3. Professional Development and Learning Management
No matter what your marketing role is, staying current is important. Even the most senior marketers keep abreast of what’s going on in the profession.
And, why? Would you go to a doctor who hasn’t read the latest research and journals? 🙄
Marketing trends evolve. Study results can provide valuable insight. And, technological advances can make your job easier. With so much to learn, how can you stay up to date and not fall behind? Learn a little daily!
There are countless free and inexpensive resources available that are easy to access:
RSS feeds make reading marketing blogs a cinch. I use Feedly which touts to help you “stay ahead of the curve” and “accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.”
It’s available for desktop, iOS, Android, and Kindle. The free version gives you 100 feeds that you can customize into categories. You can also share content to Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and tag articles to read later.
To subscribe to your favorite RSS feeds using Feedly, enter the source, blog, or topic you’d like to follow in the search bar and click “follow.” It’s that simple.
Here’s a list of some of the marketing-related blogs I subscribe to in Feedly.
- Brand Quarterly
- Branding Strategy Insider
- Content Marketing Institute
- Convince and Convert
- Customer Experience Matters
- Customer Think
- Graphic Design Junction
- Heidi Cohen
- Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream
- Kapost Content Marketing Blog
- The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog
- Marketing Land
- Moz Blog
- Search Engine Journal
- Search Engine Land
- SEMrush blog
- Shep Hyken
- Small Business Trends
- Social Media Examiner
- Social Media Explorer
- Social Media Today
- The Story of Telling
The latest marketing books can help you stay current and give you some new perspectives. Reading a chapter a day is a realistic way to digest them. Feel free to browse my Kit for book titles. (I am an Amazon affiliate.)
If you enjoy learning online, Entrepreneur recommends these ten free courses:
Whether you prefer print or digital reading, here are some valuable marketing-related publications:
- Advertising Age
- Brand Quarterly
- Chief Content Officer
- Direct Marketing News
- Marketing Week (U.K.)
- Marketing News (If you’re an American Marketing Association member, this comes free. If not, you can still subscribe.)
I am a fan of social media learning. Besides sharing my blog posts, I also share aggregated content. That gives me a daily view of what’s happening in marketing.
When you follow marketing experts, thought leaders, and publication social media accounts, you’ll discover valuable information.
As a marketing professional, I love research. But, not any research. I give more credence to impartial study authors with nothing to gain from their results.
It’s OK to read vendor-sponsored studies. But, I wouldn’t make any strategic changes without looking for corroborating evidence.
Here are my favorite research sites:
Keep in mind that marketing experts, agencies, and vendors generate new leads using free marketing webinars. The quality will vary, but you have nothing to lose by trying them.
Here are some suggestions:
- Kapost (B2B)
- MarketingProfs (Some webinars are free and others are available for PRO members only.)
- Target Marketing
I also recommend you look for webinars provided by your current marketing suppliers. For example, your email service provider may offer e-learning to help acquire and retain its customers.
Staying up to date on marketing is crucial if you’re involved in marketing activities.
I doubt you’ll be taking MBA courses to do your small-medium business or nonprofit marketing. 😏 So, schedule time daily to learn more. Squeezing in as little as 15-30 minutes can give you more confidence and knowledge.