Books Every Marketing Professional Should Read

Reading is a great way to relax and learn new things. It is an easy and efficient way to incorporate continuous learning and self-development into your life. Here are some well curated lists of marketing books.


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

- Robert B. Cialdini

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations. You will learn the six universal principles of influence which are as follows:

  • Reciprocation:The internal pull to repay what another person has provided us.
  • Commitment and Consistency:Once we make a choice or take a stand, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions.
  • Social Proof:When we are unsure, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more, people undertaking that action, the more we consider that action correct.
  • Liking:The propensity to agree with people we like and, just as important, the propensity for others to agree with us, if we like them.
  • Authority:We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise.
  • Scarcity:We want more of what is less available or dwindling in availability.

Understanding and applying the six principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behavior of others.


Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

- Gary Vaynerchuk

New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.


Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.


Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

- Seth Godin

Cows, after you’ve seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though…now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable.

Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows – but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow. And it’s not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service.

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.


Contagious: Why Things Catch On

- Jonah Berger

In Contagious, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious provides specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share.


The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

- Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The One Thing explains the success habit to overcome the six lies that block our success, beat the seven thieves that steal time, and leverage the laws of purpose, priority, and productivity.

In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to

  • Cut through the clutter
  • Achieve better results in less time
  • Build momentum toward your goal
  • Dial down the stress
  • Overcome that overwhelmed feeling
  • Revive your energy
  • Stay on track
  • Master what matters to you


The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand

- Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

Attention is the new commodity. Visual Storytelling is the new currency. The Power of Visual Storytelling explains how to grow your business and strengthen your brand by leveraging photos, videos, infographics, presentations, and other rich media. The book delivers a powerful road map for getting started, while inspiring new levels of creativity within organizations of all types and sizes.


Think and Grow Rich

- Napoleon Hill

Think And Grow Rich is a book that aims to show you just how you can condition your thinking, to think like the rich. This is what the author believes will help you get rich as well.

After interviewing over 500 influential rich men and women, the author has been able to get a good understanding of just how the rich became that way. Through thirteen simple rules that are offered in this book, you are shown just how you can train your mind to think like the rich, which will eventually lead you to riches as well.

The list of people who have benefited from Hill’s theories include Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates, among many others.


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

- Jay Baer

To win attention these days you must ask a different question: “How can we help?” Jay Baer’s utility offers a new approach that cuts through the clutter, marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

Drawing from real examples of companies who are practicing utility as well as his experience helping more than seven hundred brands improve their marketing strategy, Baer provides a groundbreaking plan for using information and helpfulness to transform the relationship between companies and customers.


The Content Formula: Calculate the ROI of Content Marketing and Never Waste Money Again

- Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor

The Content Formula answers the biggest question currently on marketer’s minds: what is the ROI of content marketing? This book provides a step by step guide for marketers, and is divided into three parts:

  • How to build the business case for content marketing
  • How to find the budget to establish a new content marketing program
  • How to measure content marketing success in business terms

The Content Formula establishes a way for marketers to prove the exact return on investment they get from content marketing, highlighting its usefulness in any marketer’s toolbox.


They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer

- Marcus Sheridan

Content marketing is no longer about keyword-stuffing and link-building; in fact, using those tactics today gets your page shuffled to the bottom of the heap. Quality content is the key to success, and you already have the ingredients in-house. This book shows you how to structure an effective content strategy using the same proven principles that have revolutionized marketing for all types of businesses, across industries. They Ask You Answer describes a fresh approach to marketing and the beginning of big things for your business.


Marketing Officers at Work

- Josh Steimle

Read 29 in-depth, candid interviews with people holding the top marketing roles within their organizations. Interviewees include CMOs and other top marketers from established companies and organizations―such as Linda Boff of GE, Jeff Jones of Target, and Kenny Brian of the Harvard Business School―to startups―such as Matt Price of Zendesk, Seth Farbman of Spotify, and Heather Zynczak of Domo.

Chief Marketing Officers at Work:

  • Tells how CMOs and other top marketers from leading corporations, nonprofits, government entities, and startups got to where they are today, what their jobs entail, and the skills they use to thrive in their roles.
  • Shows how top marketing executives continuously adapt to changes in technology, language, and culture that have an impact on their jobs.
  • Locates where the boundaries between role of CMOs and the roles of CEOs, CTOs, and COOs are blurring.
  • Explores how the CMO decisions are now driven by data rather than gut feelings.

The current realities in marketing are clearly revealed in this book as interviewees discuss the challenges of their jobs and share their visions and techniques for breaking down silos, working with other departments, and following the data. These no-holds-barred interviews will be of great interest to all those who interact with marketing departments, including other C-level executives, managers, and other professionals at any level within the organization.


More Is More: How the Best Companies Go Farther and Work Harder to Create Knock-Your-Socks-Off Customer Experiences

- Blake Morgan

Companies that embrace a “more is more” philosophy work harder and go further to ensure that their customers have a positive experience: they do this through customer-focused strategies and leadership, via operations, policies, and procedures that consider how the customer will fare in every scenario.  

Customer experience guru Blake Morgan walks you through the D.O.M.O.R.E. concepts that set businesses up for success by emphasizing the importance of relationships. Companies that do more:

  • Design something special
  • Offer a strong employee experience
  • Modernize with technology
  • Obsess over the customer
  • Reward responsibility and accountability
  • Embrace disruption and innovation

More Is More offers practical advice for building or improving customer experience that you can apply immediately at your own organization.


The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies for Igniting Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business

- Mark W.Schaefer

The book dives deeply into the true value of social media marketing and the steps companies need to enable to achieve measurable results. A pioneering book that explores the psychology of sharing, it is also highly practical, offering hundreds of ideas that can be used by organizations of any size and any budget.

Book highlights include in-depth explorations on the connection between brand and content transmission, a focus on audiences that will move content, practical steps to build “shareability” into all your content, and the new role of promotion, distribution and SEO in a very competitive, digital world. Unlock your business value, unleash your audience, and uncover the six digital secrets of The Content Code.


Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

- Jay Conrad Levinson

When Guerrilla Marketing was first published in 1983, Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients.

Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it. Levinson offers a new arsenal of weaponry for small-business success including:

  • Strategies for marketing on the Internet (explaining when and precisely how to use it)
  • Tips for using new technology, such as podcasting and automated marketing
  • Programs for targeting prospects and cultivating repeat and referral business
  • Management lessons in the age of telecommuting and freelance employees

Guerrilla Marketing is the entrepreneur’s marketing bible and the book every small-business owner should have on his or her shelf.

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