Can you keep up in the conference room?
A client questions your strategy – you reinforce your recommendations with latest data. A brainstorming session comes to a close – your colleagues applaud your creative genius. Even at the company-Keurig, you talk trends like you started them.
Staying on top of industry news, innovations and clever ideas takes work. So many sources, so little time! However does one choose?
As a young and growing business, every minute is especially precious. To make sure we don’t waste a moment, we’ve read, watched, assessed and zeroed in on six highly useful sources to keep us up to speed and inspired.
Best for: Easy to digest, actionable insights that you can put to use right away
We discovered MarketingProfs only a few months ago, but quickly grew to love its accessible and super useful content. It’s almost like BuzzFeed for marketers – sharing common-sense practices that we often over-complicate. You'll likely find yourself saying, “ahh, of course!” while reading.
MarketingProfs covers all marketing fields. Skip browsing and sign up for their daily newsletter. Each email contains five headlines for you to absorb or ignore. The weekly SocialSkim is a favorite of our Digital Communications Manager.
Best for: Tracking topics and trends relevant to your business
Please tell us you have at least one Google Alert set up already. No? Time to get on it.
The easy-to-set-up alerts send news directly to your inbox based on search terms you select. Start with the name of your business and industry niches. For example, we receive alerts for “Montage Marketing Group,” “experiential marketing,” “minority-owned business” and “woman-owned business.”
Alerts can be sent as-they-happen, once daily or once weekly to the email of your choice – no Google account required.
Best for: Entrepreneurial advice and inspiration
Never mind that nearly 30 million small businesses operate in the U.S., entrepreneurship is often a lonely road. There’s so much uncharted territory. From writing a business plan to pitching clients, securing funding to establishing a growth strategy, beginners and experts alike can benefit from Entrepreneur’s content.
Articles are often composed by those in the throes. They celebrate the triumphs and offer tips to navigate the trials of business ownership. We especially love the advice of fellow entrepreneur’s on how to stay production, creative and focused.
Best for: Innovative ideas that make you say “wow”
Great marketing makes us laugh, cry, engage in or avoid behaviors. Creativity puts the best of the best front and center – sharing ads, experiences and other marketing innovations in a visual format with a quick explanation of why they’re great, in case it isn’t obvious.
The Creativity Pick of the Day sits atop the website. You can also browse Editors Picks for more inspiration. Some selections might strike you as odd, but all are sure to get you thinking, dare we say, more creatively.
Best for: Keeping up to date on industry news and issues
Creativity’s parent publication, AdAge, also makes our list. While less rousing than the other picks, AdAge serves as a valuable source for staying on top of industry news and issues.
Expert content provides insights on evolving trends and shifting regulations within the industry. AdAge showcases the winners of the world’s most prominent and renowned marketing awards, while also looking at the profession, and it’s privilege, with a critical eye. We love a good gut check!
They recently added a scan-able daily digest to their newsletter – a handy way to take in the highlights quickly.
Best for: Audience listening, current events, and networking
Lest we leave off the social network! Say what you will about Facebook’s recent snags, it has revolutionized the way the world communicates.
Brands use the platform to monitor everything from current events to customer needs and back again. Social listening tools reveal where you’re missing or hitting the mark on customer experience. Even the simplest performance analytics can inform your business about what types of content audiences like most.
And there's more! Facebook is hot on the heels of LinkedIn for the title of 'Most Useful Site for Professional Networking.' Businesses can currently post job opportunities, and testing is underway on a feature that allows users to share their education and job experience via the site.
Keeping up in the conference room isn’t easy, but it can be done through a well-cultivated selection of easy-to-access, not-to-be-missed industry sources. Take our six favorites for a test drive and stay savvy, friends.
P.S. If you rely on any informative, entertaining sources that help you do your job better, we’d love to hear from you. Drop your name and that of your favorite source in the comments below.