Research, Research, Research! Personally, 2007 was the year I spent a few hours a day doing research on branding strategies, traffic strategies, news, etc. A big part of it is because I write on my blog, as well as SEJ.
I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it has helped me to develop my skills and career as an online marketer. Knowledge is power and that will always hold true. The more you read, the more you’ll know. Whether a post is decision based or face based, it is still information someone else isn’t reading.
One of the blogs I just stumbled upon is Blog Maverick which is written by Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He is most known for his ownership of the NBA team but also for his start-up and sell of Audionet or Broadcast.com which was sold to Yahoo! Why am I talking about Mark Cuban? From his success story, Cuban points out one of the most important factors to his success was his knowledge on the product he sold, whatever it was.
“…I tell myself that the people walking in the door know as little as I do, so if I just started doing what I told my boss I would do, read the manuals, I would be ahead of the curve. That’s what I did. Every night I would take home a different software manual, and I would read them. Of course the reading was captivating. Peachtree, PFS, DBase, Lotus, Accpac… I couldn’t put them down. Every night I would read some after getting home, no matter how late.”
Our success as online marketers come from knowing our marketing channels as well as our target audience for whatever it is you are marketing. It is such a good feeling to sit down in front of someone when they ask you a question about a topic and you are full of information to talk to them. I became a better salesman (even though I’m not one) when speaking to clients on the phone because I know my industry well. I know of new channels to advertise, new tactics, new trends, etc. That’s all from reading blogs, news sites, and research.
Researching is not only about reading but also about communication. Talk to your friends (industry friends) about what they are doing, what they are having success with. When I talk to an affiliate manager if I’m running some sort of affiliate offer, I always ask so many questions because that is part of my research. I try to get the most information out of every possible resource I can.
Reading or talking to someone about a successful campaign, a new channel of advertising, or whatever it may be can be a great motivator and idea generator, or can even save you time from doing something you won’t have much luck with.
So, this year, if you haven’t been doing so already, make research a part of your 2008 new years resolution. It will only help you achieve better results for your business. (Podcast on this same subject)