Marketing is the force that drives all industry; any product or service sold to a customer or another business must first be marketed. Savvy marketers make the most of resources at hand, and in today's digital world, resources are aplenty. Read on for information about how to best use the tools at your disposal and stand out among your peers.
- American Marketing Association (AMA): The premier professional organization in the marketing industry, the AMA has over 30,000 members. AMA's continuing education events, a popular annual conference, job leads and a resource library are just some of the benefits AMA members enjoy.
- Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO): When this organization was formed in 2002, the idea of search engine optimization (SEO) was brand-new and not well understood by marketing professionals. SEMPO exists today to foster effective SEO and to bring together SEO professionals. Local chapters, webinars and a job board are available to members, and the online Learning Center offers a wealth of SEO knowledge to readers.
- Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI): By bringing together the two branches of industry that depend heavily on one another, sales and marketing professionals have an opportunity to share ideas and best practices. Members may take advantage of numerous networking opportunities, as well as educational lectures and webinars.
- Direct Marketing Association (DMA): Another powerhouse organization in the industry, the DMA supports marketers who operate direct, data-driven campaign efforts. Members receive support on gathering specific customer metrics and properly synthesizing data into actionable campaigns. The DMA's annual conference is also well attended by industry professionals.
- Business Marketing Association (BMA): Business-to-business, or B2B marketing, requires a slightly different focus than marketing directly to consumers. The BMA offers B2B specialists resources for networking, best practices, awards competitions and education. Members may also access a jobs board and industry survey data.
Marketing students and professionals get an edge up on their competition with the information found in Open Courseware, a collection of free classes offered by some of the best institutions in the United States, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford.
- Marketing Management: MIT offers this graduate-level course. Professor Natalie Mizik takes participants through the design and implementation of strategic marketing campaigns. Example scenarios include marketing services, as well as targeting both business-to-business and consumer end users.
- Marketing Strategy: Also hosted by MIT, this free graduate-level course aims to help students design marketing and sales campaigns that best suit individual companies. Market dynamics, customer demographics and industry competition are all weighed in the development of effective marketing approaches.
- Introduction to Marketing: This free online course is designed for undergraduate students who are new to the marketing arena. Students learn about the basics, such as the marketing plan, campaign techniques, results analysis and application to future campaigns.
- Marketing and Society: This undergraduate-level open course approaches the practice of ethically and morally responsible marketing. Ultimately, all marketing has the potential to impact social behavior and decision-making, especially on a corporate scale. This course examines the best ways to manage industry influence on these behaviors.
- eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Online Marketing: Hosted by the University of Cape Town and designed by Professor Jean-Paul Van Belle, this course focuses exclusively on marketing via the Internet. As traditional media outlets wane in popularity, online advertising continues to grow. Students in this class explore best practices in marketing online in terms of both campaign strategy and implementation.
Open Access Journals
Open Access Journals are online journals that offer free, or "open" access, to their articles. These journals are especially helpful for students who need to find quality, peer-reviewed sources for academic papers.
- Journal of Marketing: This bi-monthly professional trade journal is the brainchild of the AMA, and discusses hot topics in the marketing industry today. Articles focus on how theory is applied in everyday industry.
- Journal of Marketing Research: This journal hones in on particular problems faced by marketers today, exploring different problem-solving options. Topics such as metrics, database management, experimental techniques and results analysis are explored every other month in this publication.
- Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: A relatively new offering by the AMA, this journal addresses the marketing industry's growing influence on public policy. Published twice per year, each issue covers legislative and regulatory changes that affect marketers, while also provides detailed analysis of changing consumer needs.
- Journal of International Marketing: In an increasingly global marketplace, it behooves marketing professionals to be aware of marketing practice in other countries. Practitioners in international marketing efforts and marketing research scholars all benefit from a study of emerging theory and methodology.
- Journal of Advertising Research: Focused primarily on research and development news, this publication is targeted toward marketing and advertising professionals. Recent articles have covered emerging markets, research with children, celebrity brand endorsements and digital metrics, among others.
- Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers: Written by Seth Godin, this book is noted for upending an old truism in marketing. It was once thought that marketing messaging needed to be directly delivered to customers; Godin's book, however, points out that customers are in a position to choose which messaging they want to hear about most, revolutionizing marketing strategy.
- Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business: Guerrilla Marketing was viral marketing before the Internet. Author Jay Levinson believes that low-cost, creative, out-of-the-box marketing solutions can work under the right circumstances. Small business owners may especially find these tactics helpful, because they can be executed without an ad agency budget.
- The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing: Out of all the marketing strategies that advertisers can create, the most reliable sales tool is positive word-of-mouth about a product. In this book, author Emanual Rosen discusses which products and services are most likely to benefit from positive buzz, and offers suggestions to develop it.
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds: Charles Mackay, a British journalist in the mid-1800's, was one of the first authors to write about groupthink. This classic text explains the motivations behind mass behavior, particularly behavior that can be considered contradictory or senseless.
- The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business: All marketing professionals will eventually find themselves pitching an idea to a supervisor or to a client. This book covers the techniques and tricks you need to know to successfully sell your idea to a customer.
- Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads: Author Luke Sullivan delves into the power of good copywriting. Whether the media is traditional print or in newer digital format, the words you choose for ad copy will make or break your campaign; this book examines how best to write your copy.
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly: Considered a gold standard in the industry, this book by David Meerman Scott explores the newest and most powerful digital platforms that your customers are using. Learn how to wield social media tools to drive revenues, increasing your sales by reaching your customer base directly.
Online Industry Magazines
- Advertising Age: A marketing industry staple since its early days as a broadsheet in 1930, Advertising Age remains a go-to source for information in today's marketing world. The enormous breadth of content includes industry current events, spotlights from other publications, feature articles on notable topics, regular columns, white papers, professional events, awards ceremonies and more.
- Adweek: Marketing, advertising and media professionals will find topics of note in the online version of this publication. Current events in digital media, development of new technology, and the latest news in advertising and branding are found here. Recent feature articles discussed Super Bowl ad space, whether to photoshop lingerie models, and the use of animals in vehicle advertising.
- Chris Ducker: This blogger, an experienced entrepreneur, offers other business owners inroads into digital marketing. Tips on blogging, podcasting, online video presentations and social media use will help you increase your market reach.
- The Copybot: Copyblogger writer Demian Farnworth offers up his thoughts on clean, compelling web copy. Copy that's designed to increase SEO is even better, and Farnworth tells you how.
- Deliverability: Email marketing is broken down on this blog. Recent blog posts compared Outlook vs. Gmail, covered Canada's anti-spam law, discussed transactional email best practices and offered tips on holiday e-marketing.
- Unbounce: Tips and tricks on retaining online customer traffic are found here. Optimize your landing page stats, online sales and conversion rates with these useful articles.
- Heidi Cohen: Articles contain actionable advice about best usage of social media, content marketing and online retail.
Who to Follow on Twitter
- Content Marketing Institute: Everything you need to know about content marketing in print and digital format-professional events coverage included.
- CMO.com: Adobe's Twitter feed for content managers offers the latest news and insight in digital marketing.
- The Nielsen Wire: The most up-to-date statistics and demographics information is noted here, allowing readers to make sharper presentations with this data.
- MarketingSherpa: Details of interest to B2B marketers, including case studies, training, research and social media information.
- Social Media Today: Chock full of marketing tips, B2B and B2C included, plus in-depth analysis of social media tools.
- HubSpot: This marketing service provider generates content of interest to professionals including industry news, blog posts, trends and tricks of the trade.