The Tendo team attended HubSpot’s INBOUND 2023 in Boston and we’re still reeling from all the buzz generated from this energizing three-day conference. If you weren’t able to attend INBOUND, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we share four big takeaways from INBOUND 2023 that we believe will greatly impact B2B content creators and marketers through the remaining months of 2023 and beyond.
1. Lean into AI, or Become Obsolete
If anyone was uncertain about AI’s influence on marketing and sales before they attended INBOUND 2023, they walked away as AI believers after the event. AI was the all-encompassing theme—from the main stage keynotes to breakout sessions:
- The HubSpot executive team articulated their vision for AI (“The Age of Intelligence”), announced new generative AI features in the HubSpot platform, and provided a long-term perspective of AI’s impact marketing and sales roles.
- In a memorable session, “Preparing for the AI Boom: The Perspective of a Futurist,” futurist Sinead Bovell, Founder @ WAYE, shared her predictions about how AI will significantly impact the world in three to five years, stressing that everyone should get involved with AI now because “what we do today, impacts tomorrow.” She also predicted that every individual may have an AI avatar that will help with daily, mundane tasks such as scheduling appointments, joining low-priority meetings, and handling travel logistics. Sign us up!
- In Aircall’s session, “SMB + AI: Returning Meaning to Customer Conversations,” Aircall CCO Mary Nelson discussed how the average employee spends 20.8 hours a week on busy work, and how automating some of those tasks will give employees time back to do more human work. Jobs will be greatly impacted by AI, because we’ll be able to use our time more effectively and provide more meaningful connections with customers.
- Tendo Takeaway: You must lean into AI, explore all the ways it can help you become more efficient and productive, and continue to stay on top of AI developments, which are accelerating at a mind-boggling speed. Like the Age of the Internet, The Age of Intelligence will impact our lives in ways we could only imagine. Those who immerse themselves in AI will come out ahead; those who don’t will be left in the dust.
2. Keep the Human Element Alive in the Age of AI
While AI was all the buzz, there was an underlying theme of holding on to the “human” element of marketing and content creation:
- Yamini Rangan, HubSpot CEO, stressed in the opening keynote that customers seek human-like engagement, stating that “customers want to converse, not convert.” Whether through conversational AI or through real-life conversations, customers prefer a “human-like” experience throughout their buying journey.
- Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO of Hubspot, addressed the common concern of whether AI will take away jobs. Some thought leaders have asserted that AI won’t take jobs, but humans using AI will. Dharmesh noted, “Whatever it is you do, AI can help you do it better.” He believes that AI will take away the mundane grind aspects of a job, freeing up time for more creativity.
- In the session, “Keys to World Class Content and Winning Trust in the AI Era,” Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask You Answer, presented how to become the voice of trust while using AI to generate content, with his brand framework, P.E.R.S.O.N.A.L (personal, engaging, real, storytelling, original, nurture, audience, love).
- Dale Bertrand, SEO expert, said of search intent, “customer intimacy is the new SEO.” As AI revolutionizes the way search engines and users find and interact with content, content teams should understand their customers better on a deeper level than ever before to attract high-intent customers, not just pageviews.
- Tendo Takeaway: While AI will change the way users find and interact with your content, it’s now more important than ever to know your customers intimately, create highly relevant content, and reexamine your strategy often. And be selective about when and how you use AI for content creation. Your audiences seek authentic, trustworthy content from your brand. Don’t lose the human touch!
3. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion in Your Content Marketing
Diversity and inclusion were woven into every aspect of the event, from the main stage to community meetups:
- The Black@INBOUND lounge was buzzing with conversations and presentations, Women Sales Pros hosted a lightning-round of networking, and the Marketing Millennials meetup brought like-minded marketers together to discuss industry trends and develop relationships.
- In addition to the INBOUND communities, several sessions emphasized the importance of DEI in the workplace. We enjoyed the “Getting Candid: Lessons in Workplace Culture and Feedback” session with Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor and Dr. Tina Opie. They discussed how to navigate unconscious bias to maintain a healthy high-performance workplace culture.
- Meghan Keaney Anderson, Head of Marketing at Jasper, noted that Jasper creates very specific documents about their audience and brand, then feeds it into AI so its output reflects Jasper’s goals, diversity and inclusion practices, and values. She stressed the importance of creating diverse teams, setting standards for AI use, and creating official AI policy and ethics document.
- Tendo Takeaway: We applaud HubSpot’s and Jasper’s focus on diversity and inclusion. Both should be core to your content creation and marketing efforts—from using inclusive language in your content to developing accessible digital experiences. Consider updating your style guide to incorporate diversity and inclusion best practices to ensure that your team will develop content that will resonate—with all audiences.
4. Get Personal with Advanced Analytics
AI would not exist without data, and there were plenty of conversations about how data will advance digital experiences from “personalized” to “personal”:
- In the opening spotlight session, Hubspot’s Rangan stressed the importance of data-driven proactive assistance and a tailored, personal experience on your website, rather than a (templated) personalized experience.
- HubSpot announced new data capabilities in their CRM platform, including AI Insights that use predictive AI that can forecast customer behavior and provide personal recommendations.
- LinkedIn’s session, “The CMO Scorecard: The Advertising Metrics That Drive Business Outcomes,” led by Ty Heath and Derek Yueh, shared deep insights from LinkedIn’s advertising data to help marketers craft a winning LinkedIn advertising strategy to influence in-market and out-of-market customers.
- In the session, “Unlock Your Growth Potential with Hubspot’s new AI tools,” Hubspot Product Marketing Manager Irina Nica noted that generative AI brings data-powered customer insights to SMBs, allowing them to offer personal experiences that were once impossible without expensive customer research.
- Aircall’s Mary Nelson noted how integrating Hubspot’s AI abilities with Aircall’s analytics allowed her team to analyze transcripts and conversations for keywords, then employ those insights on a larger scale. AI removes the gap between research and action by integrating data, analytics, and insights within your processes.
- Tendo Takeaway: Oh, the places we will go with data! We believe that advanced data analytics combined with AI will be the power-duo for delivering personal experiences to individuals. AI removes the gap between research and action by integrating data, analytics, and insights within your processes. We are excited about how this will impact digital personalization in the short term. Keep an eye out for an acceleration of AI-powered personalized experiences in the upcoming months.
Wondering what our INBOUND 2023 takeaways might mean for your 2024 content and digital marketing strategy? Reach out to the Tendo Team to learn more.