Over 60,000 people attended INBOUND 2022 virtually and in-person at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. INBOUND is the go-to event for anyone who is serious about digital and inbound marketing. Ironmark Digital Marketing has represented at INBOUND since 2016.

This year, the conference was hybrid which allowed the entire digital marketing division of Ironmark to attend, while a few lucky team members were able to attend in-person in Boston. Each team member found amazing insights, and we compiled all our top picks and explained what each session was about and why we loved it. 

So here they are, our team’s top picks of over dozens of fantastic sessions:

Ironmark’s Top INBOUND Sessions

How It Started & How It’s Going: How Failure & Pivoting Can Create Massive Opportunity | Presenter: Jay Schwedelson, World Data

This session highlighted Jay’s early career and how he was almost a billionaire but didn’t believe that cookies would be successful and chose not to implement them when his one other competitor did. The competitor sold their company to Google for $3 billion and his company no longer exists. He also highlighted the importance of being known for something versus being known for everything, and how changing his focus from everything to solely email marketing changed everything for his career. 

Digital Marketing is ever-changing, and it was refreshing to hear from a successful marketer that made a lot of mistakes and was still able to grow a successful career and learn from his mistakes. It’s crucial to be able to pivot in this industry because a single update may occur that changes how everything operates. Hearing first-hand how someone tackled this simple, but core skill was really interesting and helpful to learn about!” - Kate Harris, Digital Marketing Account Manager

Prominence vs Presence: How to Stand Out Amongst the Crowd on LinkedIn | Presenter: Amanda C. Green, LinkedIn

The session involved a deep dive into how to create content that can make “breakthroughs” in driving engagement and audience acquisition. The speaker broke it down into five sections:

  • Embrace emotional connection
  • Be distinctive, consistently
  • Get personal
  • Break the format
  • Bring your value to life

“It's exciting to hear about different ways to leverage LinkedIn from people who work at LinkedIn. Being able to get the inside scoop on how to use hashtags, long form content, videos, “human” stories aimed to trigger an emotional response, etc. was super exciting. Nothing like drinking water straight from the source, right? Lastly, there were also walkthroughs of the different LinkedIn tools available to find out what your target audience is interested in and how to get in front of them. The speakers were absolutely amazing, very clear and direct in how they spoke and would pause for questions every now and then. Definitely a session worth rewatching and I feel overall very lucky to be able to obtain that information and apply it for our clients.” - Miguel Hernandez, Digital Marketing Specialist

Web3 in Marketing | Presenter: Steph Taylor, Socialette Podcast

In this session, Steph Taylor, a Digital product launch strategist and marketer, explains actionable and easy-to-implement tactics for using web3 in your marketing efforts, including building organic reach in existing NFT communities, using NFT assets in your brand marketing, leveraging collections of NFT Creative Common Zero license, and rewarding people with a token for taking an action.


Steph also included several resources for learning about Web3 basics, including:

“Steph really helped open my eyes to how decentralized social media could increase organic reach. There are thousands of communities that companies can engage, who are truly interested in what they have to offer. She had so many quick tips and resources, it was impossible to type fast enough during the session!” - Chris McCready, Senior Director Client Services

3 Things Holding You Back From Doubling Your Sales | Presenter: Amanda Holmes, CEO Chet Holmes International (CHI)

Amanda Holmes is not your typical Enterprise Sales CEO. She’s young, sprightly, and whip-smart, with a sparkle in her eye and a tragic story to tell. Her late father, Chet Holmes, created the sales training and consultancy Chet Holmes International (CHI), and his lost battle with Leukemia in 2013 unleashed a journey of self-discovery, awareness, and confidence, leading her to take the reins of CEO and become the company’s legit leader. Her coming-of-age story, as moving as it was to hear, simulated her own unique process of sales mastery, as CHI and her father’s book The Ultimate Sales Machine describe it. “The Power of Story” is one of the key formulas in their process and of this session. The process includes connecting compelling facts and emotions into a story that grabs attention and resets the thinking. The formula works like this: 

Global Pain > Targeted Pain > Solutions > Reset the Buying Criteria > Most Logical Choice

Another key component she discussed included a unique notion she called, Pig Headed Determination. The idea is that it’s not about learning 4000 moves but doing basic and important steps 4000 times. 

The best part of the session, though, was when she had the audience make one of her bold moves while social selling, The Signature Selfie. She told a story of having great success taking unexpected selfies with C-suite execs she would meet at networking events. Here’s how her script goes:

  • “Want to do something fun?” Before the unassuming CMO could respond, she’ll say, “smile!” Click.
  • She takes the selfie and says, “Ok, fun. I’ll text it to you; what’s your number?”

Do you see what she did there? Now she has a perfect ideal prospect’s phone number. From there, she gets creative. She might post the selfie, with a meme about how smart the people are at the event, on LinkedIn and tag the person, now being forever connected with them. “This is not creepy,” she promised, “it’s smart.” Once the selfie and flattering post were published, she would continue to like and comment on all the prospect’s posts for three months. Pig-Headed Determination in social selling includes understanding where your top 100 ideal prospects hang out online. And then get “in their face, in their space, in their place.”

She had us in the audience turn to the person to our right and say, “Want to do something fun?” This is my “Signature Selfie” with my right-side neighbor at the session, Aaron Boatin, president at Ambs Call Center. We’re now connected on LinkedIn!

This was a standout session for me because of the practical, unexpected, and downright quirky tactics sales folks can use right away in today’s business arena. Amanda Holmes nailed it with her session. My next step is to buy the new edition of her father’s book, which includes her many unique and under-used tactics for doubling sales. - Lynne Kingsley, VP of Marketing

Email Marketing Tips: Do This, Not That | Presenter: Jay Schwedelson, World Data

During this session, Jay highlighted best practices for email and content marketing that can increase open rates and click-through rates for more successful email marketing campaigns. Jay touched on certain strategies to focus on and which are best to avoid.

Jay reviewed ten tips to improve open rates and CTRs, and included recent analytics further emphasizing the success of these best practices. “I was interested to hear how certain words in the subject line could dramatically increase open rates, like ‘tomorrow’ versus other days of the week. Jay offered powerful insights on the type of content people are interested in receiving in their inbox and what keeps them from unsubscribing. After attending this session, I was excited to implement these best practices in client email campaigns right away to see stellar results.” - Olivia Tagye, Content Manager

NFT Experiences for Consumer Brands – Who, Why and How | Presenters: Cameron Bale, Dr. Quinn Button & Michael Battaglia 

This session highlighted the variety in which brands can utilize NFT technology to give their users/customers a more exclusive way of being part of the brand. NFTs give brands the ability to have their fans and loyal customers now become participants in a newly found tribe.  

"An example they highlighted was Coach. They gave away free NFTs to an existing Coach community with the end goal being for those NFT owners to redeem a custom Coach handbag for simply owning the NFT that they got for free. The result of this was selling out of NFTs in under a minute and gaining global press coverage. This opened the doors for Coach to ride this success by running a second campaign for users to join the “Coach Insider Program” which would give you early access to future NFT giveaways. Coach decided to give their loyal fans an avenue to become more than the owner of a handbag but to become a stakeholder in the brand they already love. Because of their increase in program sign-ups, the second giveaway sold out in minutes. NFTs are more than just digital art, they are an avenue for brands to allow customers to become ambassadors of your brand." - Nilton Capela, Digital Marketing Account Manager

What’s Next: Building on Organization to Fuel the Flywheel | Atlassian’s CMO, Robert Chatwani, and Director of Integrated Product Marketing, Ashley Faus

Robert and Ashley shared how to support and grow your company using the Flywheel concept. They shared how it works while focusing on a unique marketing organizational structure, hiring initiatives to grow talent at scale, mindset and structural shifts. 

“Robert Chatwani began speaking to their hiring process and asked the audience ‘What would you do if your success was inevitable?’ - I was hooked! He was directing the question to everyone, not just business owners, because the growth of your business is determined upon the success of the people who support it, and in turn the success and growth of your clients. Robert and Ashley described exactly what to look for in new talent and how to structure their career development to ensure their success and tenure. It was just one of many techniques of the flywheel that they touched on, but it was my favorite. I’ve rewatched it four times.” - Brianne Roth, Marketing Manager

RevOps: The Operating System for Scaled Growth | HubSpot’s EVP, Alison Elworthy and SVP, Sid Kumar

HubSpot VPs walked through how HubSpot’s RevOps empowers the Flywheel model to accelerate revenue growth. 

“You can usually decide if a presentation will be good within the first 15 seconds - Alison and Sid did not disappoint. As soon as RevOps was announced as the topic, the audience cheered with excitement. Alison explained why HubSpot RevOps was created and how its breakthrough productivity and innovation drives the Flywheel. Later on, Sid walked us through how to accelerate revenue growth with efficiency and effectiveness with the RevOps playbook. There were many innovative business strategies presented at Inbound but the Flywheel and RevOps were by far my favorite takeaways.” - Don Clark, Senior Director of Agency Services

As a team, we wanted to say thank you to HubSpot for transforming INBOUND into a successful hybrid event and providing stellar sessions.

If you want to learn more of what we learned over the years about inbound marketing, or just need a digital marketing health check, contact our experts at Ironmark for a chat. We love all things digital marketing, and are always here to spread our learned knowledge!

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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