One of the hardest parts of working in marketing is keeping your skills up to date. I have made this slightly easier for you by listing several recomended learning resources in this post. This is reflected in the latest State of Inbound Report where 19% said training was the company's top challenge. Most of us spend time implementing, planning and executing campaigns. Leaving little room to brush up or expand your skill set. However, this is a dangerous tactic if you want to grow your career and become a successful T Shaped marketer (see Buffer's or Moz's diagram below).
With the current rate of change in the world of marketing, within a couple of months you can easily find yourself out of date with the latest trends, tools or Inbound strategies.
"The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition" - Peter Senge, Founder of the Society for Organizational Learning
Time & Cost
Before you choose the right Inbound marketing course or learning programme. It is a good idea to set some realistic parameters. Education can be a costly investment in both time & money. Just ask anyone who has committed to a part-time Masters degree while working full-time. Consider how much you or your employer can invest both in time and financially. You may want to research some of the following
- Are there exams?
- Will you need to take time off to study before the exams?
- If there is an onsite component? How far do I have to travel?
- Is their group work involved? How much time do I need to meet with group members?
- Are there any restrictions if my employer is sponsoring my course?
Carefully consider what skills you want to develop and invest in. I would advise to lean into your strengths. Review the T-Shaped diagrams above. Consider the following questions to help guide you.
- Where are your knowledge gaps?
- What marketing specialty do you want to focus on?
- What would skills would have the biggest impact on your role?
- What skills or knowledge does your team or company lack?
- What marketing topics excite you?
How upto date will the course material be?
The second thing to consider is how practical and relevant the course is considering the current rate of change in our industry? For example a Masters or degree programme curriculum is set years in advance. Therefore there is little room to learn the latest trends from the industry. Whereas Blogs or video's can put created quickly in response to latest developments.
Image Credit: The 2016 State of Inbound Report
The below is a starter list. Meaning it is not completely comprehensive. However, the resources are either highly regarded or recomended resources. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below to share with others - especially forums !!
- Hubspot Marketing blog
- Seth Godin
- Hubspot Sales blog
- Social media Examiner
- Marketing profs
- Search Engine Land
- Marketing Sherpa
- Emotional selling
- ConversionXL training
- Hubspot certifications - Inbound marketing, sales, agency, contextual design etc.
- Inbound (25th-28th Sept 2017) > Attending Inbound? Join my Inbound whatsapp group
- Websummit (Lisbon 6-9th Nov 2017)
- SXSW Conference (Austin 10-17th Mar 2017)
- Social Media Marketing World (San Diego 22-24th March)
- Mozcon (Seattle 12-14th Sept)
- Dmexco (Cologne 12-14th Sept)
- Content Marketing World (Cleveland 5-8th September)
- 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
- All Marketers are Liars
- Creativity, Inc.
- Deep Work
- Everybody Writes
- Growth Hacker Marketing
- HBR - On Strategic Marketing
- Houston, We Have a Narrative
- How To Write Short
- Inbound Marketing
- Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook
- Made to Stick
- Ogilvy on Advertising
- Permission Marketing
- Start with Why
- The Elements of Style
- The Power of Habits
- The Purple Cow
- The Thank You Economy
- To Sell is Human
- Traction (startup growth)
- Winning with Data