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How Jay Z Won Me a Ticket to HubSpot's Inbound 2013 Conference

Posted by Brandon Weaver on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 @ 01:28 PM

HubSpot Inbound 2013What comes to mind when you think of Jay Z? Is it Beyonce? 99 Problems? The Brooklyn Nets, of which he used to be a minority owner? Certainly marketing and sales don't come to mind. Although, he did coin the phrase, "I'm not a businessman... I'm a business, man." It's not every day a legendary, multi-platinum rapper wins you a ticket to a marketing conference. But that's exactly what happened to me.

It all started with a simple tweet.

Let me start off by saying HubSpot has been a great partner of ours for more than two years now and have consistently helped us increase our bottom line. Their marketing automation system makes it easy for us to create content that our target markets enjoy. To that end they host an annual conference, Inbound 2013, to help spread the word about inbound marketing.

HubSpot preaches to create "remarkable content" and your prospects and customers will love you for it. They feel so strongly about this that their conference wi-fi password was "beremarkable13." I feel as though I created two remarkable pieces of content. The first is the short Twitter conversation I had with HubSpot's Chief Marketing Officer Mike Volpe that won me the ticket, shown here:

HubSpot Inbound Jay Z Tweet

As you can see I didn't submit one of the more popular Jay Z lyrics such as '99 Problems,' 'Hard Knock Life,' or 'I'm a business, man...' Instead, I submitted a lyric that most people probably don't even remember. In that way it is remarkable content. It was so remarkable that CrossCheck viewed it as an educational business trip and flew me to Boston for a week!

HubSpot Inbound business cardThe second piece of remarkable content is my business card. HubSpot's Inbound 2013 conference had over 5,300 attendees from 53 countries. With that many people how are you going to differentiate yourself and your business from the rest? With the help of my colleague, we created a business card to help me do just that. I think it's safe to say I was the only attendee with my face on a popsicle stick, and I would put money on that!

At the conference itself, HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah joined conference keynote speakers:

  • Seth Godin - world renowned blogger and marketer
  • Arianna Huffington - founder of Huffington Post, encouraged attendees to take a 20-minute nap each day for better productivity
  • Nate Silver - statistician, writer, correctly predicted the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections, state by state
  • Scott Harrison - founder of Charity: Water, helping fund clean water projects all around the world

All speakers brought a unique perspective and inspiration, but Scott Harrison particulary stood out. The retelling of his experiences in Ethiopia and Uganda were heartbreaking, bringing many in the audience to tears, including myself. One of his first ideas with Charity: Water was to "give up your birthday." The concept is this: whatever age you are celebrating, you donate that many dollars to Charity: Water, along with friends and family, to fund under privileged areas so they can have clean drinking water. I tweeted this during his keynote address and I'm saying it again... giving up your birthday is one of the best ideas I've ever heard. What is more remarkable than that?

HubSpot has mastered the art of marketing automation and closed loop analytics to help businesses thrive in an ever challenging business environment. Case in point, HubSpot announced three new products at Inbound 2013.

  • Social Inbox - Allows customers to monitor their Twitter feeds and respond in real time or on a scheduled basis, all based on the keywords you set up in the tool. You can monitor what people are saying about your products, your competitors or even if someone has a complaint about your business. A lifesaver to say the least.
  • Content Optimization System (COS) - As HubSpot says, this is the "first integrated website, blog and landing page system to be optimized for mobile right out-of-the-box." With more and more people searching on smart phones and tablets, you never have to worry again if your website is user friendly on portable devices. Plus, the COS makes your site faster to load and is personalizable to individual viewers.
  • Signals - This can be integrated with Salesforce, Gmail and Outlook. It lets users view when people read one of your sent emails, when a sales representative is assigned a new lead or "if a cold lead revisits your site after months of inactivity." It acts like a small pop-up in the corner of the screen when there is activity (don't worry it's not annoying because it disappears after a few seconds).

HubSpot Inbound Erin Mike SamI would like to conclude by thanking Jay Z for his lyrical genius, and HubSpot's Mike Volpe for granting me the free conference ticket. It was my first trip to Boston and I can't say enough great things about the city and HubSpot. Although I was traveling alone, I felt as though I had a few unofficial hosts. Particularly, Mr. Volpe and rock stars Mike Lemire, Sam Mallikarjunan and Erin Sliney. They continue to create remarkable content, as evidenced by the three announcements above.

So what did I learn from this experience? Be remarkable in your own way. For me it was a tweet and a business card. As Nate Silver stated, "find ways to stand out from all the noise in the world today" because people will notice, and you will be better off for it.

What is your remarkable content? How are you going to become remarkable?

***One last thing. Have you ever seen a dancing CEO? Here's HubSpot Co-Founder Brian Halligan breakin' it down for all 5,300 conference attendees... One of the highlights of Inbound 2013!


Brian Halligan dance Inbound 2013

 (gif courtesy of HubSpot)


Tags: Events / Conferences