With a new school year nearly upon us, it seemed like a good time to brush up on some basics to ensure that your B2B marketing plan is A+ material.
Fall is traditionally a time of learning new things. Every new academic year promises a stimulating and thought-provoking course curriculum.
But while the youngsters are attending classes in math and science, the B2B marketing professional should also be enrolling in classes. Whatever part of the country you happen to be in, there is likely a marketing seminar in your area in which you will be able to hone up on your skills, network with other LinkedIn bigshots and stay abreast of the latest industry trends. If you don’t have the time or luxury of traveling to a marketing summit, you can always find time for a webinar in the comfort of your own living room.
Hit the Books
Backpacks are filled this time of year with heavy books, the required reading of each course. This is material that will definitely be on the test.
If you’re not reading the latest books on marketing, you’re falling behind. This isn’t history or English Lit, it’s a cutting-edge subject, much like genetic engineering or computer science. And if you need brushing up, go back and read the classics — you can never be too informed.
The old yellow Pee Chee folders are updated year after year, but the purpose remains the same: a place to store your notes. Good students keep good notes, and they keep their folders neat and orderly.
Your email inbox is your Pee Chee folder as a business professional. As it’s back-to-school time, be sure to have a clean folder so that you’re not rummaging around for whatever it is you’re looking for. Erase those old messages and stay on top of it.
Going back to school means meeting up with old friends and making new ones. School is a social experience, after all, and person-to-person interaction is a critical skill to inculcate.
Networking is a necessity in this business. It’s important to update your contacts regularly, and fall is an ideal time to do so. Solidify existing associates by reestablishing the relationship over drinks or an activity. And add to your network by attending industry mixers or reaching out to professionals who might be important to your business down the road if not immediately.
The tools differ depending on where one is at on the educational ladder — kindergartners’ supplies include paste and elbow macaroni while elementary schoolers depend on pencils and erasers, and high schoolers need protractors and calculators.
Your most important tool is your computer. If it’s out of date, consider upgrading it. If you work from a desktop, is it time to consider a laptop for the sake of mobility? How about your Internet connection? Speed is critical in getting your message out quickly if your connection is slow, what are you waiting for? You don’t want to be tardy.