INBOUND 18: Our Favorite Sessions & Key Takeaways

For inbound marketers, the biggest event of the year is HubSpot’s INBOUND conference. And PALO Creative was there! With hundreds of inspiring breakout sessions to choose from, we got up close to new and exciting marketing strategies and learned so much more about consumer behavior.

What is INBOUND?

Inbound is an annual conference bringing together people passionate about marketing, selling and delighting customers in an inspiring way. This year’s event attracted over 24,000 people and included breakout sessions from industry influencers such as award-winning and best-selling author, Shonda Rhimes and HubSpot’s very own co-founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.

Key Takeaways & Breakout Sessions

The event kicked-off with Deepak Chopra, a world renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and human empowerment. He spoke about the building blocks for happiness at work, how to cope with everyday stress and how we can take charge of our emotions. During the presentation, Chopra shared the 6 pillars of physical wellbeing: sleep, movement, emotions, nutrition, biological grounding, and stress management and how each one can affect us in everyday work and home life. Chopra provided attendees with a fresh outlook, setting the tone for the remaining marketing conference.

“Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.” – Deepak Chopra

Other inspiring speakers included Founder of iSocialFanz, Brian Fanzo, and best-selling author, Marcus Sheridan. Fanzo explained the importance of focusing on the experience we provide our customers. Putting more energy into this key initiative can help build trust and loyalty among those involved with our business and helps create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. He further reminded attendees that prices can be matched, products can be imitated, but the experience you provide customers is what sets you apart.

“Be the one thing others can’t.. Yourself.” – Brain Fanzo

Sheridan touched on a similar concept that goes hand in hand with customer experience. The theme? Trust. He explained that in order to get people to do business with you – you have to first get them to trust you. Sheridan’s advice on how to work towards this is focused on using content marketing to address every question a person might have about your business. This includes answering questions about issues individuals can expect when they buy your product or service, sharing your secret sauce and personalizing your messaging.

“Trust is always the answer.” – Marcus Sheridan

Of course, we can’t forget about the inspiring session from former Vice Chair of GE, Beth Comstock. Comstock is recognized as one of the most innovative business people across many industries. Her belief that organizational change starts with the self has strengthened the foundation of GE with new and exciting approaches to conducting business. Comstock has become a navigator for change, infusing her life and work with the art of discovery. Her session communicated the mindset needed to lead efforts of growth and development. She also stated that failure is learning and learning opens up a path for success. 

“Change happens when you give yourself permission to imagine a better future – and then you make it happen.” – Beth Comstock

Lastly but certainly not least, Co-founder of HubSpot, Brian Halligan walked through the next evolution of the marketing funnel. While the traditional funnel focuses on a more linear path to growth, the new model is circular, hence the newly branded name, the flywheel.

Although retiring the widely used traditional funnel has been a touchy subject for marketers, this new flywheel visual represents an ongoing circular motion where customers feed growth rather than representing a one-time, end goal for growth. 

The old funnel shows customers as an output, when we all know customers are actually an input to our business in today’s day and age.” – Brian Halligan