INBOUND2021: Cookies, Email, HubSpot & SEO - a round up from South Africa

Here’s a full roundup of Spitfire Inbound's key insights and learnings from INBOUND21 day 1.

INBOUND’s annual conference was everything we’ve been looking forward to all year - and more! The second year running that the event has been held remotely, our team members enjoyed the sessions from different locations. Here’s a full roundup of our key insights and learnings from INBOUND21 day 1.

With the global remote work shift firmly in place, this is the second year running that INBOUND is being hosted virtually, and we’re following suit. 

Last year, we set up “pods” in various locations around Johannesburg where team members could enjoy INBOUND20 together and this year, we’re following the same formula, with three added locations: Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Toronto - have a look at the post from Sara as she attends her first INBOUND.

Day 1 takeaways

Inbound2021 Home page

Day 1 included some of our firm favourites like Yamini Ranjan, Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan in the HubSpot Spotlight, as well as some new speakers like Tony Verre: Killer SEO strategies through product design methodology, Chris Savage and John Lee Dumas: Why remote work is more toxic than in person lessons for leaders and Alex Moore: No more cookie cutter marketing.

The HubSpot Spotlight was packed with all the cool things we can expect from HubSpot over the coming months and Spitfire Strategic Director, Alison Leishman, covered these HubSpot product updates in this article.

Here are some of our favourite highlights from the HubSpot Spotlight session:

Dharmesh Shah we need to talk


Tweet with Yamini Rangan from Ali Leishman

Grow Better with HubSpot

This is fine


Team East

Team East people

Spitfire Inbound Strategic Advisor, Alison Leishman was manning the East Rand pod together with Lindi and Darren. Here are some of her key insights from Day 1 from the session with Alex Moore: No more cookie cutter marketing , on what we must do now:

Get back to basics - reporting and data analytics, segment, personalise and use HubSpot. Measure, test, adjust and repeat. 

Optimise your tech stack - organise your data in your CRM, mobilise your data with automation, activate this with targeting and analyse and adjust. Start with your CMS - HubSpot allows you to integrate with the other hubs which makes it really powerful. CRM and marketing automation are in the same bucket - you need both and they need to work together. Make sure these two are tightly connected. 

Next is AdTech. This is going to be really important as you understand how they use cookies. Lastly is the UX/UI/Dashboarding tech stacks - hugely important to understand the UX and use Google Analytics to its full potential.  HotJar is vital. These tools will help you navigate and save time on marketing.

Leverage Account Based Strategies - use ABM to accelerate your flywheel! Flip your funnel - be targeted! This is where sales and marketing get together to talk about who and how you target accounts and activate. Why ABM? It simplifies display advertising, if allows us to extend HubSpot and it is non-cookie centric. Pick an ABM tech where cookies are not the core! Use context signals, use Geo targeting and leverage other onboarding technologies. 

HubSpot integrates with LinkedIn - you can match in HubSpot without third party cookies. BrandGen is another approach as it’s more programmatic in nature.

How do we move forward:

  • Step 1 - Understand the state of cookies
  • Step 2 - Find out how you are using them
  • Step 3 - Build your own first party data was chest
  • Step 4 - Future proof your marketing strategy

Team West

Team West People

Lauren Espach, Social Media and Digital Content Manager at Spitfire Inbound hosted the West Rand pod with some members of the Spitfire social media team, including Laeveil Anderson and Kgomotso Dibetso.

Here’s what she thought of the Day 1 sessions:

I mostly attended the content tracks and really enjoyed learning about the different methods we can use to get a deeper understanding of the user’s pain points - which in turn will help boost SEO marketing efforts and increase the chance of being ranked higher in Google search results. We can expect another major Google algorithm change in the next few months, which will change the way we’ve been marketing in the past. We’re moving away from keywords and more towards user intent. Website content will need to be meatier, more in-depth, speak to expertise and solve the user’s unique problems. I’m excited to try out some of these new methods, and see what’s in store for SEO in the near future. 

Another stand out for me was Jay Schwedelson’s session: Email myths busted. These are my highlights from the session:

Bookend emojis really work - These work right now in 2021 because it makes your brand stand out - even (and especially) if you’re a B2B company. Real humans are on the other side of your email.

Send the same email out twice a day  - This way, you’ll reach a completely different set of people, and this can increase your open rates! Morning people vs. evening people. 

Set up your “friendly from” address - From addresses matter. You want to edit your friendly from email address to come from a real person, and you can amend this to include your campaign or offer directly in your from address. Contrary to popular opinion, you won’t annoy your customer, rather you’re keeping your brand top of mind and you’re personalising your email content, tailoring it to your buyer persona.

Team Office

Team in the office

The in-office team were experiencing INBOUND for the very first time, and we’re so excited that they got to immerse themselves and join in the learning experience.

Melanie Quitowitz, Inbound Implementer, had the following key takeaways from Alex Moore’s: No more cookie cutter marketing:

  • First party data for the win!
  • Cookies today. Cohorts tomorrow (3rd party data targeting and custom audiences)!
  • It’s all about the user experience
  • Accelerate your flywheel using ABM targeting and engagement.

Team Cape Town 

Team in Cape Town

Team Cape Town was attended by Spitfire Inbound Implemeter, Chaz Driessel, Spitfire Inbound Strategic Advisor, Jayde Troskie, and one of our favourite clients, Natalie Leblond from Rentokil Initial. 

Key takeaways from Carly Potock and Charlene Tassinari: Creativity thrives in constraint: how successful brands create video content:

  • Design under assumption: keep mobile in mind
  • Keep the pace
  • Always use your text to highlight your key messaging 
  • Remember your CTA 
  • If something is a move toward a platform, you need to be doing it
  • Open with a high impact visual
  • Keep to or under 15 seconds for videos

“My key takeaways from INBOUND21 Day 1 is that you need to listen to learn about your team members to love them. And that you need to leave things better than you found it always. Also that remote work isn't toxic if you have the right processes in place, which is why Spitfire thrives in our remote work culture.” - Louisa Tu Toit, Spitfire Inbound RevOps Manager

We’ll be sharing more key insights and learnings from the team, as well as some of our clients over the course of the next few days. So far, we’re loving INBOUND21 - it’s going deeper into customer relationship management and how to apply the inbound marketing methodology to everything we do, helping our customers grow better.

Keep up to date with the latest INBOUND21 news and our key insights and takeaways from this year’s event.

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