Tag Archives: B2B lead generation

Top 25 Social Media Books for Academia: #12 eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

Ardath Albee offers perhaps the most complete and in-depth course aid for sales nurturing in a social age. Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was selected as the primary text for NSU’s MKT 3240 course. Especially for those in B2B circles, the book offers convincing strategies for advancing prospects through the sales funnel with content that is contagious, well aligned with the buyer stage and tells a story. 

eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale ranks as top social media book

Ardath Albee as author of top social media book

The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically as a primary reading for MBA and undergraduate level courses focused on social selling or B2B social media marketing. The recommendation is based on the following:

  1. Ardath Albee is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the field of inbound marketing. As a 25 year veteran of B2B corporate marketing and business development, I found this book to be the most effective and convincing source for getting up to speed on what social media and content marketing is doing to change the selling landscape. It starts with Ardath’s deep understanding of the traditional selling process.  And it continues with her excellent grasp of how content could facilitate the entire prospect courtship process. 
  2. The book is crafted for the serious professional looking for takeaway tactics and realistic strategies for complex selling. Especially at a time when nearly 90% of B2B buyers now embrace content, this book offers detailed instructions for attracting prospects, progressing them through the sales funnel and scoring them in the process. 
  3. Topic organization is well suited to a course module on the subject of B2B social media marketing. The overall organization follows progression through the sales funnel. Starting with an understanding of personas and the buying process, the book progresses its readers through competitive considerations and constructing engaging content. Especially useful at this stage are sections on natural nurturing, designing your story and facilitating conversations through these stories. Once the content framework and style of communications is aligned with each buying stage, the rest of the book focuses on observing, qualifying and progressing leads based on content tracking behaviors. Sales folks skeptical of social media will love this.
  4. Some fresh insights are provided on how to create a problem/resolution-oriented buyer synopsis, a conversational context and competitive content structures. But unlike theory driven books, these insights are backed with numerous practitioner examples. 
  5. This book provides an excellent visualization of the entire eMarketing process while providing detailed examples of the digital scoring, tracking and measuring steps avoided by most books on this subject.  

What keeps the book, however, from qualifying as a primary text for MBA social media courses is the following.

  1. The book is intended for complex sales. Missing for a complete curriculum are strategies for visual storytelling, mobile context marketing and influence marketing. It’s excellent organization across a typical curriculum may, however, present an opportunity to pair it alongside a B2C oriented text.  
  2. As a 2010 edition, the material relevance could fade soon especially in areas like big data, visual content, native advertising and mobile apps. We understand a new book is in the works, however, which I suspect will reach a top 5 rating. 

Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book

Category: Recommended primary reading for an MBA or undergraduate courses in social selling or B2B social media marketing. Recommended supplementary reading for eMarketing or B2B marketing.

Social media book evaluation

Evaluation of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale as top social media book

So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.

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Top 25 Social Media Books from an Academic Perspective: #20 Social Marketing to the Business Customer

Continuing our countdown on the top 25 social media books that could qualify for classroom reading, number 20 is Social Marketing to the Business Customer by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman.

Social Marketing to the Business Customer ranks as top social media book

Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman as authors of top social media book

Gillan and Schwartzman do a great job translating the impact social media strategies have on key account lead generation and B2B relationship building. 

The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically for undergraduate level and MBA programs. The recommendation is based on the following:

  1. The authors provide an easy to digest, but strategically insightful, orientation to the social platforms, tools and technologies required for lead generation, sales nurturing and relationship building. Topics are organized in a “ready-set-go” fashion where sections progress from preparing a social business (ready) to understanding platforms, search and tools (set) to campaigns, conversion and measurement (go). This makes it well aligned with a typical class roll-out. 
  2. The book is written in a language and style suitable to buyers. For example, many flow chart examples are given on the social funnel that makes it easy to conceptualize the lead nurturing process. 
  3. Too many books written by social media evangelists today dwell on platform popularity, storytelling, imagery and other hot topics often at the expense of laying out broad social strategy initiatives across the entire enterprise. This book nails the concepts in the right order of social business development and without sensationalizing topics for the sake of entertaining or inspiring readers. 
  4. Sections on understanding search and choosing specific B2B platforms are especially informative and explained succinctly for students needing to absorb the entire concept in about 12 hours of B2B oriented class time. 
  5. Both authors have extensive experience in the field. This is reflected in their consistent use of relevant cases and best practices for B2B social media.

What keeps the book, however, from qualifying higher as a primary text for MBA social media courses is the following.

  1. The restriction of topics to B2B covers only about a third of the course requirements for a Social Media Marketing or Content Marketing course.
  2. The concepts are becoming somewhat outdated as a 2011 release. Lacking is a more recent perspective on search algorithms, mobile responsiveness and advocacy strategies. At the tactical level, more could be updated on the current use of marketing automation software and Google+ (e.g., hangouts on air for B2B).  
  3. The ready-set-go approach does take away some of the dialog energy. The first part (Setting the Table) – although very meaningful – provides a great deal of information on policies and social organization development that is meant more for buyers and other practitioners. As a 25 year marketing executive, I love this approach. But from the standpoint of students anxious for hands-on understanding, these dryer subjects at the beginning set a low expectation on course excitement. 
  4. A further drawback of this ready-set-go approach is the challenge for professors to incorporate critical thinking exercises wrapped around each stage of development. i.e., relevant exercises would be highly skewed towards the second half of the book.

Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book

Category: Recommended primary reading for MBA/undergraduate in B2B marketing and a supplementary MBA/undergraduate reading for social media marketing or social selling. 

Social media book evaluation

Evaluation of Social Marketing to the Business Customer as top social media book

So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.

Top 25 Social Media Books from an Academic Perspective: #21 B2B Social Media Book

Continuing our countdown on the top 25 books that could qualify for classroom reading, number 21 is The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey Cohen.

The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar ranks as top social media book

Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey Cohen as authors of top social media book

Bodnar and Cohen do a great job translating the myriad of content pieces on social media into crisp “how-to’s” for B2B lead generation and lead nurturing. 

The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically as a supplementary reading for undergraduate level programs. Although somewhat dated in content, the book stands out in the following way:

  1. The authors provide a broad perspective of how a sorely neglected B2B domain can benefit from social media. 
  2. The “how-to” approach and helpful tips provides undergraduate students with a useful hands-on tutorial.
  3. Both authors have exceptional expertise in marketing automation and inbound marketing. 
  4. Unlike many other books that scatter their functional perspectives across many marketing objectives, this one is focused and organized around B2B lead generation. 

What keeps the book, however, from qualifying as a primary text for MBA social media courses is the following.

  1. The book lacks a strategic perspective suitable to enterprise-wide implementation.   
  2. As a 2012 release, some topics like storytelling, mobile marketing, visual intensity are somewhat outdated. 
  3. The book does not lend itself well to critical thinking exercises. It tends to be more tactical in nature. Strategically insightful case studies would have been helpful.

Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book

Category: Recommended supplementary reading for undergraduate social media marketing or social selling. 

Social media book evaluation

Evaluation of The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar as top social media book

So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.