If you’re looking to further your career or learn more about your industry, there’s no better place to start than by reading books written by other experts in your field. The sheer volume of options can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure which topic you’d like to read about.
That’s why we’ve compiled the top book recommendations from marketing professionals to help you start your search. Whether you want to learn about SEO, content marketing, or becoming a better leader, these books will point you in the right direction.
1. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Recommended by: Danny Garcia, Marketing Operations Manager at Stacklist
Why you should read it: “What makes this book the best marketing book? It answers every question a marketer wants answered. What makes things go viral? How can I make my product a success? What’s the best way to tell my story? Berger writes about different examples in history from companies and entrepreneurs that have figured out how to elicit responses and hook people into their products. It’s the best way to really learn what makes things catch on.”
Recommended by: Casandra Campbell, Content Marketer Lead at Shopify
Why you should read it: “On the surface, it’s a book about virality and why some stories spread while others don’t, but at a deeper level, it provides excellent guidance for shaping your core message and designing all of your marketing around that core message. Most importantly, the insights outlined in Contagious are based on data rather than one person’s opinion.”
2. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Recommended by: Beth Carter, head of Clariant Creative Agency
Why you should read it: “The book is basically a how-to guide for storytelling, which every marketer needs to master. And the stories they tell in the book bring everything they explain to life. It’s a wonderful, highly enjoyable read.”
3. CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone by Drew Eric Whitman
Recommended by: Devon Vocke, Principal / Digital Strategist at Evoke Strategy LLC
Why you should read it: “This is essential reading on the psychology of why consumers respond to ads. This book applies to nearly all forms of advertising and marketing, and is a great primer if you’re a business owner doing your own marketing, a marketing professional just getting started, or a designer who wants more impact from their designs. It digs into the ‘why’ ads work, and provides the steps to make your marketing more effective. It’s a well-worn book in my library and always provides inspiration.”
4. Chief Marketing Officers at Work by Josh Steimle
Recommended by: Chris Jones, Director of SEO at MWI
Why you should read it: “In this book, Josh interviewed CMO’s like Jeff Jones of Target, Linda Boff of GE, Brian Kenny of the Harvard Business School, Trish Mueller of The Home Depot, and Seth Farbman of Spotify. This book will help C-level executives and others who interface and collaborate with marketing departments to understand how marketing drives growth at both startup and enterprise levels, and how marketing has moved from art to science. Trends in digital marketing, analytics, and marketing automation have pushed marketing to adopt data-driven approaches that would make a CFO’s head swim. Marketing increasingly overlaps with business functions that were previously viewed as separate and distinct, like sales, HR and recruiting, customer service, operations, and technology. This change in the status quo requires individuals in these roles to better understand how marketing works and how it can help them achieve their objectives, and the interviews in this book deliver those insights.”
5. #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk
Recommended by: Stephen Twomey, MasterMind DBS
Why you should read it: “This book is a summary of all Gary V’s recommendations on social media, influencer marketing, and branding. It has so many actionable steps, not hypotheses. These tips are coming from someone in the trenches, taking action every day. Gary V talks platforms and trends as well as practical how-to’s for growing a startup or established business.”
6. SEO 2017: Learn search engine optimization with smart internet marketing strategies by Adam Clarke
Recommended by: Lori Appleman, Co-Founder, RedlineMinds.com
Why you should read it: “This one is a new acquisition for me but it is really an update on a prior edition and I view it as a staple in my library. One of the largest challenges to a business is ensuring their website is found by prospective customers. Ample research shows that people trust organic search results far more than paid results. Recent changes to the way Google lays out the search results page make Search Engine Optimization (SEO) harder. I rely on this book because it has accurate, non-gimmicky advice that works. The author includes, with book purchase, website access to stay current so users can stay up-to-date with Google’s frequent algorithm changes.”
7. Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes
Recommended by: Scott Severson, president of content marketing and native advertising agency Brandpoint
Why you should read it: “Marketing is hard. Any marketer knows this. Managing ambiguity is an essential skill for success in business, but especially in marketing. There’s no quick fix, secret recipe for success or catch-all solution to drive traffic, leads, sales or whatever your marketing goals may be. Author Jamie Holmes argues that the discomfort caused by this ambiguity may actually have a hidden upside – you just need to know how to use it. Through highly entertaining anecdotes and real-life stories, readers will learn that, “in an increasingly complex, unpredictable world, what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand.”
There are so many more exceptional books for marketing professionals out there. Are there any you think should be included in this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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