First things first, read this quote 3 times before reading the rest of this post:
“The only sustainable competitive advantage you have over your competitors is the ability to learn faster than them and act on it”
Now that you have this drilled into your head, think about how your business is currently going about its marketing. Are you learning faster than your competitors?
Here are 5 things I encourage all marketers to do to learn, broaden and diversify what and how they learn:
1. Attend *specialist* marketing events, tweetups, meetups & seminars
Get out of your office. Use event websites such as eventbrite and meetup to find specific/niche events. Not broad marketing type events but events around dedicated subjects such as ‘technical SEO’ or ‘marketing automation’. When was the last time you attended an event about industry changes? Legislation changes/briefings? Go to them too – remember, the faster you learn and act……..
2. Read. Read. Read.
Pretty simple this one. Read lots of books. Be it marketing, finance, self help, biographies or business books. Have a look at the business/marketing books on this infogrpahic by Koozai. I highly recommend reading ALL of them. Seriously. Read lots of industry blogs too (both marketing and industry related). I particularly find blogs by @brickonomics really interesting and tweets by @noblefrancis who is the Economics Director of the CPA (Construction Products Association). Take their information and learn and apply to your business.
Use apps like Flipboard to help you subscribe and manage content from websites/blogs and news portals.
3. Diversify who you follow on Twitter
Don’t just follow marketing people on Twitter. Follow all kinds of people on Twitter in other industries who share valuable, high quality information to help you learn about new things. Follow BIM specialists, Structural Engineers, Architects and Designers and broaden out to Economists, Editors, Journalists and CEO’s of companies such as the CEO of Mitie Group, Ruby McGregor Smith. I don’t think there are many CEO’s or execs from construction companies on Twitter as they’re too busy listening to the sand filling up in their ear holes. *wink wink*
If you’re reading this and you are a marketer not on Twitter…….sigh.
4. Hypothesise & test frequently
I’ve always said “curious marketers make the best marketers”. I love working with marketers who question things. Always curious about how and what to do to improve things. Willing to be wrong and take risks. I worry about those who just nod their heads at everything.
If you’re in digital marketing then most of the work you’ll do will be based around asking good questions and theories (hypothesising) and then trying to find the answers by testing it for yourself.
- “Could we improve results if we tried….”
- “What if we changed the subject line to…..”
- “If we did this…..then maybe this will happen….”
- “I think red will work better than…..”
Test. Keep testing and learning and refining what you do. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.
5. Do marketing which is outside of your comfort zone
Not going to write too much about this because I’m going to let a good friend of mine do all the talking on this one. Marcus Taylor (Founder of a marketing agency in the music industry) gave a Tedtalk about the very subject and how to measure your comfort zone.
My only advice is to do something different for once. Stop marketing the way you’ve always marketed because it’s easy or it’s how you’ve always done it. Get our of your comfort zone.
There you have it. 5 ideas to help you learn more. Feel free to leave your own comments and suggestions below. More the merrier.