What's Your Industry IQ?
As they often do, a discussion recently in a LinkedIn Group went off in an interesting direction.
It started with a comment about people not having access to professional industry research tools to do their own inquiries. The complaint was that some appear to just use LinkedIn Groups for product searches. Someone else wondered if some of these folks had ever been to an industry trade show. The discussion wandered on to note that some are stuck on "logos on cheap stuff" and then commentary about our industry being a commodity business.
The scattered conversation got me thinking about Industry IQ. This kind of IQ encompasses a variety of things: formal education, training in specific areas, knowledge gained from supplier/distributor relationships and mistakes that you have learned from. Real world experiences and insight received from business mentors as well as family and friend relationships contribute to our Industry IQ. My video Rant on this can be found here.
One post noted that the low barrier for entry to our industry is an issue, as well as there being no minimum standard of training. The new PPAI Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certification level seems to be a step in the right direction toward providing early education opportunities to new people.
What's your Industry IQ and how important is that?
My personal take is that education is an asset. Clearly, more knowledgeable promotional professionals are good for the industry. There will always be sellers of stuff, but it's going to be the more educated people that will have an advantage in today's competitive marketplace.
Opportunities like selling branded incentive products, navigating the changing world of apparel and new decorating methods, are skills that require continuing education. Niche programs like safety and recognition can help build your business. These also require education to do well.