3 Must-Read Account-Based Marketing eBooks Reviewed

account-based-marketing-ebooksAs Scott Vaughan stated, “Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is all the rage as organizations increasingly deploy strategies to focus on individual companies that are the best fit for their solutions and services.”

With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to briefly review three eBooks published by technology vendors leading the account-based marketing space.

“Account-Based Marketing: The Key to B2B Success”

Published by DemandBase; written by Mathew Sweezey, Marketing Evangelist for Salesforce.com:

https://www.demandbase.com/ebook/account-based-marketing-the-key-to-b2b-success/

What I liked:

  • Really good high-level introduction for marketers who may be a bit new to the B2B marketing game.

  • It gets right to the instructional tips (which can also be a bad thing if the reader isn’t yet sold on the topic of ABM…fortunately I am).

  • Several case-study vignettes provide context and substantiate arguments with social proof.

What I would’ve liked:

  • More content regarding the value of ABM and how exactly it benefits marketers rather than just listing the typical marketing tech platitudes: greater marketing efficiency, more sales wins, and increased company revenue.

  • Some survey stats to validate general ABM values would’ve been welcomed as well.

Best insight:

Measure your baseline before getting started with ABM.

“That way, you’ll get a sense of how your current marketing efforts are working to engage your target accounts. This [is] different than simply measuring how individuals engage on your site. Namely, it truly provides insight into the ways that marketing efforts directly link to conversions and sales.”

This is true with any new marketing initiative, but particularly useful when it comes to an effort with impact as wide-ranging as ABM, which can affect all marketing channels.

“The New State of Account-Based Marketing”

Published by LeanData:

http://info.leandatainc.com/TheNewStateofAccount-BasedMarketing-Registration

What I liked:

  • Far more comprehensive than the DemandBase guide, which means more insight on ABM practices, but also requires more time to read (but it’s worth it).

  • The eBook’s key arguments are backed up by statistical evidence…which as we all know, isn’t exactly the standard in marketing content.

  • Really well-written and has a clean design (which isn’t too important, but I appreciate it).

What I would’ve liked:

  • A few actionable tips about how marketers can get started with an ABM strategy (the DemandBase guide is better in this regard, though the benefits of ABM are more persuasively argued in the LeanData eBook).

Best insight:

Evaluating whether ABM is the right strategy for your company.

“Take a hard look at your business model. Are you a high-volume SaaS solution company? If so, you probably would benefit more from targeted lead marketing strategy. But if that same business is seeking to chart a different course by having top-tier sales reps focus solely on large enterprise accounts, ABM absolutely will have value.”

Just because account-based marketing is hot right now, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

“Predictive Playbook: Account-based Marketing”

Published by Lattice Engines:

http://pages.lattice-engines.com/account-based-marketing.html

What I liked:

  • From the outset, this eBook takes a structural approach to defining exactly what ABM is and how it can be used in various ways for customers, inbound leads and outbound targets – very useful.

  • It highlights the value of predictive analytics in implementing an ABM program (not exactly surprising being that Lattice Engines is a predictive analytics firm, but helpful nonetheless).

  • Even more than the DemandBase eBook, it includes a lot of prescriptive advice for getting started on an ABM initiative.

What I would’ve liked:

  • A table of content and perhaps better organization – the eBook jumps around a lot from subject to subject.

  • More stats that substantiate claims of predictive analytics’ impact on ABM. I mean it’s pretty clear and logical that it would have a great effect. It would be nice, however, to see the extent of this impact as opposed to ABM without predictive analytics in place.

Best insight:

Unlike the other two eBooks, Lattice Engines devotes a section to common ABM challenges. Here’s one challenge for example:

“GOING AFTER A ‘DREAM’ LIST

The sales team creates a list of target accounts, largely based on company names reps would love to call “big wins”. Without basing this list on meaningful attributes – such as whether the accounts are faced with a challenge your organization can solve – sales is unable to focus on the accounts most likely to buy your products or services.”

Of course, the eBook’s solution to this problem is predictive analytics.                   

Another great feature of Lattice’s eBook is a slide titled, “How to Measure Success.” Neither of the other two eBooks focus much on common metrics that help identify what’s working and what’s failing in an ABM strategy.

Each of these works has great value. If you’re new to ABM (and B2B marketing in general), you’ll want to read the DemandBase eBook first – it’s a great intro. If you’ve been in B2B marketing game a while but want to learn about ABM at a more specific level, go right to the other two eBooks (LeanData and Lattice Engines), which are actually pretty complementary of one another.

 

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