In his groundbreaking book on leadership and management, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker writes that “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.”
Finding pockets of time to monitor marketing and tech trends may seem impossible. You’re growing a business, focused on sales, hiring employees, working to be a better a leader. Is it even possible to stay up to date on trending marketing and tech innovations?
The answer is: Yes.
But, like anything else, you have to be committed to making it a priority. Maintaining a competitive edge demands knowledge and implementation of trending tech. Here are several ways to stay up to date and get the info you need, fast.
First, a Self-Eval
We promise not to get too deep into psychology here, but we do want to stress the importance of knowing a few things about yourself before moving forward. Ask yourself:
How do I best learn?
Maybe you’re a kinesthetic learner who learns by doing. Perhaps you respond better to video or audio than you do to reading.
How do I best retain information?
Many people need to write things down, others prefer to type and digitally organize incoming information.
How much free time do I have?
This is a tough one. Time can be a deceptively tricky concept to measure. Spend a week or so thinking about how you use your time and be open to opportunities for improvement.
Acknowledge when you might be spending a bit too much time skimming social media or reading through irrelevant emails. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your Netflix binge habits (don’t be embarrassed, we all do it), or to consider reading a book about marketing and tech trends during breakfast -- rather than scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Browser plugins like Be Limitless can help you gauge how much time you’re spending (or wasting) on the web.
Identifying the answers to some of these questions should help you determine the right way to squeeze in some quality time on trend updates. This isn’t school; it’s not mandatory, but it can be fun. So, pick and choose your favorite approaches. These are a few that we use and like. Check them out:
News aggregators are a great way to stay current on marketing and tech trends. They curate customized content based on your interests. These platforms typically send updates to via email or SMS depending on your preference.
This free digital news aggregator lets you plug in your interests and favorite publications. It then automatically curates the most popular articles that mark your interests. Gain access to the most popular articles in your search query each day. Here’s a snapshot of a “content marketing” feed from the day this article was written:
Another free service, IFTTT (if this, then that), does a solid job of pulling most relevant news stories from vetted sources and delivering them straight to your inbox. IFTTT calls these applets, and you can customize them as you wish.
IDG is the “#1 Tech Media Company” in the world. They send out a free, daily Tech and Marketing email newsletter that delivers some of the top news stories and industry trends right to your inbox.
Podcasts are great way for commuters or even gym-goers to plug in and consume information. Pick and choose your favorites by easily searching by topic or industry. Some of our faves for tech and marketing trends include:
Hosted by the folks at the Content Marketing Institute, this podcast breaks down heavy marketing concepts into easy-to-grasp bite-sized nuggets. Tune in for topics ranging from social media to native advertising tactics and beyond.
Neil Patel of CrazyEgg & Kissmetrics and Eric Siu of Growth Everywhere & Single Grain inspire marketers the world over with short (5-10 minute) daily episodes. They share actionable digital marketing lessons they've learned through years of being in the trenches.
Have a few minutes during lunch or while folding your laundry? Consider watching a video to get you up to speed on new marketing and tech trends.
TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design. Choose from various talk lengths that fit your schedule ranging from about six to over 18 minutes. Hear from CEOs, scientists, and others at the top of their game report on lessons learned. The TED Talk tagline does not lie. These are indeed “ideas worth spreading,” so be sure to check them out.
Similar to TED Talks, but targeted toward a younger (and hipper) audience, 99u bills itself as an organization set out to empower the creative community. Flip through a variety of topics to boost your knowledge.
There is No Singular Quick Fix, but there are Quicker Fixes
There’s no quick fix to gathering information and learning about the latest marketing and tech trends, but hopefully you’ve learned a few ways to double down on your time and gain more insights.
Remember, time is scarce. How you choose to use it is an important personal decision that could dictate your level of success. Take control by definitively deciding which information is most important to you… and make it a habit. It gets easier after a few weeks so just stick it out (and it’s way easier than going to the gym).
If you're feeling inspired after catching up on the latest marketing technology and trends, check out our ebook for tips on putting it in to practice in your next marketing campaign.