8 Vital Lessons from INBOUND15

As a newbie to the INBOUND conference, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The majority of my clients are not Hubspot users, let alone fanatics, which meant that much of the product-centric content would have little appeal. Coupling that with the fact that I'm far from a newbie to the digital marketing space, (closer to dinosaur) I wasn't sure how much there was to learn, or if what was presented would have relevance in my day-to-day job function. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that investing a week into the conference yielded more than I thought, both for the agency and for our clients.

Lesson 1: 

Sometimes we are so focused on the sales or marketing goal, we forget about the relationship. Building the relationship with the prospect, customer or partner is the most important goal to achieve. Once you have a relationship, you can meet any other goal you set.

Lesson 2: 

As marketers, we are full of creative (sometimes even brilliant) ideas for our clients. Don't get so caught up in the idea that you forego the time to research it. Research and data are vital to making a great idea into a great campaign.

Lesson 3: 

In today's very public world, every comment you make and every image you share is a part of your brand. While you shouldn't hesitate to share because of this, you should carefully filter what you share and how you share it to make sure that what you are putting out to the world comes back with the right representation to your brand.

Lesson 4: 

Twitter is more than a conversational platform, it can be a wonderful research tool. If you're wondering how your campaign ideas might fly to your audience, test them on Twitter first. The cream will rise to the top quickly on Twitter, and you can plan better with that data.

Lesson 5: 

This advice applies to agencies as well as many of our clients. We are sometimes so caught up in what it takes to run our businesses, we lose sight of the rest of our world. Balance is the key to true success. Develop a plan to meet your goals both for your business and for your world outside of that. Then work to that goal, instead of the never-ending one of more work.

Lesson 6: 

In a world where it feels like you are selling all they time, many wonder if they have what it takes to be a success. You didn't start this career because you were bad at what you do. Odds are, you are great at it. So don't try to change who you are, just be great at what you do. The rest will fall into place.

Lesson 7: 

Why do we do this job of digital marketing every day? What is our end goal? The communications themselves are a means to an end... and that end is driving action. That action can be likes/comments on a post, the download of a white paper, or the closing of a sale. Keep that in mind and as you measure your results, you will be able to focus on the things that really matter.

Lesson 8: 

The journey from Awareness to Customer can be long, complicated and sometimes confusing. But it is the heart of what we do as marketers. It is not easy, and often frustrating. It costs time and dollars. But in the end, when those conversions are made and prospects become customers, and customers become advocates, we know that all that work was worthwhile.

I was surprisingly pleased with all I took away from INBOUND15. I learned skills for my job, made new contacts for growing my agency, met great people and walked away inspired to act. It was definitely an experience to remember... and worth repeating. See you at INBOUND16!