When you’re trying to simultaneously manage 17 initiatives that all have a deadline of yesterday, it’s hard to keep track of current marketing best practices. How can you maximize the effectiveness of your print communications? Are leading companies even still using print? Should you be producing podcasts, hosting webinars, posting videos on YouTube, buying Google AdWords?
Clearly, the strategies you adopt need to align to your corporate objectives and your budgetary constraints. But there are some quick steps you can take to glean industry best practices:
Build your network – Find other marketing professionals via your professional associations, alumni group, connections through family and friends, service groups, or networking services, like LinkedIn. Visit their Web sites and check out their client lists. Get an introduction and interview them about where they look for advice and trends. Share your own resources as well, to strengthen these new alliances.
Read the want ads – Study job descriptions for marketing professionals, particularly the skill sets, responsibilities, and best practices that are stated outright as well as between the lines.
Consult with specialists – Have a chat with senior corporate marketers who are in the business of staying ahead of the trends. Look for people with hands-on experience, as well as training and certification in the specialty areas that most interest you, such as online marketing or search engine optimization.
If you or your employer are having trouble with the idea of spending time on this research, remember that your company is in danger of being left behind if you don’t. Getting up to speed on the newest and most effective marketing practices is a far better use of your time than ploughing forward with outdated campaigns just for the sake of getting done what you’ve always done.
You will be more valuable to your company and in a much better position to advance your career.