By Lisa Heay, Marketing Planning Manager at Heinz Marketing
The marketing technology landscape is changing rapidly. You can see from Scott Brinker’s map of the marketing technology landscape from 2020 that there are 8000 total solutions here across categories like Video Marketing, PR, Social & Display Advertising, Sales Automation, Marketing Automation, CRM, on and on. And this map has grown exponentially each year.
Pair technology changes with industry trends like conversational marketing, account-based everything, buyer intent, and influencer marketing—it’s a lot to keep up to date on.
With the year we’ve just had, it’s easy to fall into a rut in your current position. You have plenty of other things on your mind. You do your job and do it well, but it’s critical to stay up to date on the industry because you never know when you may be presented with your next opportunity.
It doesn’t need to be hard or take up a lot of time. Of course there are books available on every topic imaginable, and maybe you have a stack sitting unread on your shelf like I do—but books can take a lot of time and focus to read.
No matter where you are in your career—if you’re a veteran executive or fresh out of college—here are 6 quick and easy ways to keep your Marketing (or any other) skills fresh.
Join a Forum
Ever wish you had a community of people with similar interests or facing similar challenges that you could learn from and bounce ideas or questions off of? I did, and forums have been a game changer in my Marketing Operations role (shout out to Marketing Ops Professionals!)
Reddit has been an invaluable tool for us as marketing strategists learning new industries with each client that comes on board. As their tagline says, you can “dive into anything”.
We often turn to Reddit to learn the challenges facing our client’s target industries, but you can use it to stay up to date on Marketing trends, as well. You can search for relevant topics, or join specific communities to stay up to date on the latest posts. The Marketing and Advertising Reddit, for example, has over 377,000 members.
Facebook and LinkedIn also offer industry and topic specific groups. Here’s a quick guide on finding and joining groups on LinkedIn. You may need to try a few on for size to find the right fit, but it’s well worth the effort.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts (and audiobooks) have become my go-to resource for all things. You can bring them anywhere and fit them into a lot of everyday activities you are already doing. You can listen to them in the bathroom while brushing your teeth, listen while taking a quick walk around the neighborhood, listen while driving to work, or cooking dinner. If I can do it with a full-time job and two young kids, you can do it, too.
There are many podcast platforms at your disposal, and you can get them free on your mobile device. Here are some of my favorites:
[Shameless plug] One of our favorite podcasts is Sales Pipeline Radio, hosted by Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing. It features the brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing, sharing secrets to driving greater volume, velocity and conversion of sales pipelines in any industry. Sales Pipeline Radio covers the entire pipeline—demand generation, lead management, sales effectiveness, technology and more—all focused on helping you find, manage and win more business. You can listen live on Thursdays at 11:30am PT on LinkedIn, or revisit past episodes here.
Attend an Event
There are a plethora of events out there, across every industry and niche. Of course many of these have had to adjust formats in the last year and a half, but with technology at our disposal, they are even easier to access now than ever before.
Here’s a few of our favorite B2B Marketing events:
If you can’t commit the time or resources to one of these larger events, search for a relevant webinar! Many will pass you the recorded event after it’s done to watch at your convenience.
Subscribe to a Blog
Are you more of a reader, but don’t have the time to dive into a whole book? Blogs and newsletters might be the right channel for you.
MarketingProfs has a great newsletter sent multiple times per week, covering B2B Marketing news and insights.
Heinz Marketing also has an award-winning blog (which you know, because you’re reading this post) that our team contributes to on a regular basis. We also have a monthly newsletter which includes a roundup of our top blog posts from the month and upcoming marketing events. Hurry on over to Heinz Marketing’s website to sign up today.
Take a Class
You don’t need to head down to your local community college or university—there are lots of online options if you’re looking to learn more on any given topic by taking a course. Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning have been great resources for us for training new hires, group learning exercises, and professional development.
Watch Demos and Tutorials
I have to admit that I hadn’t fully embraced YouTube for learning until fairly recently. In my mind, YouTube was a place to waste time watching movie trailers and music videos. But it’s so much more. My husband learned how to rewire outlets throughout our house and fix a leaky bathroom pipe from YouTube videos.
Here me out—coming from an “elder millennial”, I rolled my eyes at TikTok, too. But it’s not just for viral dance videos and tide pod challenges. Marketing Dudes have almost 365,000 followers, for example, which goes to show you can find just about anything on this platform.
With technology at our fingertips, there are so many ways to keep your skills fresh. What are your go-to resources to keep up to date on your industry? I’d love to hear it.