Marketing books are a great opportunity to learn from the experience of those who have already taken a certain path. Technologies and methods are constantly being improved, offering completely new opportunities. However, many marketing books remain timeless. These publications allow you to learn some of the fundamental principles of behavioral psychology, professional growth, and goal setting, as well as various aspects of digital marketing.
27 of the Best Marketing Books
We’ve compiled a list of 27 top marketing books that motivate you to educate yourself and encourage you to grow professionally. Ready to be the best version of yourself?
The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?
In thisbook, Seth Godin encourages everyone to be an artist in their niche, to treat work like creativity. The author draws a parallel between the famous myth of Icarus and the modern world of business – how to fly so as not to fall.
Seth Godin is a writer, lecturer and co-founder of Squidoo.com. He has written 19 best-selling books on marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission Marketing and All Marketers Are Liars.
In his review, Adam Starks notes that the author gives effective advice on overcoming insecurity and managing yourself on the path to creativity in the book. Gene Morphis: "The book is a great contrast between mass-produced companies and organizations ready to create something new."
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Nir Eyal writes about how to get customers to take action and create appropriate triggers. The author describes four stages of customer motivation that can be used to improve conversion. At the end of the book, he gives some tips on applying the information while taking into account the ethical principles of treating consumers.
Nir Eyal is a regular contributor to technology, psychology, and business in Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today. He taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. You can read his other books – Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life and Measuring the Global Burden of Disease: Philosophical Dimensions.
In his review, WagzFisher writes: "The author skillfully changes the idea of product design, citing behavioral psychology and buyers’ outlook."
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
This book by Robert B. Cialdini is considered a marketing classic. In it, the author explains what makes people say yes to a particular purchase or service as well as how it can be applied in business. The book examines six principles of influence:
- Commitment and consistency
- Social proof
Robert B. Cialdini is a Doctor and Professor of Psychology and Marketing. Harvard Business Review listed his research on the Breakthrough Ideas for Today’s Business Agenda. Other popular books by the author include Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, The Small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence, and Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.
In the review, Charlotte A. Hu highlighted the description of an example of Chinese indoctrination in the context of consumer influence.
Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
Do you know how to use stories correctly? This book describes four main types of storytelling that influence customer choices:
- Value history
- Founder’s story
- A narrative about goals
- Customer experience
The author is published in the Wall Street Journal, reads reports worldwide, and is a columnist for SUCCESS Magazine. Other books include Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out and Otherwise Untold: A Collection of Stories Most People Would Keep to Themselves.
One reader, Neen James Inc., writes that the book is a great combination of practical advice, case studies, and personal stories.
Fascinate, Revised and Updated: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist
How can you use innovation, passion, strength, prestige, mystery, vigilance, and trust to differentiate your company from hundreds of others? Sally Hogshead explains in detail how to captivate a client. In addition, a free assessment tool called the Brand Attractiveness Profile is included with the latest edition.
Sally Hogshead is a frequent contributor to the media, including NBC’s Today Show and the New York Times. She is the youngest speaker to be inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame. Her other books are How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination and 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life.
In a review on Amazon, Tiffany Renee points out: "The book helped redesign the customer acquisition process." Additionally, Rob Kirk wrote that the book would be useful for entrepreneurs, investors, and business managers to build micro and macro businesses.
How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding
This book is based on an extensive historical analysis of world-famous brands, including ESPN, Mountain Dew, Volkswagen, Budweiser, and Harley-Davidson. The author describes a systematic model of how brands become icons. Douglas B. Holt uses examples to show that strengths, brand personality, and emotional drives do not make companies idols. It encourages a deeper look at culture and traditional marketing topics.
Douglas B. Holt taught marketing at Harvard Business School and was head of the marketing department at L’Orealin Oxford. Later, he founded the Cultural Strategy Group and authored The Consumer Society Reader.
From a review by Carol Phillips: "The book is well written and easy to take despite its seriousness."
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
The author describes the work of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tverskywhowrote a series of pamphlets on behavioral economics. William Easterly of the Wall Street Journal writes that this is a book about people faced with the uncertainty and limitations of the human mind.
Michael Lewis also wrote the bestselling books Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Fifth Risk.
Amazon user Wally Bock thinks the book is a great solution even if, at first, it seems that you are not ready for it.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
The book is about why we make decisionsin the blink of an eye and why sometimes the best actions are those that cannot be explained to others. The author talks about the how our brains work: why someone lives spontaneously and wins while someone’s life just flies by them.
Malcolm Gladwell is also the author of the bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw. He works as a staff writer for The New Yorker and hosts podcasts for his own audio company, Pushkin Industries.
In a review, Abba calls the book: "… The Anatomy of Decision Psychology, A Handbook of Prejudice"
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
The main topic is reasonable and unsuccessful actions as well as their impact on the world economy. The author shows how the so-called irrational behavior of buyers affects the market. These "wrong decisions" include actions that go beyond the blunder of economists.
Richard H. Thaler is a Nobel laureate, professor of economics and behavioral sciences, and director of the Center for Solutions Research at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can also read his books: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness (with Cass Sunstein), The Winner’s Curse, and Quasi Rational Economics.
User FCRichelieu noted: "Experiments and observations challenge some of classical economics’ basic assumptions and hypotheses."
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message, So Customers Will Listen
The author shares practical advice to touch the hearts of clients, to reach out to them. He explains how to make your posts and stories on social media, websites, and promotional items stand out from others. And how to provide full interaction with the public.
Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand. His books are Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step StoryBrand Guide for Any Business, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life.
In a review, Wally Bock (copywriter) says that writing quality copy step by step helped improve his writing skills.
Everything Is Figureoutable
The book teaches you to be creative with tasks, think more positively, and not succumb to fears. You will also learn about a habit that will increase your chances of reaching your goal by 42%.
Tiffany L. Vigil’s review advises those who like to make excuses to read this collection. And Nancy Davies writes that after reading it comes a feeling of confidence in action.
The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells
Improve the quality of content that will attract customers. Teach how to generate ideas for blog posts and social media pages. Defining the voice of a brand – these are the objectives of the book. It also describes the five types of content that any brand needs.
The book’s author is Meera Kothand, a writer and speaker who makes marketing easy for everyone. She is the founder of CREATEplanners and MeeraKothand.com. Her books Your First 100 and The Blog Startup are among Amazon’s bestsellers.
In a review, an Ike user shares that his niche is serious, and it is difficult to compose interesting content. However, after reading half of the book, he has a plan for the next two years.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
In this book, the author reveals six main principles that lead a product to popularity. Why is one product in great demand and the other not? What is the role of social impact?
Jonah Berger is a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on social impact and consumer behavior. His other works are The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.
Steven Woloszyk notes that the book has well-structured chapters and outlines principles to help a business go viral.
The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success
The author describes how to create your confidence-building technique and ow to become a leader for yourself and others. The book contains personal examples and advice from influential women from the worlds of business, fashion, journalism, and the arts.
Lydia Fenet is Christie’s Managing Director. Gotham magazine named her one of the most powerful women in New York.
User A. Daily made her main point: "We don’t need permission to move forward."
Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy
This book occupies an important place in the literature for leaders and politicians. It helps readers to understand the interests, intentions, and capabilities of competitors. The author explains the term "red team" itself and shows what advantages it gives the company.
Micah Zenko is Director of Research and Training at the McChrystal Group. He is responsible for developing applications that improve judgment, decision-making, and efficiency. His books are Clear and Present Safety: The World Has Never Been Better, Why That Matters to Americans, and Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies and Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation.
William Strusesays the book is focused on alternative analysis to solve problems.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
How do you create original ideas without fear of disrupting existing trends? How do you recognize a good idea? How can leaders foster an atmosphere in which dissent is welcomed? How can parents instill originality in children? This book answers all these questions.
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton. He is the recipient of Distinguished Scientific Achievement Awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation. He penned Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, and Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
The user under the nickname Book Shark adds that the book is great for everyday life.
Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary
In his book, Dr. Frank Luntz considers nine principles for winning:
- Breaking the paradigm
- Principal actions
The author shows how good communication helps you achieve your goals. He also teaches how to convey your thoughts and convince others.
Dr. Frank Luntz is a communications specialist who advises many Fortune 500 CEOs. He has written Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, What People Hear, and What Americans Want … Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears.
Eric Mayforth notes: "The author encourages us to combine qualities such as passion, conviction, and perseverance with honesty and competence. Then they will bring the desired result."
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Phil Knight tells his story by describing risks, crushing failures, competition, and triumphs.
The author of the book is the founder of Nike, Inc., and since 2016 he has been the honorary chairman of the company’s board of directors.
In a review, Wally Bock writes about the difference between Phil Knight’s memoir and other autobiographies – the book portrays the business as it is, talks about values, and the balance in life and relationships.
Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You
The publication for marketers, executives, and newbies in business. The author explains how to create a company that will be remembered first when thinking about the product.
John Hall is co-founder of Calendar.com, Influence and Co., and strategic advisor to Relevance.com. He writes weekly columns for Forbes Inc.
From a review by Mike Kresch: "The book masterfully interweaves practical advice with real-life examples. It charges you with optimism and gives you an understanding of how to be in the spotlight".
Outside Insight: Navigating a World Drowning in Data
How do you use external data for analysis, forecasting, and decision making? What helps to analyze and understand the opportunities or threats to a company?This book describes how to focus on the information you need.
User Vijaynotes the practicality of real-world examples of businesses that use competitive intelligence to win.
Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team
The fourth edition of the book for brand managers, marketers, and designers contains 30 new studies. An analysis will guide you through all the steps towards creating an effective personal brand with a well-thought-out strategy.
Alina Wheeler helps companies implement best practices in branding and explains how to avoid missing out on opportunities to create new customer experiences across the board. You can also read her book Brand Atlas: Branding Intelligence Made Visible.
In the review, the reader under the nickname N. Richardson writes that the book is filled with specific data and descriptions of processes. It can be considered a scientific work on the brand design.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck
This book is the result of 10 years of research. It will reveal why some stories remain in memory and others are forgotten, why some articles and headlines are of interest, while others are not.
Chip and Dan Heath have co-authored many bestselling books including Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.
Numerous reviews make it a tabletop edition for critically-minded executives.
The Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself
This autobiography is a modern reissue of the original memoir, published in 1855 and inaccessible to readers for over a century. Learn about the true adventures of the world-famous showman/con man.
Phineas T. Barnum – Founder of the touring circus from 1810-1891.
In a review, Jonathan Manning writes that Phineas T. Barnum’s other side struck him. He knew how to show care and kindness, which was surprising when combined with his illegal activities.
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane
A chronicle of the life of a rapper who had a significant impact on the hip-hop culture of the South in the United States. In his memoirs, he sincerely talks about the volatility of life and about the difficulties and successes he went through.
Gucci Mane has co-authored the book with Neil Martinez-Belkin, former editor of XXL Magazine. Later, Gucci Mane released another book – The Gucci Mane Guide to Greatness.
In a review, a Passionate Book Reader user writes that the book, "made me look at the artist’s work with different eyes."
Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers
Advertising distracts attention and interrupts classes. The author calls this "interrupt marketing." In his book, he offers a solution that will encourage potential customers to agree to advertise independently.
Seth Godin runs the marketing blog sethgodin.com. An author of 19 books, he has been inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame, Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, and Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame. His most popular books are Tribes, Unleashing the Ideavirus, and Purple Cow.
Ryan Donovan shares in his review: the book helped him set up business marketing without specialized education.
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
Thisbook is dedicated to the difficulties of dealing with a skeptical audience and competitors. It will help you build a strategy on the enemy’s weaknesses and capture the market.
Its authors – Al Ries and Jack Trout – are world-renowned marketing strategists. Al Ries is chairman of Ries & RiesinRowsell, GA, and Jack Trout are Chairman of Trout & Partners in Old Greenwich, CT. Together they published The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World’s Two and Marketing Warfare.
In the review, Guo LI notes that the book contains excellent practical advice.
Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing
This is a step-by-step guide on how to plan, integrate, and measure each digital platform. In this publication, you will learn everything about social media, SEO, online and offline integration,content marketing, and marketing automation.
Simon Kingsnorth is a marketing consultant and founder of Simon Kingsnorth Consulting. He is known for reports on marketing, innovation, futurology, and technology.
TomG referred to the book as a permanent resource for the marketers of the future.
Good marketing books are helpful. Their authors use examples, personal experience and research to reveal the secrets of communicating with the public and competitors. Smart texts help you gain confidence and not lose originality. They will be a great help for both newbies and marketing professionals to build and grow businesses.