Posted: September 17, 2015
Last week I was able to attend INBOUND15, HubSpot’s Inbound Conference. Overwhelmed and wide eyed during the first day (or two) of the conference, I was a first-timer who mostly walked around gaping at the sheer amount of marketers navigating the convention center. Towards the end of the conference, I was no longer a dumbstruck attendee. I felt like an inbound pro – armed with a scribble-filled notebook, HubSpot pen and a seemingly permanent cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand. It didn’t take long before I found myself in great company. I may be a bit biased but I truly believe there is no other group of people who are more motivated, driven and inspiring than marketers. Let me explain…
I used “spunk” but call it “je ne sais quoi,” “gumption,” or whatever you want to use. Simply said – marketers have this special gift of thinking outside of the box, questioning everything and putting a branded-spin on it.
Day in and day out, there are marketing professionals everywhere being told there isn’t enough analytical data to prove their idea is a good one or perhaps they’re just given a simple, “no.” We have to get up every day and look for that next big idea or how to make content work for our client’s bottom line, despite the naysayers.
At INBOUND15, this “get up, show up and work harder” spirit was all around. Todd Rowe, Managing Director at Google, gave one of my favorite sessions on this topic, “How Google Drives a Culture of Innovation.”
During it, he said, “Innovation cannot be ordained however you can create an environment where it will evolve organically.” He continued to explain that most companies fail because they do one thing well but don’t think of the next thing or broaden their mission. It’s up to us to make sure we find the ‘next big thing’ but that’s not all. It’s also up to us to make sure that we’re all cultivating an environment that encourages us both professionally and personally.
We have to be afraid not to fail, not to break the rules and not to give up. There are people telling us “no” but if the attendance at INBOUND15 tells us anything, it’s that there are enough people telling us “yes, keep going.”
Trends change, social platform algorithms change and platform capabilities change. You know what doesn’t change? The fact that, as marketers, we have to keep learning and educating ourselves on these changes.
The lines to get into the INBOUND15 sessions about correctly utilizing platforms such as Twitter or Slideshare for marketing or using analytics to ensure your content is effective for your target markets were wrapped around the building. Believe it or not, there was even a session called, “The Neuroscience of Memorable Content.”
Needless to say, a good marketer doesn’t pull hashtags out of thin air and hope for the best. We understand our personas, our brands and how to effectively and appropriately reach them. We understand that our marketing strategy from 2014 sure as hell won’t work in 2016.
We need to constantly consume information on what’s new, what’s old and what just won’t work when it comes to the industry. We’re a hungry group of people and you can bet that if we don’t know something, we’ll do whatever we can to find it out.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t absolutely thrilled to see celebrities such as Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer and Seth Godin speak. I may even tell you that I woke up early to catch a cab to see Aziz or I stood in Club INBOUND for almost 2 hours waiting for a good seat to see Amy. But some of the most awe-inspiring keynote speakers were on par with the people I met at INBOUND15 and continue to meet online.
If you were at INBOUND15 and you’re a marketer, chances are you were actively following and participating in conversations around #INBOUND15 on Twitter. Those attendees who used the hashtag, used it to share key takeaways from their sessions, let others know if there was an Encore session open for a previously full class, or to share words of encouragement.
We went out of our way to tweet information out that would benefit other marketers. We wanted to share the exciting things we learned. It’s inspiring to me to be surrounded by likeminded people who want to ‘share the wealth’ and ensure we’re all the best we can be.
It made me want to tweet, share and chat with everyone I came in contact with to make sure they learned what I learned. I wanted everyone to know how to use UTM analytics for better content and how to elevate their marketing strategy on Twitter. Sure, some people just wanted to talk about the food trucks parked on Lawn on D but if you wanted to hear about setting up your social monitoring stream in HubSpot, I was your girl.
Inspiration can be found if you just know where to look and I found it in places I never expected while at INBOUND 15.
All in all, INBOUND15 was a success in every aspect. I left Boston with an understanding of how to be a better agency partner for my clients, how to create data-backed content for my client’s markets and how to use social platforms more effectively. I learned that inspiration doesn’t just happen on a stage but it happens through hashtags, in conversations, in session lines and next to food trucks. I found that INBOUND15 made me a better person, both professionally and personally.
This post was written by K. Fodera, Digital Content Manager at PUSH 22.