Sep 07, 2018

Inbound 2018: Day 2

By: Josh Dougherty

Inbound Marketing

It's day 3. Conference comatose has begun to set in. But don't worry, we're harnessing the power of AI, automation, and a bunch of coffee to soldier on, stay focused, and bring you the insights. So, without further ado ...

Josh's Takeaways

  1. Keyword-Based Search Engine Optimization Is Dead: Yesterday I wrote about the importance of mobile for search. If you caught the trends in my post, you saw that search isn't about keyword research or keyword optimization anymore. Today Upasna Gautam from Ziff Davis put the nail in the coffin of SEO as you may have read about it five years ago. In fact, she said that she doesn't even want to refer to it as Search Engine Optimization anymore. She says a search professionals job is now all Experience Optimization. Today search is semantic, which means that Google is focused on topics. You don't need to write for a specific keyword but rather write valuable content about a topic in everyday language ... then make sure your site is technically friendly to Google (see yesterday's post to get started).
  2. Looking To Hire A PR Agency? Not So Fast: PR is a big part of a successful marketing plan. In fact, it probably equals the importance of content, social, and email in marketing strategy. So, is your only option to hire a PR agency? The simple answer is not necessarily (especially if you're on a tight budget). By using services like HARO and strategically investing in Twitter (where all reporters live), you can pitch content and build relationships with reporters directly. On Twitter, start by creating lists of reporters you'd like to target, then progressively retweet, comment, and develop a relationship with them. Before you know it you'll be ready to pitch content.
  3. It's Time To Automate Your Life: We waste a lot of time on trivial tasks like sales follow up. What if you could automate a sales follow up sequence that would follow up with a cold prospect until they responded, with no effort on your part? What if you could use a bot to double the number of leads you brought by providing a simple and warm interaction? It's time to look at what's driving up your costs and identify how you can reduce effort and increase efficiency. This will free you up to spend time on what really matters. Automation can seem scary, but if you have a defined strategy, it could be a breakthrough for your business.
  4. Bonus: In case you missed it check out my blog post yesterday about the new Hubspot product releases.


Damn, I am so tired.  It can’t be that I’m getting old, it must be that my young child has ruined my brain … Here are my top takeaways from another jam-packed day at Inbound 2018 that started with a keynote by Shonda Rhimes and that also featured Esther Perel. Props to Hubspot for booking two of my lady crushes. All the heart eye emojis.

  1. The buyer’s journey run amok: Buyers have all sorts of journeys on their way to a purchase. You can’t really plan their path, or force them down one (I’m reminded of Ian Lurie’s worldbuilding framework). In a Google study of people’s searches before a new car purchase, one user took 900 interactions in her online search before she made a purchase. 900! The moral: Create an environment that your customer wants to explore, because they’re not going to go down the path you want them to take.
  2. Sales and marketing integration: We are not aligned. But we need each other. According to Ty Heath from LinkedIn, “Companies that fail to invest in orchestration fail to move into the new space of aligning marketing and sales with shared goals, information on accounts, and key KPIs.” And everyone suffers. You waste money. You don’t present a united front to your potential clients. We’re on the same team, and we need to act more like it. We’ll all be more successful as a result.
  3. ATTENTION spans are short: It takes .8 seconds for someone to swipe or tap when they see your ad on mobile. That is an insanely short period of time. I’m not sure my brain can even process anything that quickly. Good news though – you can get a fraction of a second more by throwing the brain off with a surprising graphic like an emoji, percentage sign, or question mark (see Josh's excellent post on blogging headline techniques).
  4. Bonus: Esther Perel spoke of the only thing that positively impacted me from Psych 101 in college that I reference regularly. Negative attribution theory. Basically it says that I interpret everything I do as circumstantial and everything you do as a character distortion. If I cut you off in traffic, it’s because I didn’t get much sleep because my 1 year old is teething (but for real!), or I had something important on my mind, etc. If you cut me off, you are a thoughtless, selfish and insensitive asshole. Clearly. This is important though. It reminds me of almost every initial session we have with clients to think through their customer personas. I’m often shocked about how negatively people describe their clients! Don’t they like these people and want to work with them? I often remind clients to think of their clients with empathy. What battles are they fighting? What challenges are they facing, at home, or at work? This helps us empathize with clients and walk in their shoes.

Guys, there is ONE DAY LEFT. We can do this.  Stay tuned.

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