Skip to content

11 great highlights from INBOUND 2019

6 mins read

An intense week of inspiring talks and educational sessions at the world's biggest inbound conference, INBOUND 2019, is over.

Team Avidly is back in the Nordics, fueled up with new ideas, and here we give you the best takeaways of the week delivered by our team of Finnish. Swedish, Norwegian and Danish inbound enthusiasts.

Jeppe Nyrup and Brian Halligan

How you sell is why you win

Jeppe Houman Nyrup, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Avidly Denmark

How you sell is why you win.

That was the message HubSpot's CEO repeated over and over again from the keynote stage in Boston.

It's no secret that I find this man to be one of the most inspirational people in the world. I have had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions, and then once again this year.

He has an innovative approach to the future of business - this year was no exception. Put in short, his message is that successful companies are not the ones with the best products, prices or technology.

Rather, those with the magic formula to a great and frictionless customer experience are the ones who succeed the most. If you aim to grow your company, you should focus on the way you sell and design your processes to not only meet your customers' expectations but to help them buy from you without any obstacles whatsoever.

Ultimately, 'How you sell is why you win'.

Watch Brian Halligan's keynote here.

Petra Niemi

Create a connected experience with CRM driven marketing

Petra Niemi, Inbound Marketing Designer, Avidly Finland

3/4 of today's customers expect connected experiences, but only 1/4 feel that they actually receive them.

The omni-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers is here to stay. No matter how or where a customer reaches out, you have to deliver an integrated, smooth, and seamless experience.

You can have a well-designed website, engaging social media campaigns, automated nurturing chains, and a cool new chatbot. But if they don't work together, customers won't get the connected experience that they expect.

Today's modern customer experiences are built by teams of people and connected software applications working together with a common understanding.

Clean and well-organized data in CRM is your superpower for this. CRM driven marketing let's you create personalized and contextual experiences across every channel. Remember, every interaction matters.

Kristine Hansen

Scaling a Service Business through Client Memberships and Community

Kristine Hansen, Head of Consultants, Avidly Norway

Would you prefer your clients to have a transactional or relational relationship with you?

Building relationships with your clients and between your clients will transform your customer base into a community.

From the perspective of the client: would you prefer to be treated like a client or a member?

Seeing your clients as members will connect them more to your business, establish a more personal relationship between you, and you will become the go-to partner for services within your field.

Build a program for memberships and enable customers to learn from each other within your niche community and increase engagement and retention. It's all about being personal and building relationships.

Jens Jørgen Jensen

Email is still is still the most valuable marketing channel

Jens Jørgen Jensen, Inbound Marketing Specialist, Avidly Denmark

According to Ryan Deiss from, email is the next big thing. Not AI, chatbots, voice, or whatever marketers say these days.

Here are a few facts to underline this from a deep dive session with Michael Barber:

1. "We love email"
According to Adobe Email Survey 2018, we spend 2.5 hours on average checking personal emails every day, and 50% prefer email as their channel to receive branded communication.

2. "Email delivers solid ROI"
According to a study done by Salesforce, the average ROI for email is 3800%. And this is the case regardless of industry.

3. "It assists other channels"
Salesforce also found in another study that when people are exposed to Facebook Ads, email openers were 22% more likely to purchase.

But on the other side, 78% of all emails are just spam! And many still send the same email to every subscriber. Although email is indeed a great way to reach your customers, you need to do it in a smart and personalized way!

If you do, you can use this channel to provide value for both your customers and your company.

Therése Olsson

Less friction!

Therése Olsson, Sales, Avidly Sweden

I'm sitting on a train to New York, trying to summarize these interesting three days at INBOUND in Boston. One word that seems to pop up, no matter which session I think about, is friction.

Of course, friction always walks hand in hand with expectations. We, consumers, are picky these days. Our smooth interactions with brands have become a habit. Even the slightest friction can be devastating.

My insight from INBOUND 2019 and advice for you is: don't be so quick to label buzzwords like personalized video, AI or chatbots as mere trends.

Instead, try to see them as handy tools, as an evolution of communication.

If you do, they will soon become your best friends in the constant fight for frictionless communication with customers.

Ingunn Bjøru

Facing Fears; Growing Better by Growing Bolder

Ingunn Bjøru, Chief Operations Officer, Avidly

I caught one session this year. My time was mostly spent running from meeting to meeting with inspiring partners from the HubSpot community, travelling to Boston from all over the world.

The session was arguably the most important one: Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah's (CEO and CTO of HubSpot) keynote. Dharmesh openly shared 3 fears with the audience, one being the most relatable fear I have ever seen. The audience gasped in horror when he showed us all a screenshot sent to him by a friend. The friend wanted to share a recent headline with him, however, Dharmesh AND the audience had both immediately realised the same thing: the phone had very low battery.

A well-known fear, especially when running from meeting to meeting with the rest of the truly dedicated community created by HubSpot.

I cannot wait to get home, turn Avidly into an even better place to work at, and help our clients grow even faster. And remember to always keep a power bank in my bag.


Build personalised customer experience throughout the customer journey and remember to always put customer first

Tommi Laaksonen, Head of Consultants, Avidly Finland

It's easy to only focus on building and fine tuning your processes, products or services from your point of view and forget to put the customer experience first.

Are you able to build a personalised, unified and great customer experience throughout the whole customer journey for all channels?

To do so, every modern marketer should focus on using sales data. As a modern marketer, you should build customer systems to remove friction from the customer experience.

It also gives you the power to measure the impact of your marketing when you have a 360-degree view of your customer.

Make sure that your knowledge is also SEO'd and searchable. This will help your customers help themselves.


Perception over reality

Stine Pettersen, Inbound Marketing Consultant, Avidly Norway

Reality is something that is happening, while perception is someone's way of interpreting reality.

Your perception is your truth, and when we interpret things differently, we get different versions of the truth.

Your perception of the world also dictates your behaviour, hence, we all behave differently in similar situations. Perception is, therefore, more important than reality - what you say or do matter less than what others hear or feel.

And that is important to remember.


Make storytelling your secret weapon in marketing and sales

Henri Pallonen, Country Manager, Avidly Finland

Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah wrapped their vision and ideology around great stories. They didn't focus on features and benefits. They focused on telling a story, which was easy to digest and made you feel like a part of it.

On experience-driven marketing, we are now able to gather all the customer data together to create brilliant experiences. However, in terms of delivery, we need to remember to wrap an effective story around our actual delivery.

Stories are more memorable, and they bridge the gaps between the head, gut and heart. With the right tech and authentic stories, you can produce experiences that go straight to people's hearts and move them.


Why email marketing isn't dead

Essi Oinonen, Inbound Marketing Consultant, Avidly Finland

I had a chance to participate in the Hypergrowth conference in Boston, the day before INBOUND. The conference was full of inspiring speakers from the founder of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, to the professional rock climber Alex Honnold.

Among the powerful speakers, one particular speaker caught my eye, Ryan Deiss the founder and CEO of Ryan made some interesting points regarding Google, our target audience, the production of content for customers, and lastly the main reason we use social media. Ryan's slide concerning the next thing in marketing took me by surprise.

It simply said 'email marketing'.

Surprising? Maybe. Here are three reasons why email marketing should be one of your focus areas:

1. Emails are used daily by most. It's not a dead industry.
2. Most people know how to use email.
3. Email marketing is less distracting and more engaging than social media (your organic Facebook post is only seen by 0.5%, while the open rate for email is 26%).

So, next time you are planning your marketing strategy, please do not forget about email marketing.


Designing for better health

Örjan Bergholm, Digital Designer, Avidly Sweden

Although this post will primarily address INBOUND 2019, I can't help but share an experience from Hypergrowth, which some of us visited on our first day in Boston.

On the plane to the US, I saw the fantastic and nerve-wracking movie "Free Solo", which is about the rock climber (and madman) Alex Honnold's adventure as he decides to climb the nearly 1.000 m tall El Capitan cliff in June 2017 -without a rope!

I was really surprised when he turned out to be one of the speakers at Hypergrowth. I got to experience the same hand sweat and heart palpitations again as he went through the death climbing with us live. WOW!!!

The sessions at INBOUND were not quite as nerve-wracking, but I have brought some useful lessons with me home. I have learned the importance of making the user FEEL good when they use your product. It's not only about solving their problems.

Be generous - don't wait for someone else to deliver, it may just be your competitor.

I have learned that social media mostly serves as entertainment, which means that your content needs to be both entertaining AND valuable to the user if you wish to use social media as an advertising channel.

Austin Knight, product designer at Google, talked about the apps taking over our lives. As a designer, it's now my responsibility to add functions that help users reduce and control their screen time for better health.