15 Fantastic Resources to Guide Your 2015 Marketing Plan

So you thought we did all this alone? No, we have our regular industry reads just like everyone else!

If you haven't had time to search out the best an brightest in the advertising, marketing and branding spaces, however, we're happy to save you some time by sharing ours. December is an excellent time to take stock of what you've done well throughout the year, and what you can do better in the year to come.

If your 2015 marketing plan is just beginning to take shape, these fifteen valuable sources of industry insight will give you an edge over the competition as the New Year begins.

2015 fabric Weave these 15 resources into the fabric of your marketing for 2015

15 Fantastic Marketing Resources for 2015

Since there are distinct nuances to each discipline, we've broken the full fifteen down to five resources across three categories: branding, advertising and marketing. All three interconnect, of course, and you'll find great articles that cross disciplines on each, but if there's one particular area in which your business needs to brush up its game this will help you to stay focused.

Branding

  • 1. BrandChannelOne of the better places to keep track of what big name brands are doing and how it might be applied to develop your own business.
  • 2.CanvaA crucial part of defining your brand is designing a clear visual identity. Canva not only offers excellent, easy to use tools to craft graphics across your site and social media, they also publish helpful articles on design tips and tricks that will help build your brand next year.
  • 3. Linkedin Pulse: A highly customizable feed of experienced experts and industry veterans, within the biggest professional social network available. Simply select the brand ambassadors and thought leaders you admire most and stay up to date with their latest musings.
  • 4. Branding Strategy Insider: A wide focus across brand building, research and education, which features frequent posts and resources to spark growth ideas for brand beginners to senior brand managers.
  • 5. Convince and Convert: A practical digital marketing site that regularly crosses into the world of big brands to give you a flavor of what's going on at the top. For a deeper dive into specific brands, their weekly Social Pros podcast is also worth a listen.
  • 6. AdAge: A well-known yet indispensable resource for advertisers big and small. Keeping up with what major brands are doing and, more importantly, taking note of what's working with consumers, should inform your own ads in the year to come.
  • 7. Journey to Purchase: Knowing where to put your advertising dollars can be a crap shoot unless you intimately understand how your customer comes to a purchase decision. This interactive path planner from Google helps to break down your most effective channels and spend more effectively with an accurate process in front of you.
  • 8. The Beancast: This podcast run by veteran advertising and branding expert Bob Knorpp is easy to access on a mobile device and a great way to start your week as it's usually released Sunday night, ready to go for you on Monday morning. Three or four experienced panelists discuss the latest headlines from the world of ads and brand marketing, so you can come for the news and stay for the context.
  • 9. Interactive Advertising Bureau: In addition to its great advertising content, IAB holds regular events around the country to discuss the latest in ad trends and technology, such as mobile and native adveristing.
  • 10. CIO: This site offers a more information technology-centric take on the latest advertising tech and how companies are using it. If you want to keep an eye on the cutting-edge of what's coming next in the ad world - or just need some extra acronyms to throw about at your next meeting - this is the place to sign up!
  • 11. MarketingProfs: This site takes content to the next level, with a comprehensive collection of free articles, webinars, online courses and community forums. There's a paid tier to access the more in-depth content but you'll have plenty of time to try out the other stuff at no cost to see if it's right for you. 
  • 12. Social Media Examiner: If you struggle to keep up with the latest platforms and techniques in the world of social media marketing, this site packed full of practical advice and how to guides is the answer.
  • 13. Moz: Getting along with Google is now an inevitable part of any online marketing plan. Adjusting your site content and social media to strengthen search rankings for your business plays a major role in this and the folks at Moz are some of the best in the business. Their YouTube channel is also well worth a look for short, digestible search marketing tips.
  • 14. Six Pixels of SeparationA diverse weekly podcast by Mitch Joel of Twist Image, who has vast experience of online marketing and its intersection with advertising and branding. For a 30,000 foot view of the space and wider food for thought, Six Pixels is always a rich listen.
  • 15. Buffer: Their app is all about getting good content out into the world and Buffer's blog reflects exactly that, offering deep reads on everything from ideas for article titles to the optimal time to share your content across various channels. Distribution will be an important part of marketing in 2015 and this site will keep you up to speed with what's working.
  • Bonus! 16 RingBoost Blog: Okay, that's cheating, but we'll be expanding our focus for 2015 into the wider world of branding and how you can grow your business with the right tools. We'd love for you to join us and guide the kind of content that you'd like to see this coming year, so connect with us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter to share your thoughts!

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