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July 31, 2012

Want to get better at marketing? Become a student of it!

Marketing has evolved and changed as much as any discipline in business.  We used to think about marketing as print ads and direct mail.  Then along came the internet and our choices expanded to include email and banner ads.  And in the last few years, thanks to advances in technology, our choices have expanded further to include social media marketing, search engine optimization and mobile marketing.  And now to tie it all together, there’s Marketing Automation Software (MAS).

With the proliferation of options – where do you turn for answers?  Ironically, to the same technologies that are the cause of this anxiety in the first place… the internet and social media.  There’s enough information available – most of it for free – to make almost anyone a marketing expert!

Following is a list of some marketing resources that you might find useful.  My recommendation is to spend a few minutes every morning browsing and learning.  If it doesn’t become a habit for you… it’ll never happen!

–; as you know, you can find anything through this search engine – from product reviews, potential vendors, and every possible “How to” you can think of.
– Every morning, I receive a series of emails from Google Alerts highlighting new posts on the internet based on key word searches I set up; this includes phrases like “marketing and sales” or “marketing strategy”, as well as my company name and the name of my competitors.
– don’t forget about this video channel as a search source, especially for things like software demos.
– of course.  Find books on any marketing topic.

– has thousands of blogs organized by topic; when there, click on ‘M’ then click on ‘Marketing’ and it will provide you with a very long listing of marketing-related blogs (including this one).
– is a search engine for blog posts; just put in the topic that interests you and it will return a long list of related posts.

Whether they’re selling memberships, subscriptions or conference admission, they all still make available a number of excellent resources.  Make sure to sign up for their free e-newsletters and attend their free webinars.

Marketing Automation Software companies
Interestingly, these MAS firms make available a number of really well done eBooks and other resources on a variety of marketing topics.  Why?  The more marketing you do, the more likely you are to need their software.  But even with that, the resources can be excellent.

Social Media
You’re probably already engaged in social media as a means to help promote your business, now use the sites as a resource.
– search for and join marketing-related groups
– do a ‘hashtag’ search for topics like #marketing or #trade show
– not really a social media site, but video-based educational sessions from world-class speakers

And this list is just the tip of the iceberg… there is a lifetime of learning available to you – much of it for free.  So, whether you’re a beginner or a marketing pro, you can find resources online that will help to make your marketing more effective and make you a little bit smarter… giving you the competitive advantage you’re looking for.

Do you have a favorite website for marketing information?  I’d love to hear about it…

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