Last week, myself and a few other Aventri team members had the luxury to visit Boston for the week to attend Hubspot's Inbound Conference. With a group of first timers (and one returning attendee), we had a lot to learn and see as an organization. Below I'm going to break down the biggest takeaways and what some of our favorite parts were.
Introducing the Flywheel
Whether you attended Brian Halligan's keynote or not, you no doubt heard about the flywheel, aka the new marketing funnel. What is so exciting about the flywheel compared to the funnel is that it embraces an organization's biggest assets, your customers. Flywheels allow you to keep spinning and releasing energy instead of staying content once you reach the bottom of your funnel.
What's involved in the flywheel? Attract > Engage > Delight with Growth at the center. The main focus is on the delight stage where we are charged with continuing to engage with our customers on not only our product and services, but giving them content to help enhance their experience and build trust. Companies that do this well are focused on the user experience and how to delight their customers the most with accessibility, and a new experience. We need to learn how to make our customers more efficient and put the power in their hands in order to truly succeed in the marketing flywheel era.
Side note: We attended a networking event with New Breed marketing where we were just feet from Brian, and although we didn't get the chance to shake hands it was pretty awesome to be in his presence and see the excitement that he brought to the room.
"The biggest takeaway was to reduce friction. Friction inhibits growth; both Aventri’s growth and the growth of our clients. We have to look at our customer’s experience and ensure we are reducing friction with all of our forces. We must also help our clients reduce friction for their attendees through the enterprise Aventri platform. We will be working to identify the elements of Our Flywheel and Our Client’s Flywheels to identify friction and work to eliminate it." - John Kearney, Director of Go-to-Market Strategy - Aventri
"Find ways to outdo yourself on every project"
Each day at Inbound seemed to top the one before with the caliber of spotlights and keynote speakers that they secured. While we didn't attend every one, there were a few that each member had to be at and I'll give you the low down on one of my favorites from Lena Waithe.
Making history as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series for her work on Master of None, Lena is one of the biggest up and coming actresses, writers, and producers of our generation. I choose to attend her spotlight because I am a fan of her work, but I left her session inspired to do better in my everyday life.
As a leader for equality for women and the LGBTQA community, and overall just being an amazing dreamer, the biggest takeaway from her session was to always find ways to outdo yourself. It's easy always to be content with your work but you need to find ways to make your next project better than the first. It's about being your own competition.
One of the most important things I took from her was about looking for people to work with you that excite you, that are different and are able to provide another prospective that you maybe can not give. As a boss, I think this couldn't be more important because you don't want to find a bunch of "yous," you want to find a bunch of "not yous," so that when you collaborate, you are able to create something amazing.
"Inbound proved to be a conference filled with like-minded marketing and sales professionals. Everyone there was focused on growth, whether it be career or organizational development. The sessions were filled with strategic and tactical topics. Hubspot did a great job to teach best practices that help improve user adoption or support an organization’s business growth and ensure the audience can implement changes like rock stars. What I enjoyed most, was listening to Kenny Nguyen from ThreeSixtyEight discuss the importance of implementing an event strategy that aligns with your digital marketing strategy. All of his concepts were great and focused on helping marketers grow their business through events. As a marketing professional in the events industry, it’s exciting to see Hubspot also finds their attendees could benefit from improving their events strategy. It was great to see that session was packed!" - Marcella Lavras, Marketing Operations Associate - Aventri
Content, Ideas & Creativity is Contagious
Couldn't go through this post without addressing my favorite session: Marketing Buzz is Contagious: How to Build Buzz at Record Speed with Ben Kaplan. While there were a ton of sessions focused on contagious content and how to build marketing that really attracts a following (think back to the flywheel with delighting customers!), it was Ben's enthusiasm to the topic that had me connect with it the most.
There were a lot of good nuggets within this session, but the easiest takeaway that you can add to your next campaign to help it spread is to make sure that it's simple, surprising and significant. We need to find ways to make our product more relatable and something that is more easily digestible by the public. Additionally, be creative and jump on to bigger stories that are trending about your competitors. That's an easy way to go viral and steal the spotlight from your competition!
"Until recently, most of my experience has been in the Sales Operations world. Over the past couple weeks my role has evolved into managing Revenue Operations—which will now include Marketing Operations. Attending Inbound served primarily as a huge educational opportunity for me. This helped me understand the new trends, what Marketing Technology is hoping to solve, the pain points for Marketers, etc. More than anything, I understood how HubSpot can make a Marketing Professional’s day easier and more efficient. A tool like HubSpot creates more than just a customer base; it can create peace of mind which in turn creates advocates for your tool." - Saul Garcia, Sales Operations Manager - Aventri
Overall, Inbound provided a wealth of knowledge for our entire team. Being able to attend sessions by experts in their field and meet face-to-face a variety of companies gave us knowledge that we would have not had otherwise.
Until next year Inbound...