The School of Marketing

Why Marketers Should Never Stop Learning

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Unlike many professions, there is not a required license to practice marketing. Therefore, marketers don’t have to complete continuing education classes each year. Without the requirement to keep learning, how do marketers keep up on the latest trends, best practices, and laws that impact our ability to reach potential customers? Marketers that stay on top of their game are continually learning and then implementing what they learn.

There are numerous options for you to gain the knowledge and skills you need to help grow your career and make meaningful contributions to your company. Now more than ever, marketing is changing rapidly and therefore, you must put in the time to ensure you don’t get stuck doing the same old things that are now ineffective. The exciting thing about learning new things is that you get to keep growing and it could ignite your creativity or inspire you to take strategic risks.  

It is undeniable that your days are packed with meetings and deadlines, but making time to expand your knowledge is time well spent. Below are several educational resources that marketers can access throughout the year to keep learning about the profession:

Attend a Conference
There are numerous conferences that train marketers on a variety of marketing/communications related topics. Social Media Marketing World is a three-day conference dedicated to teaching attendees about the digital marketing trends and the latest analytical tools. Click here to see a list of marketing conferences that offer a variety of topics from content, to branding, to public relations.

Take Classes
Many educational opportunities exist, whether that be at a college (online or in person) or taking online marketing classes from niche educational businesses that offer a variety of marketing classes. Check out Skillshare and Udemy. The benefit of taking classes in person is the ability to network with your peers.

Subscribe to Publications that Discuss Marketing Trends
Due to the rapidly evolving field, there is a plethora of content about marketing from numerous different sources. Many of the online publications provide daily content and send out free newsletters, offering the latest tips and trends.

Become Google Certified
Did you know that Google offers free certification classes for its various products? All you have to do is go through the online modules and then take a test to affirm you learned what was taught. By going through the classes, you will learn about the nuances of Google’s products, which will help anyone working with Google Ad words, Google Analytics, etc. In addition to being free, you can also work at your own pace and you can select the classes that interest you most.

Take Facebook Blueprint Classes
Similar to Google, Facebook offers a variety of courses. You are able to select the class that aligns with your educational goals. The classes will help you understand Facebook’s policies and also how to best execute an ad campaign for its products such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, etc.

Network with Your Peers
Find a group of local marketers and setup time to discuss what each of you are doing and about the challenges you face. Your peers will be a great resource to help you grow your career as you can lean on them for advice, and learn from their failures and successes.

Join a Professional Organization
By joining a professional marketing organization you’ll expose yourself to experts at educational luncheons and your local peers. Often times professional organizations also provide exclusive content online as a perk to your membership.

Hire a Consultant/Agency to Manage Marketing Specific Tasks
If you do not have the resources or the expertise to execute a part of your marketing plan, consider hiring a consultant or agency. If resources allow, include budget for training. By taking time to learn from the experts you will be more effective at managing the agency and explaining the results to your manager.  

Join Online Marketing Communities
LinkedIn and Facebook offer several marketing communities. Ask to join a marketing community. Many people are actively participating in these private groups. You can read their tips and best practices and also provide your own insights. By engaging in the online community, you will pickup interesting tidbits about marketing and it could also be a great place to ask questions and get answers from people in your field.

Observe What the Best Brands Are Doing  
As marketers we are always interested in what drives human behavior. When you are interacting with a brand in a positive way, stop and think about how the brand makes you feel and then explore why you might feel this way. Take what you learn from your observations and see how you might be able to authentically integrate what is working well for the brands you admire into your company. Now, that doesn’t mean you should steal other’s ideas, or imitate their brand, but find inspiration in quality work, and strive to create your own.

After you have learned new things about marketing, it is time to put what you learned to the test. Learning should be an ongoing effort and has the potential to fuel your intellectual curiosity. As you pursue your informal continual education, you’ll be empowered to make positive change in your marketing department or agency. Once you ingrain learning into to your routine, you will see the shift from being stale to being at the pioneer leading the way.

How do you keep learning about marketing? Leave a comment below.

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