With so much changing at a rapid pace, how can marketers put together a successful continuing education plan?
Here’s an approach that should pay big dividends in the coming year: First, I’ll suggest some specific options for you, then I’ll show you how to pick your own areas of study.
Where to Focus Your Efforts in 2013
You’ll need to keep up with what emerging best-practices are in at least 1-2 areas, and curate important news in probably at least 1-3 areas.
I suggest the most profitable area to have cutting edge expertise in for 2013 will be changes to native ad products and strategies withing the top 2-3 social networks (probably Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn in that order for most folks). As each network refines what works, marketers who stay educated on what works and what doesn’t within the top networks will have a significant edge.
However, in the mobile space, the most important innovations will happen outside the top networks at first. The big guys know they can’t innovate fast enough in mobile, leading to events such as Facebook acquiring Instagram. Expect more rapidly-growing networks to appear, and to be acquired for their edge in mobile. Internal goals at Twitter and Facebook are a big drag on their ability and desire to innovate.
So there’s one area to maintain expertise in (native ad network changes at top social properties) and one to curate the latest news in (overall mobile innovation with social features).
To maintain expertise, carefully curate what the top thought leaders are saying and dig deeper on interesting developments.
To keep abreast of cutting-edge news, customize news services such as Zite to give yourself a quick daily read on what’s happening.
What’s Most Important To You Now?
Beyond these overall trends, you’ll have to keep your existing skill set and expertise in top shape. Probably what those areas are is intuitive to you, but it may be worth doing a short exercise to crystallize your thinking.
So ask yourself, what are your core competencies? To get a handle on that, start by answering these three questions in any combination:
- What work currently pays you the most?
- What are the most skilled at?
- What do you love doing the most?
Thinking about your answers to these questions should clarify two areas you want to keep brushed up on.
What Do You Think The Most Important Trends For Marketers Will Be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’d be glad to update this post and link to and credit authors of interesting ideas