As the Program Director for the Internet Marketing bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Full Sail University, I’m frequently asked how we deal with the rate of change in the industry.
This is a particular challenge when you’re trying to teach Internet marketing, but it’s a problem that virtually anyone in the digital space faces. Change is not only inevitable here; it’s virtually constant.
Keep swimming, Nemo.
There’s no way around the fact that what worked last year – or even last week – may not get the same results today. It’s your job (and mine) to keep pace.
I asked my colleagues and students for suggestions about how they stay current. Here are a few of the responses I got:
- Set aside some time every day (or at least every week) to read and research what’s happening in the industry.
- Recognize that marketing is becoming more integrated. You can’t, for instance, expect to fare well if your social strategy isn’t aligned with your SEM strategy. Even if your organization’s marketing efforts are silo’ed, you’re going to need at least basic knowledge of what’s going on outside your realm, so be sure your research is not ‘too’ focused.
- Let news aggregators and content curators help you. Marketing Pilgrim is a great example. They comb through the ‘news of the day’ so you don’t have to. Get their content in the way that suits you best – on the site, social networks or RSS feed. There are, of course, plenty of other sites that help in this way, too: Search Engine Journal, DM News and Search Engine Land to name a few.
- Identify and follow industry leaders. My team at Full Sail came up with a list of Twitter profiles to follow across various Internet marketing segments. Of course, there’s also Facebook, Google+ and a myriad of other social sites from which you can get useful information.
- Colleagues can be a great source of curated content, too. I often think how great it would be if my incredible team could all read different articles and then just recommend the best of them to one another. We’d be able to cover so much more ground! One of our students suggested FLUD, which seems useful for internal sharing.
I suspect the key to staying current, though, is keeping the passion for the digital marketing industry. With that, maintaining the ongoing commitment to continue educating yourself is easy.
About the Author
Rob Croll is the Program Director for the Internet Marketing Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program at Full Sail University. He also owns Marlannah Digital Marketing, a consulting firm that works with small- to medium-sized businesses and non-profits. Rob was named one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter and has had numerous articles published both online and in print on a variety of Internet marketing topics. You can follow Rob on Twitter @rcroll.