By Kim Garcia, director of marketing, PSA Security Network
Marketing professionals are typically thought of as “The Creatives” in many organizations. But for most people, marketing pros included, creativity is not born from thin air. It is often inspired by things around us from our interactions at the grocery store, to reading the backs of shampoo bottles in the shower, watching TV, and even just riffing off each other in the office. As with any job, sometimes you just get in a rut and need some quick inspiration. These are five of my favorite marketing websites that I head to when I need an inspirational boost.
CreativeLive is a website that provides online workshops taught by industry experts – for free – on a variety of topics such as photography and software editing tricks, video and music production best practices, health and wellness, business development and even crafting. There are select free classes every day that are streaming live all day long or you can purchase your favorite class with on-demand pricing. At the time of this writing, the freebie courses included a wedding photography class, designing patterns for fabric, how to record rock guitars, introduction to embroidery, and personal finance for freelancers. While I might not be terribly interested in learning to embroider, as a marketer I still learn from how information like this is delivered and even that can be inspirational.
MarketingProfs is one of my favorite places for online marketing training and conversations about current trends. I am a huge podcasting fan so their podcast, Marketing Smarts, is in my regular rotation. This site offers both a free subscription as well as a pro level with access to articles, tip sheets, webinars, tutorials, and industry reports about all things for practical marketing. My personal favorite is their Take 10 webinar series which is a quick 10 minute webinar that offers of tips and tricks about a specific marketing topic such as “Take 10: How to Become a Trade Show Rock Star—10 Trade Show Pitfalls to Avoid”. Sometimes ten minutes is all you need to reset and get the creative juices flowing again.
One of the great things about today’s online world is that we have access to instant (and free) inspiration right at our fingertips.
AdAge is hands down one of my favorite marketing websites. I love seeing what other companies with a bazillion dollar marketing budget do to influence buyers and change the face of marketing as an industry. AdAge focuses on the big advertising and marketing campaigns of our time. You know how all the major media outlets are focused on the ads during Superbowl season? Well, AdAge is like that year-round about all things marketing. It’s a fun place to stop in once a week to see what’s trending and figure out if there is utility in my own programs.
I didn’t throw this one in simply because I like to look up recipes, kid crafting project ideas, or new hairstyles. I do use Pinterest for all of those things but it also offers a great wealth for marketing ideas, especially for small businesses. I have found it to be a great tool in helping me review content marketing tools for instance as well as helping me work out some blog concepts when I was lacking vision. The point is, Pinterest is not just a fun social media tool but it can have great business and professional utility as well.
Fiverr is an online marketplace that offers a variety of design, marketing, and other business projects beginning at a cost of $5 per job from freelancers around the world. I have used Fiverr for several projects over the years including basic logo concepts and even having someone draw up the best furniture configuration of our living room when we were staging our house. While it’s not necessarily a place marketing pros can go for training, it’s a relatively inexpensive resource to tap into if you have a small department and want to gain an outsider perspective on your program or just have a few new concepts to throw in the ring.
Where do you go when you are in a rut? One of the great things about today’s online world is that we have access to instant (and free) inspiration right at our fingertips. The next time you feel stuck in a rut with a looming deadline, try some of your favorite sites for a creative boost.