Why a culture of continued learning is critical for B2B marketing success
In today's fast-evolving marketing landscape, there's no room for complacency. If your marketing leader, team or agency aren't invested in continued learning and development, there's a chance their strategies are outdated, and their tactics already redundant.
"You may have graduated from university with a flashy marketing degree, but the learning doesn't stop when you're handed a piece of paper," says AZK Media's Founder and Managing Partner, Azadeh Williams.
"It is imperative for marketing, comms and PR teams to constantly learn and develop their skills. Not only does this help them keep up with global trends, but it means they can add the right 'pieces to their toolkits' that will benefit their clients and their own careers - at scale."
Williams stresses that at AZK Media, there's a deeper embedded a culture of learning and development, so that every team member has a proactive commitment to keeping their skills and knowledge up-to-date and relevant.
"In fact, we’ve collectively clocked over 1,000 hours of professional development time in the past year alone," she adds. "We're constantly learning, testing and analysing new ways of making 'marketing' happen in today's volatile landscape.
"And it's our passion for continued learning that reflects in our results for clients. Clients turn to us because they know our ideas are fresh, and we approach the B2B landscape from a very multi-dimensional strategic perspective."
For those who are just investing in the professional development of their teams, here are a few tips Williams suggests you can do:
1. Learn the power of inbound marketing
Take the time to ensure all your team deeply understands the power of inbound marketing, as well as the right tools and systems that can help manage your inbound marketing efforts efficiently such as HubSpot, Hotjar, Cheetah, Marketo and Salesforce.
2. Understand social media 'power tools'
Understand social media power tools such as GaggleAmp and Oktopost. When used correctly, these can generate powerful, organic amplification of your client’s social media message – at scale.
3. Learn SEO in the context of your client's needs
Quality, search-engine friendly content that truly resonates with a client’s customer can be the fuel that fires up the engine of your inbound strategy. But too much focus on SEO and you may lose sight of the more granular demand gen tactics needed to build customer loyalty and trust at a deeper level. This means SEO-rich content, PR and social media, all need to fit within a highly tactical, holistic inbound strategy.
4. Data-driven marketing
You've heard the saying before, "data is the new oil," so start educating yourselves on how to utilise this precious commodity to help your business and your clients. Brands and marketers alike are increasingly using data-based programs to target their customers better and it's been proven before, those who do not utilise their data will get left behind. Many educational institutes offer fantastic short courses on data-driven marketing.
5. Invest in short courses or go to your leading B2B marketing events
Take a day off and invest in learning the latest tricks of the trade. With the internet at your fingertips and social distancing, this is the perfect time to brush up on some skills or learn new ones. The Australian Academy of Digital Marketing, AIM, General Assembly, B2B Marketing Leaders Forum and ADMA are some of the many organisations that offer workshops, short and long courses for those in the industry who want to stay across the latest marketing strategies.
This article was also published in Little Black Book Online, one of the world's leading publications for marketing, media and agency news.
This article was written by AZK Media's Content and Communications Specialist, Athina Mallis