Pouring In the Ideas at HUGS 2011 [Customer Story]
How can you tell it's nearly spring? By the yellow phone books, the north-winging geese, and the first announcement of Inbound 2012, the year's biggest inspiration-fest for inbound marketers.
Because my company benefited so much from sending me to HUGS 2011, I signed up for Inbound 2012 right away.
Inbound 2012 will kick off with Brian Halligan's transparent self assessment of HubSpot's efforts to transform the way the world does marketing, and in that spirit, I thought about doing a quick self assessment of how I did at HUGS 2011.
And even though I learned a lot at HUGS 2011, I still think I failed in three different ways. Or at least, I could have done better.
- I didn't sign up for any of the awesome 30 minute 1-on-1 consulting sessions (worth at least $250 per) #freebiefail
- I missed the great opportunities to network at the pre-event dinner (couldn't get a babysitter) #soccermomfail.
- I never found my IMC, even though he was apparently wearing a big pin and I'd met him personally before HUGS. #bigpinfail
Now for the successes. Here's how going to HUGS 2011 benefited our company.
HUGS helped us:
Understand our leads better
We had been using Constant Contact for our email marketing and only became aware that a lead had entered our HubSpot database once they'd filled in one of the forms on a landing page. Now, thanks to HubSpot's more flexible email template features and what I was able to learn about them at HUGS, we have been doing some of our email marketing through HubSpot and accessing better information about our leads right away.
Get more qualified conversions on our landing pages
At HUGS, I learned that if you're offering leads something with real quality, they'll be willing to tell you more about who they are. So I went back and re-tooled a lot of our landing pages to ask for more information. This means less work for the sales team in figuring out how closely or vigorously they should pursue a lead.
Get more conversions with higher value offers and CTAs
A "downloadable kit" has much more perceived value than any "demo" or "consultation" -- and this insight transformed our inbound marketing. I raced back to the office and grouped bunches of lesser-perceived-value content into "toolkits" and "info packs" aimed at various audiences. Now, Mr. Smith sees CTAs on our website saying "Are you a Smith? Here's how to make your business run more smoothly. Download our Smith-Boosting Toolkit" . . . instead of "Read our white paper on blah-blah technology." We had a huge uptick in conversions almost right away.
But wait, there's more
The best and most intangible value of this event is in meeting with other people who are in exactly your position. If you're in marketing, you probably spend most of your day talking to advertising reps, your boss, and your sales team.
Going to HUGS and Inbound 2012 is a chance to interact with actual human beings. Human beings who happen to be marketers.
Imagine a roomful of people who have heard of Marcus Sheridan, who understand that content creation has value, and who know the difference between drip marketing and drip coffee.
For me, it was like opening the top of my head and letting the ideas pour in. You can't use any metrics to calculate the value of this. You just know that without occasional inspiration, you're going to start #failing pretty soon. Don't start #failing.
I'll be at Inbound 2012. Will you?
Naomi Pierce is marketing communications manager at Second Wind, a Boston-area engineering firm helping make the wind power industry more efficient with innovative measurement technology, data solutions, and services. Before that she ran Studio N, a graphic design/web development firm, for 20 years. Naomi has been a HubSpot customer since November 2009, and she has aged since this picture was drawn.