Deep Dive into Our Favorite Marketing Conferences from 2018

In an industry that changes every day, you really can’t stay on top of your marketing campaign without interacting with marketing professionals and building off each others’ experiences.

What’s the best way to do that? Conferences, of course!

Going to marketing conferences are a great way to hear seminars from specialists with more experiments under their belt and (far) more knowledge and experience of the marketing world.

Here at Pinckney Marketing there are a couple must-go’s our employees attend every year that we wanted to introduce you to.

  1. MozCon
  2. Google Marketing Live Conference

If you weren’t able to go (or you want to relive the experience), I’m recapping three of the biggest content takeaways from the convention below:

1. MozCon

MozCon is for all the SEO marketing gurus. And if you’re unfamiliar with what “SEO” is, I think Moz says it best when they say SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is “one of the least understood and least transparent aspects of great marketing.”

It’s the marketing that makes your marketing seen. It’s what makes you rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

(What is SEO? Check out our Guidebook here!)

At MozCon, this wealth of search engine knowledge is shared, as well as any news on the company’s software innovations. Don’t misconstrue though, this is not beginners SEO like our guide is, this is for specialists who can discuss granular updates and trends, and algorithm predictions.

SEO seems so mysterious because it’s fixing and preventing and adjusting for the unknown that is the internet. If everyone knew what Google’s next update would be, then everyone would rank first, and Google’s strategy of putting the best information in front of the customer would be lost.

This past year our Digital Manager, Nick Maus attended MozCon and came back to report the new insights to the team.

The three-day, one-track conference gave him actionable plans that have since improved our SEO audits and our client’s overall rankings.

Fun Fact: Nick came from MozCon with a little more than just knowledge. He brought back his own little robot, Roger (the mascot of Moz). Due to Roger’s popularity with the team, he has to be under close surveillance…

Moz Robot Ransom Note Pinckney Marketing
Moz Robot missing reward poster

2. Google Marketing Live

Another big name in the marketing world is our friend, Google. Ever heard of it?

Our Senior SEM, Blake has been to conferences of Google’s many times. This year, he attended the Google Marketing Live conference in San Jose, California.

Although, you and I both know the impact Google has on our marketing efforts, I think it’s helpful to have a little background on just how much of what we do interacts with Google.

  • When researching a brand, we use Google Insights as a source of reputable demographics and to link us to industry insights and resources.
  • We then build the strategy and content within Google Docs for better collaboration within our agency.
  • We do SEO techniques and follow Google best practices to optimize our websites and landing pages for keywords and format that Google likes.
  • Then after we launch the campaign (whether it’s a website build, marketing landing pages, social, paid search or creative) we analyze our marketing efforts through Google Analytics

So, you could say a Google forecast or algorithm change would have a big effect on our practices.

That’s why it’s critical for us to be at these conferences. To stay ahead of the Google changes and to be challenged by peers who are handling the changes differently and seeing different results.

Fun Fact: Beyond having influential speakers, Blake and Mike Pinckney got to see John Legend perform. Blake said his favorite song live was: Love Me Now

You can see part of the conference (that was live to the public) here:


Then, there’s INBOUND.

As a huge promoter (some say founder) of the inbound marketing methodology, HubSpot hosts INBOUND every year to educate marketing professionals about the benefits and best practices of doing inbound marketing.

If you haven’t heard of “inbound” it’s simply the idea of meeting your audience where they are and helping them (pulling them in), instead of pushing “out” sales propaganda and cold calls in the hopes of getting leads.

As an inbound marketing agency, it’s pretty magical to go to a four-day conference of marketing masterminds and successful entrepreneurs as they spill their secrets to success in our ever-changing industry.

Through Inbound I’ve been able to see a whole spectrum of speakers from Pixar co-founder, Ed Catmull to marketing and entrepreneurial genius, Gary Vaynerchuk. The information we learned is invaluable and is applied to all of our strategies and professional growth overall.

There are three keynotes every day and the rest of our very-full days were experiencing educational breakout sessions led by innovative marketing, sales, and customer success practitioners.

Fun Fact: There are about 24,000+ attendees from all over the world that go to this one conference every year. The networking possibilities are endless.

Marketing Conferences on our 2019 Bucket List:

You can’t make them all right? There are a few conferences our team follows from afar and are looking into for the upcoming year.

2019 Bucket List Digital Conferences:

  1. CXL Live: “The very best in conversion optimization and experimentation.” CXL Live prides themselves on uninterrupted focus on conversion and growth 3 days with discussions into conversion optimization, online experimentation, digital psychology, and analytics.
  2. MozCon2019: In-depth and advanced topics in SEO. A foundation of SEO principles and terminology is highly recommended.
  3. Content Marketing World: 120+ sessions and workshops presented by leading brand marketers and experts from around the world focusing on content marketing strategy, storytelling, ROI, demand generation, AI, and more!
  4. Digital Summit: Spanning over two days, the digital summit focuses on: SEO in a user first world, search marketing’s evolution, marketing analytics, Facebook live, paid search trends, and combining paid and SEO strategies.

Pinckney Reviews from Conference Experiences

AND LASTLY, to wrap this up. We thought it might be helpful to have a few major takeaways and pictures from our team’s experiences at the conferences.

MozCon Review

“All you can eat–catered breakfast and lunch. That sounds like just a guy thing to say, but it really goes to show that Moz makes an effort to make you comfortable and in the best head (and stomach) space to learn. I also enjoyed that everyone was in one conference hall for the entire conference, hearing the same sessions. It actually made it easier to stay focused and make sure you’re getting the best speakers at all times.”

-Nick Maus, MozCon

Google Marketing Live Review

“What really stood out to me was the ability to network with people around the world. I got to talk to marketers in the Netherlands about their PPC strategy, which is a very unique experience. I liked having multiple sessions to choose from. It’s nice to be able to pick your own path, so if you find something particularly interesting, you can follow it up with other sessions that take it a step further. Google had great speakers, including Chris Bruzzo of EA Sports and not to mention a performance by JOHN LEGEND.”

-Blake Smith, Google Marketing Live


“I’ve always been a huge fan of INBOUND. It’s so motivating to go to a place where marketing professionals can geek out together. After going in 2016, I wrote an entire love-note-of-a-blog about INBOUND.”

-Hallie, INBOUND

“INBOUND was full of great marketing knowledge on themes and behavior. Reflecting back on all the sessions, I noticed one single common theme: People don’t want to buy products, they buy into stories.

Dr. Howard Gardner said, “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” It seems quite obvious, but so many brands miss the mark on this concept! It was great to be able to take actionable information like this back to the team”

-Campbell Stanley, INBOUND

“As CEO, it’s important to have information on new trends and how to keep the team accountable. My biggest takeaway from INBOUND was that we need to concentrate our marketing on organic and direct traffic. Organic and direct traffic will give us our highest conversions. We do not need to obsess on owning keywords in SEO. The key is to start thinking in terms of topics we want to own not just keywords. We can also reduce the bloating of our websites. More content doesn’t mean more traffic, but it is more about the content relevancy to our core topics. Pretend you are Google where context is everything and that Google understands what you are asking.“

-Mike Pinckney, INBOUND

If you’re eager to learn more about marketing best practices, take a look at our Marketing 101 Checklist for an overview of everything you should be doing in your marketing campaign, here!