#Inbound12: The Future of Marketing
[By Emily Carter]
Last week, Koleen and I were able to attend Inbound 2012 (or #Inbound12, as Twitter users know it as) - HubSpot's annual Inbound Marketing conference, where inbound marketers from all over converge in one week of inbound-y goodness. From August 27-30, we were able to meet with other inbound marketers, listen to forward-thinking keynote speakers, and learn about HubSpot's brand spanking new tools that will be rolled out in the next couple of months. As one of 2,800 of the lucky attendees, I feel that it's only fair that I share with you some of the overwhelming and exciting themes and ideas we witnessed while we were there.
- Learning never ends - Think about how different things were just five years ago. The masses barely even know what an iPhone was. 10 years ago? Wireless internet on your laptop was the exciting new thing. What will the next few years bring? Technology shifts and improves at a rapid pace. It's important to not just keep up, but to embrace it fully. With each new tool, a new capability arises and business shifts. We live in an age where the sky is the limit - literally. We should not be skeptical, but learn how to harness and capitalize on each new thing.
- Some things have changed - As we've said time and time again, sales has shifted. The sales process used to begin with a company or organization's offer, but now begins with a customer identifying their needs. Customers want knowledge and reassurance before they purchase, and they control their own sales journey. The important thing is to have an online presence and be available to nurture and teach a prospect through their sales journey.
- Social Trends are here to stay - There was a time when people thought that Social Media was a fad. Most didn't understand what the point of Twitter was (who cares what Robin Williams ate for breakfast?), and a LinkedIn page was a stagnant online resume which collected virtual dust. Since then, it's become apparent that social internet tools are now a normal part of day to day life that are constantly updated and interacted with. Social Media sites like Twitter were a major catalyst for the Arab Spring uprisings that occurred in Middle Eastern countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Smartphones are the basic staple of the consumer's life in 2012, and social media sites are often the first apps added to these phones. Marketing 101 states that businesses should aim to be present in the places where their consumers dwell. In 2012, everyone is using social media. This is the best way to interact with the people you want to contact the most.
- HubSpot 3 is pretty cool - Since we just learned how technology is consistently improving, let's all get excited about HubSpot 3. HubSpot's latest software update aims to streamline the entire marketing process. You can check out all of the new tools that will be introduced here. As technology gets more intelligent, we can become better at marketing to our target audiences.
Above all, it's important to stick to the underlying principles that your company was founded on. No matter how trends shift, take the time to step back, analyze the changes, and see how they can apply to your organization. Don't do it just to do it - it's just as important to apply it to the Mission and Vision that drive your day to day activities.
These were just a few of the ideas that we saw frequently at Inbound 2012 this year. If you'd like to learn more about HubSpot or Inbound Marketing, Contact Us to speak to someone about how these tools can work for you and your industry.
Photo: Koleen with Brian Halligan, CEO and Co-Founder of HubSpot