A few weeks ago I attended an event called The Brightest in Ad Tech where an audience full of brand and agency marketers learned about three technology startups by listening to their pitches to a panel of experts. Although each startup gave an interesting presentation, the topic that generated the most buzz and interest was, “How do you keep up with all the new trends, technology, and platforms that are available for marketing in today’s fast paced environment of change?” A few ideas were shared, but the overall agreement was that there is no easy solution. Hearing the agreement in the audience, as well as experiencing the challenge myself, I thought it worthwhile to explore possible solutions.
This post does a great job at providing a number of techniques for staying on top of trends. Each person interviewed shared a number of great ideas for how they stay up to date on digital marketing trends. They shared numerous reading suggestions, news aggregators, specific bookmarking suggestions and much, much more. A thread that ran through many of the tips focused on tapping into the people that you interact with.
Working at Likeable Media, I am lucky to interact with an amazing, knowledgeable, and savvy group of marketing professionals every day. I surveyed a few of our team members who shared a whole host of things they do to stay current, but to develop a list of best practices, I asked them each to narrow it down to one activity.
Here's what they said:
Dave Kerpen (Co-Founder & Chairman) chose LinkedIn Pulse as his go to source. By setting it up with the topics, influencers, and publications that are of interest to him, and checking it at least 3 to 4 times a day (many times on the go), Dave can quickly scan for trends and technologies that are relevant to him.
Carrie Kerpen (Co-Founder & CEO) uses Trending Topics on Twitter to stay up to date. She uses specific hashtags and always has it running in the background to insure that she reads news in real time.
Brian Murray (Director Talent & Culture) shared his daily habit of checking the aggregator website techmeme.com every morning. Because he has found this activity so important, he devotes time to this before he even looks at his emails!
Tim Bosch (Director Media & Planning) sets the Google News filter to 24 hours and filters for the key terms "social advertising," "programmatic ad buying," and "people based marketing." By doing this he sees only "new" news on his hot topics.
Corey Smock (Account Manager) has actually interviewed many industry experts for his podcast “The Feed” on this very topic. He has found that reading Mashable and Techcrunch every afternoon works best for him in his quest to be current on the trends in digital marketing.
Rachel Hadley (VP/Managing Director) finds listening to Beancast (a weekly podcast on marketing trends) both enjoyable and informative. Listening on her way to work on Mondays is a great way to kick off the week with fresh ideas.
I myself use Business Insider as my go to activity. Having set up topics of interest, I can quickly scan the daily newsletter and click through when there is a post that I want to explore further.
After assembling this list, and seeing the variety of tools and techniques, the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will share their learnings is more apparent than ever.
We would love to hear your trend spotting habit. Please share in the comments below.