5 Seriously Actionable Marketing Stats Learned at #INBOUND18

September 10, 2018

While the majority of the WordStream squad was busy spreading the love at our decked-out #Inbound18 booth, certain among us were able to sneak away to the glorious world of Inbound sessions. And just like last year, this year’s sessions were chock full of helpful marketing stats—which, if leveraged effectively, can pay MASSIVE dividends as you continue to ramp up your strategy for Q4.

Inbound 2018

From customer-centricity, to video creative, to e-commerce—let’s do a quick rundown of the top five most actionable statistics from Inbound 2018.

1. 96% of people would continue to buy from a company that screwed up but apologized and made it right.

Inbound 2018 Dharmesh

HubSpot Co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah on-stage for his keynote.

This year’s keynote from HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah was rolling along about as expected—with insights aplenty, including Halligan’s love for the Grateful Dead, his retirement of the modern day funnel (in favor of a flywheel), and Shah’s affinity for pizza and giant t-shirts—when Shah dropped this statistic about companies owning up to their mistakes. 96% of people would continue to buy from a company that screwed up but apologized and made it right. As an anecdote leading into the data, Shah told the story about the time earlier this year when KFC ran out of chicken and took out a full-page ad in the London Evening Standard to apologize for it.

Shah’s address ran through the various ways companies can inculcate customer-centricity into their cultures. It was a master-class in crisis management; and also transparency, which continues to be a big theme this year.  

2. “You don’t need to make your product 10 times better; you need to make your customer experience 10 times lighter.”

Inbound 2018 Customer Experience

Shah quoting his co-presenter.

The Halligan/Shah keynote was so fascinating that it seems wrong not to give it two spots on this list. This stat comes from Halligan; and it is actually not so much a stat as an evolving concept. He reflected on a professor in business school who told him that if he wanted to build a great company some day, he would have to build a product that was 10 times better than the competition’s. That, Halligan said, would be terrible advice today: “If you want to build a great company in 2018,” he said, “your customer experience has to be 10 times lighter than the competition’s.”

This quote was symptomatic of Halligan’s theme: building fluid and productive businesses today is all about getting the friction out of your model. The advent of the IPhone, elevated e-commerce, and other advancements in marketing and tech have made a frictionless business model imperative—especially if you’re in B2C (though, he said, the B2B train is “leaving the station” soon). That means moving from full-service to self-service, 8-hour availability to 24-hour availability, and “buy first” to “try first.”

All of which, it turns out, fit into the “Delight” stage of the Halligan’s new flywheel; a stage which, he says, he is incorporating cross-departmentally into HubSpot’s fabric. If you want to follow HubSpot’s lead, your new growth model is going to favor experience at every step of the customer journey over the bottom line.

3. Facebook videos today get over 75% of their views in their first four days.

Inbound 2018 Sud

Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud on-stage dropping truth bombs.

Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud continued with the theme of “delighting”—but not in terms of delighting one’s customers. Sud went to Vimeo with the notion that, given the creative production power of Vimeo’s user base, it would be easy to delight prospects with immersive video ads. Not so!

One of the biggest issues plaguing Vimeo when Sud first arrived—and it’s an issue that plagues agencies and advertisers across the industry—is the ability to produce fresh content at a consistent pace. 75% of views on Facebook videos today come within the first four days of posting. To say nothing of small business owners: most well-manned, well-paid marketing teams don’t have the resources to produce a new video every four days.

Part of the challenge is the industry standard for stock creative components—especially video. It’s super low. The solution: aside from giving producers the ability to edit and publish videos from within the platform, Vimeo now also boasts Vimeo Stock—a new product that allows marketers to leverage fully-licensed video assets produced by “world-class creators.” Vimeo Stock lets you easily search and license footage from a vast community. It’s not free—but it does give you another option if you’re looking to source and produce a quick ad spot.

Oh, and we’d be remiss not to mention: You can now create immersive, brand-tailored Facebook video ads at the drop of a hat within WordStream Advisor.

4. Only four people on earth have struck out more than Alex Rodriguez.

Inbound 2018 A-Rod

A-Rod talks shop.

I know what you’re thinking—What on earth does Alex Rodriguez have to do with marketing? Well, if you’ve followed Alex Rodriguez’s career from Major League Baseball player to broadcaster, you know that there is perhaps no better example of personal re-branding on a major scale. Not one person comes to mind who was more unanimously disliked while he played, and is now more unanimously liked while he’s in the broadcast booth. And I promise the first part of that sentence is not biased my Red Sox fandom. The dude was a constant scapegoat in New York.

Try not to let the rah-rah, motivational flavor of this stat get in the way of its message: Alex Rodriguez is fifth all-time in Major League Baseball in strikeouts. Despite that fact, he’s still considered one of the greats to have ever played the game. The theme here, which A-Rod reflected on in his spotlight session: you’re going to fail constantly in your life, in your career, and in your projects. Embrace the process of revival, and, like A-Rod, and like KFC in our earlier example, you can rewrite the narrative of your personal brand.

5. Every 60 seconds someone gets their first sale.

Inbound 2018 Shopify

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke talks e-commerce and snowboards.

Shopify Founder and CEO Tobi Lutke used his spotlight session to talk about the process of building his company—from a snowboard-selling site in 2004, to the monster platform it is today. There were a few pieces of software like Shopify around when Lutke started the company, but they all catered to specific businesses that wanted to start selling with e-commerce. None of them had the functionality to cater to any business that wanted to start selling with e-commerce. Lutke created Shopify for the dreamers—like him—who “worked through their lunch breaks” at their 9 to 5s in an attempt to start their own businesses.

The stat Lutke dropped—every 60 seconds someone gets their first sale—for my money, is symptomatic of the increasing move in marketing and tech toward DIY. Not only are e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Squarespace acquiring users at a rampant pace, but there is more functionality out there now than ever for marketing “amateurs” who have a vision but don’t have the budget, or are not professionally-trained.

That’s a Wrap!

If you stopped by our booth this week, or if you interacted with the WordStream team in some other meaningful way—thank you for connecting with us! If you missed us, please don’t hesitate to peruse our site and check out the numerous ways we help our customers exceed their online advertising goals.

Gordon Donnelly

Gordon Donnelly is a college hockey washout turned SEO & content marketer. He's a sucker for fly fishing, mudslides, and Jim Morrison.

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