Suzie looks at why it’s important to learn about marketing…
It might seem a strange thing to suggest, that the best marketers are still learning their craft, but it’s oh so true.
There is a not a decent marketer, PR guru, content writer or wordsmith that I know who isn’t constantly honing, refreshing and sharpening their skills.
In this ‘digital age’ it’s even more important that we’re on top of our game. Something new is evolving, happening or taking place every single minute that we’re busy ‘doing’ for our clients.
Those of us that don’t continue to learn, to grow, to go on seminars, conferences, workshops and courses are quickly left behind. There’s no space or time left for laggards.
So, essentially when you hire an agency or a consultant, you’re also hiring someone who’s continually investing in their own knowledge – which in most instances is something you may not have the time, inclination or finances to do yourself.
However, there are options. For the most part marketing isn’t rocket science and some of the simple stuff business can – and often should – do themselves.
What should you be learning?
Short courses and mentoring
It does, of course, entirely depend on who you are and what you’re hoping to get out of what you want to know.
You might want to learn how to write press releases, where to spend your marketing budget…
If you’re a small business or self-employed I cannot encourage or implore you enough to have some support/mentoring/teaching on how to use digital marketing effectively. I’m thinking your blogs, your social media, your website. Yes, you can fumble through it and maybe do a half decent job of it yourself, but if you ask for help and get someone to show you how to do it properly, you’ll do it more effectively. And if you do it more effectively, you’d hope, it’ll bring you in more business.
I often say I wouldn’t buy a pair of scissors and presume I can cut hair just because I have the tools. I respect the years that hairdressers have put into learning how to style and colour hair. I’m therefore often amused (I’m being polite, other emotions are involved) when people assume that they can whack out a few social media posts and whoop-de-doo they’re suddenly marketers.
If you’d prefer 1-2-1 support and are having a go yourself, but not quite hitting the mark, why not ask for some mentoring. That way you can ensure some bespoke, tailored advice, specifically about your business and where it can improve.
Professional marketing courses
As well as running Piece of Cake, I also write and run all the professional marketing qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing at Cornwall College Business. I’m exceptionally proud, and a little smug, about the 100% pass rate for learners. The CIM is a really tough qualification to achieve and most are balancing it alongside family, work and other areas of their lives.
You can learn at three levels – foundation (level 3), certificate (level 4) and diploma (level 6).
I describe the levels like this:
Three: I’m interested in a marketing career, or I’m maybe in the very early stages of a marketing career and I would like to know some basic theory.
Four: I’ve been in marketing for two-eight years, I’m perhaps a marketing manager and I want to know whether all the things that I am doing are actually the right things.
Six: I’ve been in marketing for more than a decade and I work in a strategic role. I plan to use marketing to drive the business forward.
With regards to the levels – don’t be a snob about the levels. They’re all hard and all very much worth gaining.
So, if you work in marketing why bother with a marketing qualification? Everyone has different reasons, but the qualifications earn respect in the industry, help your career and therefore earning potential – and you might actually learn something new that can help in your job!
All of the CIM courses are taught at Cornwall College Business and you can read more about them on their website.
Hopefully, you’re now inspired to learn something new about marketing. If none of that appeals, simply follow Piece of Cake’s social media on Instagram and Facebook, as there’s loads regularly posted on the latest trends and news in the world of marketing.
If you’d like some help or advice on any of the above, just get in touch.