Best Marketing Books

by | May 22, 2020

Optimizing your marketing strategies will allow you to gain traffic, exposure, and influence. From business leaders to social media influencers, anyone who generates income from the Internet can benefit from implementing relevant marketing tactics. 

Marketing book

Once you read more about modern marketing strategies, you’ll be able to provide more value, build brand awareness, and establish leadership. Below are the best 11 marketing books that give you, the reader, actionable advice on implementing today’s most effective marketing strategies. From content marketing to SEO, these books will teach you all you need to know in gaining exposure and having a long-term impact on your audience. Always remember, leaders are readers!

1. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin 

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is often referred to as the ultimate entrepreneur of the information age. In Permission Marketing, he releases the groundbreaking concepts that enable marketers to shape a message that consumers willingly accept. He also discusses the relevance of modern marketing practices and why TV commercials and flyers have become outdated. 

With this book, you’ll learn how to start a dialogue in today’s crowded market cheaply, cater to your ideal customer, and build a relationship with your customers that allows you to sell in a more personal manner. Godin explores the various levels of permission granted to the marketer by the customer, and how this will enable you to turn strangers into friends and friends into customers.

2. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom 

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom

This best-seller analyzes what leads people to buy and identifies the secret factors that influence audiences. In a world full of slogans, endorsements, logos, and more, Lindstrom explains which current marketing methods no longer work and why. Later, he goes into the science of what happens in our brains that makes us open up our wallets or keep them closed. Turns out, what we say we want and what our minds want are often at odds. Lindstrom also writes about the most extensive neuromarketing study and how it uncovered the solution to all advertising dilemmas by using fMRIs to monitor buyers’ heads.

With this, you’ll learn how to predict the effectiveness of your advertising and how the consumers’ brain evaluates your marketing strategies. 

3. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal 

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Best-seller Hooked explains how successful companies create products that people can’t put down, and goes into the marketing differences between products that capture mass attention and those that flop. He explains the patterns underlying why technology hooks us and explains The Hook Model: the model that the most addictive products follow to succeed. 

Eyal explains the power of associating users’ emotions and routines to a product, and why this prompts them to keep returning, time after time. With this, you’ll learn how to implement these impactful marketing strategies without resorting to expensive marketing tactics that don’t work. Not only are his strategies proven, but he also gives examples and step-by-step guides to make it as easy as possible to implement them. 

4. Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

 Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

Written by two professors at INSTEAD, Blue Ocean Strategy is one of the most famous marketing strategies to date. This strategy explains why consumers shouldn’t have to choose between value and affordability. Companies must identify what customers currently value, and rethink how to provide that value at a low cost. This is known as value innovation and helps to make all other competition irrelevant. The Blue Ocean Strategy goes into two concepts: the blue ocean and the red ocean. In the red ocean, there are lots of fish (people) fighting over the market share. The blue ocean, on the other hand, is a vast market with no competition. There’s a ton of room where you don’t have to compete. To enter the blue ocean, you must invent your own space, which, with the help of this book, is easier than it sounds.

The Blue Ocean Strategy offers a new way to bridge the gap from one audience to another and gives examples of companies that have successfully done this. From the horse and carriage shining over cars to today’s new company Udemy offering online courses with subscription models, The Blue Ocean Strategy has been proven to work. With this, you’ll also learn how to adjust both your products and your prices to provide maximum value. 

5. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter by John Hall 

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter by John Hall

Top of Mind is the perfect book for social media influencers, public leaders, personal brands, and anyone looking to build meaningful relationships with their audience as well as others in the industry. Its insights about both business and leadership make it both relevant and applicable to a wide range of readers. This book is a game-changing framework for staying on top of your audience’s mind from John Hall, who belongs to the top companies dominating content marketing.

Content marketing is more relevant and applicable today than ever. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3x the leads. On top of that, 93% of marketers use content marketing in today’s world. Top of Mind explains what successful content marketing leaders have in common, and how specific names come to mind when people think about particular industries. He goes into the former and new rules of marketing as well as the secrets to gaining influence. The main takeaway: content marketing has evolved from persuasion and selling trust to lending a helping hand. 

6. Performance Partnerships by Robert Glazer

Performance Partnerships by Robert Glazer

For those in affiliate or performance marketing, Performance Partnerships is a must-read. Just published back in 2017, the strategies remain relevant in today’s market. Glazer defines the elements of affiliate marketing and tells readers how to benefit from the current model that stands today. With this framework, containing both actionable advice and success stories, you’ll learn how to integrate your partners into a brand-aligned system. It’s more difficult and more critical than ever to stand out in the exciting and complex structure of affiliate marketing. 

7. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi 

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content Marketing dives into the ways you can tell a different story, break through the clutter, and win more customers by marketing less. From the man who invented content marketing, you’ll understand the new, in-depth world of marketing and how you can thrive. The tools in his step-by-step approach are instantly usable all over the world for any business. He teaches you how to create stories that inform, entertain, and provoke clients to act. 

By setting up with the customer in mind, you’ll know when the right time to deliver is, and be able to position your business as an authority in the industry. Later, Pulizzi explains why content fills a need, expresses a point of view, and communicates consistently. According to eMarketer, at least 60% of marketers create at least one piece of new content per day. Now more than ever, to stand out, communicating consistently is just the tip of the iceberg. 

8. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath 

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Published by Random House, brothers Chip and Dan continue the idea of “stickiness” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point. They explain what makes a concept exciting and memorable, examine advertising campaigns, and go deep into the six traits that make ideas stick. Consciously, we don’t know why we remember some things and forget others. Thankfully, Made to Stick explains the psychology of memorable concepts and teaches you how to create ideas that hold long-term impact. You’ll learn how to make people listen, act, and spread your ideas quickly among the correct people. 

9. Outside Insight: Navigating a World Drowning in Data by Jørn Lyseggen

Outside Insight: Navigating a World Drowning in Data by Jørn Lyseggen

Author Jørn Lyseggen is an entrepreneur who predicted that Big Data would be the tool to develop competitive intelligence back in 2001. In Outside Insight, he explains how to adapt to the new digital reality, and how to use market insights to transform your organization. Drawing from practical data-led decisions made by Apple and Facebook, Lyseggen illustrates the future of corporate decision-making and offers a detailed plan that readers can implement. 

You’ll learn how to understand digital within the media landscape, how external data can inform business strategies, and how to utilize the underutilized insights that companies have mastered.

10. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin 

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

#1 Wall Street Journal and New York Times best-seller This is Marketing offers a game-changing approach to marketing and sales. Seth Godin has inspired and taught marketers through his books, blogs, online courses, and more. In this, he explains the role of empathy in marketing and why marketing success in today’s world comes from focusing on the desires of your target audience. According to Zimmer Communications, 64% of customers say that shared values are the main reason that they have a trusted relationship with a brand. Instead of spamming as many people as possible with your message, the most successful companies cater to the needs and wants of their target audience with aligned values.

According to Unlocked, 85% of mobile advertisers think they are providing a positive experience, while 47% of users agree. The surefire way to marketing success is to learn about your audience and cater to their mission. Advertising as we’ve known it is dead. It’s no longer about expansion, but more about being specific in crafting your message. This breakthrough marketing book will teach you how to market like a professional and understanding human and how to get noticed in a world of abundant information. 

11. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger 

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Written by Wharton School of Business marketing professor Jonah Berger, New York Times best-seller has been rated the #1 best marketing book of the year, offering relevant tactics that apply in today’s atmosphere. Berger explains why certain products and ideas become popular and reveals the secret science behind word of mouth and social transmission of ideas. Specifically, he goes into the six principles that drive things to become contagious, from policy initiatives to YouTube videos.

With the knowledge and implementation of these marketing secrets, you’ll create ideas that have a long-lasting impact on your audience, gain influence in your industry, and be seen as the go-to authority. 

Want to learn more about marketing? If so, you may also enjoy our guide to the best online marketing courses. Now go and become a marketing pro!

Andrew Green

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and lifelong learner. Throughout his career, he has watched hundreds of online courses that have allowed him to achieve success in highly competitive fields such as online marketing, investing, and sales. Andrew is committed to expanding his knowledge and expertise and he reviews the premium courses he watches on his online blog.
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