As marketers we are all acutely aware of the importance and the challenge in trying to keep up (heck, trying to stay current) with the plethora of tools and sites and practices intrinsic to successful marketing practice in 2016.
I would like to take this opportunity to say, “Hey, good for you!” The fact that you are reading this post is a testament to your own curiosity and your understanding of the importance to keep learning. To go a little further and try to literally make your day, I will share with you what happens when you stop learning (this is the part that you get to read, and take a deep sigh of relief because you’re still learning and doing as much as you can to stay current):
- You nod during conversations all the while knowing you have no idea what you are nodding about and this makes you feel crummy. (Had a great conversation with some Web Developers recently who told me that many of their clients “do the nod” during meetings and then freak out when the developers implement what they nodded in approval to which makes for a really awkward follow-up conversation.)
- You get defensive and angry because you are not speaking the same language as the people around you. (Note, this is not an age thing at all. I am rather long in the tooth but when I hear a term I do not fully understand I do one of two things: ask for an explanation or conduct thorough research privately).
- You slow others down. (Because now they have to explain it to you and because most people are nice-they really are-they will try to do so without sounding surprised or patronizing and in doing so may inadvertently throw in two or three more terms or processes with which you are unfamiliar. That causes your brain to lock up and you end up missing or misunderstanding the entire explanation).
- You compromise your own ROI. (I have been with organizations that have outdated Websites that do not utilize Google Analytics and as a result, they are not able to calculate return on investment not only for the site but for paid, earned and owned assets as well. This is truly a marketers nightmare because most of us live to measure and compete not only against others but also against ourselves).
- You stay humble. This is sage advice from AJ AGRAWAL in his 2015 article about this importance of learning. He nails it when he argues, “When we are looking to learn as much as possible, there’s less of a chance that we will come off as arrogant.”
- Lastly, and perhaps most dangerously, you get out of the habit of learning. Curiosity, like many things, can be cultivated as a habit and as far as habits go, it’s probably the best habit to have.
My grandmother, who lived to be 96 years old, was the most charming and engaging woman I have ever known. The reason? She was forever curious. Even into her 90s, Gram worked to stay current in the world and would ask questions to clarify her understanding. When I asked her what her secret was for staying young, she answered, “I’ve kept my brain and body active.” She did so through daily walks and conversations with people around her and through voracious reading.
In conclusion, here are a few (often cited, often referenced because they’re among the best) resources to stay current in marketing and business:
And always and of course, your local public library. Please don’t be nervous to ask your librarian for some guidance because librarians love to help you, they really do.
But again, none of this applies to you because you found yourself here. Nice work! Keep learning. It’s the best way to rock on with your bad self.