By Mark Cipolletti, Pinch Hit Partners Founder and Fractional CMO
It would be a huge understatement to say that marketing is changing at a rapid pace. Keeping up with all of the trends and technologies can seem like a full time job. Just when you’ve figured out that SEO and SEM aren’t the same thing, something new comes along leaving you scratching your head.
If you are a CEO or business owner who does double-duty as your company’s primary marketer, you may not know where to turn for useful marketing information. Fortunately, there’s a ton of marketing content just a mouse click away. To save you valuable time finding the best resources, I’ve compiled some of my favorites. Most are free (but not all) so this may be the most economical degree in marketing that you can get. You can thank me later.
Websites are my #1 source for marketing information. These website are some of my favorites and also a good place for you to get started. And don’t forget to sign-up to receive their emails. That way you’ll receive their content without having to remember to visit on a daily or weekly basis.
Many of the biggest brands spend millions with consulting firms like Gartner and McKinsey, but did you know that these high-power firms also give away a ton of free research on their websites? Now you do.
I’m a huge fan of Flipboard. The Flipboard website and mobile app can be customized to display “magazines” on very specific topics such as customer experience and content marketing. The content is curated by other users who take the time to select the best articles.
You may have already signed up to receive Google Alerts to find out when you or your company have been mentioned in the news or on a website, but why not set-up alerts for marketing topics that you’d like to learn about. Tweak the settings to tell Google how frequently you want to receive your Alerts email.
There has been an explosion of marketing technologies in the last few years. According to Chiefmartec.com’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic 2018 (and it is super) there are 6,829 marketing technologies (think social media, marketing automation, etc.) – that’s a 27% increase over 2017. Here are four marketing technology resources I turn to when I want to get my geek on.
Your local university is always an option for continuing education but with online options available through providers like Coursera you can take classes from Wharton, University of Virginia, Northwestern and other top schools right at your desk. LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Lynda.com is another online resource to consider with over 100 marketing classes available.
Most mid-sized and large cities have a chapter of the American Marketing Association that you should considering joining. While each chapter is different, almost all provide educational programs to help marketers like you. Memberships to AMA will run you about $300 (dues vary by chapter) but you can also participate in most programs at a non-member price. My local chapter in Richmond, Virginia, also offers smaller special interest groups for members interested in marketing strategy, content marketing and social media.
So there you have it, my not-so-secret list of 18 indispensable resources for getting up to speed on marketing, fast. I’m sure that, as you explore my favorites, you’ll discover some of your own. I hope that you’ll report back when you identify your top picks.