18 Books Every Marketer Needs To Read

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Looking for inspiration or to gain more insight? These books will do just that. By reading a book every 3 weeks you can conquer this list in a year. So check out the list of 18 books every marketer needs to read.

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

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.

2. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

A new generation of megabrands like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitter haven’t spent a dime on traditional marketing. No press releases, no TV commercials, no billboards. Instead, they rely on a new strategy—growth hacking—to reach many more people despite modest marketing budgets. Growth hackers have thrown out the old playbook and replaced it with tools that are testable, trackable, and scalable. They believe that products and businesses should be modified repeatedly until they’re primed to generate explosive reactions.

3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)–the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of “the Mother Teresa Effect”; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

4. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

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.

5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

6. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping–Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond

Revolutionary retail guru Paco Underhill is back with a completely revised edition of his classic, witty bestselling book on our ever-evolving consumer culture — full of fresh observations and important lessons from the cutting edge of retail, which is taking place in the world’s emerging markets. New material includes:

  • The latest trends in online retail — what retailers are doing right and what they’re doing wrong — and how nearly every Internet retailer from iTunes to Amazon can drastically improve how it serves its customers.
  • A guided tour of the most innovative stores, malls and retail environments around the world — almost all of which are springing up in countries where prosperity is new. An enormous indoor ski slope attracts shoppers to a mall in Dubai; an uber luxurious Sao Paolo department store provides its customers with personal shoppers; a mall in South Africa has a wave pool for surfing.

The new Why We Buy is an essential guide — it offers advice on how to keep your changing customers and entice new and eager ones.

7. Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity

To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call “boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities.

This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps:

  • Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.
  • Probe the possible. Explore options around you.
  • Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.
  • Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.
  • Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.

Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes.

And it will be fun. (We promise.)

8. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

9. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters

Great copy is the heart and soul of the advertising business. In this practical guide, legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman provides proven guidelines and expert advice on what it takes to write copy that will entice, motivate, and move customers to buy. For anyone who wants to break into the business, this is the ultimate companion resource for unlimited success.

10. Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing

Brainfluence explains how to practically apply neuroscience and behavior research to better market to consumers by understanding their decision patterns. This application, called neuromarketing, studies the way the brain responds to various cognitive and sensory marketing stimuli. Analysts use this to measure a consumer’s preference, what a customer reacts to, and why consumers make certain decisions. With quick and easy takeaways offered in 60 short chapters, this book contains key strategies for targeting consumers through in-person sales, online and print ads, and other marketing mediums.

11. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter

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.

12. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

This is the fifth edition of the pioneering guide to the future of marketing. The New Rules of Marketing & PR is an international bestseller with more than 350,000 copies sold in over twenty-five languages. It offers a step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of modern marketing and PR to directly communicate with buyers, raise visibility, and increase sales. This practical guide is written for marketing professionals, PR professionals, and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses and create success. Learn how companies, nonprofits, and organizations of all sizes can leverage web-based content to get timely, relevant information to eager, responsive buyers for a fraction of the cost of big-budget campaigns.

13. Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is Not About Hype

Jay Baer’s Youtility offers a new business 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 Youtility 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.

See why Jay Baer’s Youtility framework is now a standard part of the marketing framework in many of the world’s leading companies, powers the marketing approach of thousands of small businesses, and is part of the curriculum of dozens of college and university business schools.

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

One of the world’s leading experts on content marketing, Joe Pulizzi explains how to draw prospects and customers in by creating information and content they actually want to engage with. No longer can we interrupt our customers with mediocre content (and sales messages) our customers don’t care about.

“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.

15. Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online is a comprehensive guide to increasing online visibility and engagement. Written by top marketing and startup bloggers, the book contains the latest information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.

16. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

17. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

In his groundbreaking book, Godin describes the four tests of Permission Marketing:

  1. Does every single marketing effort you create encourage a learning relationship with your customers? Does it invite customers to “raise their hands” and start communicating?
  2. Do you have a permission database? Do you track the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them?
  3. If consumers gave you permission to talk to them, would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products?
  4. Once people become customers, do you work to deepen your permission to communicate with those people?

And in numerous informative case studies, including American Airlines’ frequent-flier program, Amazon.com, and Yahoo!, Godin demonstrates how marketers are already profiting from this key new approach in all forms of media.

18. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

Know of any books that you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below.

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