Last week, six of us from team SpinWeb traveled to Boston for HubSpot's annual conference, Inbound 2016. We had a fantastic time and we broadcast SpinRadio live at the Boston Convention Center. For those who weren't able to attend, below are our 8 Gold Nuggets of Digital Marketing Wisdom from the event, or you can listen to the whole conversation on Inbound 2016 happenings, our takeaways, inspiration and lessons on the live SpinRadio episode here:
1. Don't Wait Until It's Too Late. Take Risks.
We all agreed that Gary Vaynerchuk's keynote on the first night was inspiring and well-timed. He urged us to be the leader in our industry, to take risks, and to embrace failure. You're going to fail more often than you succeed, but the faster you fail the faster you get to success. He shared personal stories of his own successes and failures in business.
He also focused on Facebook advertising and he encouraged people to get in there NOW and own that space, before it's gone or too expensive. He built his business on Google AdWords, in the early days of the internet—buying up keywords before they were expensive.
2. Recognize Who Is On Your Team
Our own Allison Gibbs attended a session that stuck with her: "Leadership lessons from an ER Doctor." Your team is not just the people you interact with every day. The speaker used a few examples and stories from the ER to illustrate how she thinks about her team. Her team extends all the way to the Domino's delivery guy who brings pizza to the ER after a long night. This point is near and dear to us. Allison said it was a good reminder to her—Anna from HubSpot is part of our team, the part-time support staff that we may never see face to face because they work virtually is part of our team, and even people in our personal lives are part of our team. We believe in valuing service providers and treating them as valuable members of your team, because that's how we want relationships with our clients to be.
3. Make Your Message Memorable
I enjoyed this really interesting talk from cognitive neuroscientist Carmen Simon about decision making, and how we can create memorable messages. Decision making is rooted in the memory center of the brain. Memory is about remembering the past and remembering the future, which sounds weird until you think about it. When you're thinking about the past and trying to predict the future, you're using memories. So, how can we make our message/brand/products memorable?
We make decisions by reflex, by habit, or according to a goal. A goal-oriented decision takes a lot more cognitive energy (brain power!) compared to a decision made by reflex or habit. What kind of visual or message can you use that hooks into your clients' habits or reflexes? Those kinds of messages or visual content will be more memorable and impossible to ignore.
4. Connecting with Team HubSpot & Marketing People
We all enjoyed meeting with the folks at HubSpot to put faces with names and voices. We love making connections with other agencies, meeting with our clients, and connecting with leaders in the marketing industry. Case in point, Anna Perko, a Product Manager for HubSpot's Reports product, spontaneously joined our group during SpinRadio and we were able to pick her brain about some of the new features and plans for Reports. She said how much she enjoys meeting customers, getting their feedback and getting energized from the event after so much time spent throughout the year working on it.
Our own Abby Stearns met with other HubSpot User Group (HUG) leaders—we run the Indianapolis HUG—to discuss common issues and solutions that other user groups run into. Good stuff!
5. B2H > B2B or B2C
B2H. Business to Human.This is a perennial theme at Inbound, but it's always good to be reminded of this very important point. We talk to humans at the end of the day, and we need to keep that in mind as we're crafting our message. We have to break out of the constraints of being just B2C or B2B. We're talking to human beings who work at those businesses we target, or human beings who use those products or services that we're selling. That's why Facebook Ads can work well for any business, because that is the space where people are spending so much time online these days.
6. Elections Don't Always Bring Out the Worst in People.
Inbound kicked off on the day of the 2016 Presidential election, and the next day you could tell emotions were all over the place. But like Anese Cavanaugh said, people came together and showed up for each other. It wasn't something we were expecting to feel, but we felt all the feelings during this conference. The election brought out a range of emotions for many of us, and we weren't sure how the speakers would address current events. Anese talked about how much love and support she felt at Inbound, which may not be the way you would imagine a large group of people reacting to a highly contentious election result. From Alec Baldwin's heart-felt and thoughtful interview on the main stage, to Trevor Noah's entertaining and impromptu comedy set, it was good to laugh and to be around positive people. Bottom line: People are amazing!
7. Your Presence Matters
Marisa Smith, CEO and Head Brainiac at The Whole Brain Group, mentioned how much she enjoyed Anese's session on IEP (Intentional Energetic Presence) method. Self-care is important. How you show up—your presence in the room—really matters. It's the foundation for leadership. This concept goes back to authenticity, which seemed to be the theme of the week. You can't fake an "authentic" presence. You have to know yourself, be yourself, and take care of yourself in order to help others.
8. Put Yourself Out of Business
Alec Schidlovsky from Core DNA brought up this last point during the podcast. "If you don't put yourself out of business, someone else will"—another great lesson from Gary V. We often get stuck in the present, putting out fires and thinking about what needs to happen now. We have a hard time thinking of tomorrow and what our clients will need in the future. It can be scary! If we're not constantly re-inventing ourselves, we will eventually get put out of business by someone else.
Bonus nugget: we all LOVED the featured nonprofit this year: Girls Who Code. Definitely check out this organization that is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.
Thanks HubSpot for another great Inbound, and we'll see you next year for Inbound 2017!