INBOUND 2019 is on the books and it was probably the best year yet. This marketing event has changed over the years, and there were more than 26,000 people attending this year, up from just a few thousand in the first year. There were two main things I really liked at this conference. One was that Alexis Ohanian talked about fatherhood and how men aren’t a babysitter, a theme that constantly comes up in my own life as a father. The second was when Sal Khan, Founder of the popular online school Khan Academy, talked about what it was like to hear that his company was being talked about by Bill Gates and further showed the power of being excited about education, showing videos from all over the country and the world with students celebrating their grades. INBOUND2019 was full of inspirational moments and real, valuable connections.
There are always new ideas and products to learn about at INBOUND, and sometimes that interaction is what gets people there in the first place.
“This was the first year that we were able to let our customers pick what was on the announcement list,” says Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing at HubSpot. “We were able to announce a slew of improvements like attribution reporting for marketers — the thing that allows you to say that this social media post or this video or this email actually contributed to revenue — you are able to draw the line down all the way to dollars. You’re able to justify your work and to get credit for it.”
“Then there was advocacy automation,” says Anderson. “Our customers are our best marketers. You go out there and trust a friend for a recommendation on what to buy, and this helps you to surface customers who are really happy. Then you can ask those customers to share their experiences on review sites. On the inverse, you can also find customers who are less happy and reach out to find why they aren’t happy and try to turn that around. Customers are what really build momentum for your business, and by getting really smart and tailored around who’s doing well and who’s not we can then empower those people.”
LinkedIn and Customer Experience at INBOUND
Bringing marketing inline with sales is a key feature of this event. These are often two parts of a business that don’t always agree, so forming new channels to keep them in line with each other can lead to greater business success. In the LinkedIn Lounge, this was the top priority.
“At a high level we are really talking about how sales and marketing come together to create better customer experiences to drive business growth forward,” says Kelly Mcettrick Head of Adtech Channel Sales for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. “On the marketing side, it’s really about getting started with your page and business presence on LinkedIn to establish that foundation. Then, how do you really get started with ads to accelerate that foundation that you have built. So we have a lot of programming about lead generation, branding, and all those important parts for building successful long-term sustainable businesses. Then we talk about how to tie that back to your sales team to make those things work together as core pillars of business.”
“I particularly like our lounge space that we have created, but I also like how when Inbound creates their content and you look at the sessions they have created they are doing a really great job of bringing in practitioners on the marketing front but also inspirational speakers to talk about how marketing can better connect with their customers,” says Kaitlin Stich, Partner Marketing Lead for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. “That’s incredibly valuable and they bring all types of industry experts to do that — my favorite is Chip and Joanna Gaines on Friday — I think bringing in speakers like that highlights the opportunity for businesses to be more conversational with their customers. That is really what this conference is about and that’s some of the value that LinkedIn is bringing with the products we are demonstrating here.”
Lessons From INBOUND 2019
This conference has proven to be especially valuable to marketers and general businesspeople over the years, and each year’s offerings seem to increase in value. Here’s what some other participants had to say about INBOUND 2019:
“There is so much new technology being rolled out every single day and sometimes it’s overwhelming,” says Tayla Andrè, Speaker, Media personality, and Real estate agent.
“These past four days really put in perspective how to properly roll out content that will increase my productivity visibility and connectivity to my followers.”
“The value of INBOUND for us is multifaceted,” says Nili Molvin Zaharony, Co-Founder and CMO of Penguin Strategies, HubSpot Diamond Agency Partner. “Over the course of four days, we are able to expand our agency’s offerings with new partnerships, share knowledge with other marketers as speakers, learn from our peers, and meet 1:1 with members of HubSpot’s executive staff to share ideas that directly translate into action and improvements. It is a truly unique opportunity for us to grow our business and share with the marketing community.”
“I have attended many conferences in social media marketing,” Says Adobe Education Leader and Founder of Classroom Without Walls, Dr. Ai-Addyson Zhang. “However, few truly create a wow-experience. Inbound is such an exceptional conference that educates, entertains, and inspires! I love the diverse range of speakers that come from a variety of backgrounds. You learn a lot about social media and digital marketing, but you also feel so inspired by the individuals who have made a mark in their industry. I especially love how HubSpot and HubSpot Academy are making an effort to diversify their selection of speakers and to walk their talk of the importance of diversity. Kudos to INBOUND19. I cannot wait for INBOUND20.”
Photos Courtesy of HubSpot