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3 Resources for Keeping Informed on Your Industry

We’ve recently had some new staff members join the ARTÉMIA team, which is a process I always really enjoy. I truly appreciate the injection of fresh thinking and unique viewpoints these new hires invariably bring, whether they’re straight out of college or seasoned marketing professionals. One attribute I look for in all new hires, whatever their level, is an innate curiosity and a desire to constantly increase their knowledge base.

As a digital marketing and communications agency in the fairly unusual position of holding   triple ISO certification, in addition to learning about our business, our new team members have another layer of very precise processes to adopt. But a universal challenge for all staff members is to stay ahead and informed in an industry where technology is revolutionizing – or rather, disrupting – on a near constant basis. I know from talking to my WBE and SMB peers that whatever industry you work in, finding the time to consistently take a deep dive into new and developing trends is a shared challenge – few small businesses have the luxury of a dedicated insight department, or the financial resources to invest in syndicated research packages and databases.

Obviously there is a huge amount of free content available online, but again, finding the time to sift through it all and verify what you have read can be a struggle. So the question is, how do you efficiently access information that is pertinent to the future of your industry, and effectively share it with your team? Here is the advice that I share with my team at ARTÉMIA:

  1. Make good use of Twitter. I will admit that I’m not the most prolific person when it comes to writing tweets, but I find Twitter invaluable for article and book recommendations, laser-sharp insights from thought leaders, and a great way of getting real-time information from events or conferences I am not able to attend. If you are still trying to find your way around Twitter, one useful place to start is to search via hashtags to find the experts and key players in a given area. For example, search “#sustainability” and you’ll immediately be able to see who is tweeting about something that might apply to your industry. You can then follow those people and companies to build up your own filtered research resource – and easily retweet useful information to your coworkers.
  2. Join groups – either professional or meet-ups. I’ve written previously about the value I have personally derived from being an active member of the WBENC, Astra and QuEst communities. In addition to these formal bodies, there are a wealth of meet-up groups for almost every industry and every career. Particularly for people new to an industry or just getting started, these groups are not only a great way to network, they provide fantastic context and perspective regarding your own business.
  3. Take advantage of free webinars. In a clear indication of the growing importance of content marketing, more and more companies are sharing their proprietary research for free via webinars, which is great news! Just last week, I wrote about the excellent Verdantix webinar I heard on 2015 sustainability trends. This week, I came across another superb, and again free, presentation from eMarketer on the topic of the B2B purchase process. Instead of having everyone listen to each webinar that comes up, have one person listen (ideally someone different each time), who can take notes and then present and share insights with the team from the point of view of what the findings mean for your company and industry. I’ve found this can be a genuinely informative process, while also empowering everyone involved as there is a shared onus to drive the company forward together.

If you have any practical tips for staying ahead of the curve that you’d like to share, as ever, please get in touch.


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