Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, singer Janelle Monáe, and journalist Katie Couric to give some answers at the INBOUND event
There have been any number of theories as to what drives brand growth. Since the rise of digital marketing growth hackers, gurus, and many other new roles have been created to identify what creates growth for brands, and how best to reach new audiences.
Regardless of what terms or gimmicks are employed, it has been demonstrated time and time again that the ultimate guarantee of brand growth is creativity. It can be dressed up and delivered however you want, but the reality is that without excellent creative ideas that communicate a brand’s ideals and purpose to consumers, there is no growth to be found. At this year’s INBOUND event, inspirational speakers who have demonstrated creativity in their field will share their insights with audiences looking to do the same.
In September, creative artists including Janelle Monáe and Jada Pinkett Smith will speak at INBOUND on their endeavours, designed to enrich the creative landscape and allow new talent to come to the fore. Monáe, for instance, will discuss the founding of ‘Fem the Future’, a collaborative endeavour designed to create more opportunities to “advance the awareness and inclusion of women and those who identify as women through music, arts, mentorship, and education”. Pinkett Smith will discuss the practicalities of creating platforms for new voices, explaining how her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk reached 17 million viewers on its first episode.
Outside of the entertainment world, industry experts will share insights from their experience and history. IMPACT’s VP of marketing Kathleen Booth, for instance, will discuss how brands can use creative ‘Rocket Fuel’ to double their traffic and revenue by shifting from content marketing to brand publishing, while BostonSpeaks founder Kit Pang and Venngage’s Nadya Khoja will each discuss how storytelling needs to be the bedrock of any growth strategy. Journalists including news anchor Katie Couric and SELF’s editor-in-chief Carolyn Kylstra will share insights into how creativity needs to be based on establishing authority and expertise in your chosen field.
While creativity is the vital starting point for any brand, it requires technology to reach audiences and be monetised most effectively. Artificial intelligence (AI), for instance, has gone from a future-facing bet at tech companies to being one of the most useful commonplace tools in a brand’s arsenal, while audience data is now the table stakes for most marketing strategies – though using it without abusing consumer trust is a challenge in itself.
INBOUND will examine how tech can supercharge creativity, featuring speakers from Microsoft, Liveramp, Adroll and Reddit. For instance, Pinterest’s manager of beauty partnerships Rachel Goodman will lead a session on the future of e-commerce, explaining how the social platform has stayed relevant to a young audience who are increasingly ready to purchase online. Doing so requires a mix of storytelling, ease of use at scale, and an incredible user experience, marrying creativity with technology.
Key members of the HubSpot team, including co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah and its SVP of product Christopher O’Donnell, will be on hand to share their own experiences in expanding the HubSpot suite and customer experience, in addition to other celebrity speakers including actress and entrepreneur Jennifer Garner and author Elizabeth Gilbert.
Taking place across four days in September at The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA, INBOUND is set to examine how businesses can grow while keeping customers, experience and humanity at the centre of everything they do. Over 250 speakers will provide a truly global view on what makes a brand matter to its audience and customers.
Ultimately, the event will test the idea that brands with a purpose and conscience have a strong foundation on which to build creative work and will provide a platform for industry figures who have done just that to share their insights. The event’s code of conduct, an extension of its message of inclusion, is designed to ensure that every voice has a chance to be heard.