Were you one of the 24,000 people who attended Inbound18 last month in Boston? If not, not to worry: we’re here to recap the best of this top marketing conference. Take a look below (and be sure to register for Inbound2019 ASAP).
Here are some highlights:
The death of the funnel?
HubSpot’s co-founder Brian Halligan (CEO) once again spoke as a keynote and this year he spoke on the next evolution of the marketing funnel, what Halligan called the flywheel and why it’s time to “retire the funnel.”
The traditional funnel, Halligan said, is built on the assumption that all customers always follow a straight/linear path and that marketers treat them as if acquiring them as customers is the end goal. Instead, companies should also look at customers as a way to help their company grow instead of saying, in effect: we got the customer, now we’re done.
Think of the customer as the endgame, and a company loses all the energy and momentum built to acquire that customer.
Instead of looking at your marketing as placing prospects in funnels, look at them as being in flywheels, Halligan said, which represent a circular process in which customers feed growth.
HubSpot often has talked about delighting customers and keeping them as raving fans (bringing in happy referrals), and the flywheel concept encourages marketers to look at customers not as things to “get” (and be done with because they now are at the bottom/end of the funnel) but to continually embrace customer satisfaction.
In our mind, funnels aren’t dead. By using the term flywheel, HubSpot is encouraging marketers to transform their marketing from turning prospects into customers into turning them into-marketing partners (of a sort). In other words: you delighted them to get them; continue delighting them to keep them (and get their friends for customers).
Guess what? It’s time to pick up the phone and make things happen!
That’s right: time to go old school!
HubSpot’s Dan Tyre and Jackie Steinmetz of Accelity Marketing spoke on how to “pack” your flywheel with three opportunities in the next 90 days. How to do so? Pick up the phone and call!
(Yes, we hear your intake of breath: Gulp!)
The two speakers advised calling – actually calling – prospects who disappeared before your salesperson (was that you?) could close the deal. Ask them simple questions/conversation starters. So simple:
- How are you doing?
- Do you remember our conversation?
- Has anything changed?
Notice that these are open-ended queries. They allow you to engage with an old contact just as an old friend would. And you also learn more about where they are – or aren’t – in their purchase decision.
Yes, the old-fashioned ways still work, possibly even more in this day and age of social media and hashtags because they are, well, now new! No one calls anymore. Actually talking to real people now is a curiosity. Quirky. It gets attention. It’s becoming – dare we say it? – cool again!
You’re not robo-calling. You’re not cold-telemarketing: you’re calling a former prospect, someone with whom you have an established relationship (albeit a lapsed one).
Go ahead. Pick up that phone and make a sale!
And those were just two of the best presentations. We’ll more than likely be at Inbound2019? How about you?
Want to learn more about trends in inbound marketing? Contact us and we’ll spill all the skinny.