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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.