Stay Up To Date With Marketing Trends: The Top Marketing Books For Your Reading List

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Stay Up To Date With Marketing Trends: The Top Marketing Books For Your Reading List
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Stay Up To Date With Marketing Trends: The Top Marketing Books For Your Reading List

Marketing is everything to your business. Without it, you would have no way of getting eyeballs on the products and services that matter most to your customers.

With a well-rounded marketing strategy, you can increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and generate leads that turn into customers.

Your ideal marketing scenario is to marry the principles that have stood the test of time with the latest strategies and trends. After all, what worked even a few years ago may not work today.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve compiled a list of the best marketing books written by the experts. The names in the mix are familiar – Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, and Jay Baer. You may have already read their books.

But we’ve also included some lesser-known thought leaders who are shaking up the marketing world. Like Nir Eyal, who wrote Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.

And of course, no list of top marketing books would be complete without a nod to the classics, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

This definitive list covers a range of marketing topics, from inbound marketing and copywriting to email marketing, social media, and analytics.

So whether you’re just getting started in the world of marketing or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s something in here for you.

1) How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People Book by Dale CarnegieAuthor: Dale Carnegie
Published: 1936

We start with one of the most well-known marketing books of all time, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

This book is more than 80 years old, but the wisdom within is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published. That’s because Carnegie’s advice is based on understanding human psychology – something that hasn’t changed.

Carnegie shows you how to make friends and influence people by being interested in them and their interests, being a good listener, and making the other person feel important.

He also provides practical tips for handling difficult people and situations. If you want to learn how to market yourself and your products/services in a way that’s genuine and effective, then you need to read this book.

2) Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked - How to Build Habit-Forming Products BookAuthor: Nir Eyal
Published: 2014

Hooked narrows in on a specific aspect of marketing – how to create products that people can’t put down.

Hooked dives deep into the psychology of why we form certain habits and how businesses can create products that “hook” us – in a good way.

In a nutshell, the book is about understanding your customers and designing your product in a way that fits their needs and wants. If you want to create products that people can’t help but use, then you need to read Hooked.

He details the four steps of the “Hook Model” – trigger, action, variable reward, and investment – and shows how companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have used it to achieve massive success.

This book has a unique perspective on marketing – instead of thinking about how to get people to buy your product, think about how to get them addicted to it.

3) Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help, not Hype

Youtility - Why Smart Marketing is about Help, not Hype BookAuthor: Jay Baer
Published: 2013

If you’re sick of traditional marketing tactics that rely on interruption and manipulation, then you need to read Jay Baer’s Youtility.

In this book, Baer makes the case for why businesses should focus on being useful instead of trying to sell people things they don’t need. He argues that in today’s world of information overload, the best way to stand out is by actually helping people.

This book provides lots of practical tips for creating useful content and marketing it in a way that’s non-intrusive and helpful, not pushy and sales-y.

One key takeaway from the book is the importance of creating content that is both informative and entertaining. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to creating marketing that people will want to consume.

4) The Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

The Purple Cow - Book on MarketingAuthor: Seth Godin
Published: 2002

Standing out from the crowd is not an easy task. For every niche market, a thousand other companies are vying for attention. So how do you make your business the one that people remember?

Seth Godin’s book, The Purple Cow, is all about being remarkable. He argues that to succeed, you must be willing to stand out from the rest – even if it means being weird or different.

Godin provides plenty of examples of companies that have achieved success by being different, including Jet Blue, Starbucks, Google, and IKEA.

It’s inspiring and thought-provoking and though it’s over 20 years old, the book’s message is still super relevant today.

5) Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Everybody Writes - Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content BookAuthor: Ann Handley
Published: 2014

As the title suggests, this book is all about creating good content. Ann Handley is a well-respected authority on the subject, and in this book, she provides plenty of practical tips for creating content that is interesting, useful, and shareable.

She covers topics like how to come up with ideas, how to write headlines that grab attention, and how to use storytelling to make your content more engaging.

The truth is if you are in marketing, you’re a writer. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “writer”, you still have to produce content regularly – whether it’s blog posts, social media updates, or email newsletters.

Everybody writes is packed with actionable advice on how to write better and its comprehensive approach makes it an essential read for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills.

Some of the key takeaways include:

  • The importance of having a distinct voice and personality in your writing
  • How to make your writing more readable and engaging
  • The difference between good and bad writing, and how to avoid common mistakes

Whether you’re a professional writer or not, this book will teach you how to write better and create content that people will want to read.

6) Invisible Selling Machine

Invisible Selling MachineAuthor: Ryan Deiss
Published: 2007

If you’re like most people, you probably underestimate the power of email. After all, it’s just a digital version of a letter, right? Wrong.

As Ryan Deiss explains in The Invisible Selling Machine, email is one of the most important tools in any business’s arsenal. Not only is it a great way to stay in touch with your customers, but it’s also an incredibly effective marketing tool.

With just a few clicks, you can send out updates, special offers, and reminders that keep your customers coming back for more. Not to mention, email is incredibly cheap – if you were to pay for advertising that had the same reach and impact, it would cost you a fortune.

The Invisible Selling Machine is essential reading for anyone who wants to use email to its full potential. It’s packed with great information that’s sure to help you create a strategy that works for your business.

7) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World BookAuthor: Gary Vaynerchuk
Published: 2013

As the title suggests, Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is all about how to tell your story on social media.

In a world where everyone is fighting for attention, it’s more important than ever to create content that cuts through the noise. Vaynerchuk provides plenty of examples of brands that are doing just that, and he offers up actionable advice on how you can tell your own story in a way that resonates with your audience.

With social media becoming increasingly saturated, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to create content that stands out from the rest.

8) The Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking

The Psychology of Persuasion - A Book on MarketingAuthor: Robert B. Cialdini
Published: 1984

Marketing is all about persuasion – getting people to see things your way and convincing them to take action.

In The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini draws on his years of experience in the field to explore the psychology behind why people say “yes”.

In it, Cialdini outlines six principles of persuasion that have been proven to be effective time and time again. These principles are:

  • Reciprocity
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Social proof
  • Authority
  • Liking
  • Scarcity

Each chapter dives deep into one of these principles, providing plenty of examples of how they can be used in optimizing your marketing efforts.

9) The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing BookAuthor: Al Ries and Jack Trout
Published: 1993

This book is a great example of why marketing basics are so important. Maybe you could say it’s the marketing equivalent of The Elements of Style.

Al Ries and Jack Trout layout 22 immutable laws of marketing, which they argue, if violated, could lead to disaster. Some of these laws include:

  • The Law of Leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better
  • The Law of the Category: If you can’t be first in a category, create a new category you can be first in
  • The Law of the Mind: It’s better to be first in the mind than it is to be first in the market

Ries and Trout’s book is a great reminder of why marketing basics are so important, and why you should always keep them in mind when planning your marketing strategy.

10) Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

Blue Ocean Strategy - A Book on MarketingAuthor: W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Published: 2004

You’re probably familiar with the term “red ocean”. It’s used to describe a market that’s crowded with competitors and where there’s not much room for growth.

In contrast, a “blue ocean” is an uncontested market space where there is plenty of room for growth and opportunity. In other words, it’s a market that hasn’t been fully explored yet. And this is where you want to be.

In Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne lay out a framework for creating blue oceans. They provide plenty of examples of companies that have used this strategy to great success.

The key is to look beyond your existing industry and find new ways to reach your target market. This may seem like a daunting task, but Kim and Mauborgne provide a framework that makes it much easier to do.

So if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, pick up a copy of Blue Ocean Strategy. It just might be the key to success.

11) Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Permission Marketing BookAuthor: Seth Godin
Published: 1999

This book was ahead of its time when it was published in 1999, and it’s even more relevant today.

In Permission Marketing, Seth Godin argues that the future of marketing lies in obtaining permission from customers before trying to sell them something. This means building a relationship with them first and providing them with value on an ongoing basis.

This is different from traditional marketing, where businesses interrupt people with their message whether they want it or not.

Over 20 years later, permission marketing is more important than ever. With the advent of social media and the rise of ad blockers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach people with traditional marketing techniques.

But if you have a solid relationship with your customers, they will be more likely to see your message and take action.

12) UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging

UnMarketing - A Book on MarketingAuthor: Scott Stratten
Published: 2010

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. You’re talking to someone at a party and they suddenly start trying to sell you something. It’s uncomfortable, and you usually try to get away from that person as soon as possible.

In UnMarketing, Scott Stratten argues that this is what traditional marketing techniques are doing to people. Instead of engaging with them, we’re interrupting them and trying to sell them something they may not even want.

Stratten advocates for a new approach to marketing, one that is based on relationships and providing value first. Only then can you hope to sell something to someone. So next time you’re thinking about making a sales pitch, think about how you would want to be treated and take a step back. Chances are, the other person will appreciate it too.

13) Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business, 4th Edition

Guerrilla Marketing BookAuthor: Jay Conrad Levinson
Published: 2007

Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing is one of the most classic marketing books out there. It was originally published in 1984 and has been updated several times since then.

Levinson coined the term “guerrilla marketing” to describe low-budget, creative marketing techniques that can be used by businesses of any size.

This book is chock full of examples of businesses that have used these techniques to great effect. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to market your business on a shoestring budget, this is the book for you.

14) Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

Misbehaving - The Making of Behavioral Economics BookAuthor: Richard H. Thaler
Published: 2015

Economics is all about making choices that are in your best interest, right? WRONG. In Misbehaving, Richard H. Thaler explores the field of behavioral economics and how it can be used to make better marketing decisions.

Turns out, we’re often irrational and make choices that don’t make sense from a logical standpoint. Whether it’s because of emotions, social norms, or other factors, our choices aren’t always based on what is best for us.

However, by understanding behavioral economics, we can make more informed decisions that are likely to lead to better outcomes. If you’re interested in the subject, this book is a must-read. It’s both entertaining and informative, and it will give you a new perspective on the way you make decisions.

15) Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

Building A Story Brand - A Book on MarketingAuthor: Donald Miller
Published: 2017

Have you ever wondered why some businesses just seem to “get it” when it comes to marketing, while others always seem to be struggling? According to Donald Miller, the answer lies in their ability (or lack thereof) to tell a good story.

In Building a Story Brand, Miller uses the framework of a story to help businesses Clarify Their Message and Connect With Their Customers. The book is based on the premise that people are more likely to remember and act on a story than they are on a list of facts.

Miller walks readers through the process of Clarifying Their Message and then creating a Brand Story that will resonate with their customers. By the end, you’ll have a much better understanding of how to connect with your customers and make your brand more memorable.

16) Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Made To Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die BookAuthor: Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Published: 2007

Have you ever wondered why some ideas stick in our heads while others fail to make an impact? In Made to Stick, brothers Chip and Dan Heath explore this question and offer some insights into what makes an idea successful.

The Heath brothers argue that six factors make an idea more likely to stick: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotion, and stories. Getting into the mind of the customer and understanding how these factors play into decision-making can be the difference between a successful marketing campaign and one that falls flat.

After all, if you can’t get your customers to remember your message, it doesn’t matter how good it is.


Generally speaking, marketing books can be divided into two camps: those that focus on theory and those that focus on practicality.

Theory-based books are important for understanding the underlying principles of marketing. However, they can often be dense and difficult to get through.

Practical books, on the other hand, offer valuable insights that can be immediately applied to your business. While they may not be as comprehensive as theory-based books, they are often easier to read and understand.

The best marketing books offer a mix of both theory and practicality. They provide a well-rounded understanding of the subject matter and offer insights that can be immediately applied to your business.

The books on this list cover a wide range of topics, from copywriting to social media to branding. No matter what your area of interest is, you’re sure to find a book on this list that will help you take your marketing to the next level.
Happy reading!


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