Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided at no charge by the authors
Think Outside the Inbox was written by David Cummings (@david_cummings) and Adam Blitzer (@AdamBlitzer), both of Marketing Automation platform vendor Pardot.
In seven easy to read and understand chapters, this book is a very satisfactory primer on what Marketing Automation is all about and The Marketing Consigliere recommends that you get a copy. There are many solid lessons that you need to read and digest from it. The first thing that jumped out was their sharing of the Sirius Decisions study finding the the average B2B sales cycle is 22% longer than it was five years ago. The point is with a more both a more fluid buying process and selling process, where players come and go as if on the stage of a play, you need to institutionalize control of the process so as not to lose information as the actors “exit stage right.”
One statement early in the book that really catches attention is about acquiring a Marketing Automation platform without having a CRM system in place. At first, even the Marketing Consigliere thought that this was counterintuitive – first you implement a CRM, then “overlay” the Marketing Automation on top of it as a greater, but more precise augmentation. If you think about it, the authors are correct. Many Marketing Automation platforms have the capability to manage leads without the far reaching functionality of a CRM platform. One could also say that you should indeed get the Marketing Automation platform first, then once you’ve achieved success in increasing the number of qualified and converted leads, then you can justify the expense of a CRM system.
With good tips on creating email messages and then analyzing their effectiveness, the book also does a good job explaining how to “court” your customers, using the concept of Match.com for dating. Face it, as individuals, we cannot be “everything” to “everybody:” Companies are the same way. Know what needs your can satisfy and find the customers who have those needs. Believe it or not, not all customers have the same needs no matter how wonderful your product or service is.
As The Marketing Consigliere was reading this book he took “yellow stickies” and placed them on pages where he thought there were very good ideas to blog about. Well since it’s only a 155-page book, and there were almost as many yellow sticky marking the pages, it doesn’t make sense for a blog about a book to be longer than the book! This is a good one to put in your professional library.