The first full day of Inbound 14 was a big one. We learned how to survive Inbound, and we heard a lot of the familiar talk that we need to be quick, responsive and caring to our audience. We heard a lot about unicorns and Oreo newsjacking the Superbowl (let’s all agree to find a new example, please). We saw the launch of Hubspot CRM, but there were also plenty of insightful, important sessions that we absolutely loved.

Watch a quick video recap of Day 2, and then check out the biggest Inbound takeaways from The Best Damn Blog Team on the Planet, 352 Inc.

We Need to Stop Telling Stories – Mike Cushing

As marketers, it’s been all the rage to tell brand stories – and for good reason. Stories are engaging, they’re powerful. But they can also seriously limit our ability to form real connections with our audience. After all, no one likes to be around the guy at the dinner party who is constantly telling stories but never stops to ask you about yourself. He may be fun to be around, but he’s not someone you want to be around on a regular basis. Instead of storytelling, we need to start story making. Every day, spend some time reaching out to your audience – listen, respond and care about what they’re saying.

Let’s Make Email More Social – Brittney Sheffield

For too long we’ve thought of email as simply a one-directional tool to get seen by as many semi-interested people as possible. Marketing automation has changed the way many of us approach email, but even targeted content can be boring content. Instead, we can use email as social proof that our content is working. You’re not just sending a message hoping that someone clicks a link – you want your content to be good enough that a reader will forward it to a friend, or even share it on social. Now, we’re not talking your grandma’s FWD emails here – we’re talking real, engaging content.

CMOs Aren’t Unicorns – Brittney Sheffield

Despite all our best wishes, there is no formula for getting the attention of a CMO. If you want to attract attention of someone like Mike Troiano, you need to be genuine and come to him with ideas to solve a problem. If you truly want to get to reach a CMO, send something that’s worth a response. Get to know who you’ll be talking to – don’t send an email that everyone on your Hoovers list receives.

Even if we wish they were.
Even if we wish they were.

Besting the Giants – Jennifer Fix

No matter the size of your marketing team or organization, there will always be someone larger with a bigger budget and resource pool. While you might not be able to out-spend these giants, you CAN out-think, out-teach and out-help them. Reframing your mindset from “What can I do?” to “What can I do for others?” will provide value to your audience as opposed to selling at them, proving you a welcome addition to the conversation instead of a distraction. 

Hubspot Beefing Up Ahead of IPO – Brian Russell

The Hubspot keynote yesterday was pretty impressive, and Hubspot CRM looks like a low-effort, cheap, tightly integrated CRM that will be good for small-to-medium businesses to roll with (“It Does the Work for You,” says Brian Halligan). Having the CRM included within Hubspot’s automation platform removes many barriers to getting a business started by better managing their new customer acquisition process, and gets them more sophisticated quickly. It’s pretty safe to bet it’ll help Hubspot continue to grow its customer base — not only with companies rolling out marketing automation, but also with those looking to consolidate their vendor list. Hubspot has always been about helping David beat Goliath, but these new steps are just pumping David full of steroids and giving him a M60 instead of a rock and sling. It will be interesting to see what Salesforce and Pardot release at Dreamforce next month.

1 out of 10 marketers take 1 digital class in college – Robert Berris

This is a shocking stat. Digital and Social are critical components of being successful in Advertising and Marketing today. While we know that education typically lags behind the real world, I cannot fathom how little digital experience these kids are graduating with. They are completely unprepared for a world where digital marketing and advertising are critical components to every brand’s business.
Digital agencies that have to hire these entry level employees must create internal learning programs that get employees up to speed quickly and integrate them into their teams.

64% of brands will choose another agency within the next 12 months – Robert Berris

This doesn’t surprise me. I actually thought the stat might be higher. There’s an incredible amount of agencies who exist in the marketplace who are, for lack of a better word, jonesing, to get more clients. Oh and they’ll work harder and cost less, too. It’s an unfortunate reality that we live in, but there’s always going to be an agency who wants to over-service an account to win that business.
The lesson here is that we as agencies need to be extremely proactive in our approach to how we provide value to our clients. This means coming to them with ideas early and often. We shouldn’t be afraid of failure, but we must ensure we’re continuing to build strong relationships with them and ultimately prove value in the long-term.



352 is an innovation and growth firm. Leading companies hire us to find billion-dollar opportunities, build killer new products and create hockey-stick growth. We bring grit and new-fashioned thinking to innovation, digital development and growth marketing.