Last week, I had the pleasure of traveling to HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference. As a HubSpot Agency Partner, the realm of possibility seemed endless as I entered through the doors of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and into the world of inbound. INBOUND 2017 could be summed up in three words: inspiration, innovation and imagination. Oh, and free massages.
There were a vast number of topics covered by the many influential speakers at INBOUND, such as Michelle Obama, John Cena, Piera Gelardi and more. Several key emerging trends stood out to me throughout my sessions and breakouts at INBOUND. It is likely that marketers and salespeople alike can expect to see all of these emerging trends in 2018 and beyond.
The Customer Experience
Now more than ever, customers expect to be “wowed” during their purchasing experiences. Every day, brands must compete with best-in-class customer experiences, even if they aren’t with direct competitors. As Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer at Pepsi, said, “We compete with the latest song of Beyoncé, with the latest telephone from Samsung or Apple. We compete for mindshare and relevance in the life of people.” Brands must find gaps and opportunities along the customer journey for chances to impress customers. This turns a purchase into a memorable experience that will keep customers coming back for more.
Trust and Influencer Marketing
If inbound marketing brings customers to your doorsteps, then influencer marketing invites them inside for a cup of coffee. Promise Phelon of TapInfluencer defines influencer marketing as the use of key leaders, or influencers, to drive your brand’s message to your target audience. After all, nearly 74% of people turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions. When brands tap into their network of brand ambassadors and build relationships with premium influencers, customers are more likely trust that brand as the marketing feels organic.
Overcoming Marketing Norms
As marketers, we all have this preconceived notion about what tools and metrics work, and which do not. Rand Fishkin of Moz challenged us to “cultural conditioning” in marketing to further our skillsets and enhance our digital marketing reach. For example, the easiest-to-measure channels (PPC and email marketing), often have the lowest conversion rates in comparison to difficult-to-measure channels like SEO and content marketing. To overcome this hurdle, Fishkin recommends focusing on trajectory and growth for difficult channels, as they take time to show results that often pay back in dividends. Just because ROI isn’t instantly positive does not mean the channel is ineffective.
Last, but certainly not least, HubSpot announced several new products set to release in Q4 and 2018. Some key products include:
- The revamped HubSpot Sales Professional
- With more robust automation and sophisticated management tools, HubSpot has finally created an enterprise CRM to compete with Salesforce. Buy this one now before prices jump on November 1st.
- HubSpot Conversations
- Located in HubSpot CRM free, Conversations is a shared inbox that allows your entire team to easily manage and communicate with customers. Look for this product in 2018.
- The HubSpot Customer Hub
- HubSpot's answer to the final stage of the customer journey: delight. This new platform will enable marketers to communicate and engage more effectively with their customers within HubSpot. Look for this product in 2018.
- HubSpot CMS
- HubSpot is changing its COS to a CMS. Updated with the developer in mind, the revamped HubSpot CMS is built to grow alongside your website. Look for new updates in the coming months.
Interested in more about INBOUND 2017? Contact Falls Digital for a detailed overview and see where your new marketing opportunities lie with HubSpot.