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You Ask, I Answer: Staying Ahead in AI and MarTech?

Buyan asks, “What habits do you do on a regular basis that help you learn and stay ahead in the AI and MarTech space?”

Staying current means doing two things: learning and practicing. You need both, in equal amounts, to be able to stay current and fresh.

Listen in for details on how to approach this.

You Ask, I Answer: Staying Ahead in AI and MarTech?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In this episode Brianne asks, What habits do you do on a regular basis that help you learn and stay ahead in the AI and Mar tech space? So it’s a good question.

Any kind of progress requires you to be doing two things to build a third thing.

And those two things are you need to be learning, which is the academic knowledge act, acquiring information, processing and understanding what it is that you’re reading.

And then two is practice.

implementing what all the things you’re reading so that it’s not just theory.

You understand how it works, make your own discoveries, and more importantly, discover what doesn’t work.

Those two things combined get you experience or wisdom if you’d like.

And they are required in equal amounts.

One of the challenges we see happen a lot is people who are over leveraged in one of those two areas, they are spending so much time doing the thing, that the knowledge gets stale.

I meet a lot of practitioners at corporations who are so heads down on getting the job done getting that to do lists cleared and stuff that they lose track of what’s happening in industry, they don’t know that, you know, this new model came out or this new technique is available, or this new software has happened.

Because it’s just one of those things.

They’re trying to stay afloat, which I totally get.

I had experiences like that and agency life where you’re working 60 7080 hours a week, just to get things done just to keep things moving along.

The academic knowledge without practice, is armchair theory, right.

You can read about something go well, it could do all these things.

But you never actually understand how the work so you don’t understand the limitations.

And you may not even understand what it is you’re talking about.

When I was in graduate school, I remember this one class where the professor was talking about OLAP cubes, online AP application processing, take notes on it, the type of database.

And he was talking about the theory of OLAP cubes and transaction processing, and had never actually used the technology.

So in class one day, I said, Okay, well, let’s just set one up, because at the time, Microsoft SQL Server supported that.

I said, let’s just set one up.

And we did.

And it turns out that most of this professional theories about how OLAP cubes worked, didn’t hold up because the practical application was very, very different.

And he really was not aware of that.


In fairness, It wasn’t necessary for his job to do that.

And the theories themselves, I think were starting points for people to try to figure out how to implement them.

But that’s why you need that practical application and the academic theory in tandem, they can’t have one without the other.

And so for what I do, to stay current is those two things on the academic theory side, I put together newsletters, I read a ton.

In order to do that.

I have software that helps curate a list of the top things I need to pay attention to in martagon, marketing data science and AI.

And as I’m putting together these newsletters, I’m reading through what the machines have have assembled as my reading list.

I go Wow, I didn’t know that happened or I didn’t realize that happened or this was the thing.

That’s like 1500 articles a week and just going through this.


There’s a lot That’s happening that was not aware of and as I go through and put together my newsletter, I go that’s useful that’s useful that’s useful.

Go and read those things.

I also belong to a number of communities I run a slack community as part of Trust Insights.

If you go to Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers, that’s the community I run but I’m also in two dozen other slack communities about half a dozen discord communities.

I’m subscribed to I can’t tell you how many newsletters voluntarily that all bring in new information, new academic information to learn Hey, did you know this thing was happening? I was reading Elisa Solis is Seo FOMO newsletter the other day and this is how core web vitals are going to be part of ranking download, okay, I need to know that.

But then the other side, the practice side is doing the thing.

Now, a lot of I get a lot of practice doing stuff for, you know, clients at Trust Insights and things, but I also So you’ll run my own website, my personal website now Christopher Penn calm, I test a lot of things out on it.

Because it’s a safe place to test.

I’m not going to destroy my company’s revenues to fight to take down a website by for an hour by accident.

I do.

I’ll just a lot of testing in general, I used to do a live stream show called Saturday night data Party, which was more just messing around with stuff, playing with things.

As new models come out, or as new pieces of software come out if I can run them in an environment like Google Collaboratory run in there, see what happens.

I’m actually got another window open over here, trying to run a model called jukebox, which is going to do generative music creation, which is interesting stuff.

So it’s just picking up things as you read about them saying, I’m going to try this.

How does this work? What does it involve? And can I make the thing work and generate the result that’s promised result and you find out really quickly Some things live up to their promises, other things, not so much on a good day, you might be able to get them to work on a bad day.

Just immediate and hilarious failure.

So that’s the process.

The challenge is, you have to build time and your schedule for it, you have to make time for professional development.

It will, in almost every place I’ve worked, there’s been a lot of lip service to professional development and like maybe an organizational send it to a conference like once a year.

But that’s it, they will not create the time for you.

So you have to do that.

And if you can do that in your working hours, great.

Sometimes you have to do it outside your working hours.

If you care about your professional development, you will have to make that time outside of work.

You’ll have to take time away from something else like you know, whatever series you’ve been doing on Netflix, in order to give yourself time to research and grow and that’s the hardest part for you.

But people are not willing to make the time for themselves personally, even if it’s a benefit to them professionally and to their careers and to their their income, all that stuff.

I don’t know why doing stuff that is for professional development has just been something I’ve always been part of doing.

I think it comes from either whether whether you like the process of learning or you don’t.

But I think is a learnable thing.

I don’t think it’s something you’re born with.

It’s just overcoming perhaps bad experiences in the past.

So that’s the process, academic knowledge, practical application, put the two together to get experience and make the time for it.

Make the time for it.

Dedicate two hours a week, wherever you can find them.

To do that one hour reading one hour of doing your follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter.

I’ll talk to you soon.

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