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Inbound 2024: B2B Market Insights & Predictions

Find out key insights from the annual Inbound Conference by Hubspot

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September 13, 2023

Our team had the opportunity to attend HubSpot’s annual conference, Inbound 2023, in Boston last week. Inbound has once again become the focal point of discussions in the B2B tech market, addressing new trends and rapidly evolving challenges. To stay aligned with the market and stay updated on the latest developments, here are the key topics that were discussed at Inbound and how you can leverage them for the growth of your B2B tech business.


HubSpot Product Updates: Work Smarter, Not Harder 🛠️

The HubSpot product and ecosystem are rapidly expanding to better accommodate customers of all sizes. The latest updates, delivered at the stage by Andrew Pite with the slogan “Work smarter -not harder”, are nothing short of transformational, delivering significant benefits to both mid-sized businesses and enterprises alike.

Here are the main Hubspot ecosystem updates:

  • Content Assistant: HubSpot’s AI can now analyze your content and generate images for you.
  • Campaign Assistant: It effortlessly crafts landing pages, emails, and paid ads based on your answers to a few questions about your goals and preferred tone. It starts with the creation of a landing page and then, with another click, generates marketing emails, search campaigns, and Facebook ads.
  • Website Assistant: In just a few minutes and with a few simple prompts, it constructs complete websites, including layouts, styles, and content.
  • Chat: Customers no longer prefer static websites; they crave instant answers. HubSpot’s AI chatbot reads your website and knowledge base articles, crafting responses for your customers. This feature is currently in private beta within the Service Hub.
  • SMS: SMS communication now seamlessly integrates into HubSpot, just like other channels. You can incorporate it into workflows and enjoy comprehensive tracking and subscription management, enhancing your conversations with customers.
  • Sales: Despite 88% of salespeople considering building connections crucial, only a third of their time is spent on this task. The Sales Hub has undergone a transformation, covering Prospecting, Deal Management, and Reporting. The Prospecting Experience streamlines tasks with schedules, goals, and to-do lists in one place. Prospecting Reporting offers insights into what drives connections.
  • Deal Management equips reps and managers with essential customer context, complemented by a Deal Conversion funnel report. Early adopters have witnessed a remarkable 109% increase in their close rates with this tool.
  • (Coming soon) AI-powered deal reporting: This upcoming feature will enable you to build your custom dashboard with a simple prompt, promising a significant game-changer.
  • Deeper LinkedIn Integration: This deeper relationship allows you to track your prospects even if they’ve moved on or changed roles.
  • Commerce Hub: Customer journeys are evolving towards self-service, with payment links integrated into the CRM, automated billing through professional invoices, and seamless integration with accounting software, among other features.
  • CRM: HubSpot CRM has evolved into a smart CRM that can be tailored to each team’s unique workflows, data, and workspaces. For example, the Service team can monitor shipping progress, the Sales team can track health and open tickets, and the Marketing team can assess the effectiveness of campaigns.

Changing customer journey: time to move beyond traditional channels 🚀

Apart from the substantial advancements in the HubSpot platform and ecosystem, the HubSpot team has also acknowledged that the B2B buyer’s journey has evolved. They recognize that the traditional inbound approach needs adaptation to address the challenges posed by AI and the increasing influence of various social media platforms in B2B.

HubSpot’s CEO, Yamini Rangan, articulated the changing customer journey driven by the need for efficiency:

  • Search has become too slow; now, we seek recommendations, ideally through our social connections.
  • We no longer wish to navigate vendor websites for information; instead, we prefer discovering information through conversations, with chat gaining increasing importance.

AI stands as the driving force behind these transformative changes. We also recognize this shift, and it’s not limited to LinkedIn alone. We’ve engaged with the TikTok team, and they’ve reported a growing viewership of B2B-related hashtags on their platform. This signifies that the audience is already present and actively seeking valuable content to satisfy their existing inbound demand. Our goal is to unlock this immersive opportunity for B2B customers and keep the inbound momentum rolling in this new landscape through the Inbound Marketing 2.0 approach. Stay tuned for more updates.

Building B2B brand

Building B2B brand: absolutely mandatory 📈

The LinkedIn Institute team has shared a recent study that demonstrates how building a brand contributes to the establishment of a sustainable business. A strong brand not only fuels demand but also enhances performance, drives pipeline growth, and boosts ROI. In essence, your brand serves as the superpower that empowers you to outshine the competition and elevate the effectiveness of your marketing and sales endeavors. To harness the true potential of branding, keep in mind

  • Be creative to capture attention. While it may seem straightforward, many B2B companies underestimate the power of creativity.
  • Brand your advertisements early and consistently. Exceptional creatives, without branding, are akin to mere pieces of art.
  • Establish a clear connection between the problems you address and the solutions you offer.

And, of course, make sure to invest in reaching the right audience while keeping your eSOV (Estimated Share of Voice) in alignment with the target SOM (Share of Market). Failing to do so may leave you vulnerable to competitors pilfering your market share.

Building B2B brand

ur team has also gleaned these lessons from the study, albeit through the school of hard knocks 😅. We’ve incorporated them into the Demand Generation strategies we implement for our clients and share them in our blog.

ABM is gaining momentum and Hubspot is the best platform to build it on💥

ABM is surging, and HubSpot partners are enhancing their clients’ ABM strategies. In today’s uncertain economy, ABM is vital for efficiency, targeting ICPs and buyer personas, and boosting deal closures. HubSpot is expanding its ABM capabilities through partnerships and ecosystem apps.

Kevin England from Vanazon shared insights into ABM strategy, likening it to a love story, from top-funnel engagement to expanding customer lifetime value with HubSpot’s help. Combining HubSpot with ABM creates a potent marketing force, focusing on sustainable pipelines and precise lead targeting at scale. Embracing ABM nurtures fruitful pipelines.

We support this approach for our clients, transforming HubSpot into a robust ABM platform, integrating intent data and cross-platform advertising solutions. Custom account and contact scoring are added to identify and prioritize hidden gems within the Total Addressable Market (TAL) while enhancing personalization.

During Inbound2023, we discovered three solutions and partners to further enhance our clients’ ABM programs:

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  • RollWorks: Expanding contact-based advertising opportunities and offering top-funnel strategy flexibility.
  • Tango Card: Amplifying ABM programs with incentives for key actions.
  • Reachdesk: Facilitating offline connections with prospects through direct marketing, particularly valuable for high-potential prospects.

These additions promise to supercharge our ABM strategies and deliver exceptional results in the near future. Kudos to Inbound2023 for uniting these fantastic apps and opportunities in one place!

Everyone’s talking community-driven marketing, but Hubspot already does it 🫂

Community-led growth is a hot topic, but it’s a harsh reality that 95% of communities fail, as shared by Evan Hamilton, HubSpot’s Director of Community. However, Evan also revealed the secrets to success and guided us in putting this knowledge into action through engaging group assignments. So, what’s the key to building a thriving community?

  • Niche: Focus on your niche and don’t obsess over scale. Prioritize the depth of engagement over quantity.
  • Outcomes: Deliver valuable outcomes for community members by aligning your goals with theirs. For example, Black@INBOUND provided better job opportunities for its members, driving the community’s growth and development.
  • Onboarding: Ensure a smooth and clear onboarding process. In the early stages, keep the community active to attract members. Explain the rules and outcomes, extend a warm welcome, respond promptly, and don’t hesitate to initiate interactions to encourage engagement.
  • Connection: Constantly research and test creative and fun approaches. Formal interactions won’t cut it; a community should be an escape where people feel free, encouraged, and treated with respect and empathy.
  • Safety: Create a safe environment where people can freely express their thoughts and share their expertise without fear of judgment but with motivation.
Building B2B brand

Email-marketing is still alive and thriving, it’s just a matter of how we should do it in 2023 💌

Jay Schwedelson’s “New Email Marketing Test Ideas and Pitfalls To Avoid” speech was an absolute delight. We’re excited to apply his advice to our customer strategies, particularly his CHEETAH framework, which completely won us over:

  • Captivate: You’ve got just one shot, so make it count. Opening emails is half the battle.
  • Human: Are you communicating in authentic, human-like language, or does it sound like faceless corporate speak?
  • Entertain: Who says B2B has to be dull? Take some risks and infuse humor to engage your audience.
  • Easy: Clearly define your goal and ensure your content is easy to read and digest.
  • Transitions: Get creative with email transitions. Incorporating images can enhance the visual appeal.
  • Animate: Stand out by adding GIFs and subtle animations to your emails, but don’t overdo it and distract your recipients.
  • Harmony: Maintain consistency throughout your email campaigns
The "Cheetah" Framework

  And 2 more life-hacks to test:

  • Add who the recipients are, numbers, and pain points to the subject line.
  • Use pre-header text as a continuation of the subject line

Generative AI is shaping the future🌟

AI took center stage at Inbound 2023, from Dharmesh Shah’s speech on falling in love with a new YOU powered by AI to Hubspot’s CEO Yamini Rangan’s keynote address on how AI is reshaping every stage of the buyer’s journey. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Bots: Boost customer engagement with AI-powered chatbots on your website.
  • Content Strategy: Optimize your content using AI to align with your audience’s intent.
  • Sales Formula: Equip AI-assisted sales reps to deliver efficient service.
  • Service: Proactively provide insights to maximize product value.
  • Talent: Invest in AI-proficient talent to unlock its full potential.
  • Iterate and Learn: Keep AI dynamic by adapting to changing customer behaviors and market dynamics.

Partnership Marketing: the new Inbound 🤝

Partnership Marketing, or Nearbound Marketing, is the new Inbound of 2023-2024. It offers a significant opportunity for B2B companies to unlock growth. Here’s why:

  • Inbound demand on Google for B2B tech is declining, spreading across various social media platforms, making it harder and costlier to capture.
  • Cold outbound strategies are becoming increasingly challenging, with declining conversion rates on LinkedIn.
  • Demand Generation and ABM practices are effective but require consistent investment.

So, what’s the winning strategy for building a pipeline without heavy investment? It’s all about leveraging your partner ecosystem through Nearbound marketing. Nearbound is a go-to-market strategy that harnesses the power of your ecosystem to influence your entire revenue funnel, from lead acquisition to customer retention.

What you can’t achieve alone becomes achievable when you collaborate. This approach is even more promising with tech solutions offered by Hubspot and Reveal. Reveal is a game-changer, seamlessly integrated into the Hubspot ecosystem. By using Reveal alongside your partners, you can identify intersections and opportunities within their ecosystem, increasing your chances of success through trusted recommendations.

Reese Witherspoon’s Insightful Closing Remarks 🎤

Final speech by Reese Whitherspoon on how she started her entrepreneurship journey is a great illustration that this strategy can work in any business are and dreaming big, and being committed to our dreams is an evergreen secret behind any success. Because “No one believes your dream more than you do, so every morning wake up and do smth to move your dream forward”.

So, let’s Think bigger & Partner better to design the future we all dream about and lets meet at Inbound 2024 to discuss how & what we’ve done to move our dreams forward!

These #Inbound23 takeaways are a treasure trove of strategies and insights to elevate your marketing game. Let’s harness these lessons and drive success in our endeavors! 💼🚀 

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