Inbound ’13 Recap: 5 Takeaways From Hubspot’s Conference

By August 30, 2013Latest News

The much-anticipated Inbound ’13 has come to an end, and the internet has been all aflutter with recaps, very Hubspot-orange selfies, and Vine videos of motivational keynotes. If you weren’t able to make it this year, here is what you need to know, in a nutshell:

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  •  5,500 registered attendees over 4 days of programming
  • OneRepublic continued the “Inbound Rocks” tradition!
  • The overall theme was of generosity and social collaboration, as charity : water‘s Scott Harrison was a featured speaker and gave a compelling presentation.
  • There were no big releases this year from Hubspot, just more advice on how to use the software during the CEOs’ keynote. A few interesting features were added, including the Hubspot COS system (see below).

Marketers from all walks of life came to explore, learn, and–of course–play, with others in the industry and beyond. It was a remarkable effort from the Hubspot team, and we thank them for some amazing hospitality, as usual.

With numbers larger than ever, a collection of amazing speakers, and some kickin’ keynotes, Inbound ’13 was a marketing event for the ages. Here are five Conference takeaways from the Eustace Consulting team:

  • It’s Time to Delight

Similarly to Dreamforce ’13‘s projected theme, this year’s Inbound conference talked heavily of “delighting” your customers. Now that our society is so socially connected (even on-the-go), it isn’t possible to just provide “good” customer service anymore–you need to provide great customer service, and extras such as personalized options or extensive loyalty programs. Hubspot’s Mark Killens explored this topic in his keynote on “Pillars of [Customer] Delight,” which he defines as:

1. Product- Build something that is good (if not great) that people will love.

2. Communication- Personal is better than impersonal. Delight is about creating personal and authentic relationships with the people who use your brand.

3. Education- Teaching is better than neglecting. Teach people about your product, encourage them to give feedback and participate in your community.

  • Visualize

As nearly every social media platform has been saying, visual is the way of the future. Several keynoters–including Scott Harrison–mentioned the importance of a consumer visually connecting with your product or company. In his sector of non-profits, it’s incredibly valuable for donors to see the people they will be helping, and their conditions, in order to be taken out of their increasingly busy world.

  • Make It Personal

In a similar vein to “delighting,” it is now important not to think of your customers as just people or prospects, but as individuals with specific needs or wants (as you likely remember, this was also echoed in the Dreamforce ’13 promo video). This was a main theme in the CEOs’ keynote, as Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan encouraged users to collaborate and connect with the people who buy your product or service.

  • Optimize Content

–with Hubspot’s new Content Optimization System (COS)! Within the software, users can now give their content (ebooks, whitepapers, webpages, etc) context; the COS helps to personalize the content experience by tailoring the links and page elements to the specific lead or visitor. As echoed above, this new service helps you show customers that you think of their individual needs, and don’t expect them to fit into a pre-made, generic mold.

  • Inbound + Marketing?

This year’s programming seemed quite different from last year’s, in that the main speakers were not focused on marketing at all, but merely “inbounding.” Arianna Huffington, Scott Harrison, and Nate Silver (as well as many of the “Bold Talks” speakers) related inbound marketing concepts back to what they do, but didn’t really touch on marketing in its purest form. Instead, the conference focused more on the qualities inbound marketing favors, and how those can be used in life, social practices, and just business in general. Could this signal an emerging shift for Hubspot? We won’t be able to tell until next year’s conference, but it’s interesting to think about…


Arianna Huffington “wow”s the Inbound crowd.

Was there something you learned at Inbound ’13 that we didn’t mention? Tell us in the comments!