Is it safe to assume that your marketing strategy sucks, since you’re reading this article? You have one advantage over the competition: you’re reading this article. As a business owner, I know it’s hard to stay on top of so many things, but don’t let your marketing homework slip by. It might be a bigger mistake than crimping your hair or tight rolling your jeans was in high school!
There is so much information available today. Too much, in fact. How can you weed through the plethora of websites to find what is relevant to your business without wasting all of your time? Here are 5 tips to get you the Clif’s Notes on marketing quickly.
1. Get Help. If you have an assistant or a staff member who can keep on top of marketing trends, consider yourself lucky. Because your time is valuable (you probably have a pricetag in mind for what an hour of your time is worth), it’s always better to offload the work to someone whose pricetag is cheaper. An assistant may spend 5 hours gathering information, which might cost, say, $50, whereas it might have taken you longer and cost more.
2. Find What Works and Stick With it. Don’t waste time flitting from one resource to another. If you find a few magazines, websites, books or newsletters that provide the content you need, use them. Bookmark them and refer to them often.
3. Take Advantage of RSS. I was slow to adapt to RSS, but since I have started using it, I have saved so much time. If you find a blog (ahem, this one, for example) that consistently provides useful content, subscribe to it via RSS. What this means is that every time a new entry is posted, you get an email or RSS notification. I hardly even visit my favorite blog sites anymore, because I can read the posts in my Inbox. No more checking the site every other day for new content!
4. Subscribe to Newsletters. The same as RSS, newsletters offer an effortless way to get news you can use. Some come once a day, others once a week, or like my company’s newsletter, once a month. You can always unsubscribe if your Inbox fills up with unwanted emails.
5. Learn to Love eBooks. Again, I had trouble adapting to ebooks. I love physical books, and found it hard to shift my reading to onscreen. But there are so many ebooks that provide useful knowledge on virtually any topic, it’s hard to deny their value. Because there’s no lag time for printing, you can get ebooks on the latest in marketing as it’s happening. Most are free, but occasionally you’ll find some worth paying for.
Marketing is a changing climate. What has been relevant in the past won’t be relevant tomorrow, so never stop learning. Think of it this way: you’re getting the equivalent (if not more) of a degree in marketing without the hefty college pricetag!