Vision Critical

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This week, a couple members of the Vision Critical team will be at INBOUND, a marketing conference organized by marketing automation software provider Hubspot. With an impressive list of keynotes from Seth Godin, Chelsea Clinton, Brene Brown and Dan Pink, we’re excited to get inspired with 10,000 fellow marketers and come back with bigger, bolder ideas.

Here are our picks for 13 must-attend sessions.

Theme 1: Customer Love

A Sale is a Love Affair—Seduce, Engage and Win Customers' Hearts
Jack Vincent, managing partner at focus360

It’s no secret that we’re big advocates of showing customer love. Vincent’s presentation promises to show the linkage “between romantic relationships and complex sales” and why earning your customers’ love is key to more sales.

Lethal Generosity: Love Customers to Crush Competitors
Shel Israel, author

Technology alone is insufficient in improving customer experience but, when used right, it can help delight your customers. Israel’s session, a preview of his upcoming book, will show how companies can use tech to put the focus on the customer and gain competitive advantage.

Trust: The New Metrics in Sales - Insight Into the Most Crucial Measure of the Buyer Relationship

Steve Woods, CTO and co-founder, Nudge

Trust is the currency of business today. Customers support companies that embrace transparency. Woods will show why building trust with customers is key to generating more sales and, ultimately, scaling your business.

Related Resource: The Four Tenets of Customer Love (Ebook)


The New Era of Customer Relationships

Mikkel Svane, CEO of Zendesk

We’re now in the midst of a customer revolution—an age when customers are in firm control of the brand-customer relationship. Svane will share tactics on how companies can move beyond having a transactional relationship with customers to something that is more ongoing.

Theme 2 : Better Customer Insight

Transform Your Strategies with Better Research
Tara Hunt, director of audience development at Totem

As a company that provides a customer intelligence platform, we know firsthand that research is key to winning in today’s business landscape. Hunt will share her tips on how to gain a deeper understanding of your audience before launching campaigns and maximize your impact as a result.

Forget the Focus Group: How Social Insights Can Help You Sell Smarter
John Donnelly, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Crimson Hexagon

Earlier this year, we released a report that shows why social media analytics alone isn’t a sufficient source of customer intelligence. We’re excited to explore this conversation further and hear what Donnelly has to say about the use of social media as a source of sales intelligence.

Related Resource: What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Customers (Report)

what social media analytics can't tell you - report

Theme 3: Big Data and Analytics

The Power of Data, The Importance Of Moments and the Future of Storytelling
Robert Michael Murray, partner and chief innovation officer at Matchfire Co.

From the title alone, it’s easy to see why we’re interested in this session. It touches on two things that matter to us as marketers today: data and storytelling. We’re interested in hearing how data and technology help companies like National Geographic provide “more meaningful and personalized moments” in their marketing.

Creating Legendary Brands: A Business Process to Align Metrics, Customer Experience and Profits
Bryan Eisenberg, Co-founder and CMO of Idealspot

How can storytelling help companies boost their profits? That’s the question this session promises to tackle. In particular, Eisenberg will share a process he calls Buyer Legends—a way of using “storytelling techniques to map the critical paths a prospective buyer might follow on her journey to becoming a buyer.”

How The Smartest Companies Are Using Big Data to Power Better Integrated Marketing and Communications
Aaron Strout, president, WCG

As we revealed in our recent ebook, most big data projects fail and very few companies are doing a great job of transforming the data they have at their fingertips into actionable intelligence. We look forward to hearing examples of companies using big data to make better marketing and business decisions.

Related Resource: Big Data and Beyond: How to Find Insight in Big Data (Ebook)


Theme 4: Customer Experience

Omni-Channel Ecommerce Personalization: How to Marry Product and Persona Data to Delight Customers on All Platforms
Steve Haase, ecommerce sales engineer at Hubspot

Companies serious about providing a more seamless customer experience need to figure out omni-channel retailing and personalization. We’re looking forward to hearing case studies of how marketers are solving the big omni-channel puzzle—and how customer insight can play a role in the process.

Ain’t No Customer Like a Zombie Customer: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans
Peter Shankman, CEO and founder at The Geek Factory, Inc.

In addition to the fact that this session has a catchy title, we’re adding this one to our list because it focuses on a hot topic among our customers today: customer experience. We’re looking forward to Shankman showing us how to use customer experience to create “Zombie Loyalists”—customers that will “go out of their way to bring you the new clients and customers you want.”

Related Resource: Keeping Customers Happy (report)

how to keep customers happy - report

Theme 5: The future of marketing and the CMO profession

Bringing the CFO and CMO Together: Strategies For Success
JD Sherman, COO at Hubspot

To say that the CFO-CMO relationship is changing is a huge understatement. As marketers look to deepen their  understanding of the customer, they’re spending more on technology—so much so, in fact, that they’re on track to spend more than IT. Building a solid relationship with the CFO is critical to the success of CMOs today and their teams. This session will show how marketers can accomplish that.

Becoming a Customer-Obsessed CMO
Victor Milligan, CMO at Forrester

Leading the journey towards customer-centricity is the number one priority for CMOs today. Milligan’s session will show what CMOs today need to do to become customer-obsessed—how marketing organizations can gain a deeper understanding of the their market and deliver more value to the customer.

Follow @VisionCritical on Twitter for live tweets about #INBOUND15. 

Photo credit: Todd Van Hoosear

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