The marketing landscape has changed a lot since the introduction of more mobile media such as social media, smartphones, and streaming TV. With so many options for reaching consumers, marketing professionals often find themselves overwhelmed and spread too thin. And just as soon as a formula seems to work, everything changes again.

A digital marketing professional has a unique position in that their job is constantly shifting. While the basics remain the same — studying and improving the relationship between consumers and their habits — the strategy and approach changes often.

So how does a marketing expert remain an expert? It’s no longer enough to have a college degree in marketing, or to have decades’ worth of experience. While those are certainly useful and valuable, marketing is almost as much about continued education as it is collected experience.

The approach itself is simple. As a marketer, it’s your job to stay atop of trends. There are countless resources available for a digital marketing professional to continue their education. These options include resources such as media newsletters, conferences, and podcasts.

A cursory search on Google for “marketing trends” will also reveal much new information, from forecasted media trends to best practices for upping the digital marketing game of a brand. This information is all valuable — there is no such thing as knowing too much in this industry.

Another benefit of continued education is an ability to think outside the box for new ideas. Often, it’s easy to get bogged down in doing things the same way, over and over again. Sure, the “don’t fix what isn’t broken” approach is useful, but what it something could be made even better with a fresh approach?

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Digital marketing is also a language that cannot only be taught. That is to say, marketing practices and techniques can be taught or read about in a book, but only in real world implementation is there true education. A marketing professional must learn how to think creatively and how to embrace new ideas.

Another way to continue education is simply to pay attention to ads and marketing campaigns. When you turn on the television during dinner, take the time to watch a few of the commercials. What are these brands doing well? What would you do differently?

Podcasts are very popular right now. Why so? Because listeners tend to be much more engaged in active consumption rather than idle consumption, like perhaps a casual television viewer may be. Listen to a few of your favorite podcasts, and don’t fast forward through the ads. What’s being done well there?

And the same goes for social media. Read the copy of a promoted post, and cast an eye over the imagery being used. Are there any ideas that may spark interest when applied to your business?

The concept of continued education does not necessarily only mean taking a course or reading a book. Today, there are countless ways to observe and learn — it’s simply a matter of taking the time to do so.

A digital marketing professional worth his or her salt has an open, observant mind. This comes in hand in an industry that is constantly seeking the next big idea.

5WPR CEO Ronn TorossianRonn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.