Here are our 5 tips to help you keep your marketing fresh:
1. Read, read and read some more
Since marketing is evolving at an incredibly fast pace, it’s important to keep up on the latest trends. Follow a marketing blog (or 10), read books written by the industry’s thought leaders, and tap into publications that showcase articles related to your day-to-day. By setting aside 15 minutes every morning (or evening), you’ll stay in-tune to new catchphrases and marketing acronyms that are gaining in popularity. You’ll also be inspired to think of new tactics since reading is a natural idea generator!
2. Take an online certification course
There are a gazillion marketing courses out there online, and many of them are free. While it may be difficult to find the time to get all the way through to the end of one, if you do, it will provide you with the practical know-how you need about a particular marketing topic. This may include: SEO, social media marketing, Google AdWords … No-one can be an expert at everything, which is why continuing education is a must when you’re a marketer.
3. Join a professional organization
Marketing associations not only help you stay relevant, but they help you stay connected. Joining an industry organization will give you access to interesting events, networking opportunities or round-table discussions. It will also show you what award-winning marketing campaigns look like since most professional organizations host at least one yearly award ceremony. It may also help you gain visibility for your own work, and should be a place where like-minded professionals come together to share ideas.
4. Monitor your peers
By joining social media groups on a particular area of marketing, you can see what your peers are discussing (whether or not you decide to actively participate). Following your competitors can also help get you in the know about what they’re up to so that you can anticipate your own campaigns (and events) accordingly. It’s better to find out early (rather than after the fact) that your direct competitor is hosting a mega event or a new product launch on the exact same date and time as you. Monitoring what they are doing will help eliminate surprises so that you can plan accordingly.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
No-one likes to run an unsuccessful marketing campaign, but trying and failing is a big part of the learning process. Sometimes events that you thought would make a splash fall short. While I know from experience that there is no worse feeling than organizing an event where no-one shows up, if you analyze why that happened, it can help you do better the next time around. The same is true for content marketing; sometimes content is not as engaging as we would like. But what are the reasons why that piece of content didn’t perform well? Is it a question of format? Timing? Language? By having a look at all the campaign parameters, you should be able to pin-point what didn’t work so that you can make things better moving forward.
As a marketer, you are expected to come up with new ideas all the time. It’s not always easy to think outside of the box, or to create a perfectly crafted new campaign at the snap of your fingers. No-one is expecting perfection, but through trial and error, reading, discussing ideas with your peers, and keeping up on the latest trends, the learning process should be ongoing.