Update (12/21/2017): New books with added topics including creative design and a bonus book that should be on everyone’s must-read list.
We’re getting down to the wire for holiday shopping. Don’t be the person who has to say “I swear I got you a present, it just hasn’t been delivered yet.”
It’s not always easy picking out a gift for someone, so, why not give a gift that has multiple benefits: gain knowledge, introduces them to new ideas, sparks their interest in others parts of marketing, and honestly…it’s easy to wrap.
Consider this your one stop shop for which book to get your favorite B2B marketers for the holidays.
I’ve broken down what books are the must-haves based on the type of marketing. Use this guide to make sure your family and friends are getting the best knowledge out there, in the industry they love.
For the Email Marketer in your life…
The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, by DJ Waldow and Jason Falls
This is essentially the rule book for email marketing. If you need to know how to get started in email marketing, key concepts, or how to refresh your campaigns, this book does that and more! These guys take a different approach to explaining the dos and don’ts of email marketing and really hit all of the key points on what to focus on to become successful.
Email marketing is key for keeping customers engaged and informed, as well as reaching potential new customers with content tailored towards their buying stage. With the majority of the country owning and having constant access to email (75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices!) there’s a huge opportunity to utilize email to promote your business.
The best thing about The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing is that it’s refreshing to read a realistic book about how you can improve your processes, with actionable tips and examples to draw inspiration. Waldow and Falls understand that times have changed and you can have fun with your content. People don’t want boring! Time is money, and if you want a prospect or current customer to take the time to read your emails, you need to make it worthwhile.
For the Social Media obsessed friend…
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk
We live in a time where social media is imbedded in our day to day lives. Given that we are connected all day long, it means there’s an unlimited way to create awareness for your business, so put your social media marketing skills to the test.
Social media can be your best friend, or your worst enemy if you don’t personalize it to best fit your business. You should always keep your audience in mind and what they want to read/see. Gary Vaynerchuk addresses the fact that with so many options out there, it can be hard to have your voice heard.
An important thought to remember is that picking what social media platforms you are on is key. It’s better to reach your audience on profiles they actually use, than to be slowed down trying to maintain 20 different profiles. If you are looking to improve current strategies, Vaynerchuk guides you to the best ways to turn social media into to sales results.
For the Brand Marketer who’s daring to be different…
This book is for anyone who needs a guide to build a successful brand. Brand identity is essential for every business because it connects all aspects of business development including brand strategy, selling propositions, storytelling, and more.
Gregory V. Diehl explains that the goal of brand marketing is for your business to tell a consistent story at any stage. From a small business intern to the head of a marketing department, anyone can learn from this pick. Add it to your cart too if you’re interested in multiple case studies that provide a unique use of brand identity and how to apply these aspects to your business.
Contagious, by Jonah Berger
Do you ever wonder where an idea starts, or how it spreads so quickly? This book examines how to start trends and get customers interested in an idea or product. Berger focuses on the “viral” effect successful marketing campaigns can have and what you need to do to revamp your thinking.
This is one of the most popular books that marketers recommend when people ask for book suggestions, and you can tell why. Berger knocks it out of the park when helping people understand the power of brand marketing. With real-world examples and analysis of “contagious” campaigns, you can’t help but draw inspiration from a $100 cheesesteak or the Trojan Horse.
For the Lead Generation Genius who has everything…
Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook That Drives B2B Sales, by Samantha Stone
This book is perfect for the“genius” who still wants to learn how to work with a sales team and focus on the partnership that should be formed. The link between sales and marketing can be tough to manage and this book outlines best practices for having a successful sales and marketing team relationship.
Samantha Stone keeps things realistic and fresh with her view on how changes and progress are made. She emphasizes how change doesn’t happen overnight, and team relationships take time to grow. Stone’s use of strategy and case study examples bring light to any person on your list to find an easier way to make their marketing plan actionable.
You can generate leads from a wide variety of channels, but how do you know what’s working best? What’s the best lead source for your business?
Lead generation is such a broad topic because it encompasses so many different parts of the marketing process. Scott talks about a variety of successful tactics that result in quality leads. What I love about this book is that it also dives into testing new approaches, without breaking the bank, and how to make sure you are getting the best results i.e. quality and quantity.
For the Graphic Designer in need of inspiration…
Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences, by Stephen P. Anderson
Need something for that creative coworker or friend? Stephen P. Anderson focuses on the impact design has on business and user experience. He incorporates topics ranging from consumer behavior to the subtle art of seduction. Anderson argues that design impacts and motivates buyers to act on our websites and stay engaged. When your website has no appeal you risk losing a potential sale within seconds.
Anderson hits all the key points of the importance of aesthetics and how psychology can impact a buyer’s decision. If you’re looking for a guide to revamp your design strategy or make small tweaks to your site, this should be your go-to.
For the Content Marketer looking for fresh ideas…
Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley
Despite the boom in gifs, snaps, and abbrevs, you can’t accomplish a great marketing strategy without unique, interesting content. Catching someone’s interest to read your content can be pretty tough, especially in such a fast paced world. And keeping them interested is even harder!
Content writing can really make or break all of your marketing campaigns if the voice is wrong or you don’t understand your audience. Handley brings together the main concepts of the art of writing, how it pertains to marketing, and the fundamentals of being a successful writer. She eloquently shows how to tell a story and direct your content toward the audience you are trying to reach. Handley will help you take your content writing to the next level by showing you best practices, what people want to read, and writing techniques tailored for business.
Capterra Marketing Team Pick…
The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
Getting people to believe in what you’re selling is a constant struggle every business faces. Taking a regular person and turning them into a brand advocate is the goal when it comes to customer acquisition. But how do you turn a small idea into a way of life?
When creating your company image and brand you have the opportunity to get people to think outside the box and change their lifestyle. Gladwell opens your eyes to a new way of thinking and explaining the “tipping point phenomenon.” He also talks about how ideas, products, and behaviors have the ability to spread like viruses do. If you don’t believe our marketing team, this book is on Amazon’s #1 best seller list, so there’s your answer!
Bonus: For the Marketer who’s looking to perfect their work-life balance…
Principles: Life and Work, by Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio breaks down his experiences as a successful investor and entrepreneur and what it took for him to get there. His unique approach to how businesses should run and how feedback is shared is cutting-edge and innovative, while also sharing practical lessons for any business.
Dalio focuses not only on his business life, but also his personal life and how he maintains success in both. His “straightforward approach to decision-making” can be applied to life at home and work making it a great gift for someone who’s working on shifting their scales.
There are so many great books for marketing, but hopefully this list narrows down some of the best to make your gift receiver happy! Keeping up to date on terms and trends not only helps your career, but sheds some light on new topics that might peak your interest.
Did we feature one of your favorite books? What others would you recommend to the B2B marketers in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.