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Top 20 Marketing Books to Read

The must-read marketing books to grow your business

Have you ever heard of a saying – “if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room”? Now it may not always be possible to surround yourself with intelligent people at all times, but you can get some quality books written by those smart individuals.

There is just so much knowledge out there at your disposal, it may be hard to narrow down the pertinent information that suits your needs. Now we have compiled an extensive list of great reading material pertaining to marketing and influencing customer decision making.

Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers Into Believers – Douglas Atkin

Useful marketing book for any marketer.

Waiting in the freezing cold for a new iPhone shows dedication and brand loyalty an individual has. Brands give people a sense of belonging and acceptance. There is familiarity in the air when Nike releases a new sneaker you’ve been waiting for.

Douglas Atkin, a marketing expert dwells deep into full-blown cult brands and companies that use cult-like branding tactics. He will explain how popular brands create the feel of exclusivity we have come to appreciate from our consumer goods. You might be able to take away some useful information to accent your branding and marketing efforts.

Digital Influencer, A Guide to Achieving Influencer Status Online – John Lincoln

Digital Infliuencer is a great marketing book.

Online accessibility has given everyone the opportunity to connect and share valuable insights about what is best and how to get your hands on it. Reviews and influential online personas have become increasingly more persistent on shaping consumer behavior.

If you want to become a successful marketer, you need to learn to exert your influence on the web. This guide will show you how to build a following online, garner credibility and become a trusted source of information. All the tactics discussed here will make you an digital marketing powerhouse.

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You – John Hall

Top of Mind marketing book, useful for any business owner.

I am sure when you think of a certain type of product, few large brands come into your head. How do these industry leaders build such a following? They focused on building strategies that  engaged the right audience, created valuable relationships and delivered a worthy product to the consumer.

This book will discuss in detail about shifting consumer expectations and how it impacts you. You will find out how to develop a branding strategy that best suits you and your consumer as well as learning to utilize digital marketing efforts to expand your reach. John Hall really delivers with this marketing book.

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone: The Untapped Selling Power of Contact Marketing – Stu Heinecke

Have you ever tried to reach someone, only to be told that the certain individual is busy, never hearing anything back from them again. The higher up someone you’re trying to reach is, the more barriers you have to try and break down to make contact. Here is a solution to tearing down those barriers.

Stu Heinecke offers first hand experience on how to go about making those vital connections with the people that matter. He has faced rejection time and time again but has finally figured out the strategy that works. Learn how to make valuable impressions and reach those individuals who will have the greatest impact on you and your business.

Selling the Invisible: Field Guide to Modern Marketing – Harry Beckwith

Selling the Invisible is a wonderful marketing book.

Any business out there has to turn prospects into paying customers. That is the key to keeping the doors open and continuing your operations. This book will help you uncover unique characteristics of what makes any business, big or small, prosper.

If you are in a service industry and are looking for some actionable advice on how to improve your marketing efforts, look no further. This book has you covered.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Great marketing book for anyone looking to expand their knowledge.

This is no ordinary marketing book. It offers a lot more for you than just improving your branding or marketing efforts. This book will not only help you sell your product or a service but also yourself as a person and your thoughts and ideas.

Learn how to best connect with individuals and exert influence on them. Make any situation out there work for you with the knowledge Dale Carnegie empowers you with. Of course, when it comes to influencing people, this information is also incredibly relevant to marketing and persuading consumers in choosing you.

Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products – Nir Eyal

Hooked helps you improve your business to make yourself irresistible.

Ever wonder why and how some companies build a large customer base and prosper while others sink? Why do we feel more inclined to go with one brand over the other? Is there something the companies do to make us feel they are superior over their competitors?

All these questions and more will be answered in this book. Learn to incorporate subtle persuasion tactics and get the consumer ‘hooked’ on you. You will finally know the secrets to have the customer keep coming back to you time and time again.

Influence: Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini

Use psychology to influence consumer behavior.

Some of you may not realize it, but psychology plays a big part in developing effective marketing strategies. Why do people reach for one product over the other? What can you do to make yourself stand out among the competition?

‘Influence: Psychology of Persuasion’ will help you get a better understanding on why people say ‘yes’ to certain products and how to apply that knowledge to your own marketing efforts. Becoming a skilled persuader is essential to any marketer and knowing how to counter other persuaders is just as necessary. This book has it all.

Buy-ology – Martin Lindstrom

Does the human biology have any say in how and why we buy what we buy? Do you think there are ways to use human biology to help an individual make the choice that best suits them? Martin Lindstrom spent 3 years of his life and over 7 million dollars on research to find that out.

This book will dwell deep into the common marketing tactics and why they work or why people think they work when in reality they don’t. You will have a better understanding on some less known marketing tips and strategies that have flown under the radar all these years. This knowledge is useful for anyone wanting to become a successful marketer.

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers – Seth Godin

Permission marketing book focuses on building relationships with your consumer.

Seth Godin has been dubbed as the “ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” by ‘Business Week‘. This is not the only book of his that finds itself on our list of the best marketing books to read.

You will be introduced to a whole new way of developing your marketing efforts. Godin dwells into figuring out the interests of your potential consumer and reaching out to them once they know what they are looking for. This makes your overall strategy that much more effective in closing a valuable sale.

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Consumer behavior is a funny thing. We sometimes perceive things to be more effective or less effective purely based on price. We try to save pennies on a bar of chocolate but also buy the most expensive steak at a restaurant. Humans make a variety of irrational and rational decisions when it comes to buying goods – why is that?

We assume that we tend to make rational decisions when it comes to choices. Is this true though? Dan Ariely comes to a conclusion that although we are irrational, our behavior can and is predictable. How can you, as a marketer take advantage of that?

Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger

Why some things are talked about and others not.

Word of mouth is still one of the best ways a consumer good or a service gets marketed. We tend to trust our peers when it comes to making some critical purchase choices. But how does something become so sought after? Why do some things become viral over others?

Social transition and word of mouth have been and still are some of the best ways products get much needed recognition. The book ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch On‘ is exactly what it sounds like – contagious products and services and why they become so hard to resist. You will be able to take away actionable advice on how to best spread the right information to your consumer that will get them talking about you.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Charles MacKay

Oldie but a goodie. Knowledge here transcends time – even though published in the 1800’s it still caries valuable information that is relevant to this day. Now this this won’t be information that can be directly applied to any marketing campaign of yours but rather timeless evidence of psychology use in marketing.

This book contains anecdotal evidence of historic events which lead to discovery of just how powerful crowd behavior is and how it affects individuals. This goes to show how consumer behavior changed so little over all these years.

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

How to take advntage of different ways of thinking to influence the consumer.

This book breaks down the thought processes of individuals – the slow and deliberate and fast and emotional. Understanding these 2 ways of thinking helps us realize how and why we make the decisions that we do.

‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ may not be entirely focused on marketing, but it revolves around thinking and decision making. That’s what people do when they pick a product or a service they want to use – they make a decision. Knowing the process of decision making will help any marketer better understand how to improve your marketing strategy to influence consumers in a way that benefits their business.

Purple Cow – Seth Godin

How do you stand out from all the rest? Purple cow in the field with ordinary black and white ones will surely make you do a double-take. With so many choices out there for the consumer to look through, you need to really need to learn how to make yourself pop.

Reading ‘Purple Cow’ may make you rethink your marketing strategy. Seth Godin, as always has something valuable to share with anyone who has anything to offer to the rest of the world. You just may need some help making yourself heard. Godin has the knowledge to really enhance your marketing.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin

Tribes is everything and everything about what it means to be a leader and why our society depends on leaders.

Yet another Seth Godin book on this list. Humans are social beings, and have always co-existed with other individuals. We formed communes and tribes in the past, and we still do it to this day. The internet has given us the reach that has been unheard only until recently. We are able to formulate ‘tribes’ with people we share common interests with all across the globe.

You may be thinking of how this pertains to marketing. Well it’s not necessarily a direct relationship to marketing. Byproduct of the knowledge you acquire in this book helps develop valuable marketing know-how.

How will you lead your “tribe” of friends, co-workers, or consumers? In other words, how will you encourage them to make the choices you want them to?

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel Pink

We are all sales people, so how do we become more persuasive?

As the book suggests, we are all sales people. 1 in 9 people in the US work in sales. But what we don’t realize is that the other 8 are also selling something everyday. Humans are always trying to persuade others to do something. We sell our way of thinking, we attempt to motivate others to behave the way we might want them to. As you can imagine this fits very well with marketing.

Reading this book, you will get a better understanding of how to hone in your persuasion tactics. Sculpt the perfect marketing campaign that will get the attention of your audience and make them returning customers. Marketing is selling.

4 Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss

Efficiency is the name of the game. Learn to take advantage of anything to make you more productive and improve your business and your lifestyle. This book is full of solutions and tips on how to best increase your output while reducing the workload.

You don’t have to work hard, you have to work smart. I am sure you have heard this before. Every move you make, make it the most effective it can be. Apply these strategies to marketing efforts too. There is plethora of things you can take away from this book pertaining not only to marketing but life in general.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype – Jay Baer

Marketing should show why you're useful.

Usefulness is the name of the game. As far as marketing goes, you want to make sure the consumer is aware of the benefits you offer. Hyping something up with your marketing only offers you a temporary solution – temporary solution leads to a temporary client.

Jay Baer goes into great detail in his book about how marketing should be about offering real help and solutions to problems. This book will help you better develop a sound marketing plan that helps build long lasting business – client relationships. Remember, it costs more to reel in a new customer than it is to keep one.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout

Marketing books pertaining to the essential marketing rules one should always follow.

There are laws pertaining to just about everything in our lives – our actions are guided by them on a daily basis. 22 essential laws have been devised to make marketing that much more effective.

The most trusted experts in the field have created essential marketing tools over years of trial and error for you to take advantage of. Read these laws, and find out if you’re a law abiding marketer.


James is one of EvergreenFeed's content wizards. He enjoys a real 16oz cup of coffee with his social media and content news in the morning.

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