I recently picked up Ardath Albee’s eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale (Amazon affiliate link).I really liked this book as I thought it presented a clear strategy for using eMarketing tools to attract prospects and nurture them as they progress through the buying cycle. Ardath also presents a practical framework that business can use to model their customer, create relevant content, and map that content to the needs of prospects – and this is important – based on where they are in the buying cycle.
This is one of the few books that is going to get moved from my “read” to my “study” pile. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. I will be incorporating many of the ideas in Ardath’s book into my business and I’m sure I will be blogging about how to apply many of the concepts she outlines in a professional service firm setting.
Here is a quick summary of what you will find in the book:
The first part of this book, eMarketing Essentials, speaks to the opportunities and benefits of eMarketing. It lays a nice foundation for the role of eMarketing in changing world of B2B marketing.
Part 2 of the book, Customer Consensus, begins the discussion of using persona’s to understand your customers and the buying process. While I thought the material about creating persona’s was a little light (to be fair, persona’s development could be an entire book), I found the sections on creating a buyer synopsis and the buying process to be excellent. Understanding the buyer process and the information a buyer needs in each stage of that process was my key take away from this book.
Natural Nurturing, is essential to marketing for complex sales. Depending on the nature of the purchase, a great deal of time can pass between the time a prospect first discovers you and when they make their purchase. Chapter 8 outlines a framework to use to assemble a natural nurturing track.
The fourth section of the book, Contagious Content, outlines the ingredients need to create marketing content that is relevant to your prospects and will differentiate you from your competitors by focusing on the needs of your prospects relative to where they are in their buying process.
In Persistent Progression (part 5), Ardath explains how to create content that keeps prospects and customers moving along the buying process. This section also contains a nice discussion about what marketing can do to help sales people close the deal when they hand off a prospect to sales.
Part 6, Meaningful Metrics, wraps up with a discussion of quantifying marketing results, measuring the value delivered by marketing to sales, and how to listen and use dialogue to continually improve your marketing efforts.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant