The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and brands need to evolve their strategies to meet the demands of the emerging digital world. To accommodate market changes savvy marketers are constantly getting better at what they do as their audiences become more discerning. The result is a do-or-die marketing landscape where only the most current marketers are surviving. There is no room for dinosaurs.

As marketing professionals we have all been there. The seemingly endless and dreaded job search. Most of us aren’t eager to repeat that process anytime soon. Unfortunately we are not always in control and in today’s market being downsized is much more common. So how do we make unemployment less likely to happen or at the very least less painful? First and foremost is to find out if you are a “Marketing Dinosaur” by pondering these questions:

  • How willing are you to change from the way you do things now?
  • How have you changed from the way you used to do things?
  • Are you open to the new dynamics of content marketing and the benefits of social networking?
  • How active are you on LinkedIn and community trade organizations?
  • Do you have a mentor and who are your Marketing Thought Leaders?
  • Can you do your job better?

If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable right now then continue reading. The good news is that a dinosaur doesn’t have to be old, and someone old doesn’t have to be a dinosaur. As an obsolete or outdated marketer you need to focus on changing the old way of doing things and adapting to the current approaches to make “you” better at your job.

To enhance your marketability you need to continue to learn through professional development activities. Professional and continuing education activities, designed to keep you current in your field, come in all shapes and sizes and allow you to better anticipate changes, innovation, and opportunities that are on the horizon.

[Related: How to Use Growth Engineering in Your Marketing]

Online training

New websites, social media platforms, marketing automation, data analytics, webinars, blogs, training videos, and online education programs are coming out every day. The opportunity to learn something new is abundantly available and you better be making the most of it. Free and paid educational sites exist that include www.coursera.org, where you’ll find Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals, Introduction to Data Science, and Data Mining. Alison offers free certified learning with classes that include How to Build an Online Business, Google Analytics, Adobe Photoshop, Podcasting, Using Twitter. Log onto LinkedIn’s latest purchase Lynda.com and sign up for Conversion Rates Optimization Fundamentals, SEO Fundamentals, Google Adwords Essential Training. Taking advantage of these training and certification opportunities will not only help keep you educated in your current position but will also speak highly to recruiters and hiring managers during resume reviews. Training demonstrates that an individual is interested in perfecting their skill sets as well as the desire to successfully evolve in a role or an organization.

Don’t forget about Google. There is literally nothing you can’t find on Google. YouTube has a “How to” video for anything and everything including How to Make a YouTube Video.

For those experienced traditional marketers that want to bone up on digital media try my personal favorite. HubSpot.com, provider of inbound marketing and sales software, isn’t afraid to put resource tools out there to help develop their offering. They provide marketing tools, eBooks, webinars, and templates for anyone at no charge as well as some fee-based certifications.

Know your Industry Thought Leaders

Do you know Jay Baer, Kipp Bodnar, Joe Pulizzi, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Jeff Froman, Christopher Penn, Scott Monty, Ann Handley, Chris Anderson, Jeff Weiner, or Scott Stratten? If you don’t recognize most of these names then you have plenty of homework ahead of you. These are marketing industry leaders, authors, bloggers, and speakers. You need to pay attention, read, understand, discuss, follow, like, comment, and share the trends, knowledge, opinions, and methodologies of these and other professional, innovative, and successful leaders in your industry. Don’t be a Marketing dinosaur!

Check the Job Market

Even when you have a job it is good to check out today’s market. Observe what hiring managers are currently advertising for and what skill sets are being emphasized as important. Pay attention to the trending critical skill sets (hint Data! Data! Data!) and measure yourself. Is there something else you need to be doing to stay competitive and are you taking advantage of everything your current company has to offer for employee development?

Network Where it Makes Sense

Join Marketing trade organizations and connect with people directly related to your industry as well as industry suppliers, customers, and people working in related fields. The Triangle American Marketing Association meets monthly and provides access to some of marketing’s greatest thinkers, strategists, and authors like Target’s CMO, Jeff Jones, Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, Avinash Kaushik of Google, and Gert Garman of Disney. Also available is the newly formed Triangle Marketing Club that proudly declares 503 members and meets monthly as well. Remember to be willing to genuinely help others while you have a job. To quote Chris Moody’ in his Triangle AMA presentation “Success is measured by your ability to help, influence and indoctrinate other groups.”

Volunteer

Animal Rescue organizations like the HSUS, SPCA, Second Chance, Saving Grace, always need volunteers. Graphic designers can help with fundraising and event brochures, photographers can photograph available animals that are up for adoption, and social media pros can broadcast out the available fur balls to thousands in seconds. The rewards aren’t monetary but they are strong resume builders. These environments provide perfect training grounds to learn and develop your skill set. The same can be said local churches, community shelters, and charities.

Just yesterday I received an email from The International Institute of Marketing Professionals asking for volunteers. The Institute is a leading global professional association dedicated to developing and implementing marketing standards in order to advance marketing practice world-wide. They are seeking volunteers to become part of the editorial and support team to launch and publish a quarterly periodical named The Chronicle of Global Marketing Magazine which will be distributed to marketing practitioners all around the world in 192 countries. Available positions include: Editor-in-Chief, Co-editors, Reviewers, Contributing writers, and Graphic designers. If you are interested in contributing you can email Tricia Lucas

--

Tricia Lucas, Co-Founder of Lucas Select has over 25 years of demonstrated success in recruiting, marketing communications, social media, technical sales, business development, and project management. Tricia has been involved in 9 start up technology companies as well as sales and marketing roles at IBM, QMS-Minolta, SAS, and most recently Lucas Select, a sales and IT recruiting and consulting company to help organizations recruit more efficiently by focusing on: Recruiting Efficiencies, Employer Branding, and Social Media.