If you know anything about me, and my past, you know that providing easy access to education and training has always been hugely important to me (and the companies I work for!)
Prior to entering the world of homebuilding, I worked for a company that focused solely on adult workplace training, specifically from a technology perspective. I’m dating myself when I refer to developing corporate training programs that included Windows 3.1, WordPerfect, and Lotus 123. It also included custom training on proprietary systems for companies to ensure that technology was adopted and used.
So fast forward to 2023 (many, many years later), and training and education is still an on-going challenge. Or maybe it’s really about adoption, and the willingness, desire to move forward? Change is hard.
I’m definitely not saying anything new when I state that marketers need to keep up with data, digital marketing prowess, and the technical side of marketing. Many years ago, I applied for a job where the CMO was actually also the CIO (it was a small company) … they saw the relationship between technology and marketing. While I don’t necessarily recommend that, there’s some logic there. Marketing is heavily tech-focused. Are you keeping up?
Back to the importance of education. What I have seen many, many times is people waiting for education and training to be offered to them. This is not the best approach. You will be waiting a long time, in most cases. A lot of companies do not have the resources to proactively search out education opportunities for their employees.
Take. The. Initiative. Yourself.
As a marketer, it’s your job to be the one exploring what’s happening, what’s working, and what’s not. You are not an order-taker, but rather a key influencer within your organization. So own it … and learn it.
Own that responsibility and seek out opportunities for education. The following is a short list of ways you can accomplish this. It’s what I’m doing:
- Read. Make it a goal to read a professional development and/or marketing/sales-focused book each month. Create a book club with your peers if that’s what it will take to keep you accountable.
- Listen. There are fantastic podcasts and webinars available for free. Listen to them with a critical ear (not everything needs to be done). Make a point of writing down 1-3 actionable items that you want to do. Some suggestions: DYC’s Market Proof Marketing Podcast, Builder Town Hall, and Lasso’s webinars (I may be slightly biased in those recommendations but they are exceptional … and award-winning!)
- Subscribe. Look outside the industry. Subscribe to Hubspot’s newsletter, Zapier’s weekly emails (one of the best from a productivity/technology integration IMO), Marketingprofs, and Social Media examiner. While most of these are B2B focused (always take that into consideration), there is a lot we can learn from the B2B world. Afterall, we are all consumers.
- Attend. While we’ve gotten used to virtual events and content, absolutely nothing compares to the benefits of an in-person event. The 100% focused attention, meeting like-minded people in the same industry, and the immersive experience are all things almost impossible to get from a virtual event. Homebuilding is exceptional from an event perspective. Your local HBA likely holds regular events (they are always open to suggestions!) and there are larger events like the Builders’ Show at the beginning of every year. As a marketer, the focused education that in-person events provide is second to none. This should be a requirement for all marketers. The team at Do You Convert has introduced an incredibly generous offer for their Summit in September this year. They are offering a FREE ticket to builders. Don’t let this offer pass by. Take advantage of it. Your company will benefit tremendously.
- Connect. If you follow the first four items on this list, it will lead you to more connections within the industry. We all need a sounding board. We all need to bounce ideas and share both success and mishaps. We learn from each other. Homebuilding has exceptionally talented people, reach out to someone today!
One of my favorite quotes is from philosopher, Eric Hoffer, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” If we have stopped learning, we have stopped growing. How are you going to grow this year?
Will we see you at the Online Sales & Marketing Summit? I hope so!