It’s been a wild, wonderful, team-building time in Boston.
During our three and a half day stay at Inbound, we saw new HubSpot software get released, we heard from amazing inbound marketing leaders who shared their knowledge, and we even saw Brian Halligan’s dog, Romeo, run around with a GoPro on his back.
But what did we learn? ? (Other than the important life lesson that GoldenDoodles with GoPros are adorable, of course.)
We’re not going to do a top ten takeaways blog post -- several other agencies and writers have covered that topic. But we do want to share what our team learned at Inbound, and how that can help your team.
Top Three Lessons We Learned From Inbound 2014
Combined, our team went to dozens of sessions, which allowed us to interact with other influential people in our field. After three and a half jam-packed days, we have more information to share than blog space, so we’ve narrowed it down to just three main lessons we learned at Inbound.
1. Great content is not only king, it’s a crucial part of the customer experience.
Many of the sessions at Inbound discuss this simple fact, but we feel it’s important to reiterate: customers need content. Unless someone has already decided it’s time to buy, the potential customer is still considering her options and weighing her choices --and that often means she’s looking for information about her problem, the solution, or the best way to find answers. Customers also know when they’ve stumbled on quality content and when they haven’t. Remember, they aren’t just looking for something, they’re looking for the right thing.
2. Strategy is vital.
Content has nowhere to go if strategy isn’t involved. 9 times out of 10, we are not in our ideal customer range -- especially marketers. While we are shoppers and we’ve made purchases before, it’s not uncommon to market something you’d never buy. Therefore, we need strategy to know how to answer the customer’s questions--questions we’ve never asked. Strategy involves market research, buyer personas, pre-planning content calendars, sure. But it also includes a deep understanding of SEO, new technology, and customer trends. Without a strategy, the content will be wrong.
We had the opportunity to hear Malcolm Gladwell speak about innovation, and we were excited to notice how his thoughts match with our beliefs. Content and strategy are incredibly important -- and innovation is the crown jewel. We can learn what customers should want, how to answer the questions they are most likely to ask, and how we can best fulfill their needs, but there is always room for innovation. There are times when we need to reconsider, reconnect, and reinvision -- just because something is traditional or common doesn’t mean it’s the best way. When we innovate, when we set aside traditional methods and look for new paths, we can be incredibly successful at meeting the needs of our customers.
In all, we think Inbound 14 was an incredible success, and we’re excited to learn more next year. Now it’s your turn to tell us your story: what is the most important thing you’ve learned working with a team? What is the best conference you’ve ever attended?