In high school and college, I frowned upon the idea of learning. Really, I frowned upon the idea of going to class period. But, that's a subject for another day. (Sorry Mom and Dad.)
When I became an adult and started working in a field I was truly passionate about (male modeling, of course -- just kidding), marketing, I realized there was one thing all professionals agreed on. To be taken seriously in this (or any) game, you must be constantly honing your craft. Sharpening your saw. In other words, constant education is a must.
Fail to do so and you will be left behind by those who study, analyze and constantly strive to get better.
And that last part is not a tip, it's a prescription. Fail to continually educate yourself and you will find yourself in a cold, dark place on the outside looking in.
The topics that have peaked my interest the most are those of consumer psychology, neuromarketing and research. I love it. I can't get enough of it. (Seriously, you should see my Evernote folders.)
There are certain blogs that have rejuvenated my excitement for education. And what these blogs do so well is combine great research examples with great writing and content.
1. Neuromarketing.com by Roger Dooley
Neuromarketing.com, as Roger Dooley says, "is where brain science and marketing meet." Roger combines his own writing with excellent resources (blog posts with links to other articles that cover similar subjects).
In a recent article and podcast interview with author Nathalie Nahai, the two discuss the psychology of the web, specifically the intersection between web design and persuasion psychology. That post goes into their discussion on the podcast but does touch on the difference between cultures and the continental divide in short term and long term consumer thinking.
2. Hubspot.com blog by multiple authors
Hubspot constantly supplies great content, but their work on consumer psychology and research keeps me coming back. A recent post was about the psychology behind storytelling and how great stories can alter our brains and even the way we act. Stay tuned to Hubspot for enlightening learnings and killer content writing and structure.
I first caught on to Gregory's site when he published an in depth blog post about "The 50 Best Books on Persuasion." Talk about an amazing list of books. The site also consistently hits on a winning formula for content, which is long form, "teaching" posts. People want to learn what you know and want access to your resources, and this site gives the goods.
DISCLAIMER: Derek is like an olive. He is an acquired taste. But the guy is smart, and he combines solid blog posts and YouTube content. Both have taken him, in my opinion, to the next level.
Derek authored one post and video which dramatically affected the way I thought about communities. He described why Justin Beiber's "Beleibers" and Lady Gaga's "Little Monsters" are both such powerful consumer persuasion and community building tools. Watch the video to learn more.
Subscribe to Derek's blog to get monthly updates on blogging and research.
Kiss Metrics, known to many as the fashionable alternative to Google Analytics, authors one heck of a content blog with excellent tactical examples and data driven case studies.
In a recent blog post, one of their anonymous authors wrote about "Using neuroscience to design a better blog." This post goes into detail about first impressions and the importance of a solid landing page design.
Again, a blog with solid, well-written content that teaches about how consumers think. What could be better?
These blogs have made me a better marketer. Like I said earlier, it is critical for you to spend some time each day educating yourself. Drive 20 minutes to work? Listen to a podcast or audiobook. Enjoy the treadmill or elliptical? Watch a Seth Godin or Simon Sinek video on trust and marketing.
Just like exercise or even prayer, there is no excuse as to why you cannot fit educating yourself into your day. You need to make staying on top of your game a priority. Enjoy these resources and good luck.