Listening to Dharmesh (CTO at Hubspot) speak during the first half of Tuesday’s keynote address, I was very interested in understanding how his brain works, and how he approaches the future of marketing tactics. I’ve pulled out some of the points that stood out to me during his presentation. You could say that the theme focused on humanizing marketing and making advertising more personalized and personable.
Dharmesh opens up the keynote with a great statement-
“I’d like to talk to you about humans”
Like Dharmesh, I’ll unflinchingly admit to being an introvert. It’s a source of pride and, to those who understand the definition, provides an interesting way to structure your understanding of that person’s thought process. When he got up on stage and opened up by connecting these two ideas of talking about humans, and telling the audience about his own perspective on the world, it was an invigorating moment for me. Dharmesh is trying to cut down on the disconnect between marketing tactics, and the basic ways in which humans make purchasing decisions.
The Biggest Revelation since Inbound Marketing Started
I admit I rolled my eyes when I saw Dharmesh’s opening slide for this presentation, which said-
“Inbound marketing is not the answer”
He later completed this idea on another slide, and I think it makes more sense to phrase his statement as “Inbound marketing is not the [complete] answer”.
He explains this opinion by saying that if the rest of the pieces don’t work for your business (ownership, sales, delivery) then the inbound marketing doesn’t really matter. Once people are initiated into your funnel process, if they’re not satisfied with the other pieces of your website and sales team, then the inbound methodology is made impotent.
As a solution, Dharmesh says that The Inbound Experience should encapsulate your entire business with
By applying the inbound methodology to all parts of your business, you hit the key idea of personalization that underlies many of the principles. As Dharmesh puts it, “Humanize marketing- Don’t interrupt. Attract.”
To throw out another snappy line from that big, sexy Dharmesh Shah brain, “Instead of coercing, connect.” It’s not just what you sell, it’s how you sell it. This doesn’t just apply to B2C, it’s also very true for B2B. We seem to see this huge gap between advertising and marketing to people as compared to marketing to businesses. In reality, they’re very closely related because, well, there are people involved.
As it used to be, the person selling a product or service was in the position of power. They had a lot of information, and the buyer did not. This put the power into the lap of the sales department instead of the customer.
Now, both buyers and sellers have a pretty equal level of information and understanding. Customers can do research on their own, and don’t have to go through the sales department to find out product specifics.
(Dharmesh’s new word)- it’s the idea that you should be trying to delight, surprise, and interest your customers. This is what the inbound methodology strongly emphasizes. Instead of throwing yourself out there and putting yourself in front of the customer by force, you wait. You create content that brings the customers to you.
Think about the lifetime value of your customers. The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you need to buy. If you have customers that love you for what your brand stands for, they’re going to talk about it.
Don’t get left B2Behind
Your most valuable customers aren’t the ones who buy the most, they’re the ones who SELL the most; the ones who promote your business because of its quality. This all comes back to the concept of wrapping your business up in the inbound methodology at every point in the sales process.
I’m a huge fan of long-term solutions that may often lack the immediate results which many executives are loathe to be without. I think it’s awesome when we see old blogs start to gain traction because of their continuing relevance to a subject. I love it when a consistent posting routine on social media starts to accelerate the growth of your Twitter or Facebook. Dharmesh has a great thought process, and I definitely feel influenced by how he presented his approach to marketing.