FIRM FIXED IDEAS
How to become a better marketer by actively pursuing the educational resources that can enhance your ability to create value.
“Always desire to learn something useful,” by Sophocles.
Where to find marketing education?
To start, you need a goal or an objective of what you would like to learn. Narrowing that simple answer down can seem overwhelming. My advice is to step into the realm of your best customers and write down all the ideas you have for persuading that kind of person.
Marketing is about crafting a message, it’s about communicating value. In order to craft that personal message you need to have some understanding of who they are. Once you know who they are it’s a small leap to decipher the medium and ultimately the message you will communicate with them.
Let’s break it down:
- Identify your best customers
- Craft the persuasive message
- Optimize, simplify, optimize…
Education for marketing consists in improving these three steps – help for these exists! However where you go to acquire that understanding really depends on what suits you best. Everyone learns best in different formats – so pick what works best for you.
At this stage – I’m just tired of being so vague and would love to dive into the thick of it. So here are my recommendations for resources to learn, practice, and enjoy the pursuit of becoming a better marketer:
My favorite method is feasting on marketing blogs, attending webinars and conferences, and taking notes in a journal that I can reference later. Here is one of my favorite blogs dedicated to advanced marketing education:
- Simo Ahava (https://www.simoahava.com/) – My go to blog for advanced analytics, google tag manager, and everything code based when it comes to digital analytics. Simo’s blog is creative and well designed to help you learn and find the answers you need. Tip: Look into his GTM Tips.
My second favorite method is enrolling in a course (specific to something I need to learn or improve). I was shocked how little I knew and how minimally I was optimizing before I took my first course. One of the big benefits to courses is finding out the industry standards (especially if you are job hunting).
- Digital Marketer (http://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/) – I’ve mentioned them before and I will probably give them a shout again in the near future. These guys are a small group of dedicated educators working and turning their experience into case studies, courses, blogs, and fascinating insights. Tip: Check out their marketing labs and HQ courses.
My last recommendation is buying a marketing book from amazon or a local store. I have this last because books can iterate out quickly as marketing seems to change monthly. Keeping up with trends and new optimization techniques aren’t easy to do reading from a book. However, there are amazing books that will help you go step by step – and you can mark them up and pull them out anywhere.
- Secrets of Question-Based Selling (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Question-Based-Selling-Powerful-Business/dp/1402287526/ref=pd_sim_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=T8RTCXXRBBR2MYBN0XPP) by Thomas A. Freese, is my pick of the best book currently because I couldn’t stop taking notes. This book has transformed how I approach deductive marketing and really how I craft a message. Tip: Make this part of your reading list asap.
I want to add – yes there are more and possibly better options for learning about marketing. In fact I have about 10 others I could easily add to these lists – but I want to keep this message simple. Get out there and start looking for articles, blogs, and education for marketing that works for you.
Finally, college… I haven’t even mentioned this one yet. If you’ve ever worked with marketers then you know that they love to bash universities. School just can’t keep up with how fast marketing is evolving so the classes most people take feel needlessly outdated.
I want to stress that college is great – in fact it is one of the best sources for the philosophical truths of marketing work. In college courses you will learn the theory, the ideas, and ultimately the concepts behind most blogs and courses online.
I would not discount school at all but just understand that a lot of marketing is learned these days by application – something that colleges aren’t offering. So get out there and take a class, sign up for a webinar, download some guide and whitepapers, and feast on marketing education!