If You Want to Be a Smarter Marketer, Stop Reading About Marketing

you suck at marketing

I subscribe to a quintrigintillion blogs and read all of them on a weekly basis. At least, I read all of the posts with headlines that grab me. And, if I’m deflating my initial statement, I probably subscribe to 150 blogs.

At least 70 percent of them are marketing blogs.

And I seriously love reading the shit marketers write. And sometimes I learn from some of them. Sometimes it’s research, sometimes it’s perspective, sometimes it’s tips from people who do this every day.

But most of the time, and I’m serious, I don’t learn how to do my job better from other marketers.

I’m grateful to know about 10 people who work in marketing who are uniquely good at what they do. I listen to them. I learn from them. But a blogger can’t teach me about marketing in 250 words.

And there’s only so much of a learning curve for social media, so once you’re in the top-ish tier of what you can know about your field, what differentiates you is your perspective and ability to stay ahead of the curve in your profession, right? What do I know about the maturation and tenure of a career? I’m just speculating.

I have this ongoing beef with conferences. I don’t think you can learn a whole lot from someone in a 15-to-60 minute session. I also think people are so afraid of giving up the secret to how they do the generally mediocre jobs that they do, so they fill their sessions with fluff and secondary research.

But my real beef is that there’s nothing for you at a conference if you’re not a beginner. If you are over the learning curve of your profession, most conferences don’t offer more than a pond full of business cards.

That’s really it for me.

If you want to be better at marketing, and you know the basics, then quit thinking that everyone knows something you don’t. Quit reading every marketing blog and attending every marketing-related conference you can.

I don’t know, I refuse to speak with authority on this topic, because I’ve only just started unplugging from the marketing vortex myself. But I know I get more perspective for my job from the news, talking with friends in parallel fields like graphic and web design and sales, and blogs on every topic other than marketing. I learn things from GOOD and Brain Pickings I could never learn from Mashable or Social Media Today.

ALL I’M SAYIN’ IS: Don’t abandon continuing education in your field … but don’t put blogs on a pedestal of learning, either.

At some point, the incestuous world of any field stops teaching itself without inviting new perspective. Professionals in any field can’t really incite change and progress until unique perspective shakes things up.

4 Responses to “If You Want to Be a Smarter Marketer, Stop Reading About Marketing”

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  3. Sergey says:

    The truth is written here. Importance of blogs in self-education is way over exaggerated. I mean, when I read what I consider interesting in my subscriptions, I only find few of the posts somewhat useful. I get more valuable information from people I socialize with, or when browsing some random non-marketing website. But still, reading marketing rss feeds on constant basis do some good to you, as you pick up small pieces of something valuable. It is a hard content curation process though, that requires a lot of time and concentration.

    Very interesting post, Lizzie, thank you.

    Will definitely stop by here some time soon.

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