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“While everyone else is debating this sh*t, I’m using it,” entrepreneur and marketer Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) told a crowd at New York Internet Week. He was talking about his success on newer social media platforms like Snapchat, and how we as marketers are guilty of talking too much and doing too little with different platforms.

There’s no magic bullet or secret formula. There’s just getting your hands dirty with different sites, services and communities. That’s how you determine which channels are valuable and get there before the competition.

To help you do that, here are five unconventional platforms you might want to dig into today.

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It’s never been more important for marketers to understand their company’s business fundamentals. This sounds obvious. We should know—and understand—how our companies make money, right?

Apparently it’s time for a wake up call. A full 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams, according to new research from Kapost

Let that sink in. Our job is to develop credible, profitable connections with customers—and with the people that hire us.

We must do better. Marketers are under more pressure than ever to measure their impact and prove ROI.

To help achieve that goal, I’ve listed below six business fundamentals marketers should measure and how to measure them. This list is a starting point: You may need other or additional metrics depending on your company’s business model and / or available technology.

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There is one tactic that top-of-their-game professionals use to create wealth, seize opportunities and drive success: cross-disciplinary thinking. They expose themselves to ideas outside their field and, as a result, make connections others don’t.

These connections create new business opportunities, creative (or even world-changing) ideas, and massive personal and professional growth.

Steve Jobs was a fan of this strategy. And plenty of top minds in every professional field use it daily to deliver results and lead better.

Marketers can receive the exact same benefits. By exposing themselves to ideas outside of marketing, they can, in turn, achieve better results in their campaigns and careers. This post is designed to start you down the cross-disciplinary path, if you’d like to reap the rewards it offers.

I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the best non-marketing resources to learn something new. I’d love if you offered your own suggestions in this post’s comments.

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This post was written by Raquel Richards (@RaquelMRichards), a PR 20/20 intern studying PR at Ohio University. 

The fight for top talent is more competitive than ever before. In our field, employers are looking for candidates with hybrid experience, inherent motivation and leadership potential. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to complete an internship.

Did you immediately picture coffee runs and itineraries? Me too. But, the right internship (and the right people) will prepare you for what lies ahead: the so-called “real world.”

We often think that having a dream job is out of the question. Luckily, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of landing the internship of your dreams, and eventually, a job you love.

Take it from me. When applying for the intern position at PR 20/20, I was shaking in my boots. I had never worked for an agency, but I did my homework and earned the position of a lifetime.

Read on for six actionable steps to landing your dream marketing internship.

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Business professionals are drowning in data, and we receive more emails, notifications and requests than ever before. With all this noise demanding our attention, how can we focus on what really matters to our business?

For answers, we turned to Phil Simon (@philsimon), friend, keynote speaker and author of Message Not Received (Wiley, 2015). The new book outlines how professionals and organizations can communicate more effectively and increase efficiency through simpler language and new technologies. Read on for insights on why business communication is broken, and how we can fix it. 

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Companies that sell costly items may not experience the same repeat buying behaviors as other companies, often making it difficult to market to customers. 

Vitamix (@Vitamix) knows this problem well. The company’s blenders are long-lasting, high-ticket items, making repeat purchases rare. Instead, the company focuses on helping its customers learn how to use their newly purchased blenders to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

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Editor's Note: This post has been updated to include the SXSW 2015 slide deck. See below.

Marketing automation platforms save time, improve efficiency and increase productivity. They give companies an unprecedented ability to understand buyers, identify opportunities, track campaign performance and link marketing activities to business outcomes. 

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What do Google, Salesforce and HubSpot have in common? They’ve realized that partner programs are a powerful way to catalyze reach, sales and loyalty.

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I am a huge fan of Pixar. In 1995, Toy Story became the first completely computer-animated, full-length motion picture, and by doing so made it socially acceptable for me to watch cartoons again. For this, I am eternally grateful.

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Below is a guest post by Elizabeth Victor, a brand advisor for Isentia. She enjoys sharing tips on media monitoring and analysis. You can find her on Twitter and Google+.

As social media has become more and more popular throughout the world, it is important for companies to adopt a new outlook toward customer service. 

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