The wonderful experience of a somehow new yet familiar long-haul flight from the US back to New Zealand gave me plenty of time to unpack the multitude of ideas triggered by this year's INBOUND conference in Boston.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar, INBOUND is the creme-de-la-creme of conferences that brings together HubSpot partners, customers, sales and marketing professions from all across the globe).
Even though 2022 was a bit smaller than the last in-person event, there were still 10,000 people, including President Barack Obama ~flex~ at this year's conference. It makes my hometown of Feilding look pretty small! Anyway, here are some of my key takeaways.
The desire to connect
HubSpot has identified an increase in desire for people to connect - haven’t we all! This is being reflected not only amongst their customers but all of us. “Community” was a recurring buzzword and theme. For me, this reinforced the importance of personable, friendly customer interactions that leave customers feeling understood.
Customers aren’t what they used to be
Another big talking point was the prospective customer; in this day and age our potential customers are far more knowledgeable than they were five years ago. Options and information are always at our fingertips; that’s why it’s more important now than ever to have a well focussed and equipped sales team that maximizes the value in every lead.
Data clean up
There’s a new mantra when it comes to our data; unless it’s useful, it’s basically useless!
Most businesses have plenty of data that 1) means nothing and 2) from which they can’t get any value. The good news is there are new tools coming to help us all keep our data tidy, like data modelling tools (for the nerds amongst us). Soon we’ll be able to visualise the way our data comes together and relates to itself in HubSpot.
Of course the first response from the team at Cradle was “pics or it didn’t happen” - unfortunately we were under a strict ban on papping Mr President. Obama was an absolute highlight.
HubSpot founder Brian Halligan opened the talk by asking Obama what he thought of the current climate of the US and how leaders before him would perceive it?
Applying this thinking to a company, you realise that as a CEO, a founder, a leader, your job is to set a direction, to give heading in that direction meaning and then support and empower your team to go there together.
If you've got any questions about the conference or ideas I've mentioned here, feel free to get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org