10 Must-Read Marketing Books

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10 Must-Read Marketing Books


In marketing, there’s always a new strategy, technology or campaign to learn about. For us marketers, the learning never ends. We sifted out the all time top books to help you stay to keep you learning about the marketing industry. Here’s our list of ten must-read books for marketers:


Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

By Martin Lindstrom
In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom, who was voted one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2009, presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

By Ann Handley
Everybody Writes is your go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is a writer. In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production, and publishing with practical how-to advice designed to get results.These lessons and rules she lays out apply to all of your online content—your Web pages, home pages, landing pages, blogs, emails, marketing offers, and to your posts and updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Everybody Writes is designed to be your go-to guide for creating or publishing any kind of online content—whether you’re working for a big brand or a small business… or yourself.

The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers into True Believers

By Douglas Atkin
Marketing expert Douglas Atkin has spent years researching both full-blown cults and companies that use cult-branding techniques. He interviewed countless cult members to find out what makes them tick. And he explains exactly how brands like Harley-Davidson, Saturn, JetBlue, and Ben & Jerry’s make their customers feel unique, important, and part of an exclusive group—and how that leads to solid, long-term relationships between a company and its customers. In addition to describing a fascinating phenomenon, The Culting of Brands will be of enormous value to business leaders. It will teach marketers how to align themselves with a specific segment of the population, how to attract and keep new “members,” how to establish a mythology about the company, and how to manage a workforce filled with true believers. Once a brand achieves cult status, it becomes almost impossible for a competitor to dethrone it. The Culting of Brands will reveal the secrets of fierce customer identification and, most important, unbreakable loyalty.

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

By Brian Solis
In his new book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design bestselling author Brian Solis shares why great products are no longer good enough to win with customers and why creative marketing and delightful customer service too are not enough to succeed. In X, he shares why the future of business is experiential and how to create and cultivate meaningful experiences. This isn’t your ordinary business book. The idea of a book was re-imagined for a digital meets analog world to be a relevant and sensational experience. Its aesthetic was meant to evoke emotion while also giving new perspective and insights to help you win the hearts and minds of your customers. And, the design of this book, along with what fills its pages, was done using the principles shared within.

Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

By Ryan Holiday
You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs-as much as any one person can. In today’s culture 1) Blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post drive the media agenda. 2) Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines. 3) Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch-online and off. Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m pulling back the curtain because I don’t want anyone else to get blindsided. I’m going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

By Nir Eyal
Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

By Joe Pulizzi
“Epic Content Marketing” takes you step by step through the process of developing stories that inform and entertain and compel customers to act–without actually telling them to. Epic content, distributed to the right person at the right time, is how to truly capture the hearts and minds of customers. It’s how to position your business as a trusted expert in its industry. It’s what customers share and talk about. Once we hook customers in with epic content, they reward us by sending our sales through the roof. With in-depth case studies of how John Deere, LEGO, Coca-Cola, and other leading corporations are using content to drive epic sales, this groundbreaking guide gives you all the tools to start creating and disseminating content that leads directly to greater profits and growth. Whether you’re the CMO of a Fortune 500, a digital marketer, or entrepreneur, “Epic Content Marketing” gives you the tools you need to vanquish the competition.

Social Media Explained: Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend

By Mark W. Schaefer
The best-selling social media book of 2014! Too busy to spend hours trying to learn the fundamentals of social media marketing? This is the book for you! Mark Schaefer, author of the best-selling books “Return On Influence” and “The Tao of Twitter” unravels the most misunderstood and confusing business trend in this fun and easy-to-read book. “Social Media Explained” explores the fundamental strategies and answers the biggest questions every business professional needs to answer before diving into a social media initiative! This is the MUST-HAVE guide for understanding the sociological and psychological drivers that make social media marketing work.

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

By 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. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.
Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. 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.

Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

By Lee Odden
Optimize is designed to give readers a practical approach to integrating search and social media optimization with content marketing to boost relevance, visibility, and customer engagement. Companies, large and small, will benefit from the practical planning and creative content marketing tactics in this book that have been proven to increase online performance across marketing, public relations, and customer service. Learn to incorporate essential content optimization and social media engagement principles thereby increasing their ability to acquire and engage relevant customers online.


For more marketing books, check out our Top “Back-To-School” Books for the Social Media Marketers. Have a marketing book we missed? Share it in the comments section below.

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2 Responses to “10 Must-Read Marketing Books”

  1. Lee Odden Says:

    This is a fine collection of marketing books and some of my favorites are include. Most of all, thanks for including Optimize!

  2. Mark Schaefer Says:

    Thanks for the shout-out. So glad you enjoyed my book!

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