Nothing spurs new ideas and innovation like learning from others in your industry. That’s why I’m sharing our team’s favorite association marketing resources, including books, podcasts, and blogs.
Best Books for Association Marketers
1. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Seth Godin unleashes his marketing wisdom in this book. He helps you learn how to reframe what you’re offering in a way that makes sense with your target audience. It’s not about solving your problem, it’s about solving theirs.
2. The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry
Are you always on tap for coming up with new ideas? It can become exhausting, but being creative at the drop of the hat is incredibly important for marketers. Todd Henry’s book The Accidental Creative helps you develop effective practices so that you’re ready whenever creativity is required.
3. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink
No matter what you’re marketing for your association, you’re selling – selling your brand, your value, your programs, and certifications. In this book, Daniel Pink shares his new ABCs of selling – instead of “Always Be Closing,” it’s Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.
4. The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age of Automation, Big Data, and Machine Learning by William Ammerman
Nowadays, a large part of marketing is understanding where and how technology can improve your work, save you time, and give you better results. Tools like marketing automation and website personalization can help you deliver a better experience to your members and prospective members. In The Invisible Brand, William Ammerman outlines how machines are changing marketing, including the risks and rewards involved.
Best Podcasts for Association Marketers
Hosted by yours truly, The Member Engagement show is the podcast for any association professional tasked with boosting retention, gaining new members, and deepening member engagement. I interview industry experts, innovative customers, and creative marketing leaders, and their insights and ideas have been truly inspiring for me and for our listeners.
Here are a few episodes you might enjoy:
- What Motivates Members with Author Todd Henry
- How the Public Affairs Council Doubled Their Engagement with New Member Onboarding
- When Knowing Your Audience is Better Than Knowing Best Practices w/ Andrea Huggins
Don’t miss out on Dave Gerhardt’s marketing lessons & learnings. And hey – just because it’s B2B doesn’t mean it can’t apply to associations as well. Dave shares tips on copywriting, positioning, marketing essentials, and more. He also runs a paid subscription group on Patreon where you can get even more tips.
7. Todd Henry
I know, I mentioned his book (and his podcast episode with us!), but Todd’s podcasts are also a great source of inspiration, particularly The Daily Creative Podcast, which is on hiatus but is a wonderful short listen (most episodes are 2-5 minutes) to start your day. And with 150 episodes, you have something to listen to while it’s on a break.
Recorded every (business) Wednesday at 5:30 am ET at a coffee shop in Natick, MA, Marketing Over Coffee really feels like you’re just overhearing a conversation at a nearby table. I especially loved that they did an episode focusing on neurodiversity in marketing, a critical area of diversity that is only just beginning to get noticed.
Best Blogs and Newsletters for Association Marketers
I spend a lot of time helping associations with marketing strategy, but I’ve never found a news source specifically dedicated to us, so I created this newsletter. The Association Marketing Pros newsletter is weekly inspiration with news you care about mixed in.
10. Ann Handley
Ann Handley’s newsletter is renowned among marketers. It’s pretty long and meaty, but if you set aside time to dive in, you’ll learn a lot from this writer, digital marketer, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.
Copyblogger started building quality online content in 1998 before content marketing was a thing. It evolved into a highly profitable company with eight figures in annual revenue thanks to useful content, smart copywriting, and exceptional products and services.
Their site is a little busy, but there’s so much good content there you could spend a month and not run out of new things to learn about content marketing.
CoSchedule provides some great content on a wide variety of marketing topics, as well as having some fascinating podcasts.
Loads of articles on keyword research, SEO, and website traffic make SEMRush’s blog a must-read for anyone looking to improve their SEO as well as their understanding of customers. For our Higher Logic customers, this is particularly helpful if you’re using Informz landing pages and web tracking and want to guide more traffic to pages to increase leads.
Don’t Forget These Higher Logic Marketing Resources
15. Higher Logic Users Group (HUG) & HUG Connect
HUG, our customer community, is where you can connect with peers 24/7 on all things digital marketing. Plus, you can join us for HUG Connect & Marketing, a weekly meet up around specific topics with examples and discussion.
We’re constantly working to post content to help you move your digital marketing and community forward. Here are a few faves:
- Our Favorite Examples of Storytelling in Marketing
- 11 Email Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making
- Marketers, It’s Time to Rethink Email Engagement Metrics
With so many options out there for blogs and podcasts and marketing books, hopefully, this has given you some food for thought – or at least content for thought.
Are you a Higher Logic customer? Stop by HUG and tell us what your favorite book, blog, or podcast is!
Making Time for Professional Development
Sure, these resources look great…but does a lack of time keep you from pursuing professional development? If so, one solution might be to sit down with your manager and discuss whether you can officially set aside a couple of hours each week for learning. Come prepared with reasons it will help you do your job better. If that fails, it might just mean you invest some of your own time.
Either way, the work you do to invest in yourself will pay off at your current job or in your career.
Also, don’t try to start too many things at once. You might want to read/listen to all of these association marketing resources, but start with one or two you can put some extra time into.
President and CEO, The Arritt Group
Beth’s marketing experience encompasses more than twenty-five years of marketing strategy and member/customer engagement in various industries, including puzzles and games, training, education and aviation.
In addition to marketing, Beth has worked in event management and web development, wearing a variety of hats in different positions. She has also been an adjunct professor of marketing at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising from James Madison University, a Certificate in Event Management from The George Washington University, and a Masters of Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Phoenix. She has earned numerous awards for her marketing, including two Top Digital Marketer of the Year awards.
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