What’s Next For Marketing? Part 2: Investing in your learning
Written for Festival of Marketing, 12 March 2019
What does a millionaire, a small business owner and a cow all have in common? 24 hours a day. Despite circumstance or species, we all have the same amount of time to spend in our everyday lives, so how can you make the most of it and ensure that you’re getting an ROI on your time spent investments? Read on to find out.
Welcome to 2019. A year where we are experiencing the latest in tech innovation, where answers are readily available at the click of a button or a swift tippy-tappy-type away. Data retrieval, smart search engines and keyword driven SEO analytics are making it so easy for us to search, find and store information at such a rate that we are saving on one of our most precious commodities: Time. No longer do we have to sprawl through printed newspapers for headlines, stories and leads to align our campaigns, to measure our audiences behaviour or to scour for gossip on the latest celebrity mishaps. It’s all there in one, or two, handy push notifications. Breaking news? You’ll hear about it on social media before you see it printed. Glorious, to think that all you could ever need to know, is right there – waiting to be retrieved for you. All you have to do, is ask the right question, and – bam – you’re absorbing, ingesting, developing opinions and critically thinking. Or, are you?
The infinitely scrolling and tactile operating systems hypnotize us to spend our precious, precious time by holding our gazes and subconsciously stimulating our minds with click-bait, memes and optimised advertisements. When you are moving through such vast quantities of data in this way, it is near impossible to process and achieve deep-level learning. You read a headline, form an opinion and look for things to reinforce that opinion, because heck, who has time to read the opposition, when the world has made it so much easier for you to believe that you’re right.
Critical thinking is one of the most beautifully intricate super powers that we have in our arsenal as a horribly self aware species. As marketers, we are naturally adaptable and quick thinking. We push ourselves and others to consistently do better, know more and achieve greater – often with limited resources, the most limited of which being time. Learning as you progress is key to success in the marketing world. Balancing your work demands and your life, because you – YES YOU – are entitled to have both, can be incredibly difficult. Here are some top tips to help you prioritise and manage your learning, amidst the disruptions and responsibilities that pile on as you get older and wiser;
Just take a second, a minute, an hour to do nothing. No, really. Studies into wellness, meditation and yogic practices show us that by allowing you to focus and be aware of your body, breathing and senses can help you manage workplace stressors and encourage learning at a much deeper level.
When you learn something new, try and tell someone what you’ve learnt in your own words, using your memory. As you begin to speak, not only will you cement your learning in your memory, but you will begin to critically think, form opinions and be able to express yourself in a much more cohesive way.
Now that you’re able to cohesively discuss your newly formed opinion, allow others to challenge what it is you know. Take this opportunity to learn from others, listen to new points of view surrounding the topic at hand with a view to expand your learning, reach and ability. By discussing your ideas you’ll find your ability to formulate reasoning behind key decisions much easier, especially if you find encouragement and criticism from a respected peer group or mentor.
There is no greater way to experience than by doing. Go to events, speak to people; utilise their networks and knowledge and participate in larger conversations to enrich your skillset. Don’t be shy of what you do not know – be present in the moment and invest in yourself.
Nobody’s ever done with learning and if they are that’s because there is no passion left for the subject. There is always something to know, always something to do and always something to be refined. Hitting a brick wall is natural, we all go through those moments where nothing seems clear – but knowing that it will pass and ‘eureka’ will strike once more is part and parcel of being engaged in an inherently creative process.
Continually seeking to improve your practices and processes will ensure that you are keeping pace with the ever shifting world of marketing and the behaviours of the consumer. Stay curious and invest in yourself, you’re the most valuable tool in your arsenal, afterall.
Read the original article for Festival of Marketing here.