Harley David Rubin

Back-to-School? To Succeed in Digital Marketing, You Go Year-Round

Digital Marketing Learning

An old saw that still rings true says “you learn something new every day,” and while this is indeed true for most everyone, it’s especially important for those of us in digital marketing.

To Succeed in Digital Marketing…

  • Always be curious
  • Aways be learning
  • Always be researching

To be effective at what we do, it’s essential to stay on top of – and try to understand – all kinds of things. Here are six things you need to follow closely!

Six Digital Marketing Areas You Need to Follow Closely

Industry Trends

“Content is king.” Responsive design. Social selling. While they’re great buzzwords for industry insiders, we need to know what other marketing folks are talking about and implementing in their own work. There are valuable lessons and insights for everyone inside the trends; figuring out what they mean for you and your business is super-important.

Especially if “industry trends” become “best practices.”

Let’s take a quick look at content is king (which is, of course, my favorite). A few years ago, this trend took off, and corporate America tried to figure out what it meant for them. Enterprising digital marketers started creating all kinds of content for clients – everything from brand-new website copy and widgets to big-budget branded videos.

Knowing what’s hot – and much more importantly, what’s working – is absolutely crucial to both you and your clients.

Comings & Goings

In this era of downsizing, rightsizing, corporate restructuring and reorganization (all fancy words for terminating employees), people are always on the lookout for something bigger and better.

When you know who the players are – and where they work – that helps you with client retention, new business efforts, and all sorts of networking opportunities.

So keep an eye on openings and closings, mergers and acquisitions, and new players in your field. You’ll have valuable info on your clients and competitors that can focus your efforts and grow your business.


A dozen years ago, marketers were mastering the art of websites and emails. Then this whole social media thing exploded, and suddenly we all had a whole new universe to figure out!

From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn (many call them the Big Three), marketers started using these social platforms to connect, engage, and sell. And years later, there’s Instagram and Pinterest and Snapchat and dozens of other options.

What’s the next great technology that digital marketers will use? Whatever it is, you’ll want to stay on top of it!

Clients and Their Industries

You can never know enough about your clients. They really appreciate it when you go the extra mile to understand their products/services, their industry, and most importantly, their goals.

That whole thing about how “it costs more to get a new client than it does to keep an existing one” is so true – and a great way to demonstrate your commitment to meeting client needs is studying up on everything about them.

I’ve experienced this result in person many times. When you show a client that you know something about them or their products/services – something that an outsider normally wouldn’t know – you might get a raised eyebrow, a smile, and a deeper client relationship.

People and Target Audiences

From demographics to psychographics to technographics, there’s an infinite number of studies and much knowledge about people. It only helps you do your job better when you take advantage of these studies, especially the ones that are relevant to your clients.

The cool thing is that every generation brings new and unique characteristics and behaviors. And of course, this means new studies which – when analyzed properly – can provide you with new insights to use in your marketing efforts.

Pop Culture

This one is my favorite – especially because it involves watching TV, going to the movies, and surfing the web.

While it sounds like it’s just plain goofing around and wasting time, it’s actually pretty valuable research. Think about it – what better way than pop culture to find out how people talk, what they’re interested in, and what’s relatable?

Superhero movies are billion-dollar franchises. Binge-watching the latest show about thrones or zombies or political intrigue is how millions of people spend their weekends. The latest album dropped by the pop superstar is downloaded millions of times.

Whatever’s popular, whatever’s hot – that’s the stuff that helps you figure out a little more about your audience(s) and the kinds of messages they’re likely to appreciate and even engage with.

Make “Learn, Baby, Learn” Your Digital Marketing Mantra

While you’ll never know it all – although sometimes you want to give the impression that you do – it’s important to be curious. Be an active learner, and you can be a better marketer.

What’s something that you’ve learned recently that really surprised you? Comment below and share this blog if you found it interesting!

Harley David Rubin

Harley David Rubin is a freelance copywriter, content creator and marketing strategist who has worked for both advertising agencies and corporate marketing departments for more than 20 years. He loves his family, pop culture, fantasy baseball and creativity in all its forms.

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