Adam begins the book with a wake-up call:
"Modern B2B demand generation is failing. Seriously."
And in many ways he's right. Everything has changed, but marketers haven't kept up. Even if we buy marketing automation, which he recommends (as do I), the technology won't help if marketers don't develop the skills to create the processes, content and programs that Buyer 2.0 needs to make buying decisions today.
Yes, many marketers know this. What isn't as crystal clear is how we got into this mess and, better yet, how we get out of it with grace. As Ann Handley sums it up, "Dear B2B Marketer: Your world is changing, and here's the field guide that shows you precisely how to adapt."
Balancing the Demand Equation does a terrific job of cutting through the noise to present a view of how buyers have changed. He calls this Buyer 2.0 and does a great job of explaining just why and how the power has shifted from sellers to buyers.
In making the case for buying-process fundamentals as a constant that marketers must embrace, he writes:
"We've seen substantial transformation in the 'how, when and where' B2B buyers are getting their buying-cycle questions answered - particularly an increasing shift to online content. But Buyer 2.0 is still asking largely the same questions that have been asked for decades, and moving through the same buying stages."
Then he builds on those changes to present a framework for marketing that you can use to support your efforts to build the kind of relationships with buyers that helps them to become customers - and keep up the pace required over the longer term of a complex buying process.
Adam also makes a great connection between lead management and content marketing:
"Whereas content marketing helps us engage with and drive content-based 'dialogue' with B2B buyers - adding value to their buying process - the dialogue needs to be two-way. At the same time...we also need to have a sense of how we're doing and whether we're moving the needle - listening to them. Lead management is our mechanism for listening to and acting on the buyer's potential and intent."
The simplicity of his approach is admirable.
- We're not really connecting with buyers, or supporting their buying process, in a value-added fashion.
- We're not really building a foundation for continuous and long-term relationship with buyers.
The Solution he presents as a "dual attack:"
- Focus on the buyer
- Adopting an operations mindset
In fact, the book is presented in two parts - what the problem is and how it came to be followed by the framework you can put into play to resolve the problem for the best possible outcome.
I agree whole heartedly! Adam has done a great job in making this book useful. It's both strategic enough to help you think through the issues and tactical enough to help you actually do sometihing meaningful to address them.