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?

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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.