Skip to content

December 22, 2014

7 Ass-Kicking ‘Awesome’ Digital Marketing Ebooks of 2014

by Tom De Baere

book - Mary(n_n)West on FlickrCatching the attention of  buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.

Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.

In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?

What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.

Not all of them are of the same quality.

But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.

In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.

With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).

* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.

1. The definitive guide to lead generation (Marketo)

The definitive guide to lead generation - Marketo

Click on the image to go to the download page of this ebook.

ebook - the definitive guide to lead generation - image example

Image example from the ebook “The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation” form Marketo

If you are unfamiliar with the definitive guides of Marketo, you should definitely ;-) check them out. One of my favorites is the one on lead generation.

In a whopping 160 pages they  cover all practical aspects of:

  • content marketing,
  • blogging,
  • website and SEO,
  • social media,
  • online advertising,
  • email marketing, 
  • lead nurturing and lead scoring,
  • testing and optimization etc.

It is an absolute drop-dead, jaw-dropping, must-read piece of work, even if you are not into marketing automation. 

 

 

 

2. The Alchemy of Content (Comblu)

Ebook - The Alchemy of Content - Comblue

Click on the image to go to the download page of the ebook.

Ebook - The Alchemy of Content - image example

Image example from the ebook “The Alchemy of Content” From Comblu

Comblu is a company you might not have heard of. I have been following them for a while now, and regularly they produce some ‘golden nuggets’ in the gold-diggers land of avid ebook collectors like me.

Their latest ebook, named ’The Alchemy of Content’ contains
  • a framework for tackling the content publishing challenge,
  • best ways to organize content creation and distribution
  • how to create regular high quality content
  • How to calculate your Content ROI,

This is definitely a hidden golden nugget, and you should definitely check it out.

 

 

 

3. The Content Marketing Software Landscape (Altimeter)

Ebook - The Content Marketing Software Landscape - from Altimeter

Click on the image to go to the download page of the ebook.

Digital marketing is such a wide domain. It deals with all aspects of how paid, owned and earned media are handled in the digital space. That ranges from audience targeting, analytics, creation, distribution, curation & aggregation, optimization, etc.

At the core of digital marketing, at the core of your media mix,  you have content. But content marketing is a complex discipline that fuels this mix, which digital marketers use to be found, engage and convert buyers in the digital space.

Tools exist to guide this complex process of fueling paid, owned and earned media, aligning it with the business objectives, aligning it with buyer personas, etc.

In this brilliant ebook of Altimeter, they describe current landscape of content marketing tools.

It’s interesting because:

ebook - the content marketing software landscape - image example

Image example from the ebook “The content marketing software landcape” from Altimeter

  • Their vision of how “content stacks” (end-to-end solutions) will emerge in the marketplace.
  • Provides a good overview of all aspects that come into play when doing content marketing.
  • A content marketing needs checklist
  • Content tool best practices
  • The present and future vendor landscape
  • Individual vendor capabilities comparison table.

Get your hands on this excellent insight into content marketing tools, today and in the future.

 

 

 

4. A new brand of marketing (Chiefmartec)

ebook - A new brand of marketing - from Scott Brinker

Click on the image to go to the download page.

O boy, do I just love this one!

This is an absolute must-read of one of my favorite “marketing rock-stars” out there. Scott Brinker is the author of this eye-opening ebook on the big ‘mothership’ trends that are transforming marketing as we know it.

ebook - A new brand of marketing - from Scott Brinker - image example

image example

The massive disruption happening in buying behavior of consumers and business, caused by the current advertisement blindness, content overload, and new digital and social media connections, is rocking the stable boat of marketing.

In an absolutely clear, concise and well written manner he describes why marketing is transforming from:

  • traditional to digital,
  • to converged media,
  • to inbound,
  • to experiences,
  • to data,
  • to agile
  • and to in-house marketing.

If you need to read any of these ebooks, I’d recommend you start with this one.

 

5. The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing (CEB and Google)

Ebook - The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing - from CEB and Google

Click on the image to go to the download page.

B2B marketers across industries are investing in building out digital infrastructure and capabilities, exceeding 15% of the total budget, with some large organizations claiming to invest more than 50% of marketing budget in digital programs.

CEB is a leading member-based advisory company, based in the US. They collect best practices from their members, do advanced research and analytics, and once in a while they produce content pillars like this ebook on “The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing”.

Ebook - The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing - from CEB and Google - image example

The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing – from CEB and Google – image example

This ebook focuses on B2B organizations that have progressed toward consolidating and deepening expertise on key digital tactics and responsibilities. The interesting part of this ebook is that is provides several models and best practices on how you can mature your organization:

  • How to integrate digital tactics into all marketing activities
  • Management frameworks for continuous collaboration, integrated campaign planning, standardization of campaign architectures
  • Central demand generation team models
  • 3 models for managing content production (campaign, coverage, activation)

Although more abstract, and more focused to larger B2B organizations, definitely worthwhile reading. I am sure it will spark some inspiration on how to improve your current digital marketing.

6. Marketer’s guide to sales enablement (Kapost)

ebook - Marketer’s guide to sales enablement - from Kapost

Click on the image to go to the download page

Buying behavior is changing.  Customers used to rely on information from sales people to make purchase decisions. Those days are over. More and more of the buying process is shifting to online. Buyers research, evaluate their options, and then reach out to vendors. Sales people only come into play when the short list is already made.

Sales people are confronted with highly educated buyers that have found plenty of resources online to guide them in the buying process.
This independence of buyers is changing how sales and marketing work together. Unfortunately many organizations do not realize yet they have to change. They do not realize they need strategically design content, built and distributed to targeted prospects during buyers’ self-guided education.
Kapost has written a great overview ebook that covers all aspects of what has to change in sales and marketing:
  • what technology to use
  • how to organize and align internally between marketing and sales
  • what processes to use
  • how to measure and use data
  • and they even included a worksheet to help you build your plan.

Don’t be fooled by the great layout incorrectly trying to mask the lack of quality; this ebook is packed with wisdom and best practices. Every marketing and sales managers should read this!

7. The Ultimate guide to conversion centered design (Unbounce)

The Ultimate guide to conversion centered design - from Unbounce

Click on the image to go to the download page of the ebook.

For a digital marketer, conversion means convincing a visitor to do one thing and one thing only. Not one of many things, not accomplishing it in under seven seconds, not successfully navigating from one point to another — just completing a single business-driven objective.

Unbounce is a DIY landing page platform for marketers. In this 68 page-long ebook they show they know their stuff when it comes to conversion centered design and the critical role that psychology plays:

ebook - The Ultimate guide to conversion centered design - from Unbounce - image example

ebook – The Ultimate guide to conversion centered design – from Unbounce – image example

  • conversion centered design vs. user centered design
  • principles of conversion centered design
  • CTA design & page placement
  • persuasive copywriting
  • A/B testing design
  • design of mobile conversion
  • conversion-based page templates

This is a very visual ebook, packed with numerous tips-n-tricks, examples and best practices. If you are looking for a full guide on conversion centered design, this is the one!

Want more?

There you have it. 7 ebooks that impressed me in 2014.

If you want to get more of these “best-of-the-web”, just subscribe to this blog and I’ll keep you up-to-date!

Warm regards,

Tom De Baere

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.