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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.