Sep 25, 2020

Recapping Inbound 2020

By: Josh Dougherty

Inbound Marketing

And that's a wrap. Another year of HubSpot's Inbound is in the books. Like most conferences in 2020, this year's edition was fully online with a packed schedule each day.

One of the biggest benefits of this year's all-digital format was being able to send our entire team. Early feedback was positive; they're excited to start using what they've learned in their day-to-day work. More to come on what each team member learned in our monthly newsletter (you can subscribe here, if you haven't already). But for now, we wanted to break down the latest HubSpot product releases and our top 4 takeaways.

Hubspot Product Releases

Every year, HubSpot uses Inbound to release the latest and greatest updates to their products.. You can read about all the latest product releases here, but these are the highlights:

  • New Sales Hub Enterprise: The top tier of Sales Hub has been completely updated. The update includes an enterprise-grade CRM that includes custom objects that allow you to store almost any type of data in the CRM, granular permissions, and account-based marketing tools. Sales Hub Enterprise also includes artificial intelligence to accelerate sales activities and remove busy-work for sales reps, major enhancements to sales sequences, and more. If you previously thought that Sales Hub wasn't sophisticated enough for you, you'll want to take another look. Read more about the release here.
  • CRM Powered Marketing Features: Marketing Hub has been enhanced to greatly improve the power with which you can reach out to prospects. Enhancements include new automation options including advanced delays and easy management of multi-branching workflows, multi-channel revenue attribution, and segmentation based on custom objects. Read more about the Marketing Hub enhancements here.
  • Enhanced Reporting Capabilities: In addition to the multi-channel revenue attribution mentioned above, HubSpot will soon be releasing a new custom report builder that allows you to pull in more data and create more custom reports to get the exact data views you need to make smart marketing decisions.


As always, there were tons of trends and takeaways to watch for, here are three that we thought were especially pertinent for the B2B clients we work with:

  1. Sales Is Marketing And Marketing Is Sales: The line between sales and marketing has nearly disappeared. It's time to pull down any remaining walls between the two teams and lean into intense collaboration. As a marketer, you can help. This may start with including sales in content planning by asking them to help you write in depth articles (and video!) on Marcus Sheridan's big 5 blog topics. It might mean the marketing and sales team working together to implement a concerted social selling effort. It could also include sending a monthly newsletter to your sales team of new content they could leverage in the sales process.
  2. Even as B2Bs Try To Shorten Their Time To Close, They Shouldn't Focus 100% On Leads: Right now everyone is tempted to go bottom of the funnel. Closing sales in the pandemic is harder than it was when the economy was booming last year. But focusing on leads alone in your digital media spend is a mistake. The best practice for B2B ad spends is to split your dollars as follows: 60% brand building (awareness) and 40% lead gen with a goal of immediate sales. Targeting also should be broadened whenever possible. We all like to narrow down to a hyper-specific audience, but broader audience segments for brand building efforts are preferable. Target away in ABM.
  3. Great Account-Based Marketing Requires Great Inbound Content: We're very bullish on account-based marketing. It's an amazing way to reach out to the right contacts and engage with them. We execute it for our clients and in our own sales efforts. But, it only works if you have a great inbound marketing program to pair with it. Demand Gen reports that 92% of B2B buyers read 5-8 pieces of content from the vendor they choose to hire. Many read much more. If you don't have helpful in-depth content on your site that answers key questions your buyers have, selling in the 2020s is going to be difficult.
  4. Brand Is The Key To Long-Term Growth: While B2Bs are currently focused intensely on closing deals (as mentioned above), long-term brand building needs to remain a focus. As we shared in our recent ebook, a differentiated brand is the best way to safeguard your market position long-term. And there's a big opportunity to stand out right now because only 4% of B2B marketers are focused on efforts beyond the 6 month horizon.

Well, those are our hot takes from Inbound. If you were there, we'd love to hear yours in the comments below.

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