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7 Key Takeaways From Inbound 2019 for Teams And Leaders

By Courtney Cervantes • September 20, 2019

It's been just over a week since our team attended HubSpot's Inbound 2019 and, as always, we arrived back in Melbourne with a wealth of fresh marketing, sales and life knowledge. We're summarising all that we've learnt and thought this could help you grow like it has, us.

Over the last 4 years of being a HubSpot Platinum Partner, our interests have always been larger than our learning - to encompass the growth of our customers and the community we serve. Going to Inbound means that we can do that as we hear from people we wouldn't have access to otherwise and hear more about their journey and steps to be better everyday. We're not the only ones who think so though, there were 26,000 attendees from all over the world who did too!

Inbound 2019 Boston

Going to conferences is  often associated with a feeling that it will be a drag or exciting as it's almost a week away from work, and some don't want another thing to do on their plate, cause why?

Here's why you should be excited:

  • You will meet people you wouldn't have met otherwise
  • You will smile at the effort that people put to make interesting memories 
  • You will most likely be pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and ahem network (which is basically relationship building)
  • You could make travel plans with the people you've met 
  • You get an opportunity to learn, share and grow

Apart from these, we're highlighting key takeaways from the conference below - some are apt for leaders and some for teams:

Trust is the social glue for the digital age

Technology is revolutionising human trust and it is something that can be built, managed, lost and repaired in the digital age. Rachel Botsman's spotlight was based on her work featured in her recent book 'Who can you trust'  and talks of how capability traits and character traits can help you understand trust better.

definition of trust

Image: Rachel Botsman Spotlight

She asked the audience to take the phone of the person next to you and then use it for 2 minutes. There were some that laughed as they took part and the rest succumbed to anxiety and some didn't even share their phone! Our fear of the unknown often drives our decision-making and therefore building trust is about embracing uncertainty and overcoming the fear of the unknown.

how trust works

Trust is the social glue that keeps people together. It's important to understand it as much as much as we are to understand ourselves and how we use technology in our everyday lives. 

People can make a company better with self-organisation 

Gallup's survey found that 15% of employees around the world are currently engaged at work — that is, psychologically invested in their job and motivated to be highly productive. Two-thirds worldwide (67%) are not engaged, putting in time but little discretionary effort at work, and 18% are actively disengaged — openly resentful that their workplace needs aren’t being met.

There are many reasons that people feel dissatisfied at work. One being lacking a sense of purpose or connection to their work.  Amanda Salvin shared her insights from running a company as a Holacracy, an organisational structure where each member assumes self-defined roles and accountabilities based on needs and skillset without the rigidity of conventional management systems. 

self organisation

It's so interesting to see how many businesses using this model have found success and it's interesting to note how innovation at your workplace itself can be so important to create lasting engagement with people. Understanding workplace dynamics are key to creating a sustainable culture and tap into the potential of people by creating a connection with their role and everyday lives at work. The more we can involve ourselves at work, the more likely will it positively affect your overall happiness and fulfilment. 

Human input will always have a place in technology

There was a lot of talk of artificial intelligence at Inbound and the future of possibilities of tech are truly incredible, but it's not too far stretched to start thinking "do we even need people when a computer could perhaps fulfil a need quicker and better?" Speaker Kate O'Neill was there to remind us the answer is "YES" because humans give meaning to experiences and creating that meaning can't be left up to technology. When it comes to emerging technology within companies, the goal should always be to align business objectives to human objectives and scale with tech. When automation, for example, is applied to a meaningful experience or interaction, it will amplify that meaning, or vice versa, if applied to an absurd interaction. Ultimately, it is up to us to bring meaning to how we impact our experiences and actions with technology. As we are very focused on using software to create more #workhappy moments, this session resonated with our team and we felt it was a learning worth including. 

Tech and human experiences

Image: Courtesy of Kate's presentation deck. 

With content, start with sales

As many of us have experienced, creating content that drives tangible results can be challenging, which is why Marcus Sheridan's simple first step for getting started with content was so alluring: focus on sales first. Although enabling sales to use content like a blog post, for example, is always the goal, the point Marcus drove home is that content should be seen foremost as a sales tool.  At the very least your content should answer your buyers' most basic questions - the big 5 as shown in the image below. The ultimate content litmus test is answering the question "Can my sales team use this right now?"

The Big 5

Image: Courtesy of Marcus' presentation deck. 

Email isn't dead. It's actually the new homepage

Between work, newsletters and promotional emails, we're all familiar with email overload, but that doesn't change the fact that people spend 5.4 hours a day in email and actually, 72% of people prefer email.  Facing these numbers, speaker Kerel Copper of Live Intent was quick to recommend that brands treat email as the new homepage, leveraging it as a tool across every stage of the funnel, building awareness, achieving conversion and increasing retention. With segmentation and personalisation, strong CTAs, witty subject lines and of course, useful content, your brand can work to break through the email "noise" and build relationships with your customers. 

Optimise old content to improve your SEO

HubSpotters Victor Pan and Braden Becker recommend historical optimisation with your content in order to improve your SERP (search engine results page) position. To do this, export your blog posts and look at page views and the publish date.

"89% of the HubSpot blog's monthly organic page views comes from content that was created more than 6 months ago"

Your brand is most likely to benefit from updating the oldest content with the highest traffic. It's also important to stabilise your traffic by reviewing your blog posts that have falling traffic from month to month and improving them with an update strategy such as embedding new images, adding video or a PPC campaign, to name a few.  

Choose curiosity over fear to live your most creative life

Admittedly, this last takeaway is more life advice, but we want to give you the full lowdown of the Inbound 2019 experience after all, and this message from author Elizabeth Gilbert was especially powerful. In her welcome keynote, she explained that when you choose the path of curiosity over the path of fear, you are able to live a more relaxed and in turn, more creative life. To think creatively and drive innovation, we must strive to be relaxed, set priorities and defend our boundaries. In doing this, we remove stressors that distract us and create room to grow and progress. As we at Connect Labs and HubSpot are about growing better, we agree this is a valuable point to share. 

Needless to say, each year Inbound ensures that there's more than enough learning and joy for all to be a part of.  You can leave inspired thinking about big or impactful things while learning how to get there. Thanks, HubSpot!


coworking spaces and membership with HubSpot