads through an integrated chat feature called “conversations”), HubSpot’s new product features have us excited for what’s ahead in the new year.
As a bonus, HubSpot’s Sales Pro toolkit gets an update that rolls out as early as November! Here’s what the HubSpot team had to say at their new product feature talk:
GREAT NEWS FOR SALES TEAMS
1. HubSpot Sales Professional – Update due November 2017
· Utilise machine learning to uncover the best leads, and create more accurate lead scoring.
· Better automation and management tools mean more accurate data capture for client and lead’s information.
· New productivity tools mean smarter work done faster. Save time (and money) with meetings, templates, sequences and deep inbox integration. (link to Sales Pro page).
2. HubSpot leaps into the future with Motion.ai - Out in 2018
· AI-powered bots are at the helm to help with your market messaging with HubSpot’s acquisition of Motion AI.
3. Conversations in HubSpot – Out in 2018
· A handy feature available for HubSpot Free CRM.
· Store messages in a central place where you can view, manage and reply quickly and easily.
· Automation helps you manage conversations more granularly.
· Pull in discussions from every messaging channel and bring in any team member who can help to solve queries and address customer issues.
4. HubSpot Customer Hub – Out in 2018
· The customer hub is HubSpot’s way of addressing customer service in an inbound marketing mind-frame.
· Built on top of the new Conversations feature, everyday chats can be escalated into a case that’s easy to manage.
· Evolve from just addressing ticketed issues, to fully helping customers quickly and efficiently through improved knowledge centre tools.
EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS FOR MARKETING
One of the most exciting prospects for me as a digital marketer and content specialist was HubSpot’s new-look marketing tools. My palms are positively sweaty at the idea of finally getting Shopify integration and Instagram access through the portal. Here are some other goodies coming our way content-heads:
Research is now so much more convenient, and curating good content will be a cinch with HubSpot collect which allows you to snip research around the web and collect and collate them in HubSpot. You’re also able to now move drafts from Google Docs into your HS platform with relative ease.
HubSpot’s segmentation goes even more granular to target ads on Facebook, meaning we’ll be able to convert more leads through formats such as Facebook Leads Ads.
Now eCommerce stores can easily sync product and sales data to HubSpot, meaning that you could use your analytics, workflow emails and various other HubSpot tools to track and measure within the platform.
Instagram for HubSpot
Finally, Instagram joins HubSpot’s lists of social media platforms, alongside Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can schedule Instagram posts along with your other social platforms and, also get mobile reminders to publish your content. Content Strategy Your marketing team will get more traffic with less content … wait, what? Yes, with HubSpot’s new approach to content and SEO, finally we’ll be able to leverage principles of 80/20 analysis to your content strategy.
There’s no use doing all the hard work and not being able to report back on all the progress made, goals reached and KPI’s achieved. HubSpot’s new reporting engine promises to link all your efforts and channels back to traffic, leads and revenue streams.
There’s a lot we’ve learnt from this year’s Inbound event, and we’ll share more on this in the weeks to come. For now, though, we’ve got our fingers poised to click as soon as these HubSpot features reach Beta status, and will follow up with a review if, and when available.