Ben asks, “If you had to recommend a single general digital marketing conference to attend, what would it be? Where can i get the most takeaway educational value?”
As with anything, the answer to this is highly dependent on your needs. What do you need to learn the most?
– B2B marketer? Go to the MarketingProfs B2B forum.
– Social media marketer? Go to Social Media Marketing World.
– Content marketer? Go to Content Marketing World.
– In the Hubspot ecosystem? Go to INBOUND. Likewise, if you’re in the Salesforce ecosystem, go to Dreamforce. IBM shop? Go to IBM THINK. Whatever vendor you use the most, go to their event.
That said, a conference is also not always the best choice for takeaway educational value. Take a strong look at all the online course offerings available to you – conferences are great for surface dives, networking, and big picture landscape perspectives. They’re less good at a deep dive into any one subject.
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Ben asks, If you had to recommend the single general digital marketing conference to attend, what would it be? Where can I get the most takeaway educational value? Well, that is a difficult question to answer. Because there is no one best there is no one best of anything for anyone. There is what is best for you, and what your needs are, what your educational needs are. There are dozens of really good marketing conferences from the biggest of the big little boutique conferences, their conferences specifically for executives, I was just at one called the fuse digital marketing conference, which was excellent.
If you’re a b2b marketer, you should be going to the marketingprofs speed before him. If you’re a social media marketer should be like the Social Media Marketing World if you’re a content marketer.
should be going to content marketing world. And then most importantly, if you are using a vendor heavily and the vendor has an event, you should probably go to that event because you’re going to get a lot of useful
tactical, hey, here’s how to use more of the thing you’re already paying for. So you know, for example, if you’re in the IBM ecosystem, you should be going to IBM. Think if you’re in if you sales force going to dream force. For use HubSpot, you should be going to inbound there’s all these conferences that are focused around the tools that you use.
Here’s the catch, and here’s the thing I think it’s important.
A conference is not always the best choice for educational value for takeaway educational value. If you want to do a deep dive on something you probably going to be better off taking an online course
if educational value is the things important because conferences conferences are great for
Surface dives into a lot of different areas or landscape view of something. They are great for networking. They are great for building your professional network and learning from peers, having conversations with other peers.
They’re not as good at deep diving into just one thing to say, I want to learn all about
logistic regression, right? I want to, I want to master that. Well,
in my experience, you’re not going to get that out of a conference, you’re going to get a whole bunch of ideas and a whole landscape of different things to try.
But you’ll then have to go back and do the research yourself to teach yourself those things. I was just at an event in Minneapolis, the mini analytics conference and I saw some folks put up some slides. So as case studies, here’s the technical infrastructure that we use and and
they showed their machine learning algorithms for every
Step of the marketing funnel of this particular company’s marketing funnel was fantastic. It was a road map of the different techniques they use. They didn’t teach the techniques, they didn’t teach their implementations techniques. They just told you what they use is kind of like
if you were to open a cookbook, you would see
just the ingredients to the recipe, but no instructions on how to cook. It is now my obligation as a conference attendee to take those slides to take those learnings and to teach myself any techniques I don’t know and to use my knowledge of the techniques that I do know to reverse engineer their recipes and apply them to my work at trust insights and then work for our clients.
So for someone like me, who is
a self learner as I hope you are
that one conference presentation
was good enough to give me a roadmap for the next year maybe two years of learning
but none of it is take away educational value that I can immediately start using that’s not what a conferences for.
So it depends on your needs if you need to learn is like a for example if you deeply need to learn how to do drip campaigns
yeah in your marketing automation software a conference will give you some ideas
it gives some best practices and may fill some gaps or expand your knowledge of drip nurturing. But if you don’t know how to use the feature, you are better off spending investing a lot of time in the tutorials to help guides and then if a vendor or third party provides it taking courses on those things. If you look at some of the courses that are available for free out there right now, Google Analytics Google has a whole analytics Academy they have an AdWords Academy it’s not
called afterwards anymore. I still call that words just of habit. HubSpot has its inbound Academy and they’re these, you know, all these different trainings that you can get for free. If you assemble for yourself what you need to know, MIT’s entire curriculum is is open and available for viewing and download. There are dozens of other universities that have published their content in things like iTunes University. So it’s more What do you need to know? And how deeply do you need to know it? They’re like I said, I think there’s a tremendous an important role for conferences and in exposing attendees to new ideas into expanding our understanding of a of a landscape and seeing those best practices or those case studies that
give us the ingredients list for what other people do are doing so that we can do the same so that we can learn the same
and then reverse
engineer own solutions
if you are and this requires himself or if you are the kind of person who is not a self starter with learning We need someone to be guiding you through
a subject again at conferences and the best place for that because what you’re going to get will be
tactically usable as is. But if you don’t know how to adapt it, you’re going to need to invest time in taking those courses and trainings that will supplement those ideas and expand on them and teach you the ins and outs of them. And that’s that that’s totally okay. There’s nothing wrong with saying hey,
I don’t have the the inclination or maybe I don’t have the time to do to teach myself you know,
machine learning. I was reading it was funny I was reading an evaluation I got from the marketingprofs comments one attendees
I didn’t get any, any tactical takeaways from this session. I was like, well, you shouldn’t have because there weren’t any to take away. It was a talk. That was a why talking to what talk, not a how talk,
teaching somebody how of machine learning would be like trying to teach someone, the how of neurosurgery. Like,
it’s a discipline it requires, it’s a profession. It requires more than 45 minutes
getting imagine trying to teach somebody but how of marketing and 45 minutes really difficult to do. So know your goals, know what you need to learn the most and know which educational vehicle is going to give you the outcome that you care about the most. It may be a conference,
they may be a course maybe a book, maybe however you learn best it may you may end up hiring a mentor.
And that’s a great approach to especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t learn as well from you know, sort of
At course you need that one on one relationship. It will be expensive, but you can absolutely hire mentors to to coach you through things. So lots of opportunities, lots of different ways to learn stuff. But again, focus on what you need. There is no one best answer for any educational vehicle.
Thanks for asking the question Ben. You have any follow up questions, leave them in the comments. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. Take care want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights.ai de unless you know how we can help you.
You might also enjoy:
- Best Practices for Public Speaking Pages
- Understand the Meaning of Metrics
- How to Measure the Marketing Impact of Public Speaking
- The Biggest Mistake in Marketing Data
- Retiring Old Email Marketing Strategies
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers