Top 7 Things from Hubspot's INBOUND 2015 #INBOUND15

I have a confession… my name is Jae and I’m an Inbound convert. With dozens of sponsors, 204 sessions, and 14,000 attendees at HubSpot’s Inbound 2015, it felt almost like a religious experience. A trip to the mecca of inbound marketing, if you will.

With all the gospel-like sessions, megachurch-like keynotes, and overall sense of belonging to something bigger, how do you make sense of it all and distill it down to the best parts?

Well, my manager, Jenay, and I rounded up the top 7 speakers, sessions, and miscellaneous good bits of #INBOUND15 to share with you (including all relevant SlideShare presentations and notes). We hope you enjoy our take on this year’s conference and if you like what you see, please feel free to share, reach out, and/or meet up with us at next year’s HubSpot Inbound!


Jenay: Who better to learn from about hiring and managing exceptional marketers than the CMO of the company that revolutionized all things Inbound? Kipp Bodnar delivered a wonderfully enlightening session focused on what’s driving successful marketers along their career paths today. He articulated the importance of our role and how the conversion of data and spending make finding an equally balanced creative and analytical marketer more challenging than ever.

Today’s best marketers value the opportunity to continuously learn more than they value their paychecks. I appreciated the practical advice Kipp shared with regard to the structure of Hubspot’s team, the tools they use internally, and his encouraging tips to help me make sure the Brandfolder marketing team is always comprised of top talent. 

Get the secrets to hiring marketers notes here.

Club inbound


Jenay: As a new Hubspot customer, I am still learning about all of the amazing things this company does. I was excited to stumble into a session led by Hubspot’s agency partner of the year, Square 2 Marketing. Eric Keiles is the type of speaker that gets the audience excited, eager to hear what he has to say next.

I enjoyed that he mixed (sometimes not so glamorous) real-world examples throughout his presentation and left me with actionable tips that will help improve Brandfolder’s marketing programs. My key takeways: It’s important to focus more on strategy than tactics, and your messaging and positioning can greatly influence your results (for better or for worse).

See the full 30-minute marketing plan presentation here.


Jae: Self-proclaimed “lyrical gangsta”, Mike Troiano, aka Mike Trap, delivered his presentation about brand positioning like a mob hit: hard-hitting, effective, and with style. With decades of acclaimed branding and marketing experience, Mike posed questions for marketers to get to the heart of what it means to be a brand.

See the full brand positioning presentation here.

On top of that, real life tips on how to tell your brand story were inserted throughout the session. Don’t take my word for it, check out these results from testing platform, Wantoo, that shows Mike’s session as the #3 session (out of 204) that Inbounders wanted to see:


4. FORGET HACKS by Anum HussainSenior Growth Marketer at Sidekick by HubSpot

Jae: Holy Beyoncé. If you’ve peeped any of Anum Hussain’s brilliant, beautiful, and deeply thorough presentations or seen the kind of magic she’s pumping out over at Sidekick by HubSpot, then you already know this woman’s got the whole Growth Marketing thing down.

After waiting in a line where Anum high-fived everyone, I sat down for this session with my fresh Google doc ready to fire… until I realize she literally put her entire presentation (slides, notes, funny memes, etc.) into a complete B2C2B content strategy blog post on her site.

This was the only speaker I stayed behind to meet, which meant she was worth the risk of getting locked out of the next session. I also subscribed to her personal newsletter and introduced my entire team to her work. That’s how great branding and marketing is done! Also, bonus points for the Harry Potter and Beyonce love.

3. KEYNOTE by Dr. Brené BrownResearcher, Storyteller & Giver of the 4th Most Watched Ted Talk EVERtop 7 things you missed at hubspot conference :: Brandfolder

Jenay + Jae: Did you feel your hairs raise and your eyes mist up during this powerful keynote? Dr. Brené Brown blew our vulnerable minds with her deeply personal anecdotes which reminded us all that at the end of the day, it comes down to connections. As marketers, sometimes (okay, a lot of the times) we get caught up in this data-driven formula or that ultimate/definitive list of hacks, when our consumer could honestly give two swizzler sticks about any of that. As Dr. Brown would say, we all just want to feel listened to and loved.

2. GOOD CONTENT VS. GOOD ENOUGH CONTENT: A FIGHT FOR SORE EYES by Ann HandleyChief Content Officer at MarketingProfs

Jenay: I love Ann Handley. I had the pleasure of working on a webinar with her as she was launching her book, “Everybody Writes”. As the world’s first Chief Content Officer, it’s clear Ann knows what she’s talking about. I enjoyed her session focused on content improvement: it’s about bigger, better, and bolder content. Know your story and don’t be afraid to tell it. Too often marketers miss the mark by playing it safe.

Ann’s presentation was full of inspiring examples that got our Brandfolder minds recharged and excited to improve our content. She might have also sold a few Freaker USA beer koozies, which in hindsight would have been great to have at the Club Inbound party.

Get the bigger, better, and bolder notes here.

1. PANTIES, CHEAP WINE, AND BAD-ASS FEMINISM by Amy Schumer, Chief Laughs Officer at “Inside Amy Schumer

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Jenay + Jae: This woman is just as amazing and raunchy as you think she is. If you want to know what it looks like to be “on brand,” as us marketers like to say, look at Amy. From showing us her “stretched out American Apparel panties” within the first five minutes, to chugging down lukewarm red wine on stage (while mocking the entire conference for being on the cutting edge of technology yet unable to open a corked wine bottle), to owning her womanhood and sexuality like a boss, every minute of the hilarious hour felt like all 14,000 of us were befriending the breakout comedian. This is how all marketing should feel.


  • HOW THE HUBSPOT BLOG USED DATA TO SETTLE THE QUANTITY VS. QUALITY DEBATE by Ginny Soskey, Section Editor at HubSpot Marketing Blog

Jae: Guys, this is probably as scientific as marketing gets. Ginny Soskey’s session was the perfect combination of data-driven insights, actionable takeaways, and fun. Hey, that sounds a lot like what great content marketing is. Ginny was able to pack in six months worth of research-backed information into a mere 45 minutes. I walked out feeling like I was locked and loaded to attack the quantity versus quality debate at Brandfolder.

See the quantity versus quality notes here and the HubSpot blog post here.

  • A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH SLACK CMO, BILL MACAITIS, featuring Sarah Green of Harvard Business Review

Jenay: I loved the open Q&A style session with Slack CMO, Bill Macaitis. We are avid fans of Slack at Brandfolder, and them of us. I enjoyed hearing about what’s been successful for them, how their team is structured, and the way they are thinking outside the box. They sell enterprise software but they don’t act like your typical enterprise software vendor. And it’s working – they are the fastest growing enterprise app ever and they’re doing it by solving a very simple but relevant problem: reducing inbox chaos.

  • Chicken & Rice Guys

Jenay + Jae: When you strategically plan with your coworker to leave sessions early to ensure you both can experience the saucy, gluttonous-ness that is the Chicken & Rice Guys, you know it must be good. These guys are the Boston version of the famed Halal Guys of New York City. Sadly, Thursday was their last day at the conference. Luckily, Jenay and I got some of their meaty goodness earlier in the week. Yay carnivores and #INBOUND15!

Did you attend #INBOUND15 this year? If so, shout out in the comments below with your favorite speakers or sessions! If not, let us know what you would have liked to experience.