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Hubspot Founders Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah Outline the Future of Inbound

By Andy Mullins on January 20, 2017 in Inbound Marketing, SEO, Hubspot
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Inbound 2016 was more than just a conference about marketing, it was the 10-year anniversary of an inbound methodology that has taken over the marketing world. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of Hubspot, took the stage in front of Inbound 2016’s 19,000 attendees to discuss why Inbound became the necessary marketing model for the 21st century, the direction Inbound is headed in, and how users will interact with Hubspot technology in the future.

Brian Halligan Discusses the Infinite Shelf

Before the launch of Hubspot in 2006, Halligan began studying consumer behavior. He discovered that customers tend to have either four or five vendor options for each product or service. At a time when the Internet wasn’t used a prolifically as it is today, particularly in the marketplace, vendors were competing for inches on store shelves that usually measure several feet in length.

Now, ten years later, consumers are presented with fourteen or fifteen vendors on average. With the almost ubiquitous use of the Internet for buying and selling, businesses are no longer just competing for inches on store shelves. “Today,” according to Halligan, “you compete for millimeters on an infinite shelf.” The never-ending amount of space online has made competition steep, with winning/losing taking place in the details and analytics.

For this reason, Halligan and Shah have built Hubspot to help customers receive personalized, automated, self-service that goes from one end of the sales funnel to the other. To accomplish these goals, Halligan laid out 4 new directives for moving forward in Inbound:

  1. Information will shift from being communicated in text to video (even more so than it has already).
  2. Companies won’t just engage in social, they will live in social.
  3. Content (whether text or video) will become regulated.
  4. The automation of processes will increase.

Dharmesh Shah Sets the Record Straight about SEO and Hubspot Bots

Regarding Brian’s last point, “the automation of processes will increase,” Dharmesh Shah took the stage to introduce the Growth Bots Hubspot will be rolling out soon.

In order to automate the processes customers participate in, Shah believes that the next step in online innovation, after the Internet and apps, is the Bot. Rather than requiring the constant attention of humans, Bots are automated to solve customer’s problems on their schedule. Shah said the reason Bots are so important to the future of inbound marketing is simple, “SEO is about HEO. That is, search engine optimization is about human enjoyment optimization.” When customers are enjoying their experience more, the rest will take care of itself.

Having crossed the line into the realm of artificial intelligence, Shah was quick to distinguish between the danger of A.I. and its helpfulness. Instead of humans fighting against bots, Shah suggests that we work as “humans to the bot power” in order to create even more innovative and helpful experiences on the infinite online shelf.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Internet created the need for the inbound methodology.
  2. SEO is all about HEO (human enjoyment optimization)
  3. The next phase of online growth is “Human to the Bot Power”

You can also hear both speeches in their entirety here.

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Andy MullinsView all posts by Andy Mullins >

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