View our curated list of the best marketing books that can help you increase your marketing knowledge, learn a new marketing skill, or spark innovative ideas. Some of the books are not only about marketing, but provide great ideas that can be implemented for effective marketing.
To Sell is Human
Dan Pink argues that everyone is a salesperson and provides actionable tips for improving your selling skills whether you are selling a product or selling an idea to your manager or spouse.
Jonah Berger shares the research on what factors increase the likelihood of ideas to spread including social proof, exclusivity, scarcity, and triggers.
An excellent book that provides an intimate look into the life and mind of Steve Jobs. Jobs was a tremendous marketer and there are some great marketing lessons that can be learned from him. The book also discusses the stories behind the infamous 1984 ad and the “Think Different” ad.
The Power of Habit
This is an excellent book on how habits work with examples from the marketing field such as how the marketers of Pepsodent and Febreze were able to create new consumer habits.
Duct Tape Marketing
Intended primarily for small businesses, Duct Tape Marketing provides a great guide for executing an effective marketing strategy and shares creative tactics for generating referrals and growing an online presence.
Start With Why
Simon Sinek makes the case that the best companies start by determining what they believe and then proving it with their actions and words.
Tom Asaker explains how to connect and engage with consumers in a meaningful way in today’s economy of ideas.
Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman explain how to leverage content for effective marketing with actionable tips and concrete examples.
Roger Dooley describes the marketing applications of dozens of scientific studies about neuroscience and consumer behavior.
Branding Basics for Small Business
Maria Ross provides a good crash course on branding for small businesses and a good review of important concepts in branding.
The Referral Engine
John Jantsch explains the steps to creating a referral generating system, focusing on small businesses but with concepts applicable to larger businesses.
The 24-Hour Customer
Adrian Ott discusses the role of time in consumer decisions and how marketers can use limited time and attention to their advantage.
Attention! This Book Will Make You Money
Jim Kukral provides actionable tactics for generating attention for your business using the Internet and public relations.
Flip The Funnel
Joseph Jaffe argues that retention is the new acquisition and marketing spend should be shifted from new customers to existing customers. Read our summary: Marketing Takeaways from Flip the Funnel
The Next Evolution of Marketing
Bob Gilbreath lays out a new framework for marketing in which the marketing itself is valuable. Read our summary: Create Valuable Marketing: The Next Evolution of Marketing
A good introduction to the concepts of inbound marketing and is written by the founders of HubSpot who have leveraged these concepts to build a leader in the marketing software industry.
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith discuss how to use social media to build business relationships.
A great book by Chip and Dan Heath about how to effectively bring about change in people’s behavior.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of Mouth Marketing is the authoritative book on the topic of word of mouth marketing.
Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
This book provides a lot of interesting research, studies, and ideas on how to influence people to say yes.
New Rules of Marketing and PR
David Meerman Scott explains how marketers can use new media tools and content to reach customers with their message.
Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead
Two deadheads, David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, explore what marketers can learn from the success of the Grateful Dead including how allowing “tapers” to record music from their shows resulted in their fans becoming evangelists for the band.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely discusses research that provide insights into why consumers often make irrational decisions.
A good book that provides tips for building a popular blog and earning revenue from blogging.
Groundswell is full of helpful case studies showing how companies effectively use social technologies to help customers and achieve business goals.
World Wide Rave
David Meerman Scott explains how to leverage online marketing tools to spread your story.
Upside of Irrationality
Dan Ariely continues his discussion of human’s irrational behavior and highlights studies that provide keen insights that can be applied to marketing.
War in the Boardroom
Al and Laura Ries discuss the conflict between executives who are primarily right brain dominant thinkers and marketers who are primarily left brain dominant.
The classic Seth Godin book about why you must be remarkable to be noticed in the crowded marketplace.
Made to Stick
A must read book for marketing professionals that lays out a framework for getting ideas to stick in the mind.
All Marketers are Liars
Seth Godin’s classic book on how effective marketing is about telling compelling stories.
Search Engine Optimization Secrets
Danny Dover has written one of the best books available on search engine optimization. This book provides a ton of useful information and tips and covers a lot of the advanced techniques in SEO.
In this classic marketing book, Al Ries and Jack Trout explain how to establish a position for a product in the crowded mind of consumers.
The Ultimate Guide to Link Building
To be successful on the Web you need authoritative links. This is the definitive book on building and earning quality links to your site.
Tony Hsieh describes his journey from building Link Exchange which sold to Microsoft for $200+ million to building Zappos which was acquired by Amazon for about $1 billion. He also shares insights into Zappos’ approach to marketing and PR including his philosophy that your culture is your brand.
The Personal MBA
This book does a great job of summarizing some of the most important marketing and business concepts that you would learn if you attended an MBA program.
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