It has been a full 7 years since I’ve attended an INBOUND conference. In 2015 I gave a content marketing presentation, Hungry for Better Content: What the Mighty Hamburger Can Teach Us About Repurposing & Personalizing with Modular Content.
Sandwiched between Charlene Li and Mari Smith, expectations were high and unfortunately I spent the entire night before battling the effects of acid reflux. But I survived and so did the attendees of my session!
Fast forward to 2022 and I’ll be attending INBOUND to connect with top B2B marketers in the industry, as well as clients and peers in the lead up to the late Q3 and Q4 conference season. Due to COVID I haven’t attended many real-world events over the past 2 years and I’ve missed the connections, the insights, the competitive intelligence and customer engagement that conferences so easily facilitate.
HUGE thanks to HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan and CMO Kip Bodnar for making it possible for me to have the full INBOUND experience this year.
Scanning the agenda for the 2022 INBOUND conference, I’m excited to see such a diverse selection of speakers and topics segmented into Spotlight Sessions, Build Your Business, Build Your CRM, Build Your Purpose, Build Your Curiosity, Build Your Workplace and Community. PLUS there are several high profile and celebrity speakers I’m looking forward to seeing including President Barak Obama, Viola Davis, Dr Jane Goodall and many others.
While my marketing interests are broad, my focus for this event is to bring our readers and community B2B specific content. Part of our Elevate B2B Marketing effort includes shining a light on talent, insights and best practices. That’s what I’ll try to do this week through liveblogging and sharing insights via my social channels on Twitter @leeodden and LinkedIn /leeodden. The sessions I’m looking forward to for potential liveblogging include:
INBOUND Day 1 -Wed Sep 7th
As a HubsSpot customer and marketer, I’m looking forward to hearing about what’s in store for the future of the platform from Yamini Rangan, HubSpot CEO, Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO, and Steph Cuthbertson, HubSpot CPO.
What’s Next: Connecting with Future Buyers: Winning Mindshare to Grow Market Share
This session features Allyson Hugley, LinkedIn Global Director Customer Insights who will talk about the evolving dynamics outside of and within organizations that require a rethinking of how brands win share of mind, market and spend. Drawing upon perspectives from The B2B Institute, LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing think tank, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science and LinkedIn’s own unique economic graph, this session promises to combine new concepts, frameworks, and metrics to guide brand marketers toward new ways of engaging current and future customers, buying groups and talent to achieve growth.
How Modern CEOs Founders & Revenue Leaders Go-to-Market and Become Leaders in Their Category
In this session, Sangram Vajre – GTM Partners, Partner and co-founder of Terminus, will cover all things Go-to-Market. Most CEOs, founders, and revenue leaders dream of becoming winners in their industry but struggle to scale their business as they grow. In fact, less than 1% hit $10M in revenue and fewer than 0.04% have a shot of hitting $50M or having a profitable exit. Surviving is not good enough. You want to thrive, evolve, and, when necessary, transform. Every business as they move from problem to product to platform has to navigate the five valley’s of death. This session promises to help attendees discover which valley of death they might be in and how to navigate out of it to MOVE forward, confidently.
Topic Chat: How can influencer marketing work best for B2B content?
I will be hosting a Topic Chat at INBOUND on a topic that is near and dear: Influencer Marketing for B2B brands. Signups for the chat is maxed out already, so I may schedule another one.
Developing Successful Media content for B2B: Goals, Team and Process
In this session from Sam Balter, Director of Media Content at ZoomInfo we’ll hear about how B2B brands can capitalize on organic social media. Sam says companies that primarily develop content for search or paid ad campaigns are missing out. Media content is a massive opportunity to connect with your audience on the platforms they’re already spending their time on. This session is for content marketing leaders focused on growing brand awareness through organic social. Building and managing a team that produces social-first content results in better social posts, podcasts, and video series. This session will cover creating “social-first content,” goal setting, and the media production process.
Leadership Lessons with Brian Halligan & Dannie Herzberg
I’m looking forward to seeing Brian Halligan, HubSpot’s Founder and Chairperson, and Dannie Herzberg, Partner at Sequoia Capital, in a fireside chat at INBOUND, hosted by HubSpot Ventures. Brian and Dannie will discuss leadership lessons for creating a category and building a thriving multi-product company. The event agenda says this session will focus on advice about reaching the scale of your ambition, strategies for product-led growth, lessons learned from Brian’s leadership at HubSpot, and stories and tips around fundraising in today’s environment.
INBOUND Day 2 Thu – Sept 8th
On Capital, Creativity, Community and Care (Not exactly B2B)
Day two of INBOUND kicks off with a bang featuring Viola Davis and Dr Marcus Davis talking about what happens when we bring the best of ourselves together—to lift one another up. The Oscar-winning actress and producer considers the mentorship and connections that helped pave her way as an artist, and the ways she’s paying it forward—specifically how she uses capital as a means of lifting up women-led tech/media companies. But she doesn’t leave us off the hook. Davis also invites us to reimagine the ways we can pave similar roads for each other through our platforms, experiences, and creativity.
What’s Next – How to Spot Business Trends That Matter
This session is the opening session of the What’s Next Stage featuring Ethan Brooks, HubSpot Sr Marketing Manager who will share how to stay one step ahead of your competition, better understand customers, tap into profitable new markets and more. To do all that marketers need to know how to spot industry trends (and differentiate signals from noise). This session promises to share the tools and tactics used by HubSpot’s Trends analysts to identify market changes, understand what drives them, and turn those insights into valuable business opportunities.
The Logic of Emotion: How to Make Inaction Impossible
How could I miss the talented Tamsen Webster, Find the Red Thread Founder? I cannot. Tamsen will make sense out of the irrational when it comes to engaging your customers. Here’s what that means: You may have noticed a problem with the age-old “problem/solution” formula for driving action from your messages and marketing: it doesn’t always work! That’s an issue when your job depends on your content converting clients. Unfortunately, presenting only the audience’s problem and your solution misses an important fact about them: your audiences aren’t rational decision-makers, they’re rationalizing decision-makers. They tell themselves stories to justify what they do, and your content needs to create a “moment of truth” in your audience’s mind—a realization that makes inaction impossible.
Category Entry Points In A B2B World – Buying Situations to Brand Sales
Another amazing marketer and speaker that I cannot miss is Ty Heath, Director of Market Engagement, The B2B Institute, LinkedIn who is at INBOUND to talk about making memories! “The most important search engine is still the one in your mind.” This statement makes a point all marketers should internalize about buyer behavior: most purchases start not by searching Google, but by searching our memory. If we believe buyer behavior starts with memory, it then follows that the job of marketing is not to generate clicks, but to generate memories. Ty will bring new research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute on better ways to link brand advertising to brand sales to do just that.
INBOUND Day 3 Fri – Sep 9
Why Every Company Needs to Act Like A Media Company
Day two will be a late night featuring Jimmy O Yang and IBOUND at night so I’ll be starting my liveblogging mid-morning on day three with Jennifer Griffin Smith, Brightcove CMO who has a marketing call to arms: You’re more than a marketer, and it’s time to show it. Take a lesson from the media playbook and stream your content to reach your audience on your own terms. Own your audience, connect with them, and build your business with a video-first strategy. It’s time to stand out and be your prospects’ first choice. You can’t do that without streaming, so unleash your inner media company and leave your competition in the dust. In this session, you’ll hear why every organization needs to act like a media company and how to deliver experiences that educate, entertain, inform, and convert your audiences.
What’s Next: The Power of Creativity in B2B Marketing
All eyes are on the future of marketing and that’s wby I’m taking another seat in the What’s Next Stage. This time, I’ll hear from Jim Habig, LinkedIn VP Marketing and Amy Marino, HubSpot Sr Director Global Brand Marketing. B2B marketing has a bad rap for being… well, boring. But infusing remarkable creativity into your B2B marketing can help a brand build emotional connections and clarify perceptions without sacrificing business results. This conversation features Amy Marino, Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing and Social at HubSpot, and Jim Habig, Vice President of B2B Marketing at LinkedIn, where they will talk about the importance of investing in bold, breakthrough creative in the B2B space. Amy will peel back the curtain for a look at the inner workings of HubSpot’s brand marketing, and Jim will share how LinkedIn is on a mission to prove B2B creative is just as important as B2C. I couldn’t agree more!
A Conversation with President Barak Obama (BONUS and NOT B2B)
That’s right, the former President will be having a moderated conversation touching on the ways community and culture have paved a path for him throughout his career—and how we as a collective can build paths for one another, including the generations to come. If there’s some B2B nuggets of wisdom in this conversation I’ll certainly liveblog it but likely not. All the same, it’s a great opportunity to hear from the former President.
If you’re attending the 2022 INBOUND conference in Boston this week, I’d love to connect. I’m especially looking for some running partners for Wed, Thu and Fri. And by running, I mean a leisurely pace of 9:00 a mile or slower. Connect with me on Twitter @leeodden and LinkedIn /leeodden. Outside of running, there are frequent opportunities throughout the conference in lounges, lunch, happy hours and after conference dinners and I’m looking forward to connecting with other B2B marketers interested in elevating our industry.