[UPDATED] Here’s who we’re excited to see at #INBOUND17

Posted by Samantha Steele

The annual Inbound Marketing conference - Hubspot’s INBOUND17 - is fast approaching, and our team is eager to gain knowledge and insights from some of the world's best marketing and sales aficionados.

 

Our team's back from Inbound, and they've brought back some great insights!

We've updated this post with key takeaways from each of the talks we were looking forward to at Inbound17. 


It’s that time of the year again. It seems like just a few months ago the greatest marketing minds from around the world descended on Boston, but already, #INBOUND17 is right around the corner...literally!

Taking place from the 25th of September to the 28th, HubSpot’s annual industry-leading marketing-a-palooza attracts more than 19,000 attendees looking to hear the best and brightest pros talk about everything from the complicated relationship between marketing and sales to tips for becoming an impactful leader.

Who’s all going?

The Spitfire squad is (almost) packed and ready to get this show on the road. This year, we’re sending our Managing Director, Strategic Director and Operations Manager. This fun trio is looking forward to learning about all that’s happening in the world of inbound marketing as well as working together to develop strategies for how our clients can benefit from product enhancements and features.

Why we’re excited!

Big names don’t always translate to big ideas, but the names up in lights at INBOUND17 represent some of the most interesting and well-respected minds in business, marketing and media today.

Those names? Those are just the keynote speakers! This year’s INBOUND17 conference will feature copious educational sessions led by everyone from the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, to handpicked members of HubSpot’s own highly lauded team, making the cast of characters every bit as diverse as they are pedigreed. INBOUND17 has helpfully put together a page of recommended agendas by industry, topic and attendee type.

Which talks are expected to keep us glued to our seats?

As always, we find ourselves wondering how we can get the most out of the action-packed week. It’s no small feat.

So, our team have lined-up a schedule of presentations that they don’t want to miss.

Darren Leishman | MD

Darren is our MD, sales extraordinaire and creative genius


Sell Smarter, Faster, and More with a Sales Playbook and These 5 Sales Plays | Dani Buckley - General Manager, LeadG2

Just like the best athletes, every salesperson should know the appropriate play to run in any given sales situation they encounter. This session is expected to cover the key chapters to include in our own sales playbook, and dive specifically into five foundational sales plays we can begin coaching them on. It is promised that the audience will leave knowing how to get started building a sales playbook, armed with examples and tactical steps so they can begin shortening and strengthening their organisation's sales process immediately.

Darren is very passionate about sales and believes this is area that he feels needs attention in the South African market. “Sales is undervalued as a profession, the result of this is that sales training and process are sometimes found to be lacking,” he revealed.

What were Darren's key takeaways from
Dani Buckley's talk?

  1. Companies should be moving toward an inbound sales approach to address the modern buyer's journey and buyer behaviour. Talk to your sales staff, talk to your customers and use the data  and information you gather to develop a simple strategy that communicates the right message, to the right person at the right time - helping nurture leads further down the sales funnel.
  2. Sales enablement offers companies a great opportunity to grow their business. 
  3. Marketing and sales alignment (smarketing) is crucial to your bottom line. Dani's talk was a validation around how important it is for your marketing team to support your sales team and vice versa. When this alignment is present, you can feel it. It provides a sense of ownership and a clear understanding of duties and responsibilities from each team. 
  4. Your sales team should be reffering to your marketing content on a daily basis.
Smarketing in action (case study): Charl Grobler (National Marketing and Product Planning Manager for Suzuki Auto South Africa), approached all of the sales staff from Suzuki dealerships around the country, to determined what they needed to be successful. Using this information, head office were able to develop marketing material that the sales staff could use to help them nurture and warm up their leads. This bottom up strategy created a cohesive, strongly aligned marketing and sales strategy which was fundamental to their success. Between October 2016 and October 2017, Suzuki acheived an 84% increase in sales and increased their marketshare from 1.6% to 2.17%.

Where Art and Marketing Intersect | Greg Stone - Owner, Stone Communications

What does Michelangelo have to do with marketing? Media consultant Greg Stone will share proven techniques to add punch to your promotional strategies - with help from great artists and writers. Based on his acclaimed book Artful Business: 50 Lessons From Creative Geniuses, this presentation is set to offers tips for the "thinking manager”- seeking new ideas.

Art and design have both played an important role in Darren’s life. He believes design thinking is critical to problem solving, and is therefore looking forward to being inspired by Greg.

What were Darren's key takeaways from
Greg Stone's talk?

  1. Free your staff up to do their best work. You hired them for their skills, trust their judgement. You can't micro-manage creativity, it destroys the creative process. Instead you need to guide and inspire your team to be creative. Fostering an environment condusive to creativity takes ownership from both management and staff.
  2. Try to think like a child. Rigid thinking and education crushes creativity.
  3. Stir emotions with your content, use metaphors and keep it simple.
  4. We respond more vigorously to exaggeration - the Peak Shift Effect
  5. "Inspiration will find you but it has to find you working" - Pablo Picasso. Having worked with creatives and the need for creative solutions, I've learnt that hard work produces inspiration. Laziness and tardiness doesn't breed creativity. In order to be truly creative you need routine, drive and the personal motivation to succeed.


Do Better, Not More: Creating High Value Content in the Peak Content Age
| Scott Meyer - Founder, 9 Clouds

Content marketing was a quantity game. Now, it's all about quality. Convey mastery to show up, stand out, and convert. We will be learning the model to create and distribute high-value content in a niche - including research studies, video courses, and case studies. 9 Clouds is the automotive inbound marketing leader using this model, despite no previous experience with cars.

There’s no way Darren is not going to listen to Scott. He’s a huge fan!

What were Darren's key takeaways from
Scott Meyer's talk?

  1. Create a niche for yourself. Perfect one thing, and become a master, rather than trying to create average content on 101 topics. 
  2. Create great content that adds value to your industry. Be a thought leader. There's an abundance of superficial information available on the internet. Our customers want focused, specialist, deep-dive information to help them make purchasing decisions.
  3. Great content should take a complex topic, and break it up into digestable, human information that the layman can easily understand. "Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart. - Joe Chernov.


Alison Leishman | Strategic Director

Alison is our data aficionado and scrapbooking queen

5 Copywriting Secrets, Backed by Psychology, That Tripled HubSpot Sales Revenue | Scott Tousley - Senior Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot

This is a behind-the-scenes peek at how HubSpot Sales tripled their revenue with copywriting and sales automation. The audience is expected to learn how Scott Tousley, Sr. Growth Marketer at HubSpot, leveraged psychological research to accelerate growth. We will also walk away with 5 copywriting frameworks to help us generate more leads, nurture leads into customers, and turn customers into promoters.

This being my third INBOUND, I have always found sessions from HubSpot to be helpful - and looking at this title, why would I miss it?” said Alison about this exciting session.

What were Alison's key takeaways from
Scott Tousley's talk?

  1. The Zeigarnik effect explains how not finishing things that we've started creates stress and discomfort. As marketers and slaes people we must always deliver on our promise to avoid leaving our prospects and customers feeling that we didn't finish what we started.
  2. Speak to your customers at least once a week. This will help you develop robust buyer personas. Personas need quantitative and qualitative data.  Your sales peeples insight are integral to creating robust buyer personas.
  3. Embrace your uniqueness. It's important to stand out, don't be afraid to take risks and do things differently. "The ultimate rish is safety" Seth Godin

What's Missing from your Message | Tamsen Webster - Executive Producer, TEDxCambridge

You know you need a message - your story. You know you need to tell it well, no matter the media...or meeting. You've read the books, seen the sessions, done the training. You have your solutions, you know the problems they solve, and yet still your message isn't connecting, or converting, the way it should. Why not? Because every message that works has a "Red Thread": key components that combine to create change. In this session, the audience will learn how to find their Red Thread and use it to tell their story.

Alison is looking forward to this session as it addresses finding the key components in all your messages that combine to create change.  

“Understanding how the various aspects of your message can form a catalyst of change appeals to my community based background as well as my love of research, strategy and data,” she said.

“Looking for insights is critical and understanding how to align these insights even more valuable.  I can’t wait to bring this back into our strategies for our clients as we share their stories.”

What were Alison's key takeaways from
Tamsen Webster's talk?

  1. As researchers we are always trying to close the gap and its time to start focusing on the gap.  We don't need to bridge the gap, we need to understand the gap and find creative solutions to move from A to B.
  2. Clear messages can be achieved in four steps: define your goal, define the problem, identify and describe the idea, and finally, list the actions which need to be taken to bring about the change. Remember, the change and the problem cannot be the reverse of each other.
  3. Knowledge can be a curse - just because you know and understand something, doesn't mean your audience does too. Always clarify everything.

Everyday Behavioral Science |  Brian Massey - Conversion Scientist, Conversion Sciences

The days of "Launch and See" campaigns are behind us. When behavioural data was expensive and time-consuming, this approach was justified. Today, you can answer almost any question you have about a campaign right from your desk, before you launch. In this session, Brian Massey makes the case for adding behavioural science to everyday campaign development, with specific tools and techniques. This is the proven science that will deliver online wins.

Alison revealed that focussing on conversion was a key takeaway for the Spitfire team last year. She is excited hear Brian’s insights into how we can use data on an ongoing and everyday basis to ensure that we are constantly working towards not only conversion, but also optimisation.

What were Alison's key takeaways from
Brian Massey's talk?

  1. The "launch and see" design cycle is dead. With so much data available to us, we can develop a clear picture of our ideal customers and their needs. 
  2. Use data before and after your launch - test all components of your designs and then use the analytics afterwards to direct future projects.
  3. A landing page has two jobs: to keep the promise you made to get the click and to ensure that the visitor makes a choice. Always A/B test!


Escaping the Sweatshop and Rediscovering Our Authentic Voice and the Stories that Count
 | Maria Keckler - Founder, Superb Communication

When content creation has become a sweltering sweatshop, it's time to pivot. It's time to go back to the epiphanies and authentic stories that inspired us to do what we do in the first place. It's time to rediscover our authentic voice, to cut through the marketing noise, and to reconnect once again with real people who want to do business with real people.

“I think quantity is a trap we can fall into, we need to guard against this and stay true to ourselves. I'm looking forward to finding out how Maria does this,” said Darren.

What were Alison's key takeaways from 
Maria Keckler's talk?

  1. We can't help bringing our home life to work, it's part of being human. It's very important to understand this and keep the workplace human. We cannot do great work if we remove the human element.
  2. Humility is the new confidence. Listen in order to learn things that you don't know - acknowledge that nobody knows everything about everything. 
  3. Finally - always celebrate.  Celebrate where you have come from and where you are now.


Sarah Mills | Senior Inbound Marketing Strategist & Operations Manager

Sarah is a lover of inbound marketing, fitness and sparkling wine #liveyourbestlife


7 habits of highly effective Hubspotters: Tips tricks and super hacks of the worlds best inbound marketers | George Thomas - Inbound & Brand Strategist, The Sales Lion

In this talk George B. Thomas will show us 7 powerful and effective ways organisations are turning HubSpot into a true inbound marketing machine. If you want to be a better HubSpotter this session is for you.

Sarah believes that in this industry, it's important to stay on top of trends and make sure you're providing the best returns for your clients. “Ultimately it's about the results,” she added. “So, hopefully this talk will give some handy insider tips that I can bring back to the team.”

What were Sarah's key takeaways from
George Thomas' talk?

  1. Educate and execute. If you're going to take the time to educate yourself, always make sure you put your learnings into practice.
  2. Embrace the video culture. 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos in a week. By 2019 video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
  3. Always be on the lookout for potential partnerships that will take your agency to the next level.

Flexibility is the future of feminism | Anna Auerbach  - Co founder and Co-CEO, Werk and Annie Dean - Co founder and Co-CEO, Werk

Companies and economists have overlooked flexibility as a solution to keep talented women in the workforce. We need to adapt workplaces to reflect the needs of a modern workforce. Anna and Annie’s research shows that by creating and implementing meaningful, strategic flexibility, we can increase the number of women CEOs in the fortune 500 from 5% to 25% in 20 years. We'll be closer than ever to equal representation in leadership across every sector-public and private.

“A flexible working environment is one that we encourage at Spitfire Inbound, it's a big selling point to potential talent, and it enables staff to work at the best, when they work at their best,” Sarah said. Therefore, she can barely wait to hear Anna and Annie’s insights as to how Spitfire can grow and contribute to the female workforce based on our company culture.

What were Sarah's key takeaways from
Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean's talk?

  1. Flexibility is crucial in the workplace. 
  2. Hiring the right talent gives your company a competitive edge. Flexibility drives growth and helps with hiring the right talent, especially when dealing with Millennials.
  3. South Africans are too ridgid with their business practices. We still follow a very traditional, corporate model. It's time to move with the times and understand that there's no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to your staff.

Leading unbeatable teams | Curt Cronin - CEO, Kaizen International

Every team and organisation is unique. A former SEAL Team Leader will share his experiences on the team and how it translates into root principles and best practices that have helped businesses in diverse industries become more effective, productive and cohesive.

“Learning how to lead an unbeatable team from a former SEAL Team Leader will definitely be a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from someone who's built teams to last who are effective, productive and cohesive,” said Sarah.

What were Sarah's key takeaways from
Curt Cronin's talk?

  1. Lead by example - swallow your ego and give up control. Control is the hardest thing to give up in life,  but it’s 100% worth it.
  2. Let each person's strength become the strength of the team - this will override any weaknesses.
  3. Have a plan and a purpose in place for your team - people will adapt to this.
  4. If you want your business to be focused, you need to take time out of your business to re-focus yourself.


There’s not a shred of doubt that #INBOUND17 will be an epic experience. You too can get in on the rad action by subscribing to our blog for live updates.

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