3 Key Takeaways Stemming from INBOUND 2017

Alyssa Tyson & Rebecca Haynes

The recent and much anticipated INBOUND 2017 event brought together top marketing influencers, industry shakers and professionals from around the world. If you attended the show this year you might’ve noticed some key trends and themes being discussed. This included inbound marketing ROI, voice search, client advocacy, emerging communication channels, email marketing, SEO and measurement – to name a few.

INBOUND Boston 2017 Source: flickr.com used under CC license.

Below is a roundup from the event that discusses some of these trends and best practices. As marketers begin to think about plans for 2018 it’s important to keep these concepts top of mind and to dig a little deeper into implementation and strategy.

1. Going from MQLs to SQLs: How to Deliver a Remarkable Experience

Mike Lieberman, the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2 Marketing, held a session titled: “How To Predict Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Results: The Numbers Hold The Key To Improved Performance,” focusing on the relationship between sales and marketing and the overlapping key metrics. He spoke to why your brand should be focusing on having a funnel tool to move visitors to MQLs, SQLs and true sales opportunities.

To execute this strategy, start by mapping out your business goals into a marketing plan. Now is the perfect time to consider an effective journey to turn MQLs into opportunities for your sales team. But you must go beyond your brand’s story to “deliver a remarkable experience,” according to Lieberman. How will you make your company stand out amongst your competitors, utilize advocacy strategies and determine what you can be offering that is of value?

2. Voice Search: It Isn’t Going Anywhere

At the beginning of this year, Forbes predicted that 2017 was going to be THE YEAR of voice search, and as it turns out they were right. A recent report from Hitwise indicated that U.S. mobile search is roughly 58 percent of overall search query volume. User intent and behavior behind these searches means that marketers need to pay attention to the way they’re optimizing content for search engines. Dan Golden, President and the Chief Artist at Be Found Online, focused his session on “Voice Search: What's Now. What's New. What's next.” to encourage his audience to be forward thinkers on voice search dominance by creating roadmaps for their brands.

Gould stressed the importance of people wanting answers, not web pages. How can you deliver answers in the most convenient and effective way? Featured snippets and rich cards are just the beginning. Figure out what your customers and prospects are really asking for and optimize their experience. By thinking about voice search in this capacity and implementing a proper roadmap you’ll begin to see loyal customers and repeat purchase behavior increase.

3. Email Marketing: It’s Not What It Used to Be

There are several ways that marketers can choose to communicate with their audiences. So, how do you know which ones are the right channels? Email marketing remains relevant in today’s modern marketing world, so you’ll want to rethink your approach if you were planning on ditching this effort in 2018. A recent report from Radicatti Group highlighted that there are 3.7 billion email users worldwide who send and receive about 269 billion emails per day. If that doesn’t convince you that email marketing is still growing, Marwa Greaves, Team Manager of Lead Nurturing and Automation at HubSpot, seemed to have her audience convinced during her session, Rethinking Email: It's Not Dead, But It Is Different. She had some pretty convincing stats on hand including: 61% of consumers want to be contacted by brands via email over any other channel; view times for email average 10-30 seconds; B2C companies can expect to see a 54% open rate on mobile.

Greaves wasn’t just concerned with growing email stats, however. She took the time to explain why marketers need to be approaching email a little differently than they have been. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you put some extra time and cost into email design, proper list segmentation, personalization, analytics and/or automation? Marketers must pay more attention to what their audience is truly looking for and personalize their messaging in a way that makes their audience connect with their brand. You might even consider interactive content in your strategy. Bottom line: Marketers are learning that email isn’t going anywhere, but the techniques and practices will be rapidly changing.

While these highlights aren’t all-encompassing of what was learned at this year’s INBOUND 2017, they’re all prevalent to today’s modern marketers trying to make an impact on their KPIs.

What were your key takeaways from INBOUND 2017? Let us know @PANcomm.

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Topics: Thought Leadership

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