in Digital & Social

Think Digital: Educating Your (more traditional) Colleagues

Marketing and advertising pros who have cultivated strong depth and breadth of knowledge in digital and social are now, more then ever, playing a lead role in shaping strategy. Whether focusing on web, mobile, or social, or more than likely all three, a diverse skill set is absolutely required to develop thoughtful strategy – working at a company or an agency.

Make no mistake, a career in marketing is not 9 to 5 anymore. Perhaps it never was. The pace of innovation and change is too quick for that, and for a marketing professional to remain relevant it is critical to invest time and effort towards learning – learning about new technology, emerging social platforms, trends, and most importantly, the changing behaviors and media consumption habits of people.

That all being said, it’s easy to forget that there are still many in the industry – friends, peers, and colleagues – who perhaps aren’t in the trenches learning, and perhaps still have more of a traditional marketing and advertising mindset. Perhaps these people are the ones who, while understanding your recommended strategies, are a bit more skeptical. Perhaps they don’t know the true power of digital analytics in uncovering meaningful insights, or why nurturing relationships with social advocates can be so critical to your efforts.

But fear not, the power is in your hands! You have the torch, and the power to educate and inform – to turn your colleagues into digital and social savvy savants.

How can you accomplish that? Several ideas come to mind:

  • Host digital or social-focused marketing workshops. Depending on the needs of your company, you could cover a variety of topics. For example B2B marketers might benefit from LinkedIn 101 – a workshop on setting up a profile, and effective participation in groups (I led a workshop like this at Intuit). Alternatively perhaps an overview could be provided on the latest digital trends – spurring ideas for truly integrated, and interesting, marketing strategies.
  • Occasionally share relevant articles, along with your insights and analysis. Perhaps your colleagues don’t regularly read TechCrunch, Mashable, AdAge, or the latest from industry bloggers. But hopefully you do, and here’s a great chance to provide information on trends and case studies that could feed into your integrated strategy.
  • Thirdly, podcasts and books. Personally, I always have a book on the go and I also subscribe to a number of podcasts. Several that are worth recommending to your colleagues are Six Pixels of Separation, The BeanCast, and Marketing Over Coffee.

I’m certain that your colleagues and peers will appreciate your help in educating them about all things digital and social. The end result, in my experience, is usually improved understanding and collaboration.

Worth the effort? I think so.