Years ago, when I was a fresh-faced young marketing manager, I attended a conference called the Inbound Marketing Summit in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Full disclosure: I was not that young, or fresh-faced. I was in my mid-30s and had a small child at home. But I digress.)
After some sightseeing with my parents, who happened to be in town and had attended MIT and Northeastern respectively, I went to the conference. The Inbound Marketing Summit is hosted by HubSpot, a company which in 2008 was just a few years old and already shaking up traditional marketing models.
I’ll never forget what I learned at that conference. First of all, I got to see a keynote address by marketing influencer Seth Godin, who continues to inspire the profession today. (More on that later.) Second of all, everyone was talking (and scratching their heads) about this new social media platform called Twitter. “What do we do with it?” “How can we possible say anything meaningful in that few characters?”
A lot has changed in the decade plus since then, but I continue to gain insight from Godin. As I’m gathering ideas and inspiration for my next book, I have been listening to one of his audiobooks. Godin’s approach has resonated with me ever since that first introduction in 2008. He advocates putting customers first, starting with their needs, and embracing empathy in everything we do. Now, more than ever, these principles are fundamentally important.