There are plenty of disciplines and topics that are worth learning about in marketing, but the best marketers are not masters of all of them. Instead they study each facet of marketing to understand how they influence each other. They know their strengths, recognize their weaknesses and build teams around them to compliment both.
These fifteen books cover the primary disciplines and skill sets that every marketer should learn about if they want to become experts in their field.
If we’re going to have a list of books marketers should read, then we should probably start with some books that are on marketing. These three books will help you understand modern marketing concepts and how the industry reached its current state.
Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online
by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works — and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All
by Seth Godin
Conversational Marketing: How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)
by David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt
Every deal your company closes is the culmination of thousands if not millions of decisions that are made by many different people. This makes it vital for marketers to understand how and why people make decisions. Some of the best marketers in the world spend years honing this skill to become masters of their craft, and these books are a great place to start.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B. Cialdini
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
by Robert B. Cialdini
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dr. Dan Ariely
It’s easier to track, measure and optimize your marketing efforts than ever before. This has given rise to the data-driven demand generation marketers of today. Now, that doesn't mean you need to be a data junky to be successful, but you should be familiar with the concepts introduced in these books.
Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The value that a strong brand can provide to a company is immeasurable — literally and figuratively. The way someone feels about your company starts with your brand and that is the one thing your competition cannot steal from you. While there is a lot more to branding than just design, it still goes a long way in helping to build a connection with your audience.
The A-Z of Modern Design
by Bernd Polster, Claudia Neumann, Markus Schuler and Frederick Leven
What is marketing without content? As marketing has evolved over the years, the one thing that remains consistent is that content is king. Whether it’s an e-book, video, blog post or podcast, it’s vital for marketers to find ways to share their message with their intended audience. These books will help you become a better communicator and content creator.
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars
by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman
Even if you never jump on a call as a marketer, you should know what it takes to sell because at the end of the day marketing should result in sales. These books by Trish Bertuzzi and Mark Roberge will help you understand how sales teams think and the importance of marketing and sales alignment.
The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
by Mark Roberge
Not every marketer needs to know how to manage, but marketing teams always run on tight budgets and timelines. This means that a thorough understanding of operations can go a long way to get more output from a small input. This book by Andy Grove is a great resource for any manager or team looking to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
High Output Management
by Andrew S. Grove
This list is just a starting point for you to expand your marketing expertise. This is by no means a comprehensive list of every marketing-related book you should read in your lifetime. I encourage everyone to continue educating themselves and diversify their knowledge by learning about as many fields as possible.
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Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.