Marketing is the lifeblood of a business. It’s the key to attracting a steady and reliable stream of new customers to your products or services. So, let’s explore nine of the best marketing books that you can read to become a better marketer.
Each of the books can be very helpful, but of course, some are going to be more urgent than others depending on your business’s needs today. So, I recommend that you take a few minutes to go through the entire list. That way, you’ll have an opportunity to identify the most critical and most relevant books for you.
Here are some of the key topics and themes that are covered:
- How to identify the best marketing opportunities
- How to create a simple and effective sales funnel
- How to get people to recommend your product or service
- How to have your brand stand out amongst the competition
- How to create a movement with a product, service, or idea
- How to use content marketing to attract loyal customers
- How to clarify your message so that it resonates with people
- How to understand the role of psychology in marketing
- How to overcome skepticism to build trust with customers
Note: Besides reading some of the best marketing books, you may also be interested in exploring the best business strategy books, the best product development books, the best startup books, or some of my other business book recommendations.
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1. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares
The most common reason why businesses fail is due to a lack of customers. Many are able to bring a product or service to market, but of course, that alone doesn’t guarantee success. So, even before you establish a new business, it’s critical to think about how you plan to attract customers in a predictable and reliable way.
Traction covers 19 proven marketing channels, including organic, paid, and social strategies. It also explains how to select and execute the best marketing opportunities for your business. So, whether you’re starting something new or you just want more customers for an existing business, the advice in this book can help.
2. Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
Many businesses fail to communicate a simple and attractive offer. Their websites use industry jargon or flowery language that just confuses people. As a result, any effort to drive attention to their product or service falls flat because no amount of awareness can make up for a weak or confusing sales message.
Marketing Made Simple can help you create an effective sales funnel. One that makes it easy for people to understand what you do and why they need your product or service. The book explains how to build five essential marketing tools, including a great website, so you can convert more prospects into paying customers.
3. Contagious by Jonah Berger
Word-of-mouth referral is arguably the most powerful marketing opportunity in business. When customers actively recommend your product or service to other people, sales can explode with minimal effort. Unfortunately, few marketers understand how to increase organic referrals, so they mistakenly assume it just comes down to luck or having a better product.
Contagious explores the science of word-of-mouth referral. It covers six principles of contagiousness; six factors that can cause a product, service, or idea to be more likely to spread. The insights can help you engineer virality to increase the rate at which people remember and recommend your brand to other people.
4. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Many businesses struggle to gain traction with their target audience. Meanwhile, one or two brands consistently dominate the market and take the lion’s share of revenue and profit, leaving very little for everyone else. So, this begs the question, “what causes some brands to be so much more successful than others?”
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is about the power of positioning. It explains how customers think when selecting brands and what you can do to have your brand stand out in the marketplace. It’s a short and powerful read that I strongly recommend to anyone interested in business, branding, or marketing.
5. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
One of the great challenges with launching something new is getting enough people to care about what you’re offering. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone right from the start. As a result, they spread their marketing efforts too thin and are unable to build meaningful momentum.
This Is Marketing is about how to create a movement. It explains that a better strategy is to start by targeting a small audience that will benefit most from your work. That way, you can attract brand evangelists, generate word-of-mouth referrals, and build the momentum you need to reach a much larger audience.
6. They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
Advertising can be a great way to attract new customers. However, many businesses make the mistake of becoming overly reliant on ad platforms that can change their policies or pricing at any time. So, as your business grows, it’s wise to invest in alternative marketing channels that offer greater freedom and control.
They Ask You Answer is about how to use content marketing to attract loyal customers to your business. It explains how to create articles, videos, podcasts, and other content that builds trust and authority in your market. When done right, this approach results in a reliable and predictable source of new leads for your business.
7. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
Businesses often fail to communicate clearly about what they do and how they create value for customers. Many seem to assume that people already understand what they do or be willing to go out of their way to figure it out. Yet, the only thing that people genuinely care about is how your business can solve a problem for them.
Building A StoryBrand can help you better communicate the value that your business provides. It explains how to use the universal elements of storytelling to clarify your message so that it resonates with customers. It’s a simple yet powerful way to make it easy for people to understand how your business can help them.
8. Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini
It’s a mistake for marketers to abuse manipulative persuasion techniques for personal gain. Not only is it ethically wrong, but it can also damage brand reputation and harm internal culture. With that said, it’s also a mistake to remain ignorant of psychology and the many implications within marketing, social media, and other aspects of business.
Influence covers six powerful principles of persuasion. Each one plays a role in the way that we are influenced throughout everyday life. So, if you want to better understand the sometimes invisible factors that guide our choices, this is widely considered one of the best books on the subject.
9. The Language Of Trust by Michael Maslansky
Today, people are more skeptical than ever before. Many have been burned by businesses, institutions, and even their government. As a result, they often assume the worst when engaging with brands or public figures, and they’re quick to share their assumptions with others on social media.
The Language of Trust is about how to overcome skepticism by communicating with people on their own terms. The insights apply to any situation where you need to build trust with customers, critics, or even the general public. The book is a must-read for leaders, marketers, and almost anyone active on social media.
Other Business Books For Marketers To Read
After reading about marketing, you may be interested in other business topics, including business strategy, product development, and startups. So, when you finish reading a few of the best marketing books, consider exploring my other reading lists.