There’s a ridiculous number of trending marketing topics and new tech announcements hitting our computers every. Single. Day. Amongst the noise, I think a number of us can admit to tuning some things out or deleting notifications in the interest of time or competing priorities—but ultimately, it is in our best interest to know what the current landscape is looking like.
First and foremost, everyone learns differently. Take me, for example. I’m not one to go to webinars, but you’ll definitely find me at an IRL event in NYC. You won’t catch me reading a whole publication on marketing trends, but I’ll definitely subscribe to weekly newsletters!
Whatever way you learn, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. In this article, I’ve gathered eleven options for you to decide how you can best stay current with the latest B2B marketing trends and tech. Pick one or two that resonate the most with you, then take it away!
Tap Into Your Network
Tapping into your professional network is a great strategy for staying up to date with industry marketing efforts. You can do this via platforms like LinkedIn or by keeping in touch IRL. Engaging with peers, mentors, and industry contacts provides first hand access to real-world experiences, success stories, and challenges faced by others.
Your professional network also serves as an early-warning system for significant shifts in other b2b companies. By nurturing relationships with experts and practitioners you can receive timely updates on the latest technological advancements, disruptions, and shifts. As your network members experiment with new tools you can see what's working and what's not. This proactive approach allows you to pivot your own strategies to align with trends, ensuring that your efforts remain relevant and successful.
The greatest resource I have is simply my network. I am incredibly fortunate to have an incredible group of friends and former colleagues in a wide range of disciplines whom I can call upon to learn about new technologies and approaches that might be applicable to the problems we are trying to solve.Christina Kozloff, CMO of Plenty of Fish
Listen To Podcasts
Podcasts are my favorite way to stay up-to-date! In an era where time is of the essence, podcasts offer a flexible mode of learning that seamlessly fits into your daily routine. You can absorb valuable insights and expert opinions during commutes, workouts, and even while cleaning your home! Many podcasts feature industry professionals who share their successes and lessons learned, offering you a direct window into their world.
With an abundance of specialized podcasts covering topics from content marketing and lead generation to AI-driven analytics and account-based marketing, you can choose high-quality content that aligns with your interests. By tuning in to podcasts, you cultivate a continuous learning habit that keeps you well-equipped to adapt and innovate.
I also LOVE podcasts. I listen to Two Bobs for agency information, the Hustle’s Daily News on what’s going on in tech and business, and Marketing Against the Grain. The last two podcasts are owned by HubSpot, so I have to call out how good HubSpot is at putting out fantastic Martech content. As an agency partner of HubSpot, we drink the Kool-Aid because they preach what we practice.Ben LeDonni, Founder of Creative MMS and Deployment
Read Industry-Specific Publications
Industry publications are dedicated to providing focused insights, analyses, and case studies that delve deep into the nuances of b2b brand marketing. By immersing yourself in these resources, you’ll find data-driven explorations of topics applicable to you.
One of the primary advantages of reading publications is the targeted insights they offer, directly tailored to your industry. They’ll dive into specific challenges, regulatory considerations, and buyer behaviors that impact B2B marketing strategies. By staying current with these publications, you remain well-informed about emerging technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, or new SEO tips that could influence your marketing approach.
Industry specific publications and reports from leading companies are also great resources to follow. [For] example, Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends report would be a resource we would look to for trends on the digital media landscape.David Ciccarelli, CEO and Founder of Voices
Subscribe To Marketing Newsletters
I know, the last thing some of us need are more emails in our inbox, but this is just another format for you to receive bite-size snippets on the latest marketing trends. Newsletters are curated by thought leaders who actively monitor the evolving landscape, ensuring that you receive timely updates and insights directly in your inbox. This curated approach enables you to stay informed about the most impactful trends for b2b companies without being overwhelmed by information overload.
Marketing newsletters often cover a wide range of topics, from the latest technological advancements to emerging consumer behaviors and innovative strategies. You’ll also see what email marketing hacks they’re using to get eyeballs on their content.
Plus side: You can subscribe to a newsletter with a brand voice that you enjoy reading! Personally, social media marketing and video content trends are my favorite thing to read about. Over the last year, I’ve loved reading Future Social by Jack Appleby and Pretty Little Marketer by Sophie Miller.
I also subscribe to A LOT of marketing-focused emails. I pay attention to everything from the technical side of Search Engine Journal to Later Media’s funny Instagram meme trends. I also talk with business owners and services providers around the world and listen to their experiences!Aub Wallace, Co-Founder of Dandelion Branding
Tune Into Social Media
Ahhhhh, social media. We love to hate it and hate to love it, especially since the pandemic. Yet social media marketing is a valuable resource when it comes to trending topics due to its real-time nature. By following marketing experts, industry publications, and relevant hashtags, you can access a steady stream of current trends and breaking news. You also have unparalleled access to brands, influencers, and leaders.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are also known to host live events which can provide opportunities to engage with thought leaders directly, ask questions, and dive deeper into topics of interest. Overall, consuming social media content enables you to maintain a finger on the pulse of the marketing world in real time.
I read a lot, and probably consume more social media than I should—Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, YouTube—but it helps keep me tuned in to what people are thinking, feeling, and doing.Linda Goldstein, Executive VP at CSAA Insurance Group
Establishing brand partnerships serves as an effective method for staying current with marketing trends due to the collaborative nature of the relationship.
Brand partnerships could involve joint campaigns, projects, or events where both marketing teams contribute their expertise to the messaging of the campaign. The result of this collaboration fosters a perfect knowledge exchange. By working closely with partner brands, you can explore new avenues that your team may not have thought of before. Both teams want success, and the manpower is effectively doubled, leading to more eyes on the problem and more brains working towards the solution.
We lean very heavily on our partnership relationships with brands like 6Sense, DemandBase, and others. They’re serving similar customers and seeing similar problems through a different lens. We always learn something from them and teach them things as well.Mary Gilbert, CMO at Folloze
Look To Your Team
Relying on your various teams also proves instrumental. Each sales team and marketing team member's unique role in campaigns, projects, and client retention skills can unveil fresh perspectives that may have eluded you.
Initiate regular discussions, perhaps in weekly meetings or dedicated brainstorming sessions and encourage team members to share their recent discoveries. Collaborative platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams can serve as hubs for sharing relevant resources. Create an environment where team members feel empowered to ask questions and engage in open dialogues about the latest developments.
Additionally, consider initiatives where team members can present on specific trends they've explored. Embracing these interactive strategies ensures a continuous exchange of knowledge, enriching your team's collective understanding and enabling everyone to contribute to staying at the forefront of marketing trends.
Most importantly, I look to my team of experts and what they share. There is only so much one person can do in a day, but when you combine what others are looking at and sharing—via through a link, a one-on-one conversation, or the lunch-n-learns we hold monthly if not more often at Creative MMS—it allows me to deepen or broaden my knowledge of digital marketing and website design & development as a whole.Jennifer Greenjack, Director of Marketing at Creative MMS
Keep An Eye On Consumers
Keeping a vigilant eye on SaaS consumers is yet another strategic approach, as consumer behaviors and preferences are direct indicators of shifting market dynamics. Consumers' interactions with products, social media, and content reflect their evolving needs and expectations. By closely observing these metrics, you’ll identify opportunities to align your marketing strategies with your potential customers.
Specifically, monitoring how consumers engage with your and your competitor’s campaigns across different platforms, unveils which strategies are resonating and which require adjustment. This real-time feedback loop empowers you to adapt swiftly to changing preferences. Stay agile!
As consumer habits migrate towards certain channels or technologies, you can proactively tailor your strategies to engage them where they are most active. Like when everyone migrated to Threads for a few days and the craze with social media influencer marketing that doesn't seem to be slowing down! In essence, consumer behavior acts as a compass, guiding your marketing strategies towards staying relevant.
Consumers are always one of the first places I turn for a temperature check on what’s resonating. Social media – from LinkedIn to TikTok – also helps round out perspective and illuminates a balance of industry-focused information with the ideas of thought leaders and creators. It’s critically important to keep a pulse on what’s going on out there, and not just in the industry, but behaviorally and culturally as well.Jessica Vogel, Chief Brand Officer at Scenthound
Attending industry conferences is a fun IRL method to immerse yourself into marketing trends and tech. These events gather experts from various corners of the industry and offer a concentrated platform to explore new digital marketing strategies and marketing technology firsthand.
Conferences feature keynote speeches, testimonials, discussions, and workshops where individuals share their experiences all with the goal of helping you be better. These sessions offer deep dives into trending topics, shedding light on best practices, case studies, and real-world applications.
Beyond content sessions, industry conferences facilitate networking with fellow attendees! Engaging in conversations during breaks and on social media like LinkedIn can help you expand your network as well as your knowledge. The direct exposure to expert knowledge helps you acquire new perspectives and gain a comprehensive understanding of evolving trends.
There’s nothing like connecting with colleagues. I text, talk and get together with people across the industry on a very regular basis—at conferences and back at home for a cup of coffee. Conversations with industry connections provide both sides with industry intel, updates on changes in our industry, and generally keeps you in the flow of what’s happening. Those discussions are equal in my mind to the best trade publications out there.Jordan Bitterman, CMO at TripleLift
Attend Industry Webinars
We can thank COVID for the rise of webinars! Participating in industry webinars offers an incredibly accessible avenue for staying current with marketing trends. Webinars offer the spotlight for decision makers to share their knowledge and experiences in a convenient online format.
The convenience of attending webinars from any location and at flexible times makes them a versatile way to learn. You can explore a wide range of topics, from content marketing and social media strategies to data analytics and AI applications, all without the need to travel. This flexibility empowers you to engage in continuous learning at your convenience.
Moreover, webinars often include interactive Q&A sessions, allowing you to seek clarification, gain deeper insights, and engage in discussions with the presenters. Webinars not only help you keep pace with marketing trends but also provide a platform for networking and expanding your professional connections within the industry.
I also attend and present at industry webinars, follow consumer research groups, monitor customer service calls, and engage with and listen to as many people as I can.Linda Goldstein, Executive VP at CSAA Insurance Group
Consider The Unexpected
You never know where you’ll find inspiration. Branch out of your comfort zone and go to a cool event you saw on Instagram. Maybe you’ve been wanting to take an art class? Book it. Talk to the people around you in your local coffee shop or bar. The world is wide and full of new ideas for you to discover and start implementing for your brand in the coming year.
Oh, and listen to the younger generations. They have tons of knowledge to share on what’s upcoming in the media and oftentimes are also your target audience, if not right now, then in the future.
My kids are a constant source of education—they lean hard into the future and see things I can barely visualize. My daughter is an actress in Brooklyn, and my sons are here in Chicago. One son is an architect. Another is a consultant. Each sees life from different perspectives and offers new insights that aren’t always present in my everyday life.Scott Davis, Chief Growth Officer at Prophet
There are a variety of ways that you can stay abreast of the latest industry trends and tech in marketing. Which option speaks the most to you? Share with your network on LinkedIn and see what their favorite way is!
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