In my last post 7 Free Tools Every Brand or Marketing Manager Should Use Daily, I mentioned that one of the free tools all brand or marketing managers should use is an RSS Feed such as Google Reader to collect and review their favorite industry or marketing blog posts on a daily basis. I promised in that post to follow up with a list of my favorite marketing related blogs that are in my Google Reader to help people get started. This post is dedicated to a few of my favorites. However, I do have a couple caveats before launching into the list.
First of all, I personally find that reading the posts in my Google Reader is like reading the Wall Street Journal. I pick and choose the items I am going to read each day based on content, theme, and title. I do not read every single post completely and thoroughly because not every post is applicable to me on a daily basis. I would recommend taking this approach to anyone getting started — otherwise all you will ever do is read.
With that said, there are a few posts that I always read from certain blogs. Maybe they are inspirational, extremely insightful, or just fun. I am highlighting these with a * after the title in my list below.
Finally, I should be clear that this is not an exhaustive list of blogs that brand or marketing managers should be reading. I actually subscribe to and read about 5-10 additional blogs daily that are not included in this list. I have not included them because they deal exclusively in social media, small business marketing, or marketing technology and these topics might not be useful or interesting to all brand or marketing managers. Perhaps these will be included in a separate post at some point in the future. The blogs I have included below are ones that I think are worthwhile for any marketing person.
- Brains On Fire Blog by the team at Brains On Fire, a consulting firm that specializes in turning customers into fans. This blog often takes a look at something and turns it on its head. It often gets me to think about things differently and reminds me how everything impacts the end customer.
- Branding Strategy Insider* from The Blake Project, a branding firm. This is a blog that I have recently found, but like a lot for its current branding examples to illustrate new or important branding concepts for companies. This blog might be a little more appropriate for managers in larger companies with big brands, but I do think that the lessons can be translated to smaller brands and companies.
- Chris Brogan.com. While Chris Brogan is a thought leader in social media, I find a lot of his posts to be informative for general business and marketing issues (in addition to Social Media).
- Harvard Business blog by a variety of writers. There are many daily posts, and I only skim the majority of these. However, there are some great leadership and marketing ideas in some of these posts, and I like to see what HBR considers to be the hot daily business topics.
- Influential Marketing *by Rohit Bhargava. This blog is self-described as ‘reflections on creating compelling marketing, advertising, and PR strategy’. I think that this sums it up nicely. It takes big brand examples but translates the lessons that can be applied to any business. It is a little heavy on discussion around social media, but since this is a hot topic (and it is a blog), I think it is to be expected.
- MarketingProfs Daily Fix. A series of posts on current best practices in marketing and brand management.
- PFSK.com from a trends research, innovation, and activation company. Daily trends or news in design, media, new products, etc. can be very interesting and could help spark innovative ideas for any business.
- Seth’s Blog* by Seth Godin. This blog is my favorite one, and I look forward to reading it daily. Seth uses compelling yet simple examples to illustrate lessons on leadership, innovation, and marketing. It serves as a daily reminder that authenticity is key to building a brand and a business.
- SmartBlog on Social Media* from the writers of SmartBrief on Social Media. I know I said I wasn’t going to cover exclusively social media blogs in this post, but this is an exception. This blog often makes the ever evolving world of social media a little easier to follow. For those of you who are still trying to get up to speed on the topic, this blog will be very helpful as it highlights ‘how to’ articles, trends, and great case studies.
- Trendwatching.com*. I subscribe to the company’s free monthly Trend briefing on emerging consumer trends. I have found each report to be very useful for research and sparking new product ideas.
So there you go — a few of my favorites. Check them out and let me know what you think. If you have any others to add to this list, please let me know. As I mentioned in the previous post, the whole purpose of investing your time in reading these blogs is so that you can be a more strategic marketer and thought leader. I really hope you find that this is the case. Enjoy!