This past week, Virtual Logistics attended Canada’s premier digital marketing and e-commerce conference, Dx3 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. Dx3’s tagline is ‘where Canadian business gets digital’, and content curator Ron Tite knows how to pick speakers that influence digital both in Canada and around the world. There were many educational opportunities at the show including keynote speeches from:
- Benjamin Palmer, CEO & Co-Founder, The Barbarian Group
- Mike Volpe, CMO, HubSpot
- Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media
- David Labistour, CEO, Mountain Equipment Co-op
- Alan Huggins, President, Lowe’s Canada
For the team at VL, Dx3 was an experiment. We weren’t sure what to expect leading up to the show or even as the first day got underway. Thankfully we took Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot up on his advice, to us, to look into the show because it certainly ended up being an incredibly rewarding two days of networking and business development. Some of the highlights included:
1) Mike Volpe’s keynote- Inbound Marketing a Love Story: There was a lot to take away from Mike’s keynote address but for me as a marketer and specifically, an inbound marketer using the HubSpot platform and working in the B2B space there were 4 that really hit home.
- Mobile Ubiquity: today there is a huge amount of work life integration, as marketers and business people our working hours no longer end at 5pm or even on Friday. We can be and are reachable 24/7 almost 365 days a year.
- Business owners are much more social and collaborative than they used to be. We share documents, reports and even leads with other business owners.
- Everything is in the cloud- I feel like 3 years ago no one had ever heard of the cloud. All of your documents can be on any number of devices- you don’t even necessarily need a computer at all.
- B2B sales have changed. B2B sales managers and executives used to sell to business stakeholders with complicated diagrams. Today, they sell from the bottom up, to company employees by giving them free trials that do eventually influence company decision makers.
- You don’t find customers, they find you. The customer begins the sales process by looking for you and your services and offerings. They are doing their research about you long before you even know that they exist.
For VL the greatest takeaway from Mike’s keynote is the idea of everything being available in the cloud. It is not just personal documents that can be stored and sent to other devices through the cloud but all the transactional documents that businesses exchange with one another. VL’s Integration as a Service means that you can send and receive all the transactions you need to and from your ERP, WMS, TMS or webstore without needing an on premise system. But the reality is you will need an in premise system for some time to come.
If you want to see Mike’s presentation click HERE!
2) Michael De Monte- Increase User Engagement with Second-Screen Real-time Storytelling: Michael De Monte is the CEO of ScribbleLive. The second screen experience is extremely interesting in that it is changing the face of what we watch, listen to and read. People used to talk about their favourite shows, films, news or blogs around the water cooler or over lunch. Now, they are talking about them at the same time as they are watching, reading or listening. That water cooler experience is evolving into the at home experience thanks to the second screen. In the B2B ecommerce and integration space the second screen experience can be used in a different way. In the B2B environment the second screen experience is a great tool when potential clients are in the research stage of the buying cycle. Sort of like the town plaza where one can share information easily.
Imagine for a moment that you are using Google to research e-commerce integration companies. Looking at the website of one of the companies that you have chosen you notice that they have a downloadable app for your tablet or phone that has great supplementary mobile content including whitepapers and FAQs. As you access the website on your laptop you are also using the app on your tablet to supplement the website information. Overall, a great way to find out if this is the right company for your business because you already know that this company understands the modern business person or consumer.
3) Toronto HubSpot Users Group Meeting: Robin H. Smith, VL’s GM of Sales and Marketing is the facilitator of the Toronto HubSpot Users LinkedIn group which is always looking for opportunities to meet up and talk about all things HubSpot. Dx3 was the perfect opportunity. Members of the LinkedIn group as well as others interested in the HubSpot platform were lucky enough to sit down with Mike Volpe after his keynote address and talk HubSpot in an informal setting. Mike was kind enough to give group members one hour of his time before leaving Toronto for Phoenix (yup he’s a busy guy) to answer some questions about the HubSpot platform, where he sees social and the internet going and Inbound 2013. It sounds like there are some great things coming to Inbound this year, but Mike was pretty coy.
Overall, Dx3 2013 was a successful experiment for Virtual Logistics resulting in new connections, important marketing and sales takeaways and a lot of education about current and upcoming trends in digital as well as e-commerce. We’ll be back next year!!
If your still curious about inbound marketing or marketing automation, click here to read another of our recent blog posts about what we are up to!
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