Key Insights From Day Two of Inbound 2014


Day two of Inbound 2014 started off with a bang. OK Go warmed up the crowd before David Meerman Scott took the stage as a special presenter. With the audience thoroughly toasty Malcolm Gladwell took the stage to huge applause. He did not disappoint.

Read on for the key points I gathered from the sessions I presented. Unlike yesterday's post I'm putting everything into bullet points because I took actual notes, though not with a pencil. I still need to get one of those. One caveat before you begin: thought it should go without saying I'll say it anyway, everything here is paraphrased from what I heard.

David Meerman Scott, Special Presenter

  • The best content and most engaged wins.
  • The biggest barrier to doing this kind of marketing: FEAR. Your job is to manage your fear.

Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: The Power of the Underdog

Transformation is about more than technology, it's about habits of mind, attitudes, perspectives on the world. Two figures providing lessons: Malcom McLean, the creator of containerized shipping; Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA.

Three lessons:

  1. Attitude, courage and persistence in the face of massive diversity. Entrepreneurs are open & creative, conscientious; disagreeable.
  2. Transformation and revolution requires boundary-crossing imagination and a complete reframing of the problem.
  3. Be in a hurry; not willing to wait. Maintain a sense of urgency; a burning sense of desire to get something done.

Cindy Jeffers, Building And Maintaining An Audience – Now And In The Future

The actual content wasn't in line with the title or description. What I got:

  • 18 to 24-year-olds are heavy mobile users and content creators.
  • Apps that allow anonymous and secret sharing are gaining a lot of steam in this demographic: Whisper, Secret. Ephemeral and expiring content: SnapChat, Slingshot. Private communication and content platforms: Whatsapp, WeChat (China), Line (Japan), Tango, Facebook Messenger.
  • The “kids” are using these apps to post messages they won't share on sites like Facebook and Twitter. They can express themselves and not worry about maintaining a sparkling reputation. My note: looks like they've finally wizened up about it. Good for them!

Martie Woods and Stacey Symonds, After Omni-Channel: Preparing For Digital Context

Both Martie and Stacey reiterated something many speakers said: consumers are driving the relationship. Key insights from two deep ethnographic surveys performed over 10 months:

  1. Consumers are expecting to reduce the gap between thinking and doing (or done). People hire companies to get stuff done.
  2. Consumers surround themselves first, then make all sorts of micropurchases. They surround themselves with trusted sources and then rely on a queue to make micropurchases and get microtasks done. They are looking for apps and tools that bring organizing structures with them. People are trying to solve for multiple things at a time. Ex: trip to a monument: how to get there, what to do when they're there, where to stay, where to eat, etc.
  3. Consumers are seeking to maximize their attention. People want to get more done in a shorter amount of time; they rarely do one thing at a time. Erase the while, what people are doing “while” they are interacting with your brand. Think about what else people might be doing while using your site, app, etc.
  4. The journey is less about a linear path and more about a constant state of moving. They journey they take is not consistent between items purchased: they shop for different things differently. It's all about context and the mode they are in. Digital supports modes. Modes can be predicted and influenced. It's all about in the moment. We need to know what the customer is trying to accomplish in this circumstance in the current mode.
  5. Consumer behavior demands more than omni offers. It's all about the consumer, not channels.

David Rose, How Enchanted Objects Will Transform Our Relationship To Technology & How Brands Connect With Consumers

This was a slightly extended version of a 12-minute talk David gave on day one.

  1. Everything is having technology embedded in it. Examples: LiveScribe, Ambient Orb.
  2. Pervasive is persuasive. Ambient devices make people aware of information and changes their behavior.
  3. Not sure if you get enough sun during the day? Check out SunSprite. My note: I'm sure you already know how much time you aren't spending outside. My day-glow whiteness reminds me on a daily basis.
  4. Life logging cameras and tiny cameras in everything – a treasure trove of information for brands that can find their logos in the images people share. Once you see the context in which the brand is being used (family picnic, at a concert, etc) you can better tailor your marketing to segments of people. You can also see how many images with a brand are posted, which tells you how strong the brand are on social channels.

Chris Penn, Turning Data Into Insights

Chris provided slides and lecture notes before he even started. Here are mine:

  1. 1. To scale you need a framework, DAIS: Data, Analysis, Insights, Strategy. After that you add in tactics, execution and measurement.
  2. Good data is: chosen well, clean and compatible.
  3. Analysis
    1. Answers the question of what. Quantitative.
    2. Tools
      1. Visualization (charts)
      2. Derivatives: percent change: (New – Old) / Old, change of change
      3. Moving averages: an average of a small portion of data (7 days) or a larger portion (30 days).
  4. Insights: answers why something happened. Sometimes you have to ask why. Qualitative
    1. Theory -> Hypothesis -> Observation (Test) -> Confirmation
  5. Strategy: answers the question of what's next. Strategy is a menu.
  6. Tactics are a cookbook. Then you do the work (execution) and measure what happened.


  1. Thanks for being at my talk!

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Your talk was great Chris. I expected no less as a reader of your blog and a listener of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast.

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