There are plenty of articles online about Marketing but they fail to give you total overview of the marketing landscape like a book can. We reached out to some marketers working in the trenches and asked what their favorite marketing book. Here is what they have to say.
Chris Sloane, Heaviside Digital
Book recommended: Breakthrough Advertising
My favorite marketing book has to be Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. There are a ton of copywriting books out there, and copywriting courses, but this is the original and still the greatest.
The hardest marketing skill to truly master is sales copywriting and hiring for it is very, very difficult. Even then, there is no voice better for your brand than yours, and so it’s a task that should be at the top of every serious brand owner’s list.
This book breaks it all down. From identifying the right way to grab attention with the headline to guiding your prospects to identify with your product to gaining their trust, confidence, and ultimately belief through carefully crafted copy. It’s densely packed with actionable advice and tactics, and you’ll go back to it over and over again to learn more. Amazing book from a true copywriting master. It’s expensive, and worth every penny.
Amanda Thomas, Konstruct Digital
Book recommended: Stop Listening to the Customer
One book that really caught my attention lately was “Stop Listening to the Customer”. Despite using a bit of a click-baitey title, there is some resonance of truth in pushing back on the old “the customer is always right” adage. Infact, customers don’t always know why they make the decisions they do or what would best persuade them.
The customer perspective is largely hinged on their experience with other similar brands. Their expectations are often framed in the context of what they’ve experienced before. Additionally, customers are inherently terrible at properly attributing the reasons why they make decisions.
While it is important to understand customer pain points, guiding your brand based on customer input is a fast way to blend in to brand mediocrity and just start looking like everyone else.
Giving your brand a unique voice and the ability to stand out from the clutter takes courage and is trending towards a lost art. Embrace your differences and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Matthew Dobinson, Expert Cog
Book recommended: Permission Marketing
My favorite marketing book is definitely Permission Marketing by Seth Godin and I would tell any aspiring marketer that it is required reading if you want a successful career in marketing. Not only will you get an in-depth analysis on the importance of Inbound Marketing strategy but you will also get an excellent explanation of the principles that should be part of your inbound strategy.
I really admire Godin as a marketer, he has quite rightfully come to the forefront of marketing mentors in the information age. Another benefit you gain from reading Godin’s work is after you read it you will be able to quite accurately tell this difference between a value adding marketing mentor and a marketing guru who aims to rip people off by selling courses.
If you read this book, you will almost certainly understand the important concept of the progressive relationships between consumers and brands.
Wyatt Mayham, Mayham Ventures
Book recommended: How to Win friends and influence people
My favorite marketing book isn’t a typical marketing book. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie not only changed the way I approach relationships and communicate, but it also changed the way I market to people. Carnegie’s timeless book provides insight to the psychology of human perception and response, and teaches readers how to connect with people on a personal level.
Understanding basic human behavior and psychology is a unique and worthwhile skill for marketing because we can’t reach people effectively if we’re unwilling to understand their needs. From Carnegie’s book, I’ve developed simple principles such as don’t overengineer your message and stop talking about features of your product. Talk to people like your friend. After all, we’re all trying to connect with people.
Kevin Dam, Aemorph.com
Book recommended: Brain Rules
Brain Rules Book by John Medina. This is one of the first books I read about marketing and psychology and got me hooked after I decided to leave the finance world.
It gives insights into how the brain works and how our brains work, how to market and communicate with people, and why things work the way they do. If you’re looking to get into marketing and understand the fundamentals, this book is the best place to start.
Joe Davies, FATJOE
Book recommended: Purple Cow
My favourite marketing book is an oldie but goldie – Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. This book goes into detail about the importance of being ‘different’.
A purple cow amongst normal cows really stands out. Something you’d stop the car for. The message in the book is to be a ‘purple cow’ in your industry or sector. You should strive to be the company that stands out, so people stop, look, listen and ultimately buy from you. Being a Purple Cow is something we’ve followed in our business right from our Brand name, marketing and the way we handle customer support.
I’d recommend this book to anyone with a business or looking to start a business because it will really change the way you think about your marketing, your message, and your product. How can you be the Purple Cow in your industry? Read this book, and read it again, you won’t regret it!
Tom De Spiegelaere, Search District
Book recommended: Company of One
Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business – by Paul Jarvis
This book doesn’t work for all business types, but it works incredible well for what I do. Rather than focus on non-stop growth, put your attention on streamlining the process itself and question every potential new layer of complexity you’re wanting to add to the business.
Staying smaller but more efficient can make you very resilient if your market is going through turbulence. Minimise overhead where possible and make sure every cost, every feature, every hour worked delivers on what it should.
If you’re serving customers for example, or have clients… focus on getting better clients, rather than more clients. Focusing on better clients will reduce churn-rate, and usually require less support/time from your end (or your support team), which in turn means you can work with a smaller support team (less costs) and don’t need a constant stream of new clients coming in to replace the ones that drop off (marketing costs less).
The book is basically about questioning growth, and it’s the antidote to the “hustle 24/7 and 10X everything” culture.
Michel Costin, Local Digital
Book recommended: The Art of the Click
My favourite marketing book is The Art of the Click by Glenn Fisher. This book deals with all of the key principles of sales copywriting, which is an essential skill that all marketers should be working on.
Lets face it, many marketing books can be dry – this book delivers the content in a humorous manner, which makes it easier to digest. It’s a great read for anyone new to sales copywriting and the stuff covered in it is applicable to social media buyers, Google Ads consultants, SEO consultants and more general marketing strategists.
Jordan Choo, Kogneta
Book recommended: Lean Startup
Lean Startup by Eric Ries – The book changed the way I fundamentally approach marketing campaigns. It’s allowed me to understand how to test various different channels without investing thousands of dollars into something that may or may not work.
Corina Leslie, ZeroBounce
Book recommended: Ogilvy on Advertising
“I’d have to choose ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ for there’s no other book that has given me more direct and useful advice on creating effective content. That says a lot about the place David Ogilvy holds in marketing, considering the overwhelming number of books that have been written only since he passed away.
While a great lover of research, Ogilvy was all about practicality and results. He never wasted time on theories but instead, showed you what to do – and how to it – to become a successful marketer.
In this book, he based his actionable tips on extensive research on human behavior, using data that still stands today. You’ll learn why certain strategies work while others fall flat, and how the smallest details, such as the layout of your campaign, can make a difference in your outcome.
‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ is a tremendous resource – go get it today. And if you want to learn more about Ogilvy, consider reading ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man” as well. In fact, find everything Ogilvy ever wrote or said, including his interviews on YouTube, and start applying it to your communication. Your boss will be happy with the results.”
Deepak Shukla, Pearl Lemon
Book recommended: Epic Content Marketing
Joe Pulizzi- Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less. Joe is an expert in the field, so reading his content gives a boost to the authority behind the words.
This is a brilliant guide with six main insights to content marketing. This book has highly actionable steps in regards to how to best identify and define your niche, outlining the content creation process, and how to best tie in social media with your overall content plan. Reinforcing your content needed to be engaging, solve the relevant problem, and avoid the traditional sales pitch approach are great key points.
There is a main point at having engaging content that sparks interest in your target audience rather than being another part of the overwhelming onslaught of ads and aggressive marketing approaches. Reading this publishing by Joe is a must for content writers and content marketers.
Chris Porteous, My SEO Sucks
Book recommended: Digital Marketing 2020
Digital marketing is such a broad subject, and in my experience, sometimes it’s pretty challenging for many businesses to pick which digital marketing approach works best for their business.
For me, Danny Star’s Digital Marketing 2020 does a good job of tackling different subjects like eCommerce, social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, online/web advertising, Amazon, and many more, by offering tips for both beginners and advanced digital marketers, while also providing insights on the advantages and disadvantages of various digital marketing approaches.
In his book, Star doesn’t only cover a wide range of digital marketing topics, but also obviously draws from his own experience as an entrepreneur himself, while also sharing lessons he learned from working for various clients in different industries.
While I believe that digital marketing will always continue to evolve in the future, it is good knowing that a book like Danny Star’s Digital Marketing book is there to offer proven methods that one can always revisit time and time again.
Dan Christensen, Morningdove Marketing
Book recommended: Oversubscribed
I have many marketing books that changed the way I see opportunities and carry out campaigns, but one stands out above the rest: Oversubscribed, by Daniel Priestly.
Focusing on things that pretty much anyone can apply, he goes through the maths needed to make however much money you’d like to bring in. Then he teaches how to build a model around that, complete with practical ideas for campaigns, examples, and the fundamentals that will ensure a good outcome.
I’ve used his ideas in a number of different businesses, and I’m always surprised that they work as well as they do!
Mathew Kay, Consultant at Matthew Kay
Book recommended: The E-myth Revisited