Latest marketing trends – be human

Posted on September 4, 2013


human connection in marketing

I had a blast at the recent Hubspot Inbound Marketing Conference. It was held August 19-22 at the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay area of Boston. I love, love, love going into the city. I also love learning new things and hearing what is new in marketing.

You may be asking, “what the heck is inbound marketing and how is that different from outbound marketing?” Or you may be saying, “oh no, another blog post about marketing!” Either way, if you are in the business world, it’s important to be up to date on the latest trends.

Inbound marketing is simply: creating good content to share with your clients and your target audience. This is a great way to create trust and authenticity. People buy from people they trust.

Titans of technology and marketing spoke at the keynotes. The ideas they presented were not just about marketing, but thoughts on how to succeed in today’s world. Also, no one defined success in terms of money or power.

If I had to summarize the keynote topics, I would say it is all about connection – human connection.  Sure technology helps us perform our jobs better and quickly reach new customers, but If you don’t have that human connection, you won’t succeed.  Not  only is it person to person, but connecting your body and your mind.

SETH GODIN (best selling author)

* The world is a blank slate. It’s what we can DO, not what we can MAKE.

* The big bosses want it to be like it was.

* The Internet was not invented with marketers in mind.

* Have a point of view and take a stand!

* Seek out things that might not work

* There are no shortcuts, to succeed in business today you need:
–Permission. Think of ‘opt-in mailing lists. You would be much more likely to open an email you requested that one that just arrived in your inbox.

DARMESH SHAH (co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Hubspot)

The biggest revelation in 7 years of Hubspot – Inbound Marketing is NOT the answer. Humans don’t separate sales, marketing and service. It’s all about the inbound experience – every touch point for a customer.

Marketing – needs to attract, not interrupt.

Sales – needs to connect, not coerce.

Service – goal is NOT customer satisfaction, but customer delightion (a Darmesh term). Think about Zappos; they are not a shoe company, they are a customer happiness company.

Businesses need to solve for the humans and help them succeed.

Measuring what matters is also important.

BRIAN SOLIS (best selling author and digital analyst, principal at Altimeter Group)

We all need to be change agents in this fast moving world. Being a change agent is much more than being a social media or marketing expert. With all the online tools and technologies, engagement may not be very personal. It’s up to you to change that.

* Change how you see the world. Step outside your routine to get a fresh perspective.

* Brands are now people and people are now brands. With the proliferation of smart phones, everyone is having a deeply personal relationship with products.

* It’s now about Generation C – this generation isn’t defined by age. It’s about those who are connected by lifestyle.

NATE SILVER (one line blogger and statistician who correctly predicted the 2012 Presidential campaign)

* Big data isn’t the magic bullet. Structure and theory are still needed.

* Big data can produce a big bias. As the amount of information increases, the complexity of relationships increases exponentially. The gap between what you know and what you think you know increases.

* Think probalistically. Remember the margin of error.

* Know where you came from. Be very aware of your weaknesses and biases.

* Survey the data landscape. Make sure you have good data.

* Try and err. Try again and again and again.

I must confess, Nate’s presentation was a little technical. He did a good job at trying to explain things in plain English, or should I say in terms that mere marketers could understand.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON (of Huffington Post fame)

Arianna’s keynote was my favorite of them all. Her thoughts were not about technology or marketing, but about a healthy mind and body.

* Sleep is a leadership tool. The sleep statistics for Americans (and others) is dismal. According to WebMD, 20% of Americans report getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night. Studies have repeatedly shown the dire health impacts of being constantly sleep deprived.

* We all must find ways of renewing ourselves. I was so happy to this; I’m sick and tired of the workaholic mentality of most American businesses.

* Failure is a stepping stone to success.

If you’d like to dig deeper into these trends, here’s the link to all the content:

Hubspot Inbound Marketing Conference.

Photo is courtesy of Woodley Wonder Works’ Flickr Photostream, under Creative Commons licensing.