The marketing industry evolves rapidly, and the recent pandemic has only sped up that evolution. In addition to new technologies, the way we approach campaigns and potential customers have seen a dramatic shift over the last few years. Most marketing campaigns are now customer-focused versus product-focused, which is the way it should and has to be. Ensuring that your campaigns are up to date and set up for success requires you as an individual and your team to keep your skills sharp. Here we take a look at ten steps to become a better B2B marketer.
Read About Trends And Technology
Keeping up with the latest trends and technology is essential, even if you're not implementing them for your company. Knowing what is going on in your own industry as well as the world of marketing will help you make better campaign decisions, speak more intelligently on your solutions and understand common pain points within your target audience. Following influencers through social channels can also spark ideas on how to improve your current marketing efforts and internal communication.
Listen To A Variety Of Marketing Podcasts
There are a seemingly unlimited number of marketing podcasts available to listen to these days, and many of them provide insights that only true marketing professionals are able to expose. Listening to podcasts can help you keep up with trends and technology while giving you fresh ideas to market your business. The great thing about podcasts is their flexibility. Most are recorded and available at no cost. Also, you don't need to be looking at anything to consume the content. You can sharpen your marketing skills while eating lunch or driving to work.
Curate Relevant Content
Taking a piece of content published by an authority in your industry or within the marketing community and summarizing it while adding your own spin can help you understand the subject matter better. It also shows your audience that you are current on the latest happenings in those areas. Pick an article on a monthly basis to analyze, interpret and embellish upon. Not only will you better understand the topic, but links to the original article can also help distribution and SEO.
Network With Other Marketers
A lot can be learned from marketers worldwide or even from your own team. It doesn't even matter if they're in the same industry as you. There is always something that can be learned. Finding ways to connect and engage with other marketers can help you sharpen your craft. LinkedIn and industry events offer two of the best ways to do so. Ask them what has worked in the past, what didn't work, how much they've invested in specific channels, and where they go to improve their own skills. This will only help you in the long run.
Acquire And Maintain Certifications
There are an endless number of certification programs available through different educational sites and marketing automation websites. Having a solid knowledge base allows you to better communicate the value of your products and solutions to your prospects. It also provides you with the expertise to hold conversations with leaders in the B2B marketing industry. Certification programs can help you better understand the more complex concepts presented by thought leaders and lend credibility to your social media profiles.
Ask Lots Of Questions
A Chinese proverb states, "He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." Asking questions is essential in learning any discipline, and marketing is no different. It is much better to ask a question in a professional setting than to pretend to know the answer already. Those who are well-versed in marketing strategy will easily spot someone faking expertise. Never be afraid to ask for clarification when you don't understand something.
Research Your Competition
Understanding how your company compares with the competition in the realm of marketing can give you valuable insights into how to better reach your prospects. Performing a routine competitive analysis provides insight into how you stack up with your top competitors and where your own campaigns may be lacking. There may be a particular pain point that your competitors speak to that resonates with your audience, a platform where your audience resides that you're not addressing, or even a tool that gives them a competitive edge.
Attend Live And Virtual Events
Events give you face-to-face access to industry leaders, marketing experts, and potential clients. Most of the larger conferences have several breakout sessions and talk tracks that allow you to learn from some of the most respected names in the marketing industry. Events are often a showcase for new technology and new ideas. In many cases, what you see or hear at an event will not be readily available to read about online. This makes it imperative to attend at least a few events each year to remain current.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New
The world of marketing changes at a rapid pace. While the same principles of providing value and developing relationships will always be a part of it, the way we communicate with and reach people continues to evolve. You need to be open to trying new technology, tactics, and platforms with an open mind. If things don't work out right away, you need to put the time in to learn and test. Just because a particular tactic doesn't show immediate results doesn't mean it isn't right for your business. Give new things time to produce.
Master Basic Marketing Terminology
To follow what an experienced marketer is trying to convey, you need to have a strong marketing vocabulary. The evolution of marketing technology has made this a daunting task. Although each company may have its own terminology, it is important that you become familiar with common terms and acronyms to understand and convey the different marketing strategies. HubSpot has an excellent glossary of terms that provides a solid knowledge base for those looking to brush up on their marketing terminology.
For nearly 32 years, Winn has provided marketing support to some of the world's largest technology and financial firms. From enterprise level to startup organizations, Winn works to expand brand awareness, drive lead activity and increase revenue through various marketing strategies and tactics. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business grow.