A few of us from Red Clay Interactive are at INBOUND 2016 in Boston, one of the biggest marketing conferences ever. INBOUND is celebrating 10 years, and sitting in the conference floor right now I’m surrounded by 19,000 people from 92 countries who are hungry to learn – learn new strategies to create markets, improve sales, and launch tactics that will let them win. The whole experience has already taught me a lot in the first 24 hours. There’s going to be tons more to share from nearly every speaker here, but I want to share some of the outstanding high points that have me excited about what’s to come.
First – Marketers drink a lot of coffee. Like, a stupid amount amount of coffee. Water bottles are scarce. RIP my kidneys.
Second – Even a technology conference has glitches. From their highly-promoted mobile apps not syncing to our registered schedules, to holding hundreds of people from a room because the scanning app isn’t playing nice, to presentations straight up not working – even the tech pros have things go sideways.
Third – Having a conference during election is bound to have some opinions. Straight up ditching your prepared speech and winging it while waxing political has left a bad taste in my mouth. Lots of people here paid money to learn from industry leaders, not have a platform to stump from (and judging from the hashtag, I know I’m not the only one).
Fourth – Marketing Technology will transform companies in the next decade – whether you invest in it or not is up to you. If you invest, you’ll almost certainly grow and increase your business and establish new markets. If you don’t invest, you’ll run the ways of companies that chose not to evolve – names like Kodak and Blockbuster come to mind.
My High Points
Tons of knowledge from Gary Vee, Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah the keynotes speakers. They could all be separate blog posts (and probably will be when our team has time to discuss – our team here has a lot of writing to do).
Data is everywhere in these talks – from using data to establish and inform marketing strategies, to collecting it on leads and customers, to using data for automating and decision making – incorporating data will be the next decade of growth. Data comes in many forms (sources, engagement, touch points, and more) and are all valuable inputs that can be acted on.
Automation will have a big impact. Items such such as automatically inspecting lead data and prioritizing leads based on behaviors and triggers will become more automatic and common. Interaction with chatbots on apps like Slack are here now – and these chatbots can do things such as:
- fetch data and display charts from Google Analytics
- create blog posts in draft mode (so no more forgotten posts!)
- hook into CRMs to pull clients in cities you’re traveling to for conferences (like Boston!)
- observing you called a client from a CRM log and prompting you for notes (“How did that call with Brian go earlier?”)
- observing trends in traffic and asking for actionable items (examples include “Your latest post is having higher conversions than normal – should we spend $100 to promote it on social?”)
Attention is the new currency. You have to create content WHERE the attention is. If attention shifts from a TV show to Snapchat during a commercial, your marketing must take advantage of that (and also importantly, know that shift happens!)
I’ve got pages and pages of notes I can’t wait to discuss with my fellow Red Clay folks and clients alike.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go drink some coffee – er, water.