I joined the Hughes & Co team, and the inbound marketing industry, nearly two years ago. Like most of my colleagues, I joined with a background and experiences that were not in inbound marketing. (Side note: it is my belief that those unique histories and perspectives are what help our team succeed once we each individually master the techniques, tools and strategy of inbound.)
Coming from public relations and public service, I did not know much about inbound marketing, but I knew it involved writing and strategic thinking, so I felt I could learn it. I'm lucky that Allie Hughes and the team here felt the same way, because it took their expertise, support and patience to get to a place where I could successfully leverage inbound marketing to help businesses achieve their goals.
As I prepare to leave the inbound marketing industry, for now, here are the three BIG things I've learned.
In two years, this is probably my biggest takeaway: inbound marketing is an industry of constant change. Even in my short timeframe, I saw the way we market change on a weekly basis. The tools change, the algorithms change, the strategies change, technology evolves, consumer behaviour evolves. Change is the about the only constant. (Props to Heraclitus and four years of philosophy undergrad for that one. Worth it!)
My takeaway from all this change is that it is critical that agencies like Hughes & Co exists. It is simply not possible for businesses to keep up with all these changes while simultaneously doing all the OTHER things needed to make a business successful. Inbound marketing is a full-time job and it is important to work with those that are doing it full-time to ensure you're employing strategies that work today, not those that worked yesterday.
Because I'm leaving I can say that marketing is, in fact, a little bit of magic. At Hughes & Co we like to say it's science, not magic and that is almost 100% true. Analyzing many sources of data, converting that data into insights through analysis and applying those insights into a strategy that brings in leads, customers and dollars is the meat and potatoes of what we do here. Having said that, it can't work without a pinch of magic. What I've enjoyed the most about this industry is the freedom it provides to be creative both in terms of strategy, design and writing. Taking the time to get the science right gives us the confidence to add a bit of magic and that's ultimately the 1% difference that sets our clients apart...in my opinion.
This is the big takeaway for me. Even as someone with a natural bent towards cynicism, I cannot deny the results that I've seen produced by inbound marketing. I have had the privilege to personally work day in and day out on a handful of accounts, but have also followed and provided input on many others. These clients come from a diverse set of industries, from around the world and each brings their own unique needs and goals, but what they all have in common is that they are able to achieve a great ROI by leveraging inbound marketing expertise. As I leave the industry, that is certainly the gospel this former cynic will be singing.
Thank you all those I had the opportunity to work with here at Hughes & Co, from teammates to clients to vendors. My personal takeaway from inbound marketing is a set of skills I've been able to develop that will greatly aid my career in any industry going forward. No matter where you're working, HubSpot's three stages of inbound marketing have an application: attract, engage, delight.