Marketing is an interesting, satisfying, and complex industry that has the potential to do wonders for any business. With the following marketing books, you can achieve the ultimate end goal of generating revenue and growing a business.
For this reason alone, it makes marketing a great industry to be a part of. However, I never said marketing isn’t an easy industry to excel in. There are many creative marketing gurus out there, which means in order to be the best marketer you can be and help your clients’ businesses grow you need to have a good understanding of all of the different marketing concepts.
Today, I’ll be sharing a list of some of the most important marketing books that every marketer should read in order to succeed. This list is broken down into:
- Classic Marketing Books
- Business Strategy Books
- Marketing Strategy Books
- Marketing Mindset Books
- Productivity Books
- Behavioral Psychology Books
- Business Growth Book
- Copywriting Books
- Persuasion Books
- Value Proposition Books
- Content Marketing Books
- Social Media Books
- Website Design & Optimization Books
- Cool & Interesting Marketing Books
These books have provided a vast amount of knowledge and expertise within their pages. If you take the time to read them, I promise you’ll start seeing the benefits.
Classic Marketing Books
There’s no better place to start your marketing research and education than with classic marketing books. While these books may be old, they start with the basics and essential principles of marketing.
Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
This is one of the most widely read and influential marketing books of all time because you get such a clear and concise education on the most essential principles that make up the foundation of modern marketing.
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Written by one of the most successful marketers of all time, this is an easy-to-read and interesting book that’s packed with over 220 images and visual examples of how to write a high-performing, direct-response-style ad.
Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
This book was published in 1963, a full 20 years before Ogilvy’s other famous advertising manual. It also has more of a memoir feel to it, whereas Ogilvy on Advertising reads like a more straightforward how-to book.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz
Every aspiring marketer or copywriter should read it. However, it’s out-of-print, and a used copy will probably cost you at least a few hundred bucks, but it’s well worth the investment if you implement the insights you learn.
The Boron Letters by Gary C. Halbert
This book is more than just a “How to” book, it is a work of love written from a father to his son. And that’s what really stands out about this book: Gary’s sincerity in dispensing the best advice he has to offer—not just on copywriting and persuasion, but on how to live a long, full, happy life.
How to Make Maximum Money in Minimum Time by Gary C. Halbert
Another great book by Gary Halbert. There are a lot of tips on finding customers through older acquisition channels like newspapers and the Yellow Pages. But while the details of Gary’s tips might be showing their age, the strategy and thought process behind his advice is still as brilliant as ever.
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
In this must-read masterpiece on how to write high-converting copy that sells, you’ll learn priceless marketing principles that, properly applied, can lead to massive profits in your business.
Business Strategy Books
Marketing is essential to the success of any type of company. However, it’s important to remember that your “marketing plan” isn’t the only thing that will bring your company success. The best marketing plan in the world could belong to a business with the world’s worst business model.
The good news is there’s a variety of business strategy books that offer plenty of insight on how to build an effective business strategy. So yes, marketing is essential but so is having a business strategy. Check out these books that will help make sure your company is both the best in marketing and in business.
Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings
This book is a research-based, analytical breakdown of all of the things they do right to generate consistent success, even through economic downturn.
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow
This book has one very specific focus: how to create a subscription business with recurring revenue in any industry.
Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It by Jeffrey Eisenberg, Bryan
This wonderful little book explores the practices shared by many of the world’s most successful brands (like Amazon, Costco, and Kodak).
Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld by James B. Twitchell
This book explores the role of branding in Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld. It’s a fascinating study of how the principles of marketing can be used to do more than simply sell a product—they can also sell an idea.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth is the classic text that busts many of the entrepreneurial myths out there—dangerous myths that lead many well-meaning business founders into starting a company that will never succeed.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
In Good to Great, Jim Collins explores what has to happen to take a company from good… meaning competent, getting by… to GREAT.
Lean Analytics:Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
In Lean Analytics, you’ll learn how to distill your business objectives down into one single metric that can be your guiding star depending on what phase of growth your business is in: Empathy, Stickiness, Virality, Revenue, or Scale.
The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business by David Meerman Scott
Think of this book as your handbook for navigating the rocky and constantly evolving terrain of dealing with consumers in the 21st century.
Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler
This is the second book in this list about Salesforce, and this one explores the innovative outbound sales process that added $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce’s bottom line.
The Profit Zone: How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits by Adrian J. Slywotzky, David J. Morrison, & Bob Andelman
This book is written to answer one important question: “How do I make a profit?” In Profit Zone, you’ll learn where profit comes from and what levers you can pull in your business to increase it.
The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
The premise of the book is simple: don’t waste your time trying to master thousands of different strategies (this is something I know a lot of people do).
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen
This book will address why no company is bulletproof, and strategies you can use to manage disruptive technological change.
“I” Power: The Secrets of Great Business in Bad Times by Martin Edelston & Marion Buhagiar
In this book you’ll learn about Martin Edelston’s 12-part “I” Power system, the set of principles he used to grow his own company exponentially.
Principles by Ray Dalio
In this book life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.
Marketing Strategy Books
Once you have a grasp on your business strategy, it’s time to move on to your marketing strategy. After all, this is a list of the best marketing books so at some point I of course were going to include some marketing strategy books. My marketing strategy books focus on the much bigger part of marketing (like inbound marketing), rather than on specific strategies such as Facebook ads. This list of books will cover many great marketing strategies.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim
Blue Ocean Strategy is a marketing book that encourages you to look beyond the traditional, competition-based industry standard of assessing and outperforming your competitors.
Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook That Drives B2B Sales by Samantha Stone
Samantha Stone offers a very self-aware guide for how to adapt to new trends in the online marketing space. She recognizes that organizational change is no easy task, making this book a highly recommended read when you are in the market to increase your sales.
$12 Billion of Inside Marketing Secrets Discovered Through Direct Response Television Sales by Steven Dworman
In this book you can read interviews with 23 of the world’s most successful infomercial marketers—people like Tony Robbins, Joe Sugarman, Michael Levy, and more. And I bet you’ll be as inspired by their stories and their passion as you will be impressed by the depth of their marketing insight.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries & Jack Trout
This is one of those classic books that should be on every marketer’s bookshelf. In it, Al Ries and Jack Trout take a big-picture view of marketing and share 22 powerful and essential marketing principles.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries & Laura Ries
Al Ries followed up The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing with this book, a similar work that’s focused on the topic of branding.
The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky
This book shares 23 different profit models that companies can use to generate greater profits. And the central mantra that ties all these profit strategies together is the importance of understanding your customer.
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
In this book Donald Miller from StoryBrand explains the 7 universal elements of powerful stories, which he calls the SB7 Framework.
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore
In Crossing the Chasm you’ll learn how to find success in high-tech industries by leveraging the technology adoption lifecycle (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards).
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition by Jay Abraham
In this book, Jay will help you to find and take advantage of the hidden assets that lie within arm’s reach of each and every one of us.
Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative by Scott Brinker
This compares marketing to software development and gives you a management framework that can help to improve your marketing results without getting lost in the sea of overwhelming changes and data that inundate most modern marketers.
Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah
nbound marketing is designed for the modern consumer—the person who doesn’t respond to cold calling or direct mail, but instead takes a more active role in searching for the products and services they want.
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout
This is the classic work on how to create a position in the minds of your customers that helps you to generate new customers, stand out from your competitors, and capture market share.
Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith
In this bestselling book on service selling, author Harry Beckwith explains why some traditional marketing principles—like the old adage to “sell the sizzle, not the steak”—is actually terrible advice when you’re selling a service as opposed to a product.
Predictable Prospecting: How to Radically Increase Your B2B Sales Pipeline
learn how to target and track ideal prospects, optimize contact acquisition, continually improve performance, and achieve your revenue goals―quickly, efficiently, and predictably.
The CMO Manifesto: A 100-Day Action Plan for Marketing Change Agents
A 100-Day Action Plan for Marketing Change Agents this book is the essential guidebook for marketing executives who have been chartered to disrupt the status quo and become leaders of positive change at their companies
Marketing Mindset Books
When it comes to being a successful marketer, you have to have the right mindset and creativity. You may not know all of the marketing strategies, but your underlying thought process is solid which is really all you need. Your marketing mindset is your foundation to becoming successful, faster.
Check out these books that will help build a strong foundation for the right marketing mindset.
Marketing: A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa
Building value is a concept that is invaluable itself, and being able to do that by becoming a company your customers will care about is what Jiwa shows you in this book.
All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
This book teaches you about the true power of telling great stories, taking you from a business to a brand.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Brené Brown uses stories, research, and empirical evidence to investigate leadership within successful businesses and figure out what they are doing right. Then, she supplies that information back to you so you can practice it in your own career.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Nir’s best-selling product design manual teaches the real principles behind product success. Why do some products flop, and others go on to massive success?
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
This is one of Seth Godin’s best books, and the premise behind it is really simple: In today’s market, you have to stand out to stand a chance.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY. The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
In thisNew York Times bestseller, Jonah Berger examines the phenomenon of popularity. Why do some ideas and products go viral and spread like wildfire—while others don’t?
Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change by Jeremy Gutsche
In Exploiting Chaos, you’ll learn how to not only survive in times of change… you’ll learn how to grow and thrive in them.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
This book explores the under-appreciated role that random chance plays in our lives and in business. It’s an important message because as a digital marketer, I’m always preaching the importance of trusting data and analytics.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
This is without a doubt, one of the most influential business books of the past decade. If you want to understand the underlying principles that inspired the Lean Startup revolution, then you need to give The Four Steps to the Epiphany a read.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt & Jeff Cox
This is one of the most enjoyable business books I’ve read. And technically it isn’t a business book at all. It’s actually a novel about a plant manager who has 90 days to make a dramatic turnaround in both his work and his marriage (both of which are going down in flames).
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares
This book is based on a really powerful assumption:Most startups fail not because they have a bad product, but because they can’t get any traction.
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment Leonard, George
Whether you’re seeking to improve your career or your intimate relationships, increase self-esteem or create harmony within yourself, this inspiring prescriptive guide will help you master anything you choose and achieve success in all areas of your life.
I truly believe productivity is another key component when it comes to being a successful marketer. Or really, in any job! Here are some of the best productivity books I will be sharing with you today.
The Productivity Project: Proven Wats to Become More Awesome by Chris Bailey
This book gives you a unique take on getting things done, thanks to author Chris Bailey, who spent an entire year dedicated to testing and discovering methods for improving productivity.
80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More by Perry Marshall
This book by Perry Marshall is the classic guide on how to apply the 80/20 principle to sales and marketing.
The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage by Roland Smart
In this book, you’ll learn how to apply the Agile methodology to deliver a superior customer experience that will drive great reviews, word of mouth, and repeat purchases. You’ll also discover why it’s becoming increasingly important for marketers to work together with product management to ensure that your company is delivering the best product possible.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, & Jim Huling
This book offers a compelling solution: the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX). 4DX is a simple system that can help produce breakthrough results in your company.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
This is one of my favorite books on productivity. David Allen is a productivity guru who really gets it—he knows what it’s like to be buried under an avalanche of emails, meetings, and to-do lists.
The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, PhD & Spencer Johnson, MD
This classic management book is told in the form of a story of a young man looking for a good manager. And inside you’ll learn the secrets of more effective leadership, starting with 3 practical secrets about leading others: 1-minute goals, 1-minute praisings, and 1-minute redirects.
Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya
This is such an important book for startups. It teaches you how to use the Lean methodology to achieve product/market fit as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, & Braden Kowitz
This book describes the 5-day sprint that was created at Google and which gives companies a rapid new way of solving problems and tackling big projects: the sprint.
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
This book will show you how to create life-altering dynamics—how a way of thinking, a way of processing information, can impact daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. The Slight Edge is “the key” that will make all the other how-to books and self-help information that you read, watch and hear actually work.
Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive
you’ll learn how the world’s best memory masters get themselves to concentrate at will, anytime they want. When you can easily focus and concentrate on the task at hand, and store and recall useful information, you can easily double your productivity and eliminate wasted time, stress and mistakes at work.
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively. The core of what is vital to effective time management is: decision, discipline, and determination.
Behavioral Psychology Books
Something that makes marketing so interesting is the behavioral psychology behind it. So, another important aspect of marketing is properly understanding human beings’ psychological qualities. By reading this list of books, they will help you understand your audience more and make your marketing message stand out from the crowd.
Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank I. Luntz
This book offers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into word choice and why crafting sentences is way more complicated than putting words in front of each other.
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping—Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer and Beyond by Paco Underhill
As a marketer whose job is to get people to buy stuff, it stands to reason that you should understand WHY people buy things in the first place—right? Makes sense to me. And that’s why this book is absolutely required reading for all marketers and business owners.
Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom
Similar to Why We Buy, this book provides some piercing insights into why we buy the things we buy.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
This Machiavellian guide to power reveals many of the hidden rules that govern the way we structure power in human society. It draws on many important lessons learned throughout history by some of our greatest leaders and philosophers like Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, P.T. Barnum, and more.
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird
In this book you’ll have the strategies you need to be a more effective thinking and ultimately, a more effective marketer.
Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD
In Meet Your Happy Chemicals, Loretta Breuning gives you a thorough walkthrough of your feel-good chemicals: Dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocin.
Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
This is so important for marketers to understand. Your customers aren’t logic machines who always do the most sensible thing. Instead they’re living, breathing organisms with opinions, biases, emotions, and misperceptions that cause them to do some truly irrational things.
Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience That Drives High-Performance CulturesDon Rheem
Thrive introduces you to the triggers of exemplary workplace behavior at a neurological level. Tapping into these triggers leads to increased productivity, well-being, accountability, and retention. As you apply the practical approaches and tools outlined in the book, you will see less absenteeism, corrosive gossip, employee drama, accidents, and quality shortfalls.
Persuasive Advertising: Evidence-based Principles-J. Scott Armstrong
this book is a comprehensive and definitive guide to advertising that incorporates a vast amount of research and expert opinion. It draws upon the evidence to establish principles that can be applied to achieve successful and effective advertising and evaluates all of the relevant attributes and aspects of this
Business Growth Books
Shockingly, the best product doesn’t always win. Growth depends on explicit business and marketing frameworks intended to reach new target audiences and while increasing revenue in a sustainable manner. In these books, you’ll learn what those frameworks are and how to implement them into your organization.
From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Jason Lemkin
This book explores the strategies you can use to achieve massive growth in a short time. You’ll start by answering these 3 questions: Why aren’t you growing faster? What does it take to get to hypergrowth? How do you sustain growth?
Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
This book by Sean Ellis (founder of growthhacker.com) is a growth classic. You’ll learn the secrets behind many of our fastest-growing companies.
Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth by Ash Maurya
This book gives you a methodology you can use to ballpark the viability of your business model, so you can harvest quick insights you can use to decide when to start over… and when to scale up.
Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat by Michael Masterson
In this book from Michael Masterson, you’ll get a practical primer on how to grow and scale a business.
In today’s marketing industry, copywriting is one of the most important skills any marketer can have. Regardless if you lack in the writing department or not, you will need to be able to put together a persuasive message in print every now and then. This message can be for Facebook ads, an email marketing campaign or Instagram caption. Either way, your writing is being seen by a large audience, so it’s important to write engaging copy that compels the reader’s attention and to take action. These books are a great place to start.
Instant Inspiration for Copywriters by R. Scott Frothingham
book will make you a better copywriter. It is full of tips and advice for copywriters, as well as topical and pertinent quotes from industry leaders in content marketing. This book is a must have if you do any copywriting at all, especially if it’s your full-time job.
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters by Joseph Sugarman
Joe Sugarman is one of the all-time great copywriters, and this is his bible on how to write compelling copy that sells. This is as comprehensive a copywriting book as you’ll find anywhere.
Confessions of a Direct Mail Guy by Gordon W. Grossman
In this book, you’ll get to learn from one of the industry’s all-time greats. Gordon Grossman spent 17 years at Writer’s Digest, where he helped to build the magazine’s massive subscription base.
Secrets of Successful Direct Mail by Richard V. Benson
This is another classic marketing book from an old direct mail master. In it, Richard Benson shares stories and experiences from his direct mail days and shares the marketing lessons you should take away from each.
Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message by Michael Masterson & John Forde
In this book you’ll learn how to write a killer lead from iconic marketers Michael Masterson and John Forde. They’ll share the 6 most common types of leads and how, when, and why to use each for maximum effectiveness.
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan & Edward Boches
This book has inspired thousands of young ad students, creatives, and copywriters with lessons and examples from some of the best ads ever printed. It’s a fun book filled with one great ad after another, and the 400+ pages go by in a flash once you get sucked in.
Phrases that Sell: The Ultimate Phrase Finder to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas by Edward Werz & Sally Germain
This is a really handy little tool to have near your desk anytime you need to give a sentence in your copy a little more oomph.
Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas by Richard Bayan
This book will fit nicely right next to Phrases that Sell. And just like that book, this one is a reference that shares hundreds of compelling “power words” that will give your copy more punch.
The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires by Roy H. Williams
In this book, Roy shares his wealth of experience on radio marketing (which, it turns out, has a lot in common with digital marketing).
Story Theater Method: Strategic Storytelling in Business (previously titled: Never Be Boring Again) by Doug Stevenson
This book will walk you through Doug Stevenson’s “Story Theater Method” for creating a well-told story that serves an important business purpose in your company. Using his 9-step formula you’ll learn how to brand your message, incorporate humor for prolonged attention spans, make dull or technical information come alive, and much more.
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales. by Dan S. Kennedy
In this book, Dan teaches you how to write a great sales letter through a series of teaching points, examples, and creativity-sparking exercises. You’ll learn how to use graphics to support your sales message, which formulas lead to the most effective headlines, and much more.
Persuasion is kind of what marketing revolves around. As a marketer, it’s our job to persuade people to take action to buy a product or service. However, being successful when it comes to persuading isn’t necessarily the easiest job. These books do a great job of explaining the hidden psychological factors that influence persuasion. Keep in mind, you will notice that these books do not address the topic of digital marketing specifically, but the lessons they explain can be applied to any type of persuasion throughout life.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
This is the granddaddy of all persuasion books. If you have any aspirations of persuading people to take an action (like, say, buying your product or service), then you need to read this book.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini, PhD
In Pre-Suasion, Cialdini investigates how our decisions are impacted based on the context in which we receive certain messages. And he shows, through the course of this book, how you can take advantage of “the essential window of time before you deliver an important message” to increase the odds of that message getting across successfully.
Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, & Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
Unlike Influence and Pre-Suasion, which are groundbreaking books that give an in-depth analysis of the critical elements of persuasion, Yes! is a more practical guide full of case studies and relevant takeaways.
The Architecture of Persuasion: Strategic Storytelling in Business by Michael Masterson
This is another classic from Michael Masterson that explains how persuasion works on a deep human level. And he does it using a metaphor of an Indiana Jones-like character trying to court an attractive young woman, which makes it a surprisingly enjoyable read.
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead
This influential book explores persuasion through the lens of fascination.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This classic book has helped millions of people to become more charismatic in social situations, and its advice applies just as well to marketers hoping to up their persuasion factor.
Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads: Tools and Techniques for Profitable Persuasion by Roy H. Williams
This is at least the third book by Roy Williams on this list, and in this one, he turns to the topic of persuasion. And like many of the books in this category, the insights you take away from this book can be applied not just to your professional life but to your personal one as well.
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff
Pitch Anything teaches the methods you can use to stand out from the rest of the pack when delivering a pitch. It will open your eyes to what’s been missing in your presentations to give it that WOW factor that will leave your audience impressed.
The It Factor by Mark Wiskup
In this guide to personal persuasion, you’ll learn how to start conversations, draw in listeners, and consistently make a positive impression.
As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick by Peter Meyers & Shann Nix
Public speaking isn’t anyone’s favorite task, but with the help of this book you’ll feel like a much more confident public speaker—whether you’re speaking to an audience of 1 or 1,000.
Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg & Jeffrey Eisenberg
In this book, you’ll find out how to do just that using the Eisenbergs’ Persuasion Architecture model. Learn why the market’s changed, how you can anticipate your customers’ needs, ways you can measure & optimize the ROI throughout every step of your marketing funnel, and more.
Value Proposition Books
How do you get people to choose you over your competitors? In a continuing competitive world, this question is more important than ever, but the answer lies in your value proposition. Which is what is discussed in this list of books below. They talk about what sets you apart, taking the next big leap in your company’s growth and will help you develop your own value proposition.
Value Prop: Create Powerful I3 Value Propositions to Enter and Win New Markets by Jose Palomino
This is a great book for anyone who isn’t sure that their value proposition is as clear or compelling as it should be. Think of it as your reality check for evaluating just how strong your value prop really is.
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, & Alan Smith
This book, written in an engaging visual format, will give you a solid 4-step strategy for creating a value proposition customers can’t resist.
Creating and Delivering Your Value Proposition: Managing Customer Experience for Profit by Cindy Barnes, Helen Blake, & David Pinder
This book actually provides you with a series of 6 “Value Proposition Builders” that you can use to help explore different options and discover the best value prop for your company.
Content Marketing Books
If you walk into any marketing agency or speak to any marketer they will agree with you that “content is key.” Having an abundance of quality content does not come easy though since the demand for content is higher than ever before. So, how do you create a large amount of quality content that really stands out? These books will help you do just that.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Understanding what goes into crafting a sticky idea is life changing for marketers, especially content marketers. And that’s exactly what this book tries to teach you.
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
This book offers tactical information, guides, and case studies that anyone can use to start their own epic journey.
Content That Converts by Laura Hanly
The biggest lie in content marketing is that it doesn’t bring in revenue. How do we know it’s a lie? Because Laura Hanly has laid out the perfect plan for creating a predictable stream of qualified leads through content marketing in this very book.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lammot
This book by Anne Lammot is a timeless classic that is not only heartwarming, but also offers tactical advice for writers or people who want to be writers.
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman
Written by the chief marketing officers of marketingprofs.com, this book is the go-to guide for creating standout content across all channels: blogs, videos, podcasts, webinars, social media, ebooks, and more.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
This book examines the role of writing in an age of Twitter-sized messages. How do you write for the modern age in a way that grabs attention while still communicating your message clearly and effectively?
Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi & Newt Barrett
In Get Content, Get Customers you’ll learn how to create content that SELLS. You’ll learn how to select the content types that best match your strategy, why you might want to consider shifting more of your media budget to content, how to develop a content marketing mindset within your organization, and more.
Social Media Books
Social media is another important company to successful marketing. However, it’s truly a hit or miss for every different company. While this may not be the preferred marketing method for every business, it’s highly encouraged as it can really help your company grow. These books will help you learn how to put social media to work.
Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy
This book will focus on using your personal brand as a source of income, teaching better strategies for creating content and producing branded content for your audience.
When The Miracle Drops: How Instagram Helped Turn A Quick Fix Into A Million-Dollar Product by Jesseca Dupart
This book tells the story of Jesseca Dupart, the founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products, and her journey from overcoming adversity during her childhood in New Orleans to creating a multi-million dollar business.
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
Seeking advice from those who have experienced success and failures can help tremendously, and this is exactly the practical experience that authors Guy and Peg provide in The Art of Social Media.
One Million Followers by Brendan Kane
Do you wish you had all the secrets to growing an exponential following on social media? To become the influencer that promotes your brand instead of paying other ones to promote it for you? Well, thanks to this book by Brendan Kane, you can.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
Imagine reading a book that details how to become as recognizable of a name as Gary Vaynerchuk! He breaks down why creating good content for social media is only half the battle.
The Essential Social Media Marketing Handbook: A New Roadmap for Maximizing Your Brand, Influence, and Credibility by Gail Z. Martin
In this book you’ll learn how to rise above the competition and stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin
Social media is more influential than ever before, and this book examines the ways in which it has disrupted and transformed our traditional media channels. It also shares strategies your company can use to leverage these new communication forums to increase your reach and credibility with modern-day consumers.
Website Design & Optimization Books
This list of books will help with teaching you the underlying strategies of website design and SEO optimization. You thought there was someone else that did that job? Think again! It’s important for every marketer to know the importance of website aesthetics and SEO optimization for content. This will ultimately help you drive more leads and sales from your website traffic.
Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, & Lisa T. Davis
The Eisenbergs are well-known conversion rate optimization (CRO) experts, and in this book they share a treasure trove of web usability & conversion secrets.
Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web & Mobile Usability by Steve Krug
Don’t Make Me Think is the all-time classic book on web usability. You’ll learn the most important principles of usability, which means you’ll learn how to make sure your website is simple and intuitive to navigate.
Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik
This book, penned by analytics master Avinash Kaushik, gives you a simple and effective framework you can use to interpret your analytics and use your website data to make smarter business decisions.
Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist by Brian Massey
You’ll learn how to set up your own “conversion lab” where you can measure, experience, and ultimately improve the performance of your website. Discover how to develop effective product pages, landing pages, homepages, shopping carts, and more.
Cool & Interesting Marketing Books
Last but not least are our more unique marketing books that I really just think are “Must Reads”! They don’t necessarily fit into one of the categories above, instead they each touch on a wide range of interesting topics. Some of them touch on marketing topics, and others don’t, but they all will help you better understand your customers, which ultimately leads to successful marketing.
Cultivating Creativity: How to Create on Campuses, In Corporations, + Beyond by Amma Marfo
Cultivating Creativity is a book for anyone finding themselves in a creative rut. It dispels the self-deprecating idea that not everyone is creative, and helps anyone uncover their creative potential through stories and examples from real life.
The End of Marketing: Humanizing your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI by Carlos Gil
The End of Marketingrevolutionizes the way brands, agencies, and marketers should approach marketing, utilizing old marketing tips to better approach new marketing strategies.
So You Want to Start a Podcast by Kristen Meinzer
Kristen Meinzer has a step-by-step plan for how to decide your niche, find your listeners, and get going on your audio adventure. The best way to find success in the podcast world is to have a strategy, and Kristen is here to get you there.
The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, & David Weinberger
This is a fun and sometimes shocking book that explores the many ways in which the Internet has fundamentally changed the way we do business—and the way we live our lives—in the digital age.
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni
In Getting Naked, author Patrick Lencioni talks about why it’s so important to display vulnerability with your clients—and why you must always be 100% transparent with them. If you’re a consultant or part of a marketing agency, you really need to check out this book.
The Life of P. T. Barnum,Written by Himself by P T. Barnum
And in this book, which is drawn from the 1855 version (meaning it still contains some of Barnum’s more controversial stories), you’ll get a candid account of this innovator’s life and career. You can even read copies of some of his original press reviews and other writings.
Peterman Rides Again: Adventures Continue with the Real “J. Peterman” Through Life & the Catalog Business by John Peterman
And in this memoir, Peterman tells his story of his exciting life and his storied career. You’ll learn how he started his company with just $500 and a single product… and grew it into a $75 million behemoth. It wasn’t without trials, of course—you’ll hear about his company’s cash-flow crisis, and how he dealt with it.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
This book focuses on helping you to deliver more effective presentations by connecting with your audience and compelling them to take purposeful action. You’ll learn to borrow storytelling techniques from myths & movies, define the “hero’s journey,” structure your presentation to reinforce your message, and more.
When to Rob a Bank: …And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
This book, by the authors of Freakonomics, is a fascinating read that will leave you scratching your head at some of the bizarre truths and weird enigmas in the world today.
So, are you ready to learn about marketing? I recommend diving deep into this list of books if you’re looking for some marketing knowledge. There’s quite a few of them, so get started!