INBOUND 2022: The Future of Marketing & Beyond

By Kerry Eagan September 15, 2022 Industry EventsMarketing

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HubSpot’s INBOUND 2022 was back in person for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, and our marketing team was excited to travel to Boston for the conference. Joining approximately 10,000 other eager marketers in person (with an estimated 60,000 attending virtually) we experienced an electric atmosphere filled with continuous sessions, numerous HubSpot vendors and unlimited networking opportunities.

Attendees heard from top industry leaders in marketing and business about the state of the industry, current trends and future predictions. Each session featured a diverse group of topics ranging from email marketing to sales enablement, but some common themes stood out throughout the conference. Here are the key takeaways and themes from this year’s event.

Connectivity and Community

The conference began with the idea of connectivity and became prevalent throughout many sessions. Yamini Rangan, CEO of HubSpot, walked through the importance of integrating connections throughout a business. This idea refers to ensuring every platform you use complements each other; every department in your business is aligned; and ultimately, building and nurturing connections within your audience and community.

The theme continued during a session about the future of business growth with Rob Giglio, HubSpot CCO, and Emilie Wells, CMO of Triage Staffing, about the power of HubSpot as a portal for connectedness. The platform can be leveraged as a CRM to connect data from disparate systems to drive more targeted and meaningful communications. The pair also mentioned the importance of building community and utilizing HubSpot to foster relationships and build trust within their audience.

Another session about creativity in B2B marketing addressed the amount of digital fatigue everyone has been experiencing over the past few years. The greatest way to break through the clutter is to forge emotional connections through the content you produce and the relationships you nurture. This idea of building a community and ensuring all aspects of your operation are connected will be more prevalent moving forward.

Privacy and Trust

Privacy has been a growing concern among consumers for years but has recently moved to the forefront of the conversation. The ways that brands collect and use data is a topic that businesses can no longer ignore. This statement became evident when Apple rolled out its new privacy feature, allowing consumers to hide their emails and personal data from companies. The push toward online privacy is only expected to continue when Google removes third-party cookies in Chrome, the most used browser worldwide. Not surprisingly, privacy and trust were a big topic of conversation among marketers at INBOUND.

According to a recent study from Statista, having control over one’s data coupled with increased data transparency are the top two ways that brands can increase trust with consumers. In a session with Google, we learned that one study found that two-thirds of consumers surveyed do not trust companies to safeguard their data online. It was also evident that companies that are investing in privacy solutions are improving trust with their audience. The shift of importance to first party was clear through many sessions. In order to build trust with consumers, businesses need to begin relying more on the data that consumers willingly give.

The subject of building trust went beyond just data. In a session about the future of sales and marketing, the discussion revolved around becoming a voice of trust for consumers. In order to grow that relationship, you must be willing to talk about what others don’t, show what others don’t and sell in a way others won’t. With more skepticism towards brands than ever before, nurturing confidence with your audience is essential for success.

Self-Service Capabilities

The final theme that stood out to the team was the growing importance of incorporating self-service capabilities into your business processes. The modern consumer is looking for faster, easier and more frictionless experiences – think the “Amazon” model. One session emphasized the significance of making self-service a significant part of your customer experience.

Another session showcased that by allowing the prospect to walk themselves through the sales cycle, the number of leads increased exponentially compared to previous years. In an age where people crave simplicity and ease within their buying process, the area of self-service will continue to grow in importance in the future.

The crowd at INBOUND 2022 left the conference feeling excited about the future of the industry and our marketing team was no different. We are thankful for the valuable insights and advice received throughout the event and look forward to continuing to position our clients within the market successfully.

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