Marketing is one of those fields that is constantly evolving, and trying to keep up with it all can be exhausting. I think that is especially true if you have to do the marketing for your own business yourself, when all you’d you’d rather be doing is what you actually do. But learning something new is fun, and fun is good. And learning is even more fun when you can take short cuts. So, to save you time and help you learn, here are some great companies and organizations that I turn to regularly to keep up with the rest of the marketing peeps out there.
American Marketing Association: You need not be a member to receive emails from them announcing free marketing-related webinars. I have learned a lot from these webinars, though just a word of caution: some speakers are far better than others. I have listened to a couple of people read their presentations—for 45 minutes. However, if you sign up for a webinar and miss it, a link to the presentation will be emailed to you so you can watch or listen to it at your leisure. www.marketingpower.com
451 Marketing: Founded in 2004 and based in Boston, 451 is an interactive marketing and PR agency that specializes in inbound marketing. The team at 451 publishes a fun blog, is active on Facebook, and sends out a steady stream of useful tweets. If you want to learn more about marketing 2.0, PR 2.0, and social media, check them out. www.451marketing.com
Hubspot: Another Boston-area inbound marketing company (they’re actually across the Charles River in Cambridge), Hubspot creates software that facilitates the inbound marketing efforts of its clients. I just logged onto their website, and I was met with a message stating that over 2,000 businesses use their software to grow traffic, leads, and sales. Pretty impressive! I follow their VP of Marketing, Mike Volpe, on Twitter, get their newsletter, and read their blog posts as often as I can. www.hubspot.com
Marketo: I learned about both Hubspot and Marketo through AMA webinars. Marketo also makes software, but theirs focuses on lead generation and collaboration between the marketing and sales departments. They publish a great blog called Modern B2B Marketing that is always full of interesting information. I signed up for an RSS feed, so it arrives as an email in my inbox. In a really smart marketing move, they make it super easy to share their blog via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, del.ici.ous, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. www.marketo.com
Web Marketing Today: This website is a clearinghouse of sorts on web marketing and e-commerce. They publish a short newsletter that is always worth reading, and many of them contain short “how to” videos. The only thing that tends to rub me the wrong way is the founder’s use of “God bless” this and “God bless” that. But because of the high-quality information he disseminates, I ignore it. www.webmarketingtoday.com.
Inc.: Last, but definitely not least, is Inc. Magazine’s website. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, Inc. is basically required reading. They do a whiz-bang job covering sales, marketing, strategy, finance, operations, and so on in an engaging manner. I learn a lot from them every month, and their website is loaded with great articles (plus blogs and newsletters) that are not published in the magazine. Sign up for an RSS feed today. www.inc.comGoogle+