Last week was the two-day Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) in Boston and we are still letting all of the information from the event soak in and settle. We heard from top industry leaders who gave their thoughts about marketing trends, best practices, and predictions, and what it all means for marketing professionals.
One of the most prevalent themes we noticed throughout the event was the importance of the customer and understanding their behavior and needs. The customer experience is more important than ever, according to the industry experts who took the stage. Here’s a look at our favorite five quotes from IMS presenters on day one.
- “Technology, media and creativity are necessary for creating relevant experiences during a time when customers have more choice, control and voice than ever.” –Ray Velez, Global Chief Technology Officer at Razorfish. Together, technology, media and creativity make up the customer experience. If you put the customer at the center of these (and all of) your initiatives, you will understand where to meet them and they will make the choice to come to you.
- “Great content marketing starts with great listening.” –Tom Gerace, CEO at Skyword. Understanding where your customers are searching and what kind of content they’re looking for is important for creating content that resonates with them. You can’t build loyalty without trust. You can’t build trust without having a relationship. You can’t have a relationship without the content and context for interacting and conversing.
- “Beware of the ripple effect.” –Navin Nagiah, President and CEO of DNN Corporation. Your customers aren’t the only ones who have social platforms – their friends do as well. You must understand your customers’ backgrounds, their families, friends, and all of their influencers. Your customer is not an island – you are also dealing with their entire social circles.
- “If you’re sending a ‘blast email,’ you’re probably not doing it right.” –Brendan Howard, Product Manager at ZoomInfo. Let’s face it; you really can’t nurture everyone in the same way. People have diff pain points, interests, and needs. A “blast email” is sending a generic message. In reality, you must know what industry each prospect is in, what size company they’re in, their interests, pain points, and even job function. If you try to sell to everyone, you’ll sell to no one!
- “At the heart of our inbound marketing efforts is a lie.” –Tamsen Webster, Senior VP, Content Activation at Allen + Gerritsen. As marketers, we think we have the power over the customers, when in fact the customers have the power. Whether our message lives or dies depends on the customer; whether the customer chooses to feed or care for us is up to them. The hero is not you; the hero is the customer. Talk about the customer, not about yourself. Inbound marketing has the power to do everything we want it to, but it starts with the customer.