Inbound 2023 just wrapped up, leaving us buzzing with fresh ideas and insights. As the premier event in the inbound marketing world, Inbound never fails to deliver an electrifying experience. Whether you attended in person or virtually, along with millions of AI-bots, let's take a moment to recap some of the key highlights from this year's event.
Inbound 2023 hosted an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, from HubSpot executives to the likes of Steven Bartlett and Reese Witherspoon.
Yamini Rangan, CEO of HubSpot, opened proceedings on the main stage and set the scene for how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact the business landscape.
In an enthralling keynote, she emphasizes the rapid pace of change in the industry and the transformative potential of generative AI, explaining that AI is moving us from the age of information to the age of intelligence, changing the way we live, work, and buy.
Up next was Andy Pitre, HubSpot’s Executive VP of Product introduced a slew of new features and products that embed machine learning and generative AI into the heart of the connected customer platform.
During a research run, HubSpot identified 126 use cases for AI and then prioritised them to arrive at the enhancements announced at Inbound.
The excitement from the announcements of the new HubSpot features was electric, and yet Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot co-founder and CTO, followed Andy’s talk with an impressive follow-up.
During the talk, he attempted to answer a very common question about AI:
“Will AI take my job?”
While many experts say AI won’t take your job, but a human using AI will (if you’re not using it), Dharmesh disagrees.
“AI will take your job.”
“And replace it with one much better.”
For marketers, much of the excitement revolved around how to ride the AI wave, optimize marketing budgets, and refine (and adjust) their skills in content creation, search optimization and campaign management. New generative AI features deeply integrated into the Marketing Hub will "prompt" marketers to draft full campaigns, from landing page copy and images to social ads.
Customer success team members can enjoy a 2 hour per day time saving, by using the newly integrated generative AI tools to easily drafting responses to customer requests, while sales teams can use the SMART CRM to create and maintain a true personal customer connection.
RevOps (revenue operations) enthusiasts uncovered a plethora of strategies (often AI-enabled) aimed at turbocharging revenue, expanding their global footprint, and establishing customer-centric operational frameworks.
Outside of the product enhancement announcements, one of the most insightful sessions on AI was presented by Meghan Kearney Anderson, Head of Marketing at Jasper and Dylan Selberg, Director of Product - ChatSpot.ai & AI Innovation Lab at HubSpot and titled “Future-proofing your business: addressing AI-related risks and opportunities.”
During the conversation, Meghan addressed how many marketing agencies are grappling with challenges in how to support clients in approaching the seismic shifts underway in how consumers search and buy in the age of AI.
“This is not the year where you just take the budget for last year and expand it year over year. This is the year where you look at how much has changed in the last six months and figure out how you position your team to be incredibly agile in the coming year.
You need to make a plan for where AI is going to drive the biggest amount of change and where you can find opportunities.”
Dealing with change was a key topic of many of the keynotes, and Steven Bartlett, founder of the Social Chain, Dragon’s Den investor and host of the Diary of a CEO podcast, stressed that any change, no matter how small, is a change and can be painful. That small change can also be a strong motivator in an organization that will engage both clients and employees to see progress.
He highlighted that the constant drive to change and improve products and processes helped Toyota become the world’s largest car manufacturer, producing 10.5 million vehicles in 2022. He stressed it also helped employees embrace and be comfortable with change.
“There’s always opportunity created by change, and you’re one of two types of person: you’re either the type of person for whom the discomfort associated with change makes you procrastinate and lean out, or you are the type of person that hears that and leans in because you know there’s huge opportunity there somewhere.
A changing world creates opportunity because it disrupts, and it displaces, but it also creates. So I feel optimistic because of this change, and it creates a huge opportunity to rethink and create new solutions to problems.”
All Inbound attendees seemed to be leaning in towards the change and opportunity that AI can bring, even if there is notable caution around ethics and bias. The energy and enthusiasm in the air made networking electrifying.
Inbound 2023 was an incredible experience that left attendees feeling energized and inspired. From the captivating keynote speakers to the thought-provoking breakout sessions and the networking opportunities, this conference encapsulated this once-in-a-lifetime inflexion point as we enter the Age of AI.
The world of marketing is evolving more rapidly than ever before, lean into it.