The ‘Grow with HubSpot’ London event was indeed the hulking example of what this American software giant terms ‘Big Rock’ content.
As one of 300 or so name-tagged, freebie’d-up marketers attracted to this complimentary flagship event I left engaged, informed, valued (CEO Brian and I chatted for a couple of minutes over lunch) and nurtured (not to mention well-nourished). After the event itself they sure went to work with actively breaking up and rolling out pieces of this experience through an array of communication channels; snapshot to in-depth videos, presentation decks, photos, product updates, follow-up email invites and more.
Rather than give you a blow-by-blow, or should I say stone-by-stone, account, this would be my very own output of the day:
The shrewd and relatable topics approached first by the sunny Kipp Bodnar (CMO) kicked things off on how inbound marketing heralds in a new era of trust between marketers and consumers. Namely, how it demands more lovable programs and insists on a more human approach. Gone are the days of spamming, cold calling and all that abiding noise that’s turned us into ad zombies. Consumers need now to be roused and captured with greater personalisation, non-intrusiveness, subtle relevancy and context, always.
“This is our opportunity to make marketing and sales more lovable” – a rousing statement from Kipp Bodnar who wants to work in a more trustworthy industry. But where the motivations remain the same, will big data create more trust, or just precision?
CEO Brian Halligan then took over by galvanising us under explanations that the way people buy has completely changed, reiterating how marketers can now only sell with context and with permission. He made his argument backed up with statistics from 2006 and those in 2016, the categorical point being the drop in Fortune 500 companies over the past 10 years to just 186 in this year. What’s indisputable is that the business landscape is changing beyond recognition, and where it is becoming harder and harder to access your audience – desk phones are obsolete (WTF is a voicemail in this day and age?), ad blockers, growth in informal peer networks, the App boom is over, accessing information through robots and messaging apps not browsers – it’s a content and distribution game now, and before you start playing you need to know all you can about your audience.
The day’s rallying speeches, breakout sessions, live Q&A with business leaders who use HubSpot, a ‘fireside chat’ with Jason Miller from LinkedIn, product demo desks, all reaffirmed how content marketing is the cornerstone of the new inbound world. Not only that, but effective content has to be lovable, requiring continual self-reflection, trustworthiness, real audience research, joined-up planning, proper measurement and intelligent distribution.
by Sophie Goddard