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the best books about marketing

The 22 Best Marketing Books to Read in 2021

Ben Johnson

For even the most gifted marketers, natural intuition isn’t enough.

People have been in your shoes before, and at least one of them has come up with a better solution than you can study. Luckily, many of the world’s best marketers have written about their experiences. You can (and should) use their lessons to avoid their mistakes and get a leg up on your competition.

We’ve compiled some of the best marketing books of all time for entrepreneurs, marketers and anyone else running a business or marketing a brand. Learn from some of the best marketers and best business leaders to think differently, understand the purpose of your business, decide how to sell to your customers and crush your marketing strategy in 2020 with this list.

The List: 22 Best Marketing Books You Need On Your Shelf

1. icarus deception by seth godin.

You might recall that Icarus’s fatal flaw was not heeding his father’s warning to not fly too close to the sun. Furthermore, Daedalus warned his son to not fly too low, fearing that the saltwater would also damage the wings.

In his lauded book, Seth Godin takes a hint from Greek mythology, pushing readers towards thinking radically outside the box, move forward without a map — critical skills for any marketer looking to get ahead. He emphasizes that conventional wisdom, conformity and fitting the mold are a surefire path to mediocrity.  

2. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal


People using your product is cool, but people habitually using your product is cooler . There’s a pattern to which products and services catch attention and become essential for consumers and which, and Hooked answers how to to do just that. Nir Eyal’s book, culled from years of behavioral design research, is a must read and one of the best marketing books for entrepreneurs looking to create and market products that consumers keep coming back to.  

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

How do you get someone to say yes?  Marketing at its core is getting someone to agree to a proposition. Easier said than done…

People are being asked for their attention and money all the time, and  social pressures add a wrinkle to an already complicated and saturated competition for consumer attention. In his bestseller and arguably of the best marketing books of all time, Robert Cialdini breaks down how with thoughtful persuasion, people can be influenced to say yes more often.

4. How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B. Holt

Any business is good business, right? Not exactly…

In his bestseller and candidate for one of the best marketing books of all time, former Harvard Business School professor Douglas B. Holt lays down what marketers need to understand if they want to communicate an authentic brand that truly resonates with customers over time, not just once because of a low price or hype. Taking the tips from iconic brands including ESPN , Mountain Dew, Volkswagen, Budweiser, and Harley-Davidson , Holt breaks down his tips to cultivate a marketing strategy that goes beyond gimmicks and establishes a meaningful brand connection with potential customers.

5. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project

Michael Lewis’s acclaimed book turns academically dense psychology about judgments and decision-making into a gripping page-turner. Understanding the human psyche is critical for edging out marketing competition and The Undoing Project will help marketers do that in a book whose intellectual rigor matches its entertainment value.

6. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell


Gladwell’s hit Blink isn’t explicitly about marketing, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the top marketing books. His sophomore book examines the thinking we do when we’re not thinking. We make split-second decisions all the time about what we want, and it’s important that marketers understand those snap judgments. If you’ve read Gladwell’s classic before, then it’s worth your time to snag it again on Audible and absorb the content during your daily commute, a perfect audio companion  for his podcast listeners .

7. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler


The best marketers do a good job of understanding how consumers think. The top marketing books do this too, and Misbehaving is one of them. Legendary behavioral economist Richard Thaler walks readers through how consumers behave irrationally. We don’t make the best decisions for ourselves and are consistent in making errors. It’s useful for marketers to understand those patterns.

8. Red Team by Micah Zenko

Red Team

Think you always have good ideas? In Red Team , Micah Zenko shows you why you shouldn’t. He makes it clear that even your best ideas need to be interrogated internally before they hit the market. Pharmaceutical companies, the CIA, and a bevy of other organizations follow this process to take their work to the next level. Even if you and your whole team are on board with your new marketing strategy, sometimes fostering healthy criticism is the difference between a good plan and great plan.

9. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Robert Grant


Everyone thinks the same all the time. Ideas are stunningly iterative. Startups are presented as the “Uber of x” , businesses imitate businesses. And this is kind of for good reason. Being different can be risky. The gains can be big and the loses heavy. In one of the best marketing books for entrepreneurs, Robert Grant shows marketers how they can think different without risking it all.

10. Contagious, Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger


With Contagious , Jonah Berger, a professor at the Wharton School , created one of the top marketing books. Berger explores how and why some information goes viral while other info does not. His work has become a seminal marketing book and a must-read for any marketing professional trying to figure out how to get ahead of the curve.

11. Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Frank Luntz

Frank Luntz has been a messaging expert in political insider circles for decades — helping his clients shift their discussions with language. Those on his side love him and those who oppose him hate him for how effective he is. Luntz takes what he’s learned inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway and applies it to business in a way that marketers seeking to communicate more effectively and succinctly to their customers will appreciate.

12. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog

Phil Knight is one-half of the team behind one of the best-marketed brands of all time: Nike. Knight’s memoir is loaded with lessons and insights on how to not just articulate a coherent brand vision, but to also live it. Understanding the mechanics and theory of marketing is important, but Knight’s book is able to provide a case study that teaches how to implement these tactics extremely well.

13. Top of Mind by John Hall

Top of Mind

When people think about your industry, your brand should be the first thing that comes to mind. But this isn’t an easy task… John Hall’s Top of Mind is a guide to helping you do so. Hall’s book provides insights into how to create meaningful and authentic relationships between customers and products.

14. Outside Insight by Jørn Lyseggen

Outside Insight

Big data is still all the rage, and it’s not just a buzzword. Jørn Lyseggen has used it to push his media and business intelligence company, Meltwater, ahead of the competition. It can be easy to drown in the vast swaths of data available now, but Lygseggen’s book is useful for marketers looking for insight on how to use data to their advantage.

15. Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler

Designing Brand Identity

Good brands are not just strategy, design, or copywriting. They’re the sum of all three of these things. Alina Wheeler’s detailed book on how to comprehensive market every aspect of a brand is one of the best marketing books for entrepreneurs looking understand every aspect of their teams and how to get the most out of them.

16. The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane

Gucci Mane

Few have come from so little, had it almost taken away, and still prevailed to build a lasting career and such a spectacular brand. Gucci Mane, born Radric Davis, chronicles his rise out of poverty in East Atlanta and several jail stints to create one of the most recognized personas in hip-hop. Even if your work doesn’t touch music or culture, marketers can pick up more than a tip or two from the Malcolm Gladwell fan’s relentless grit and success in cultivating well-respected and well-known personal brand.

17. The Life of PT Barnum by PT Barnum

PT Barnum

Sometimes the top marketing books are the ones that go back to the basics. Barnum’s autobiography is as basic as they come in marketing. The enterprising visionary is known for his famous circus, but he was able to build a lasting brand because of his marketing expertise. Barnum invented many of the essentials elements of marketing and advertising that continue to dominate the industry in 2019. His book gives the inside story of how he accomplished that.

18. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

Seth Godin, who Businessweek once dubbed “ the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age,” breaks down his strategy for winning customers over. This book was published in 1999, and Godin was able to effectively communicate the changes that were coming with the growth of the tech industry. Traditional advertising was aimed at capturing attention. Godin looks forward with lessons marketers can glean about how to reach out to customers who have already shown interest in a product and brand, and how that can drive a successful marketing campaign.

19. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

It struck the marketing world when it first came out and now, several decades later, Al Ries and Jack Trout’s Positioning still holds a spot as one of the top marketing reads. Whether you are picking it up for the first time, or doing a refresher on Audible, you are in for a face-paced, pithy, master class on everything from how to find weak spots of competitors, to finding the right name for a product, to identifying the right market niche to attack. And if you’re looking for more top marketing audio content, check out our list of the 19 best marketing podcasts .

20. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay

Extraordinary Popular Delusions

Charles MacKay’s 1841 classic has stood the test of time and continues to be lauded and cited by contemporary academics and writers. MacKay covers how the delusion of crowds can lead to things like the often referenced Tulipomania. His book is critical for marketers looking to get a historical perspective on how the psychology of the masses can affect human behavior.

21. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing It

Good marketing philosophy often starts at the top and goes down. In one of the best marketing books of 2019, New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk dissects how with an entrepreneur’s own personal brand, they can help their entire enterprises, gain attention, reform their ethos and ultimately succeed.

22. Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt

Marketing Myopia

In business, you’re not selling a product, you’re meeting customers needs. It’s a distinction that many marketers forget but is a cornerstone of the profession.

As companies grow, many find their prosperity waning. They lose sight of what type of business they are and what they’re trying to serve customers. Good CMOs and marketers never lose focus, and Levitt’s tried and true tips will help keep you on track.

Get Reading, Marketers!

There are a lot of marketing and sales books and there are more coming out all the time, but with this list, we’ll help make sure that your time is well spent on the best of the best.

Practice makes perfect, but use these books to make sure that the marketing you are putting into practice is as close to perfect as possible. 

Have a book you think we should have included in the list? Be sure to leave a comment below!

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The Best Marketing Books Of 2023

We layout the must-read, best marketing books for this year to help you invest your time productively.

The front cover of the Quantum Marketing book: one of the best marketing books of recent times.

The sheer variety of the best marketing books on the market can prove quite daunting for those of us on the lookout for a new tome. Just how do you decide which are worth your time?

The marketing industry is constantly changing and adapting to the emerging trends of everyday life, and because of this, marketers know the importance of adapting to remain current—no matter what their level of expertise. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned pro, there are always new things to learn, skills to improve, and strategies to adopt. 

In this article, we do some of the legwork for you, highlighting six that we consider prime reading for marketers of all stripes. We've compared everything from cost and content, to book size and Kindle availability, and put together our list of the best marketing books available today.

Looking to learn more about marketing? Check out the six best small business marketing strategies that work . Alternatively, you can read about the best content marketing tools or the best online marketing services to further your knowledge. 

The best marketing books of 2023 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

1. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd

Specifications, reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

There’s a reason the The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a number-one bestseller on Amazon. In this 234-page book, released in May 2018, marketers will learn how to create a quick and simple marketing plan in just a single page, and learn how following a reliablem fully-fledged marketing plan— rather than “random acts of marketing”— will result in rapid business growth. 

Alongside this, entrepreneur, expert marketer, and author Allan Dib illustrates how you can acquire new clients, make additional profit from existing ones, stand out from competitors, and achieve amazing results on a small budget. 

The 1-Page Marketing Plan book is ideal for both new marketers and more experienced professionals, particularly those looking to streamline their marketing plan quickly and efficiently, and is a solid choice for anyone looking to increase their business’s growth and simplify their marketing process.

2. Pandemic, Inc.: 8 Trends Driving Business Growth and Success in the New Economy

Patrick Schwerdtfeger’s Pandemic, Inc - released amid the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020 - offers entrepreneurs, small businesses, and self-employed professionals a bold and unique take on how the coronavirus disruption can be used to their business’s advantage. 

Based on the belief that change = opportunity, Patrick lists eight key trends that marketers can follow to drive business growth and success in the current economy, with key topics including cryptocurrencies, social unrest, new technologies, job displacement and the future of work. 

Using the acronym “salvaged”, the contents page breaks down each of the eight subjects into smaller chunks (S: Self-sufficiency, A: Analytics, L: Liquidity, V: Virtualization, A: Automation, G: Government, E: Exponential Thinking, D: Decentralization) and outlines these trends into a business roadmap featuring strategic questions and tactical to-dos that the author argues should be acted upon instantly.

3. Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Wharton marketing professor and New York Times bestselling author Jonah Berger offers his take on why certain products and ideas become popular in Contagious: Why Things Catch On . 

According to Berger, “people don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers.” This principle forms the basis of the book, which examines why some products, ideas, and stories are more likely to go viral than others. 

A staple on any marketing bookshelf, Contagious looks at the science and power behind word of mouth, which Berger argues is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. In outlining this case, he uncovers the six key principles that encourage ideas and products to become popular and successful. 

It can also be used as a handbook of sorts, containing actionable techniques to help you understand how information spreads, so you can create content and product advertisements that people will want to share.

4. The Results Obsession: ROI-Focused Digital Strategies to Transform Your Marketing

If you’re stuck in a marketing rut and unsure where to take your strategy next, The Results Obsession might be the book for you. Offering a step-by-step roadmap to help you increase online leads and sales, it explains how to exploit your highest return on investment (ROI) digital marketing channels, by improving your website and emails, utilizing SEO best practises, and using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to your advantage.

Using analysis, marketing metrics, and formulas, you will learn how to diagnose your funnel process—from traffic to leads to sales—so you know exactly how you can improve your results. Author Karen J. Marchetti uses direct marketing strategies to uncover the formulas to writing winning copy, explains how to best use Google Analytics, teaches you how to understand and create buyer personas, and uncovers the “marketing metrics” you can use to evaluate and improve all of your marketing efforts.

5. Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow's Consumers

Chief Marketing Officer of Mastercard, Raja Rajamannar, explains how to thrive while navigating the ever-changing world of marketing in his book, Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow's Consumers .

Focussed on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and blockchain, Rajamannar—who has been named one of the world's most influential CMOs by Forbes Magazine—explains how marketers can boost their business by combining creativity, data, and breakthrough technology. 

He outlines the four significant stages of marketing that have emerged alongside ever-changing technology, building on the strategies and tools of the previous era. 

Through the techniques listed in his book, Rajamannar teaches readers how to understand and be at the forefront of the marketing evolution (or, revolution, as his Fifth Paradigm theory attests), by encouraging marketing teams to rethink their strategy in order to remain relevant in a developing industry. 

6. InstaBrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z

InstaBrain , released in March 2019, claims that Generation Z (those aged between 13 and 24 years old) currently represent two out of every five American consumers and contribute around $655B in US purchases each year. As the largest living generation, outpacing Millennials by three million, it’s certainly a good idea to understand how to target them with your marketing campaigns. 

In InstaBrain, internationally-acclaimed researcher Sarah Weise lays out the new rules for marketing and brand-building for this generation of digital natives. 

With anecdotal insights from real-life youth research projects and tips on how to increase Gen Z’s engagement with your brand, you’ll learn where this generation consumes their content, what makes them interact, how to keep them coming back, and how to tailor your strategy to increase your sales and brand awareness with them.

How to choose the best marketing books for you

When deciding on the best marketing books for you, your individual preferences and goals will determine which will suit your needs the most. For instance, which areas of marketing are you looking to further your knowledge in? Are you looking to develop a specific skill, like email marketing , or perhaps gain an overview of more general topics? 

Are you reading for information, or do you require actionable steps that you can follow? Are you looking for general creative marketing campaign inspiration? 

If so, you may like our articles on the 5 Best B2B Marketing Examples of All Time and the 5 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time . Once you decide on and prioritize what you’d like to learn about, it will become much simpler to narrow down your reading selection. 

For instance, if you’re interested in learning about targeting Gen Z with your marketing campaigns, then a book like InstaBrain will certainly tick all the boxes—this covers key areas like strategy, brand-building, and engagement within this demographic, so you’re sure to finish it with some key takeaways. 

Likewise, if emerging trends and technologies are more relevant areas that you’d like to brush up on, Quantum Marketing will teach you about how AI, 5G, and blockchain can affect your marketing strategy. Other books like Contagious and The Results Obsession offer a more general overview, providing plenty of food for thought with new ideas and habits to adopt when improving your marketing efforts, while Pandemic, Inc provides insight into the current post-pandemic marketing landscape. Finally, The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a must-read for any marketer looking to simplify their marketing strategy.

The best marketing books: How we test

The best marketing books will ultimately be decided by personal preference, based on what you want to learn. However, in this buying guide, we listed six solid options for marketers looking to improve their knowledge in a variety of areas, with insights and actionable steps that you can act on straight away.

While no single book can be listed as the best due to the different content included in each, books like Pandemic, Inc and Quantum Marketing are an ideal choice for professionals looking to grow in the current, post-pandemic world—both explore emerging technology, the changing marketing landscape, and how you can adapt your business’s strategy to thrive.

Likewise, books such as Contagious and The Results Obsession provide useful steps for improving your marketing copy and campaigns, while The 1-Page Marketing Plan will show you how to streamline and simplify your overall strategic plan. Finally, we recommend InstaBrain for any marketer looking to understand and target the Gen Z demographic—but read on to find out more about each one.

You may also like our articles on the following topics: Marketing basics for small business owners , Six essential B2B marketing strategies that will grow your business and the best social media management tools .

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Chelsea is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from the London School of Journalism and a passion for lifestyle interests, especially as they intersect with consumer and business tech. 

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Top 25 best marketing books of all time (Updated for 2023)

Discover the best marketing books (from beginner to advance) to read in 2023, regardless of which stage you are in your professional marketing career.

Top 25 best marketing books of all time (Updated for 2023)

Over the years, I've read a lot of terrible books about marketing. But a few of them completely changed my life. In this post, I'm going to give you a list of some of the best marketing books out there so you don't have to waste time reading the bad ones.

I'm seven years into my marketing career , and nothing has ever propelled me to a new level of insight and knowledge the way marketing books have.

They've helped me find my dream 6-figure job in marketing, live a digital nomad lifestyle, and make me feel like I've finally picked the right career path.

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic in saying that books did all of that.

But they definitely did make me stand out when I had conversations about marketing.

I wasn't always an avid reader. As a kid, I hated reading. But as an adult, I grew to really like it because it completely rewired my brain and improved my mental health.

There’s just something about reading as a medium.

It’s such an active way to consume content, as compared to listening or watching (which are passive).

YouTube videos, podcasts, TikTok...

All of these have their time and place.

But, many of today’s mediums of consuming content are decreasing our attention spans .

And what I’ve come to notice about reading (for myself) is that it actually restores my attention span — allowing me to focus on other tasks ever so slightly more. There’s no scientific evidence I can provide for this, I’m just speaking from personal experience.

What is the best book for online marketing?

The best for marketing on our list will probably be Breakthrough Advertising .

It's, in my opinion, the best marketing book ever written. While it wasn't written during a time when the internet existed, it's a book that will help you think about the right things when you start marketing online.

Pair this book up with a more digital marketing focused book like Dotcom Secrets, and you'll be ahead of most marketers today.

Why read marketing books?

In a world where digital marketing gurus constantly want to sell you information, it's tough to know whether that information is from original thought or just rehashed from elsewhere.

What's the best way to learn marketing? Take a marketing course , read a book, or both? It can be confusing.

More often than not, many of today's marketing "influencers" are simply preaching what has already been documented in books for decades, even centuries.

As mentioned earlier, reading is an active away of learning. It forces your brain to only focus on one task.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to listen to a podcast, take a walk, and stare at nature all at the same time? It's a lot harder to do that when you're physically reading.

Your brain has to work a bit harder to read, so it takes in information in a more engaging way. A way that engrains the material into your conscious and subconscious mind.

On top of that, when people write marketing books they are a lot more thoughtful about the words they are typing. Blog posts are great too, but books seem to be more thoughtful. This is because it can take months, sometimes years, for someone to write a book.

When you read a book, you're literally consuming all the information that was deep in the authors brain. The author had to sit down and put everything on paper. Then they had to rewrite and edit the whole thing multiple times because they knew it would be published to the world.

This is why books are magical.

Which books should I read for marketing?

The best marketing books go over the fundamentals — consumer behavior, advertising, copywriting, sales, pricing, branding, etc.

They teach you what motivates people to buy, how to reach potential customers, and how to get them to be excited about you product.

If you're a beginner, it's best that you start with the fundamentals. Books one through ten in the list below should do just that.

As you progress further into your marketing career, you should aim to be the best in one particular field of marketing — be it, SEO, content marketing, advertising, email marketing, or social media.

As a marketer, you want to be somewhat of a generalist, but you also want to specialize in an area that fascinates you the most. This way you'll stand out to candidates when looking for a job.

So without further-ado, let's go over some of the top marketing books.

At the end of this post, I'll also mention my top four books to read if you're looking to pick something up today.

Top 25 best marketing books you need to read in 2023

Here's a list of the best books on marketing:

Okay, let's dive a bit deeper into each one.

1. Scientific Advertising

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins book cover

Written by Claude C. Hopkins, Scientific Advertising is an advertising-related book that was published in 1923. It's one of those books that is so fundamental that the information revealed still applies even a century later. It's a must read for all marketers, no matter what stage you are in your career.

This is a notable book in the marketing world because it was the first documentation of processes such as split testing, loyalty programs, and coupon-based tracking. The overall summary of the book is that it goes over how to approach advertising through testing and measuring.

2. Breakthrough Advertising

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz book cover

Breakthrough Advertising is one of the best books on marketing — probably the most influential one in this list. Written by award winning copywriter Eugene M. Schwartz, the book was first published in 1966.

Many founders and marketers have attributed this book to helping them make millions. And although the book is technically in the “copywriter” category of marketing books, it talks a lot about the state of awareness customers go through and how you should structure your messaging in your marketing efforts.

The book feels more like a dictionary, rather than one you read from beginning to end. I’ve found it to be a bit heavy of a read at times, mainly because I constantly want to put the book down to take notes.

It is a bit on the pricer side if you try to purchase this book on Amazon, but it is cheaper if you purchase it directly through the books website. If there’s one book to read from this list it’s this one.

3. Play Bigger

Play Bigger book cover

Marketing is about driving awareness to bring things to market. So, what's the best way to tackle a market? Create your own.

Play Bigger, by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney, is a book about just that — a guide to show you how to be a category creator, so you can dominate your market.

The book focuses on showing you how competition is an old game to play. Rather, the new game is to define a new marketing category, develop it, and dominate it over time.

It’s why some companies are always just top of mind. For example, when you think of ecommerce you might think of Shopify. When you think of search engines, you might think of Google. When you think of live streaming, you might think of Twitch. And so on.

These companies are leaders in their category (aka industry), and Play Bigger dives into how to actually become a category creator.

This is a great book to read if you’re a marketer working at a fast growing company, or one that is trying to scale.

4. Content Design

Content Design by Sarah Richards book cover

Written by Sarah Richards, Content Design is a book about designing content for the web. Published in 2017, this book feels more like a handbook rather than a book you read straight through.

It's a great read for designers, specifically web designers. But I added it to this list because marketing is about communication. And this book goes over how to design your content so it communicates your message about your product or service effectively.

If you're a marketer that deals with content (whether it's copywriting for landing pages or writing blog posts), or works with other designers, this book is one I highly recommend. I find myself picking it off my bookshelf pretty often when I'm focused on projects that involve a lot of copywriting.

5. The Greatest Salesman in the World

The Greatest Salesman in the World

A favorite among many people in sales, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, is an absolute must read.

Published in 1968, many of todays sales principles and books are based off of this one.

The book tells the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves a life of abundance, and serves as a guide to a philosophy of salesmanship and success.

This book is a special one, mainly because Og Mandino writes it in a way that is very inspirational and moving. It's book that's  hard to put down once you start reading it, and being only 111 pages makes it a fairly easy book to finish.

6. Epic Content Marketing

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi book cover

Originally published in 2013 by Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing is a bestseller that opened my eyes to the world of content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) content writing for the first time.

It was the first marketing book I ever read, and was gifted to me by a former manager when I was a marketing intern. It actually set the foundation for me to work as a Content Marketing Manager in San Francisco just a few years later.

This book is a great read for entry level marketers that are looking to help small businesses or start ups acquire more customers through content. Especially if you want to be a content marketing manager.

While it may not go over everything regarding the content marketing landscape today (it does change really fast), it will definitely give you a strong base of knowledge you can build on in the future.

7. How to Launch a Brand

How to Launch a Brand book cover

If you're looking to help startups with their brand identity, naming, or positioning, How to Launch a Brand, by Fabian Geyrhalter, is a must read. It's a great book for brand marketers and early stage founders.

It’s sort of like a workbook that guides you through a step-by-step process to building a strong brand identity.

Depending on your field of work in marketing, you may never have to dive deep into branding. But this is one the best brand marketing books to have around and good to refer to from time to time if you’re working at a super early stage startup that is still trying to figure out and communicate its brand message to customers. It’s also a great book to have around if you want to build your one brand one day.

8. Dotcom Secrets

Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson book cover

Dotcom Secrets, by Russell Brunson, is one of those books that I read early into my marketing career. It made me get excited about internet marketing and learning how to sell online. If you‘re a digital marketer, or just want to learn about general digital marketing strategies, this book is a must read.

Today, I don‘t necessarily agree with everything this book stands for. As I've gained more marketing experience throughout the years I started to shift my mindset away from internet marketing tactics, to thinking more holistically about the art and science of marketing as a whole.

However, I do think this is still one of the best digital marketing books for an absolute marketing beginner. The book definitely had an impact on me early on which is the only reason why I added it to this list.

Read me copywriting examples book

I came across Read Me, by Gyles Lingwood and Roger Horberry, from a TikTok video — I know lol. But it’s one I often refer to from time to time.

I highly recommend this to anyone that does work involving copy. It’ll show you how to write effective copy and how to create sticky headlines that enhance brand identity. The book includes case studies, copywriting techniques, advice from real copywriters, and tons of ad campaign examples.

Make sure to get a physical copy of this one, given it‘s full of images and you'll want to refer to them easily from time to time.

10. Building a StoryBrand

building a storybrand by donald miller book cover

Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller, is one of those marketing books that’s pretty hard to put down once you start reading. I have most of my books on a Kindle, but I bought this one in a physical copy so I can highlight all over it, tear pages out, and easily refer to it. Ya, that’s how much I like this book.

The main bulk of the book is about the seven-step storytelling framework Donald has developed. It gives you clear examples and frameworks on the art of storytelling, and shows you how important it is when it comes to brand marketing.

I would probably put this as my second favorite marketing book, behind Breakthrough Advertising. Every marketer should read this one.

11. This is Marketing

This is Marketing Seth Godin

This is Marketing, by Seth Godin, is a cult classic among marketers.

The main message of the book is that marketers should use marketing to solve problems their customers face. Marketing is not about the business or the company they work for. But rather, a way to communicate solutions to problems people have.

This is one of those books that reminds you that marketing has a powerful role in society .

Seth has created a strong personal brand for himself writing books. He has a couple of other great books from the late 1900s and early 2000s called Permission Marketing and Purple Cow that are worth checking out.

However, if you're going to pick one of Seth's books to read for the first time, I highly recommend reading This is Marketing as it takes a lot of knowledge from his previous books and modernizes them for the digital age.

12. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked by Nir Eyal

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal, is a national bestseller that shows you how successful companies build irresistible products.

Great marketing can sometimes not look like marketing at all. In fact, some of the fastest growing brand become successful because of word of mouth. But how does one capture word of mouth?

It's all about user retention. The longer someone stays on (and revisits) your website, app, ecommerce. Repeat users and customers are your greatest marketers. This is because the longer someone uses your product or service, the more likely they are to recommend it to others.

The more your products get people hooked, the more likely those people are the spread the word. And as the word spreads, new users get hooked. And those newly hooked users go to spread the word even more. It's an infinite growth loop .

13. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!, by Al Ries and Jack Trout, is a widely popular book about marketing.

The book was written pre-internet era, so it can feel a bit outdated. But I added it to this list because it's a very foundational book. While the medium in which we communicate today (i.e. the internet) has changed, the way we communicate has not.

If you're in a strategic marketing or sales role, is book is a must read.

14. Hacking Growth

Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis

Hacking Growth, by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown, is a great book for learning more about growth marketing.

While the term "Growth Hacker" seemed like a buzzword back in 2017, one should not associate this book with "hacks." It is more about the concept of finding ways to grow a business quickly in the digital era.

If you are working at a tech startup, this is one of those books that can help you start thinking about the right things.

15. Intercom on Marketing

Intercom on marketing

Intercom on Marketing, by the team at the software company Intercom, is full of lessons that helped Intercom grow to one of the top customer support platforms.

If you're responsible for launching a product and looking to get your first paying customers, this is definitely a book you should check out.

The book is completely free (just needs you to opt-in).

16. Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, aim to change your view on go-to-market strategies.

There are lots of marketing campaigns out there that try to talk down on competitors and fight for their piece of the pie.

However, the Blue Ocean Strategy, similar to the book Play Bigger, aims at showing you that competition should be irrelevant.

Rather than competing in a red ocean, you should go after a blue ocean where their is a potential for you to have the biggest piece of the pie.

17. The 1-Page Marketing Plan

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd, by Allan Dib, isn't just a marketing book — it's a business book.

If you're a founder, or someone in charge of strategic marketing, you need to read this book.

It's one of those books that's clear and to the point, and can seriously help you break through if you're stuck thinking about your quarterly marketing planning .

18. Upstream Marketing

Upstream Marketing: Unlock Growth Using the Combined Principles of Insight

Upstream Marketing: Unlock Growth Using the Combined Principles of Insight, Identity, and Innovation, by Tim Koelzer, offers a refreshing take on marketing strategy.

This is one of those foundational books that shows you that digital marketing is just one piece of the equation.

For a business to succeed, it needs to provide the best solution to its potential customers. And it must think about all the different principles of marketing and corporate strategy.

This is a must read for any marketer, regardless of what position they hold.

19. CMO to CRO

CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover by the Next Generation Executive

CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover by the Next Generation Executive, by Mike Geller, Rolly Keenan, and Brandi Starr, is a book about revenue operations.

In the most simple business sense, marketing exists to make a business money. The money that a business makes is what keeps it alive to supply products to its customers, and to supply its employees with salaries and benefits.

If a business is not making money, it will eventually die.

If you're in charge of revenue growth, this is a must read.

20. Crushing It!

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business, by Gary Vaynerchuk, is a classic.

Gary V is coined for predicting the way brands should operate to get the most attention.

This is a great book, with lots of valuable information. But, it should be noted that Gary does promote himself quite a bit as he runs a multi-million dollar marketing agency in New York.

It can be a bit hard to know if Gary wrote this book to attract clients to his agency or if he wrote it for the genuine best interest of marketers.

Regardless, it offers a great view on what's happening now in social media marketing.

21. Invisible Influence

Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior

Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior, by Jonah Berger, is a book about how things influence peoples beliefs, behaviors, and lifestyles.

The book offers tons of different examples to help you grasp the hidden forces that shape consumer behaviors.

It does feel like this book is mainly for an American audience, so if you're outside of the US you should do your own research before deciding to read this book.

Jonah does have another popular book called Contagious: Why Things Catch On, which could be a viable option to read if you decide to take a pass on this one.

22. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

A cult classic, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini, is national bestseller.

Influence is all about persuasion, and core fundamental to marketing and sales.

Literally everything we do involves persuasion. Asking someone on a date, interviewing for a job, selling a product — all of these require someone to say "yes" to us.

This book is an absolute must read for everyone, not just marketers or business owners.

23. Made to Stick

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

A New York Times bestseller, Made to Stick, by brothers Chip Heath and Dan Heath, is an insightful book on why some ideas are more "sticky" than others.

I would put this book in the same category as the other book we mentioned, Hooked.

This is a great book if you're in the early stages of product development, or you're working as the first marketer at a small startup.

If you need a blueprint to creating sticky ideas, this book is definitely one to check out.

24. The ONE Thing

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller (with Jay Papasan), is not a marketing book per se, but rather a book on productivity.

I included it in this list because the concepts in this book have helped me a lot in figuring out what I need to prioritize on a daily basis.

It can feel like a long book that basically explains a somewhat simple topic — find the one thing you need to do to be successful.

But the details in the book make you realize that less is more. It makes you think deeper about how you spend your time and what will actually move the needle forward for your business.

After reading this book, my daily task list has decreased dramatically. I highly recommend this book if you want to run a successful business or lead a marketing team.

25. Good to Great

Good to Great by Jim Collins book cover

Good to Great, by bestselling author Jim Collins, isn’t necessarily a marketing book, but it’s a great business book. In fact, it’s a business owner’s must read.

I like to think that the best marketers are the ones that truly understand business strategy and entrepreneurship. The more you can think like an entrepreneur the better.

It’ll help you see clear business problems and make you think on the same level as leaders in business, which is always a good thing if you’re working in marketing.

The book goes over the fundamental reason why most businesses plateau. And knowing that as a marketer is key to not only navigating your way through a company, but also knowing how to think at the executive level.

Reading more will help beyond your marketing career

Reading marketing books won’t just make you a better marketer. It will make you a better thinker, a better writer, a better executor, and a faster reader.

It may even inspire you to take leaps in your career, as I know it has for me.

If you need just 1-4 books that you should read this year I recommend these (in order):

Starting with any of these books should be a huge help when trying to craft a successful marketing strategy in 2023. Hopefully you have some new books to add to your marketing reading list!

Become a smarter marketer for $0.

the best books about marketing

7 of the Best Marketing Books to Read in 2022

Improve your marketing strategy with an insightful book.

Behind every effective marketing strategy lies hard work, skillful application and in-depth knowledge.

Knowledge doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It typically comes from a wide variety of sources, but often you’ll get your marketing knowledge from a book.

Who knows? One small kernel of information that you never knew you’d need could completely change everything.

Books that can make a difference

Here at Design Wizard, we know the impact a good book can have on your marketing mindset. That’s why we’ve created a list of 7 of the best marketing books for 2022.

This list gives you a detailed look at what each book is about and tells you exactly why you need to read it as soon as possible!

The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand – Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer The Age of Influence best marketing books

In The Age of Influence, Neal Schaffer speaks about the important role that influencer marketing can play in your marketing strategy.

“If you are in marketing, you’re probably wondering, what’s next? You’re hopefully doing digital marketing, dabbling in social media,  blogging , Facebook ads – but it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. There is another important marketing channel that deserves your attention: collaborating with influencers. Today digital influence is everywhere.

It goes beyond Instagrammers and YouTubers and encompasses all of the digital platforms and includes not just those celebrities that have never heard of you, but many that already know, like, and trust you: Your employees, partners, customers, and  social media followers .”

Key takeaways:

Website:  www.nealschaffer.com/

Brand New Name: A Proven, Step-by-Step Process to Create an Unforgettable Brand Name – Jeremy Miller

Brand New Name A Proven, Step-by-Step Process to Create an Unforgettable Brand Name - Jeremy Miller

Every  entrepreneur , business owner, and marketer has to name something — at least once.

Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller is a graphically designed branding book that shows you how to name, or rename, anything. The process Miller outlines in the book is simple and strategic, which makes it accessible for everyone.

Whether you are naming a company, product, service, or even an idea — choosing a brand name is one of the most important business decisions you will make. A brilliant name defines your brand, and it can shape the future of your business.

In Brand New Name, you will discover how names persuade people and get stuck in their minds, and the origin stories of iconic brands.

One of the best marketing books for 2022 – Brand New Name brings together a practical how-to guide with loads of examples and inspirational stories so you can create a name that you will be proud to own. 

Website:  www.stickybranding.com

The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy – Richard Shotton

The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy - Richard Shotton

Behavioral science explains what actually motivates people, rather than what they claim motivates them. The Choice Factory shows how findings from this robust field can be easily applied to marketing.

Shotton highlights the intricacies of targeting and looks into how marketers should be going about it.

Even if you aren’t a marketer, this book provides a fascinating insight on consumerism and human behavior.

It’s one of the best marketing books if you are looking to hone in on day-to-day decisions and examines what drives us to make them and therefore what makes us tick.

Website:  www.astroten.co.uk

Social Media:  www.twitter.com/rshotton

Brand Identity Essentials, Revised and Expanded: 100 Principles for Building Brands – Kevin Budelmann, Yang Kim

Brand Identity Essentials, Revised and Expanded 100 Principles for Building Brands - Kevin Budelmann, Yang Kim

A lot has been written about brands, but brand builders often lack the structure and approach to make a difference.

Brand Identity Essentials lays a foundation for brand building, defining the tools and illustrating the construction of strong brands through examples of world-class design.

Written by brand experts Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim of Peopledesign, this second edition is a major revision of the first, featuring hundreds of new images and content.

It includes a one-stop reference for connecting design elements and  strategic branding  concepts, a course curriculum for teaching the fundamentals of brand building, and brand audit checklists that can help guide brand decision-making.

Website:  www.peopledesign.com/brand-identity-essentials

Brand Identity Framework:  www.peopledesign.com/brand-identity-essentials/100-brand-principles

They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer – Revised & Updated – Marcus Sheridan

They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer, Revised & Updated - Marcus Sheridan

This book is not based on theories and good ideas, it’s a definitive roadmap and framework that has been proven time and time again to work.

Author Marcus Sheridan says, “most companies won’t apply its principles due to fear, traditions, and an old-school mindset. If you really want to become the most trusted voice in your space, and I mean that, then this is your complete guide.”

This book will literally help you remove the barriers between sales and marketing and get the sales team to a place where they are not just part of the content production process, but rather they are using it in their sales process every single day.

This is one of the best marketing books because it doesn’t mince its words. It doesn’t beat around the bush. If you like frank, clear, and  incisive language  in a book that is built on common sense principles, you’ll love this book.

Website:  www.marcussheridan.com

The Business of Social Media: Clients and Customers Not Just Likes & Followers – Angela K. Denton

The Business of Social Media: Clients and Customers Not Just Likes & Followers - Angela K. Denton

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, social media marketing can be extremely overwhelming.

This book is a beginner’s guide to learning how to post on social media, including what to post, when to post and how to target your message to the right people to improve your business. 

Social media marketing is more than just getting likes and followers, it’s about building relationships to gain clients and customers.

There are helpful checklists and tips throughout the book that let you know what to do and when to do it.

Website:  www.venturewrite.com

Ultimate Guide to Link Building – Eric Ward & Garrett French

Ultimate Guide to Link Building - Eric Ward & Garrett French

Hyperlinks – the underlined text you click to go to another website – continue to play an outsized role in Google’s ranking algorithm. 

Both the quantity and quality of links pointing to a website’s page have direct impact on which keywords that page will rank for as well as which ranking position. 

‘Link Building’ is the practice of earning these rank-impacting links from the right websites in your vertical.

The 2nd Edition of the Ultimate Guide to Link Building (pre-order available now on Amazon) is absolutely the most comprehensive Link Building resource available, with detailed guidance from leading practitioners.

Website:  www.bookstore.entrepreneur.com/product/ultimate-guide-to-link-building/

Pick up your favourite marketing book!

Now that you know what these marketing books are all about, it’s time to go and get the one that you think will help you the most (maybe you could do with all of them!).

Inside each book is a treasure trove of information that is guaranteed to give you the tools to build a successful marketing strategy, time and time again.

Books for every type of marketing

Whether you’re involved in content marketing, digital marketing, or social media marketing, there’s something in here for you. Our ‘ Creative Ideas to Increase Sales ‘ e-book covers all of these while detailing how to get conversions.

And if you don’t have the time to read a marketing book, you can use  business audiobooks  while traveling or jogging to save your precious time.

If you’re looking to further expand your marketing skills, you can consider enrolling in a  digital marketing course . A good course will help understand how the different marketing techniques can essentially work together for the best possible results.

Michael Cole

Michael Cole

Michael Cole is a content writer at Design Wizard. He has completed a BA in English and History and an MA in Journalism, and is hopefully finished with college at this stage! Michael has extensive experience writing for both print and web and can turn his hand to any subject. From wedding dresses to football matches, Michael has written about it all. One day he hopes to write his own novel and hopes even more that people will actually read it.

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18 Best Marketing Books to Read in 2023

You found our list of the best marketing books .

Marketing books are nonfiction guides that explain how to build a brand and gain visibility for a company, product, or service. These books cover topics such as branding, digital marketing, social media, and storytelling. The purpose of these books is to teach marketing competencies and help industry professionals craft quality and compelling marketing content and campaigns.

These works are a subset of business books and are similar to advertising books , social media marketing books , books on business strategy and entrepreneurship books .

This list contains:

Here we go!

List of marketing books

From social media content manuals to marketing psychology books, here is a list of newly released and all-time best selling books.

1. Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland


Alchemy examines the strange magic of marketing through the lens of psychology. The world of consumer logic is often illogical, yet this book argues that the unpredictable nature of human behavior can actually be an asset to marketers. The strange reasoning behind consumer choices provides an opportunity for marketers to make an unlikely brand or product insanely popular. While this phenomenon can be unpredictable, the book lays out a list of rules to increase the chances of creating a hit. Alchemy is an entertaining and informative read that reveals the strange and wonderful workings of the marketing world.

Notable Quote: “Our conscious mind tries hard to preserve the illusion that it deliberately chose every action you have ever taken; in reality, in many of these decisions it was a bystander at best, and much of the time it did not even notice the decision being made.”

Buy Alchemy .

2. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd by Allen Dib

The 1 page marketing plan

The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a guide for creating a quick and simple yet effective marketing strategy. Allen Dib proposes a short and sweet alternative to the more time-consuming and involved marketing plans that intimidate many professionals. The 1-Page Marketing Plan discusses ways to gain new customers and new business from existing customers, tailor campaigns to match business size, dominate competitors, and stretch small budgets to optimize return on investment. The book lays out a formula for drawing up a game plan that fits on a single page, helping organizations to identify marketing priorities.

Notable Quote: “Focusing on the cause (value) rather than the effect (making money) will lead to much greater long-term success.”

Buy The 1-Page Marketing Plan .

3. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

This is marketing

This is Marketing is one of the best marketing books for beginners. Marketing guru Seth Godin shares his cardinal industry rules and best practices in one condensed volume. The book addresses topics like identifying viable markets, learning by listening and observing, and tailoring the message to fit particular audiences. Each chapter prescribes advice like “trust is as scarce as attention,” and “treat different people differently.” This is Marketing outlines the central strategies and storytelling techniques that make marketing efforts successful and remarkable.

Notable Quote: “Everything gets easier when you walk away from the hubris of everyone. Your work is not for everyone. It’s only for those who signed up for the journey.”

Buy This Is Marketing .

4. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody writes

Everybody Writes is MarketingProfs executive Ann Handley’s tips for crafting quality content. The book outlines writing behaviors that help marketers become master storytellers. For instance, cultivating a writing habit, churning out bad first drafts and editing meticulously, and expressing complex ideas through simple language. The guide also drills the rules of grammar, story structure, and citation, as well as best practices for styling content to fit various platforms. While aimed at marketers, Everybody Writes is a general handbook for effective storytelling. Many of the tips in the book are suitable for writing workshops or journalism classes, primarily because basic writing principles are important marketer tools. At its core, marketing is about making the audience feel emotion, and only clear, well-crafted content can achieve this end.

Notable Quote: “Assume the reader knows nothing. But don’t assume the reader is stupid.”

Buy Everybody Writes .

5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger


Contagious is an exploration of the factors that make concepts spread like wildfire. This subject matter is especially relevant for the current era of marketing, given the emphasis on viral content. The book examines the elements that make ideas shareable and sensational, namely triggers, emotion, social currency, and practical value. Each section contains examples and anecdotes that illustrate the ways savvy marketers use these tools to shape public perception. Rather than championing gimmicks, the book explores how to speak to the human experience. Contagious contains instructions for spreading irresistible ideas.

Notable Quote: “People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.”

Buy Contagious .

6. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

made to stick

Made to Stick is one of the best books on marketing psychology. The work shares compelling cultural case studies and examines the reasons why fictions often tend to spread faster and farther and persist longer than fact. Chapters outline five basic qualities of stickiness: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and emotional, each illustrated through a string of entertaining anecdotes. The book explores topics such as decision paralysis, empathy, and observation. Made to Stick provides an actionable blueprint for marketers to craft tales with staying power.

Notable Quote: “The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern.”

Buy Made to Stick .

7. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Building a story brand

Building a StoryBrand teaches leaders how to craft a clear and consistent brand message that resonates with audiences. The book explores consumer reasoning and lays out steps for appealing to audiences. Brand is the way companies speak to customers, and this guide provides a framework for communicating each part of the company story. Chapters outline techniques like wielding the seven universal human story points, crafting compelling calls to action, optimizing copy for different mediums, and making brands understandable and relatable to target demographics. Building a StoryBrand is the ultimate manual for corporate branding.

Notable Quote: “In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.”

Buy Building a StoryBrand .

8. Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business by Kindra Hall

stories that stick

Stories That Stick is a masterclass in marketing storytelling. Preaching the point that the story is the sale, the book explains how narratives can captivate an otherwise unreceptive audience. Stories That Stick presents frameworks for four main story types–founder, value, purpose, and customer– explaining the nuances and different uses for each category. The author demonstrates these points through the use of enchanting prose and great hooks that engage readers. The book is not only an exploration of effective storytelling, but also a concrete example of the art.

Notable Quote: “A perfectly placed, impeccably delivered story can transport a person to a place beyond interested, straight past paying attention, and into a state of complete captivation.”

Buy Stories That Stick .

9. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It by April Dunford

obviously awesome

Obviously Awesome is a primer on positioning, or the way brands present products to consumers and differentiate offerings from competitors. Positioning is a particularly desirable skill for the technology industry, where innovative products emerge constantly. However, this ability is valuable for any field. The book covers methods for choosing an appropriate market and niche, types of positioning, and ways to utilize market trends. Obviously Awesome teaches readers how to grab the target market’s attention, lure in prospective fans, and make customers fall in love with the product.

Notable Quote: “Keep in mind that most of your target customers have never heard of you or your rival startups—they simply want to know how your product compares to what they use today.”

Buy Obviously Awesome .

10. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab jab right hook

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the biggest names in digital marketing, so it makes sense that he’s written one of the best books on social media marketing. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook outlines strategies for major social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Though each platform requires a targeted approach and customized content, social success on any channel boils depends on one key rule: tell a compelling, audience appropriate story. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is an ageless guidebook for commanding attention on social media by using an authentic and engaging voice.

Pro-tip: For information on newer social media platforms like Tik-Tok and Clubhouse, supplement this book with Gary Vee’s more current content, such as podcasts and blog posts.

Notable Quote: “The better you learn the psychology and habits of your social media consumers, the better you can tell the right story at the right time.”

Buy Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook .

11. Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step StoryBrand Guide for Any Business by Donald Miller

Marketing made simple

Marketing Made Simple is a guide to branding and sales funnel management. Donald Miller breaks down the basics of brand storytelling and customer-nurturing by providing checklists, anecdotes, and actionable steps. The book outlines topics such as managing client expectations and relationships, designing targeted sales funnels, optimizing websites for conversion, and leveraging email campaigns to build brand visibility and attract potential leads. Marketing Made Simple is a valuable marketing and sales resource for beginners or seasoned marketers looking to get back to basics.

Notable Quote: “Customers are not interested in your story. They are, rather, interested in being invited into a story that has them surviving and winning in the end.”

Buy Marketing Made Simple .

12. Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing by Simon Kingsnorth

Digital marketing strategy

This textbook is one of the most comprehensive digital marketing books available. Digital Marketing Strategy outlines the essentials of online marketing, including SEO, content marketing, automation, and email. The book explains how to plan, implement, and measure various virtual marketing techniques, as well as how to keep data secure. The material covers the full scope of digital marketing, from understanding the online ecosystem and remote consumers, to meeting budgets and business objectives, to optimizing for user experience, and beyond. Digital Marketing Strategy covers a variety of online marketing approaches, techniques, and components, and is a valuable reference for marketers of all levels.

Notable Quote: “If we stop the long-term activity we may make some savings for a few months but then we will be even further behind our competition….Reducing digital activity or marketing in general is a dangerous path. You could trial reducing activity in specific areas if necessary and display the impact of this on the business in order to tell your story.”

Buy Digital Marketing Strategy .

13. Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott


Fanocracy demonstrates how to capitalize on fandom and transform admirers into buyers. David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott examine the neuroscience of fandom, exploring what makes people passionate about a topic and what maintains that interest. The book strategizes on how to capitalize on intense interest without seeming opportunistic or insincere. The chapter titles outline best practices such as, “build identity to become more than the product,” and develop employees such as fans,” and each section contains case studies and stories to illustrate these points. Fanocracy teaches marketers how to build on opportunity, encourage devotees, and sustain popularity.

Notable Quote: “To be successful in a world where fans rule, we must be convinced that relationships with customers are more important than the the products or services we sell to them.”

Buy Fanocracy .

14. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk by by Al Ries and Jack Trout

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is one of the most popular marketing books of all time. Drawing on years of consultant experience, the authors lay down the golden rules of marketing. The book explores concepts such as leadership, perspective, perception, and unpredictability. Each chapter starts with a general statement and explores the declaration in depth. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is an anthology of marketing mantras.

Notable Quote: “Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.”

Buy The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing .

15. Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

hacking growth

Hacking Growth is one of the better marketing books for startups. Growth hacking is a process marketers use to quickly grow a company’s client base and reputation by testing multiple methods of reaching potential customers. Hacking Growth reveals the techniques and tactics that helped some of the most successful startups grow from beginner companies to household names. The book provides a toolkit for rapidly growing customer bases and market shares for both new and established organizations.

Notable Quote: “You want to track, at a minimum, the metrics for each of the steps users must take to reach the aha moment and how often they are taking those steps.”

Buy Hacking Growth .

16. Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore

crossing the chasm

Crossing the Chasm explains how to introduce groundbreaking new products to the market. The author explains that behavior and sentiment differs between early adopters, customers willing to take risks on new products, and the early majority, users who wait for bugs to be fixed and reviews to emerge. The book aims to narrow the space of time between these two groups, accelerating the rate at which products achieve mass acceptance. Crossing the Chasm teaches readers how to educate audiences about emerging technology, encourage consumer behavioral change, and convince customers to believe in new offerings. The book equips readers with the skills and tactics needed to sell products to unassuming audiences.

Notable Quote: “Entering the mainstream market is an act of burglary, of breaking and entering, of deception, often even of stealth.”

Buy Crossing the Chasm .

17. The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells by Meera Kothand

One hour content plan

The One Hour Content Plan is a blogging companion for freelancers, solo marketers, and small businesses. The book explains how to generate content ideas and write posts that attract and convert readers. The guide is filled with tips about choosing topics, finding and maintaining brand voice, and crafting quality writing that achieves the desired results. Later chapters also touch on topics like editing and promoting content. While most marketing books focus on large-scale efforts and industry players, The One Hour Content Plan lays out the basics of blogging for smaller operations.

Notable Quote: “When you’re not able to articulate the direction you want your content to take your readers, it’s difficult for your readers to understand where you’re taking them too.”

Buy The One Hour Content Plan .

18. Digital Marketing Analytics: Making Sense of Consumer Data in a Digital World by Chuck Hemann and Ken Burbary

Digital marketing analytics

Digital Marketing Analytics is one of the most comprehensive marketing analytics books available. While some guides focus on specific tools like Google Analytics, this book gives a broader overview of how to use data to guide marketing decisions. Chapters explore areas such as analyzing audience, improving customer service, anticipating crisis, and generating useful reports. Digital Marketing Analytics helps leaders measure environmental factors and marketing results and make logical business choices.

Notable Quote: “Tracking what happens after a user clicks on a link can be useful, but it can’t answer all the questions. New and other ways exist to fill in the gaps for a more complete picture by using a variety of digital data sources.”

Buy Digital Marketing Analytics .

Storytelling is one of the main tools of marketing, and reading is one of the quickest ways to improve storytelling skills. By picking up books on marketing, professionals can become more creative and strategic. The best marketers learn and experiment constantly. These books share new trends ideas as well as time-tested and evidence-based strategies and best practices. By reading these works, marketers can improve the scope and reach of campaigns and achieve better results for the time invested in these efforts.

For more reading, check out this list of growth hacking books , these change management books , and these books on sales .

We also have a list of the best books on customer experience .

FAQ: Marketing books

Here are answers to common questions about marketing books.

What are marketing books?

Marketing books are handbooks for building brands and promoting products. These guides teach marketers how to tell stories that attract and resonate with potential customers, and also. increase visibility and sales. However, more than building a brand and selling products, marketing is about telling powerful stories and making lasting impacts on customers. The books in the genre lay out tips and best practices to ensure maximum ROI on creative and strategic effort.

What are the best books for marketing?

The best books for marketing include Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk, Contagious by Jonah Berger, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, and Alchemy by Rory Sutherland.

What are some good marketing books for beginners?

Some good marketing books for beginners include Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
, Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller, and Digital Marketing Strategy by Simon Kingsnorth.

Why should you read marketing books?

The marketing world is fast-paced and ever-changing, and reading marketing books helps professionals keep up with marketing trends. These works can inform readers about new strategies and ideas from industry leaders from industry leaders who have invaluable insights and experiences.

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The 23 Best Marketing Books Of All Time

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DAP takes great pride in being one of Chicago's top B2C marketing , B2B marketing , and SEO companies. But we didn't become marketing experts overnight. We’re constantly reading, attending conferences, and webinars, constantly honing our strategies to reflect the current landscape and bring key trends into an actionable marketing paradigm.

Marketing took off as a profession with the boom of the middle class and the surplus of income that led to a demand for new consumer products. The internet significantly expanded consumers’ access to information and products, making marketing an even more important discipline of ever-expanding complexity.

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Increase leads with the right strategy.

Whether laying out bedrock principles or charting new terrain, the following books are mind-expanding exercises in marketing virtuosity. These books are on our shelves and kindles, required reading for the DAP team, and belong in the toolkit of anyone hoping to master the marketing game. Here are our picks for the 23 best marketing books of all time.

1- The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

The Icarus Deception

An inductee into the Marketing Hall of Fame and author of multiple bestsellers, Godin evokes a famous Greek myth in this book, but turns the usual lesson taken from the myth on its head.

In the Icarus myth, Icarus and his inventor father Daedalus escaped captivity using mechanical wings bound together by wax. Daedalus famously instructed his son not to fly too close to the sun, lest the wax melt and the wings fall apart. Thrilled by flight, Icarus didn’t listen and flew too close to the sun; the wings melted and he fell to his death. It’s often taken as a metaphor to stay in your lane or as an allegory for the dangers of overreaching.

The deception of Godin’s central metaphor calls into focus a lesser-known aspect of the myth—Daedalus actually warned his ill-fated son against flying too low as well as too high. Though there’s danger if you fly too close to the sun, the “safe road” is nowhere near as safe as it looks. Godin’s book is a call to arms for creatives—the “safety zone” has risen higher, and now is the best time in history to treat entrepreneurship of all stripes as an “art.” 

Buy The Icarus Deception on Amazon Here. 

2- hooked: how to build habit-forming products by nir eyal.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Forget dealing drugs—Instagram, Snapchat, and Netflix taught us that all you need to sell an addictive product is a smartphone and some code. Say what you will about the ethics of it all—consumer attention is big business, and hooking users is the new frontier of brand success .

Eyal flies with this entrepreneurial current by breaking down the habit-forming properties of a product into a four-step “Hook Model,” which popular products use to create a “hook cycle” that keeps customers and users coming back for more.

Based on years of research and consulting, Eyal has written the book he wished he had as a startup entrepreneur, filled with actionable steps that can be applied to both product features and marketing to make them more addictive. (We’re all going to Hell.)

Buy Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products on Amazon Here. 

3- influence: the psychology of persuasion, revised edition by robert b. cialdini  .


First published in 1984, Influence remains firmly in the canon of marketing books because its advice is evergreen. The digital revolution did not decrease the importance of Cialdini’s “Six Principles of Influence”—1) Reciprocation, 2) Commitment and Consistency, 3) Social Proof, 4) Liking (does that ring any bells in the digital age?), 5) Authority, and 6) Scarcity.

Spoiler alert, right? Did we ruin the ending? Definitely not, because Cialdini, a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University in Psychology and Marketing, delves deep into the mechanics of each of these pillars of influence, plumbing the theory as well as proposing actionable steps to put them into practice and become more influential, ethically. 

Cialdini’s real insight is that no one wants to work too hard to make decisions. The six pillars of influence are things people look at to make quick decisions. By fortifying products and ideas with those six pillars, marketing experts can essentially make buying decisions for the customer. What marketer wouldn’t want that superpower?

Buy Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition on Amazon Here.

4- the undoing project by michael lewis.

The Undoing Project

The Undoing Project is a history book that examines a collegial partnership whose work revolutionized the field of Big Data, among others. Lewis’ subjects are Israeli behavioral psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, whose work laid the groundwork for the entire field of behavioral economics.

The “flaws” that Kahneman and Tversky exposed in human thinking have played key roles in artificial intelligence and social media marketing . This partnership, its dissolution, and its  after-effects are critical reading for anyone who wants to master web marketing. 

Buy The Undoing Project on Amazon Here. 

5- blink: the power of thinking without thinking by malcolm gladwell .


Marketing is ultimately the study of why people do what they do, with the ultimate goal of getting them to do what we want them to do. Best selling pop psychologist Malcolm Gladwell draws attention to the very act of decision making, especially the kind of decision making that happens in an instant.

He explores why some people have good instincts, others lousy instincts; why some people can make snap decisions and others struggle to make even the most basic calls. He introduces the notion of “thin-slicing”—the art of instantaneously sorting the salient details from the extraneous details to make a sound decision from a seemingly complex set of variables.

From examinations of prejudice to “analysis paralysis,” Gladwell probes the depths of decision-making, uncovering profound insights for behavioral economists along the way.

Buy Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking on Amazon Here. 

6- contagious: why things catch on by jonah berger .


What a perfect title for a marketing book in a time when the gold standard is to “go viral.” Any outsiders who think that things are popular because they are advertised will be disabused of that notion when UPenn-Wharton professor Jonah Berger picks it apart in pursuit of what makes something “go viral.”

Berger spent ten years tracking the life of a rumor and making a map of the phenomenon word-of-mouth, in search of patterns that savvy marketers can tap into. He came out of his study with six basic principles of why things catch on—not just products, but ideas, policies, rumors, YouTube videos. His conclusion? It all becomes popular because people talk about them. Anyone who has ever wondered how to get people talking about something needs to catch Contagious .

Buy Contagious: Why Things Catch On on Amazon Here. 

7- originals: how non-conformists move the world by adam grant.


Wharton School psychology professor Adam Grant writes an ode to the holders of unpopular ideas or before-their-time opinions that go on to change the world. How is it that some people are so ahead of the curve, running against the grain—and often in the face of popular scorn and corporate body-blocks—to go on and change the world, with everyone suddenly agreeing with them after the fact.

Are they psychic? Foolhardy? Grant envisions a framework under which new ideas—that is, new good ideas—can be recognized, nurtured, and allowed to flourish, even in institutional environments like governments and corporations, without squelching them in their infancy, or subjecting the visionary—the “origina”—to possible career suicide. 

Buy Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World on Amazon Here. 

8- red team by micah zenko.

Red Team

If you’ve never sat in a corporate boardroom pondering a big initiative, you might not be familiar with the concept of the “red team”—essentially a “no team” tasked with tearing the argument in question apart. It’s supposed to help test the strength of the idea and tease out weaknesses.

Across a range of case studies, however, Micah Zenko red-teams the very idea of a red team, showing when it produces effective results and when it actually does more harm than good, knocking out an idea that doesn’t need to be knocked out or overcomplicating a potentially effective strategy. All marketing brainstorming sessions could benefit from the insights Zenko unearths.

Buy Red Team on Amazon Here. 

One of our consultants will get back to you within 24 hours., 9- misbehaving: the making of behavioral economics by richard h. thaler.


Nobel laureate and father of behavioral economics Richard Thaler slays all the sacred cows of his own profession in “Misbehaving.” Economists attribute all sorts of highfalutin’ governing factors to economics—itself a monumental feat of paycheck justification. Thaler hosed all of that chaff out of the way with the notion that people are the prime actors in economies, that their actions are flawed, predictable, and far from the benevolent superorganism of the fevered imaginings of professors and politicians. 

Misbehaving is an entertaining read even for non-economists and non-marketers, especially those who love to see the pretentious get a richly-deserved skewering. From clock radios to mortgages, Thaler tracks human buffoonery in the economy through a madcap web of bad decisions that, funny as they are, have very real consequences to very real people. An invaluable perspective for any marketing pro to imbibe.

Buy Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics on Amazon Here. 

10- win: the key principles to take your business from ordinary to extraordinary by frank i. luntz.

The Key Principles to Take Your Business

At least the goal is obvious from the title. Republican pollster, messaging expert, and political media impresario Frank Luntz should know a thing or two about the power of communication to produce wins. In fact, for Luntz, effective communication lies at the heart of the success of brands and people you wouldn’t necessarily expect, including athletes like Larry Bird and hotel magnates like Steve Wynn.

Building on his experience winning whole populations over to a desired messaging plan, Luntz shares with readers seventy “words that work” that can be used one-on-one or in public to gain advantage, as well as more than forty takeaway lessons and nine “Ps” of winning: People-Centered, Paradigm-Breaking, Prioritizing, Perfection, Partnerships, Passion, Persuasion, Persistence, and Principled Actions.

Okay, that’s a lot of “Ps.” Another “P” attached to Luntz is “Polarizing” because of “Politics.” But love him or hate him, don’t you want to know how he did it? Especially if you have a brand or message of your own to publicize?  

Buy Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary on Amazon Here. 

11- shoe dog by phil knight.

Shoe Dog

If you want to absorb hard-won wisdom about marketing, you could do worse than to immerse yourself in the story of how one of the most iconic brands in the world was created. Now a behemoth of the shoe world, brand founder Phil Knight takes us back to the days when he was a 20-something with a dream, importing Japanese-made shoes on a wing and a prayer and selling them out of the back of a truck.

Knight’s journey is specific but also timeless. As digital marketing beckons with what appear to be shortcuts to brand strength, one of the most enigmatic major-brand CEOs in the world lays out the messy story of building the Nike brand, in all its imperfect glory. If nothing else, it’s an inspirational tale for marketers—there may be hiccups or whole missed breaths along the way, but with passion, the right team, and strong fundamentals, a good brand can rewrite the rules of whole industries over the long haul.

Buy Shoe Dog on Amazon Here. 

12- top of mind by john hall.

top of mind

Google. Velcro. Xerox. Band Aid. Kleenex. All of these are brand names—and yet they might as well be the name of the product itself . The product is synonymous with its function. Each of them has competitors, but these brands have so thoroughly dominated their spaces that the brand names and the product classes are actually synonymous. This is the Holy Grail of marketing—to have your product be the only acceptable product that pops to mind when someone thinks of your industry.

John Hall, founder of Influence & Co., breaks down the secrets he learned as a dominant force in the digital market space to form the kind of relationship between your brand and your customer base, so that your brand is “top of mind”—the first brand customers think of when they even consider a product or service like yours. It’s a guide to becoming a synonym. 

Buy Top of Mind on Amazon Here. 

13- outside insight by jorn lyseggen.

Outside Insight

When organizations talked about making “ data-driven decisions,” they meant lagging internal data based on the trails of breadcrumbs customers were leaving after they had already come and gone. Lyseggen’s book focuses on the petabytes of data scattered like breadcrumbs across the internet, waiting for businesses to use it to glean insights about their customers before they even arrive .

Companies, political campaigns, and more can access “outside insight” to tell them where their target market is right now—not just geographically, but in terms of mindset and behavior—rather than basing decisions on where their target market was a moment ago. In today’s fast-paced digital marketing environment, this may be the most important marketing book yet—especially for anyone interested in the predictive power of Big Data .

Buy Outside Insight on Amazon Here. 

14- designing the brand identity in retail spaces by alina wheeler.

Designing the Brand Identity

This descriptively-titled book is a must-read for retail marketers. Wheeler encourages retailers to think of the entire three-dimensional space of the retail store as the palette onto which the brand is painted, rather than letting the “brand” languish as a business name and a mission statement.

Wheeler’s book is a useful marketing book for non-retailers, too, in how it breaks down the way consumers interact with a brand. There are useful insights to be gleaned for any brand, even one that doesn’t live on the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores.

Buy Designing the Brand Identity in Retail Spaces on Amazon Here. 

15- made to stick by dan and chip heath.

Made to Stick

What could you gain from a marketing book that would be more powerful than the knowledge of what makes thoughts, ideas, memories enter our minds and just stay there, never to be forgotten? In Made to Stick , Dan and Chip Heath dive into the perplexing question of why we remember some useless bits of trivia or elaborate narratives, while simple or pertinent facts just fly out of our minds. What makes one thought “sticky” and another forgettable?

Their entertaining meander through a series of gripping case studies arrives at several actionable insights of interest to marketers, like “curiosity gaps” and the “Velcro Theory of Memory.” Required reading for brand marketers who want to make their brand “stick.”

Buy Made to Stick on Amazon Here.

16- the life of p. t. barnum by p.t. barnum.

The Life

No one was a better self-marketer than circus impresario P.T. Barnum—look, he even wrote his own biography. From live showman to journalist to philanthropist, there were always two sides to Barnum—the idealistic achiever and the cynical huckster. Reading about how he threaded the needle, perpetrating outrageous frauds, libels, and abuses but rarely suffering lasting damage is a jaw-dropping look at a marketing success story of ambiguous ethics.

More than just a tale of self-promoting exploits, The Life of P.T. Barnum is a self-promoting exploit in and of itself. It’s a remarkable exercise in how to build a legend, full of lessons you can copy if you read between the lines. Hopefully no one else closely mimics the charlatan career Barnum perpetrated on an unsuspecting American public—but in the age of Fyre Fest, it’s anyone’s ballgame. 

Buy The Life of P. T. Barnum on Amazon Here.  

17- permission marketing by seth godin.

Permission Marketing

The old way was “Interruption Marketing.” There you were, happily watching your favorite television program, when up pops a commercial for cereal or male-pattern-baldness cream. You aren’t happy, but you have to sit through it or else you’ll never find out how this week’s The Office ends.

Marketing guru Seth Godin dedicates this volume to the notion that the wave of the future is not “Interruption Marketing” but the “Permission Marketing” of the title—a system of incentivizing consumers to volunteer to be marketed to, essentially giving companies permission to market to them. Some of his insights may be familiar, but Godin pushes the idea into new frontiers that any marketing professional will find useful to explore.

Buy Permission Marketing on Amazon Here. 

18- positioning: the battle for your mind by al ries and jack trout.


In a stimulus-rich environment, it’s harder and harder for a brand to break through. Flooded with information, no one really has gaps in their consciousness that are desperately in need of filling by a bold new product. Ries and Trout get sneaky with the concept of “positioning.” It gets complicated—but you need something a little bit complicated to break through. Running at the brick wall will just get you bruised.

“Positioning,” as Ries and Trout mean it, involves carving out a stable “space” in a consumer’s mind around your brand niche—not just for your brand or even mainly for your brand. You might want to carve out that space for a key competitor , allowing your brand to “coattail” off of it or strike up a marketing proposition based on your brand’s strengths compared to a competitor’s weakness. It’s a roundabout but brilliant approach to practical marketing.

Buy Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind on Amazon Here. 

19- extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds by charles mackay.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions

One of the first “marketing” books, before the profession of marketing existed in any formal way, Charles MacKay wrote this study in 1841 as a survey of a phenomenon modern marketers would find perfectly familiar—mass delusion, groupthink, and follow-the-leader popular madness.

He delves into great bubbles like the tulip mania of 1637 or the Mississippi bubble of 1719; the Crusades, witch hunts, and the popularity of alchemy. These recountings aren’t quaint—they are fascinating explorations of very successful, often devastating proto-marketing campaigns that had the power to make or break fortunes and lives. The parallels to the marketing landscape of today are unmistakable.

Buy Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds on Amazon Here . 

20- crushing it: how great entrepreneurs build their business and influence―and how you can, too by gary vaynerchuk.

Crushing It!

In his follow-up to 2009’s Crush It, Gary Vee’s Crushing It! concludes that that wise sage Gary Vee was right back in 2009 and is still right today—a robust personal brand is more important to building a business than ever. This is no surprise to people familiar with Gary Vee, the profane patron saint of the Broletariat. But the entourage of mini-Vees that follow in his wake, earning fat incomes off personal-brand-based businesses like Gary’s, suggest that he’s really on to something.

It’s not hard to see the power of personal branding—just check Instagram. Vaynerchuk specifically addresses how to use social media as a platform to claim attention rather than let it claim your attention, tips that anyone from an influencer to an electrician can use to amplify their signal amidst the noise to accrue and monetize a personal following.

Buy Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence―and How You Can, Too on Amazon Here. 

21- marketing myopia by theodore levitt.

Marketing Myopia

First appearing in the Harvard Business Review in 1960, Theodore Leavitt poses a question just as applicable, if not even more applicable, in the Internet Age— what business are you in?

It seems like an easy question, but a surprising number of entrepreneurs get it wrong. They wind up failing to serve their customers properly and watch as their promising businesses flounder.

Levitt helps companies avoid that fate by dispelling four key myths of marketing and asking the tough questions that will get a company’s message on track for success and longevity.

Buy Marketing Myopia on Amazon Here. 

22- the anatomy of buzz by emanuel rosen.

The Anatomy of Buzz

Is “word-of-mouth” something that can be “created,” even “sustained?” Or do brands and products just get lucky and people start talking about them? In his marketing book, Emanuel Rosen cites examples and breaks down the repeatable strategies that get people talking and keep them talking.

A former VP of marketing himself, Rosen interviewed over 150 CEOs and marketing executives to discover how buzzy brands intentionally constructed and stoked their own buzz. In a marketing landscape dominated by what a consumer’s peers say about a product, nothing could be more fundamental than this. 

Buy The Anatomy of Buzz on Amazon Here.  

23- the cluetrain manifesto by chris locke , doc searls , david weinberger and rick levine ..

The Cluetrain Manifesto

The Cluetrain Manifesto was posted by the authors on the internet in 1999, containing 95 “theses” in cheeky reference to the theses Martin Luther nailed to a church door to kick off the Reformation and break the stranglehold of the Catholic Church. With the stranglehold of marketing orthodoxy in their sights, the Manifesto was one of the first marketing books to advance notions like “Markets are Conversations,” “Hyperlinks Subvert Hierarchy,” and to plumb topics around “Intranets.”

More than two decades later, it is still a fascinating read, a remarkable counterpoint that marketing professionals still struggle to wrap their minds around and accept, but a crucial perspective to understanding the landscape of Internet marketing.

Buy The Cluetrain Manifesto on Amazon Here. 

You might also like:, best artificial intelligence books to read in 2020, want to meet our expert team.

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15 Essential Product Marketing Books for 2023

Meredith Wilshere

Published: May 05, 2023

The product marketing landscape is continuously changing. To keep pace with the latest trends, you’ll need to keep up with the experts. That includes reading books with fresh insights and perspectives.

 product marketing books in a stack

To help, we’ve gathered a list of 15 essential product marketing books for your 2023 reading list. These books tackle how to lead a successful launch, tips for growing your career, and how to build customer-centric campaigns.

→ Download Now: Free Product Marketing Kit [Free Templates]

The 15 Best Product Marketing Books

15 Essential Product Marketing Books

1. the launch, a product marketer's guide: 50 key questions & lessons for a successful launch by yasmeen turayhi.

product marketing books; The Launch: A Product Marketer's Guide: 50 key questions & lessons for a successful launch

Image source

Some of the best beginnings start with a question — or, as in the case of The Launch , 50. Through guided and thoughtful questions, this book will help you avoid common pitfalls and help put you on the path to success.

Best for: Understanding the framework of where to begin your product marketing. The Launch will equip you with questions to guide your product marketing journey.

2. The Influential Product Manager: How to Lead and Launch Successful Technology Products by Ken Sandy

best product marketing books; The Influential Product Manager: How to Lead and Launch Successful Technology Products

It can feel hard to justify what you do in your organization or prove your job value in the broader ecosystem of your company. The Influential Product Manager is about understanding how the product manager interacts with every level of the business to launch successful technology products.

What we like: Distilling decades of experience into learned lessons, this book offers a human perspective on product management in an actionable and practical guide.

3. Product Marketing, Simplified: A Customer-Centric Approach to Take a Product to Market by Srini Sekaran

Product Marketing, Simplified: A Customer-Centric Approach to Take a Product to Market

Under the fame of the customer’s needs, Product Marketing, Simplified is a comprehensive guide to product marketing that takes you through the steps. You’ll get best practices on everything from messaging to influencing the product roadmap.

Best for: Understanding the customer’s perspective. This book puts you in the customer's mindset and helps answer questions around the “why” pertaining to the need of the product.

4. Product Marketing Misunderstood: How to Establish Your Role, Authority, and Strategic Value by Richard King and Bryony Pearce

Product Marketing Misunderstood: How to Establish Your Role, Authority, and Strategic Value

While product marketing is still a relatively new job function to the organization, there are a lot of misunderstandings about your role and how to position it.

Product Marketing Misunderstood offers guidance on personifying your value and driving the organization forward.

Pro tip: Product Marketing Misunderstood provides practical knowledge and applications. You can apply these tools to your job positioning, messaging, and personas.

5. Product Marketing Debunked: The Essential Go-To-Market Guide by Yasmeen Turayhi

Product Marketing Debunked: The Essential Go-To-Market Guide

Product Marketing Debunked provides a view into taking unformed concepts and creating a proper strategy for commercializing a product. You’ll learn how to make a go-to-market plan and release your final product into the marketplace.

Best for: Establishing a framework for releasing a product. This book offers a starting point that you can modify to match your industry and growth stage.

6. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself by Wes Bush

Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

If you are a product marketer following product-led growth principles, Product-Led Growth is the book for you. It guides you through the thought processes of product-led growth and puts you in your customers' shoes to build a product that better serves their needs.

Best for: Understanding where the pillars of product-led growth fit into your product marketing plan and strategy.

7. The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company by Lucas Weber

The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company

The Product Marketing Manager explains the product marketing role and focuses on practical applications. Weber ties insights to entertaining life lessons and anecdotes he collected.

What we like: The personal anecdotes and stories feel like wisdom passed down from a close friend who has learned a lot over the years.

8. INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

To understand how to market a product, you must first understand the “why” behind the creation. INSPIRED helps equip product marketers with the skills and tools to sell a product customers will love.

Best for: Understanding how to assemble the right people and skill sets, discover the right product, embrace an effective yet lightweight process, and create a strong product culture.

9. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

There are certain products that we now believe we can’t live without, constantly coming back to get the latest model or update.

Hooked details the “Hook Model,” a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior.

Through consecutive "hook cycles," these products bring users back again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

What we like: This book helps you understand the psychology behind what gets people hooked on products. This can help you think through the same principles for your products.

10. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It by April Dunford

Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It

So much of product marketing is product positioning, and understanding what positioning your customers react to is crucial to the sales cycle.

Obviously Awesome uncovers the principles of positioning and helps you find and position your product differentiators.

Best for: Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand what makes them buy, what positioning they react to, and why they would want to buy from you continuously.

11. Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri

Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value

Companies that measure solely by outputs often fall into what Melissa Perri describes as the "build trap," cranking out features to meet their schedule rather than the customer's needs.

Following her advice, you can rethink the purpose of why something gets built.

What we like: This book helps you understand that to stay competitive in today’s market, you must adopt a culture of customer-centric practices focusing on outcomes rather than outputs.

12. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

In Made to Stick , the authors reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain how you can make your ideas stickier. You’ll learn about the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and explore how to address curiosity gaps.

Best for: Understanding the impact of messages and why some things stick with us while others are forgotten over time. This book will help you level up your messaging with impactful and thoughtful tactics.

13. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Nowadays, it can feel like everyone is trying to sell you something. While that’s not inherently bad, To Sell Is Human looks at the difference between selling and storytelling. This book offers a new perspective on the art and science of selling.

What we like: This book moves past typical sales jargon to explain why we sell and how to do it effectively. You’ll also learn how to communicate honestly with your customers.

14. Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.

product-marketing-influence (1)

Sometimes product marketers get so bogged down in their own messaging that they forget the science behind product launches.

Using memorable stories and relatable examples, Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings.

Best for: Brushing up on communication and persuasion skills. Influence is for anyone looking to go back to the fundamentals of influence. You’ll rethink messaging that might not be working.

15. The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go from $0 to $100 Million by Mark Roberge

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go from $0 to $100 Million

As someone who's been at the forefront of multiple sales builds, Mark Roberge demystifies the sales process and life cycle.

The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a framework that uses all your tools at your disposal — like data, technology, and personas — to accelerate your growth.

Best for: Understanding the impact of a full sales lifecycle and your role within it. Use this book as a guide, picking up helpful information and tips to market your products better.

Building Your Product Marketing Reading List

Much like product marketing itself, learning about this business process is ever-changing. Understanding the skills needed and applying practical advice will help you level up your processes.

Ready to expand your product marketing knowledge in 2023 and stay ahead of the curve? Our list of 15 essential product marketing books is the perfect place to start.

Product Marketing Kit

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The 20 Top Marketing Strategy Books

Read our curated list of the top marketing strategy books from the great masters. Sean Ellis, Seth Godin, and more. [2021 edition]

Rakefet Yacoby From

One of the most vital steps in running a brand is creating a marketing strategy . This should come before anything else but it’s often missed. This part of the process is so vital to any business that it affects every aspect of the brand and becomes the foundation of any business’s success long-term.

The reason this step is missed so often is that it’s so hard to create a winning strategy. On the flip side, some of the most successful brands attribute their success to having a really solid marketing strategy.

That’s why we bring you the top 20 books about marketing strategy. These marketing books are practical, and full of real-world examples and tactics to get you in the right mindset and help you create that winning marketing strategy for your business.

Let’s dive in.

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1. The Blue Ocean Strategy - by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

blue ocean strategy book cover best strategy books

First on our list is the iconic Blue Ocean Strategy.

It’s a book that was super transformational when it came out and completely transformed the business world. It talks about this idea of a “red ocean” where companies compete against each other versus the “blue ocean” where each company has its unique value proposition and position in the market and is focused on thriving and creating.

The book talks about the mind shift a company needs to make from “competing” to “creating” and the different techniques that help companies create their own space in the market.

What does that mean? You can ignore your competition and just plow on? No, not quite. The book teaches you how to create a product-market fit and solve that problem for your customer in a way that’s unique.


What brands used to do is to constantly look over their shoulder and either add more features to beat the competition or constantly underprice their product. Instead, this book brings examples of how companies can find differentiators through new technologies, new materials, and channels. There are a ton of examples of different companies across a wide range of industries and it’s a fascinating read.

About the authors: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne are both professors at one of the world’s top business schools - INSEAD , located in France. They are co-directors of the INSEAD Institute for marketing strategy and have consulted for some of the world’s largest brands to help them create a blue ocean strategy and make that mind shift.

Published: 2005

Authors: W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne

Get the book on Audible , Google Play Books , Audiobooks.com .

2. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - by Al Ries & Jack Trout

the 22 immutable laws of marketing book cover top marketing books

This is another classic that is a must-read for any marketing manager . It’s a great book because it shows exactly what NOT to do and brings a lot of fun examples of brands that failed because they went against some of these principles.

Here are some of these laws that still apply today:

As you can see, these are really fundamental things that can dramatically change the way brands approach marketing strategy. You can use these to really help focus your strategy on the right things, on the right product and brand attributes to really differentiate yourself from the competition and succeed.

A word of caution: the book was written before the internet so a lot of examples are totally outdated. A lot of the companies mentioned there either failed or don’t exist anymore. But if you follow the principles carefully you can apply them to your business, and just keep in mind that a lot of the present-day marketing channels and technologies didn’t exist then.

Published: 1993

Authors: Al Ries, Jack Trout

Get the book on Kindle , Audible , Audiobooks.com .

3. Epic Content Marketing: - by Joe Pulizzi

How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

epic content marketing books cover

Content is absolutely everywhere and it’s a critical part of any marketing strategy.

We’re talking about the web content (home, product pages, category pages, our story page, checkout process), social media, landing pages, and brand positioning. If you get your content right then you can really describe your brand to your users and your brand is that much more memorable to the consumer.

And like we spoke about in the last book, it’s one of the immutable laws of marketing, this idea to be first in the mind of the consumer.

This book will teach you how to:

And last time I checked, this book is actually the textbook at several college business courses in content marketing, so if you want to master any of these skills you should read it.

About the author: The book was written by Joe Pulizzi, a veteran content marketer that founded the Content Marketing Institute and runs the largest content marketing event in North America called Content Marketing World . He’s known as the “godfather” of content marketing and has spoken in more than 200 events around the world.

Published: 2013

Authors: Joe Pulizzi

Get the book on Kindle , Google Play Books , Kobo , Barnes & Noble .

4. Blue Ocean Shift - by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth

The Blue Ocean Shift is a sequel to the Blue Ocean Strategy. It was published 15 years later and has a whole set of case studies and examples of companies using some of the principles discussed in the first book. The first volume was really lacking implementation and examples that showed these principles in action and the sequel has it all.

What’s new is the implementation of the strategy. They created a great five-step process of developing a blue ocean strategy that makes it super easy to implement these concepts. Here’s what it looks like.


Otherwise, I’d say it’s a pretty good book for those people that read the first one and were intrigued and a bit confused about how to implement the principles in their business. But if you haven’t read the first one, I recommend to just start with the second one. It’s clear, concise, and super practical.

Published: 2017

Get the book on Audible , Kindle , Barnes & Noble .

5. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable - by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin book cover best marketing strategy books for entrepreneurs

Seth Godin is a maverick and master writer and we have two of his marketing books on this list. Just the title of this one sounds inviting, doesn’t it? And the fact that you actually have to turn your head to read the title of this thing. Wow.

This book completely revolutionized marketing when it came out in 2003. In this book, Seth Godin highlights how some of the top brands made it big because they worked on becoming exceptional and really standing out in the marketplace. He tells the stories of brands like Apple, Dyson, and Starbucks and it’s really inspiring.

The only downside to this book is that it’s not going to give you a practical step-by-step process of how to become extraordinary. So if you’re looking for concrete methods this isn’t the book for you. But it will definitely inspire you and get you into the mind space to start transforming your business.

About the author: Seth Godin is an entrepreneur turned internationally acclaimed best-selling author and marketing influencer with 19 international bestsellers. His marketing books for entrepreneurs include the Icarus Deception, Tribes, Linchpin, and others. He runs a very popular marketing blog at sethgodin.com .

Published: 2003

Authors: Seth Godin

6. The Pizza Guide to Digital Marketing - by Christian Farioli

A Delicious First Byte of the Biggest Business Game Changers of Your Lifetime

the pizza guide to digital marketing by christian farioli book cover top digital marketing books

Fascinating title but the guy is Italian, so I guess they enjoy reading their marketing books over a large pizza and a glass of wine.

It’s refreshing to see a marketing book written by a marketing agency owner. And this one is quirky, funny, and super practical. It offers a lot of advice, tips, examples and really a comprehensive picture of digital marketing that’s more geared for the beginner.

About the author: Christian Farioli is a lecturer at the Digital Marketing Institute and the owner of the digital agency called “Agency of the Future”. He has trained more than 10,000 marketers and his clients include Armani, Bayer, and Huawei.

Authors: Christian Farioli

Get the book on Kobo , Kindle , Barnes & Noble .

7. Top of Mind - by John Hall

Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You

top of mind book cover by john hall top strategy books

This book provides a practical combination of content marketing and influencer marketing and how to use these two disciplines in the context of marketing strategy. This means building relationships and engaging your online audience or community to really get your brand to be top of mind for your ideal customers.

Another really great theme in this book is how brand values and thoughts about the marketing strategy are communicated within a company, between different teams. John has a whole chapter dedicated to that. In it, he gives a lot of helpful tips for making your marketing strategy stick and communicating it to the other teams and departments.

About the author: John Hall is the co-founder of the scheduling tool Calendar.com . He is also the co-founder of a digital marketing agency called Influence and Co . He is a well-known influencer and speaker and has written articles for over 50 online publications including the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Mashable, and others.

Authors: John Hall

8. Positioning - by Al Ries & Jack Trout

How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace

positioning the battle for your mind book cover

You guessed it - this book is all about brand positioning and how to do it right.

What is brand positioning? It’s a way that you communicate your brand to the outside world, how you communicate your strengths and weaknesses and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.

Brands often compete in an overcrowded marketplace where it’s hard to differentiate the brand or the product line. This book presents a really thorough history of brand positioning, practical methods on how to extend or reposition a brand, and how you can use it to craft the perfect marketing strategy for your business.

What I love about this book is that it presents several really fascinating examples of brands repositioning themselves and succeeding. There are stories about Xerox, Milk Duds, Mailgram, New Jersey Bank, and even the Catholic Church!

So overall, a really fun and interesting read that will challenge you and delight you at the same time.

About the authors: Al Ries and Jack Trout (known as the father of positioning) are two of the world’s most well-known marketing strategists and have written several best-selling marketing books. The two actually worked at the same marketing strategy firm for over 26 years. Their customers have included well-known brands like AT&T, Apple, IBM, HP, Pfizer, P&G, Xerox, and Southwest Airlines.

Published: 1980 (new edition came out 2001)

Get the book on Kindle , Kobo , Google Play , Barnes & Noble .

9. Permission Marketing - by Seth Godin

Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers

permission marketing by seth godin book cover digital marketing books

This is a must-read for anyone that’s developing a marketing strategy or running marketing campaigns. This is another heavy hitter from Seth Godin where he explains the notion of permission marketing.

The idea is that brands should move away from disruptive advertising and market to the customer in a way that doesn’t disrupt their online experience. It’s a great mindset for any kind of omnichannel strategy because that user experience is crucial. There are many different touchpoints along the customer journey and this book helps brands focus on putting the user first and not disrupting their experience.

Published: 1999

10. Quantum Marketing - by Raja Rajamannar

Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers

quantum marketing by raja rajamannar book cover top strategy books

If you’re tired of outdated marketing examples and want a fresh and updated outlook on what marketing should be in this day and age then this book is for you.

Quantum Marketing is written by Raja Rajamannar, the CMO of Mastercard, and in this book he shares the breakthroughs and challenges that firms face when they create their marketing strategy.

In this book you will find:

Overall it’s a great read and a good refresher of the newest marketing technologies that every brand should be using.

About the author: Raja Rajamannar is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Mastercard. He is also the Present of the World Federation of Advertisers , has more than 30 years of experience as a global executive. He has been recognized by Adweek as one of the industry's most tech-savvy CMOs and the top 5 World’s Most Influential CMOs by Forbes. He has taught at more than 40 top management schools in the world.

Published: 2021

Authors: Raja Rajamannar

11. What Customers Crave - by Nicholas J. Webb

How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

what customers crave book cover top marketing books

One of the most vital steps that brands miss when creating their marketing strategy is the customer research stage. You need to know what your customers love, what they hate, and what issue your product solves for them. Without that information, you will not find a good product-market fit and your brand will ultimately fail.

This book really teaches you how to get that data and structure your product around the customer experience. It’s super practical and will teach you the methods to go about it.

About the author : Nicholas J. Webb is a popular speaker and corporate strategist in the areas of customer experience design and innovation. His firm, Cravve , provides consulting and training to many of the world’s top brands.

Published: 2016

Authors: Nicholas J. Webb

12. Marketing Plan Template & Example - by Alex Genadinik

How to write a marketing plan

marketing plan template & example book cover

Once you have your marketing strategy you need to put it into a marketing plan, and that’s where some brands get stuck. That’s why we recommend this book to all of our readers because it’s such a practical next step to go from strategy to plan to execution.

What’s so unique about this book? Alex created a really innovative and quick way to structuring and coming up with your marketing plan template . First, you start with a 3-sentence marketing plan, distilling your strategy into just three sentences. Then you expand that into a 1-page plan, and finally, you will create a full marketing plan.

Most people get stuck trying to write essays and don’t get to the execution piece fast enough. This book introduces a way that cuts through all the unnecessary stages and helps brands create a marketing plan fairly quickly. It’s a fast read with tons of examples and real-world scenarios.

About the author: Alex Genadinik is one of the top marketing teachers on Udemy with over 20+ best-selling courses (including courses on eCommerce ). He’s written several best-selling marketing books for entrepreneurs on Amazon about marketing.

Published: 2015

Authors: Alex Genadinik

Get the book on Google Books , Kindle , Barnes & Noble .

13. Digital Marketing Strategy - by Simon Kingsnorth

An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing

digital marketing strategy an integrated approach to online marketing books cover

This book is for the digital marketer that is ready to implement their strategy. The book goes through all the various marketing channels - SEO, social media, content marketing, user experience, paid advertising, lead generation, customer loyalty, online & offline marketing - and introduces cutting-edge techniques and strategies for each channel.

A word of caution - this book goes through the topics fairly quickly, so if you need a deep dive into any one of them I would recommend reading industry blogs or getting another book on the specific marketing channel or technique you’re interested in exploring. This book is more of a big picture general refresher of each channel geared towards the marketing novice.

About the author: Simon Kingsnorth is an award-winning digital consultant and marketing strategy expert. He has worked for and consulted many leading brands around the world. He is a well-known speaker and corporate trainer.

Authors: Simon Kingsnorth

14. Marketing Strategy: The Thinking Involved - by Mark E. Hill

marketing strategy the thinking involved book cover

This one is more of a textbook, it’s used in universities and colleges across the US. Don’t get tripped up by the vague title, this is a very comprehensive book that covers every aspect of digital marketing strategy. It deals less with practical tactics and more with the type of analytics thinking that’s required to get the big picture right.

Topics include:

About the author : Mark E. Hill is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Montclair State University with more than 20 years of academic and professional experience. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Marketing Strategy, Marketing Research, and Consumer Behavior.

Published: 2012

Authors: Mark E. Hill

Get the book on Kobo , Kindle , Barnes & Noble , Google Play Books .

15. Hacking Growth - by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success

hacing growth books sean ellis

This is one of my favorite marketing books of all time. Hacking Growth really represents the growth of Big Tech and how marketing went from glorified PR to a measured and precise science. Growth hacking involves cross-functional teams and rapid A/B testing based on rigorous data analysis. And above all, it focuses on the customer-centric approach.

The main premise of the book is perhaps that companies that learn the fastest grow the fastest. The top brands gather data and make their entire company culture revolve around making data-based decisions, instead of shooting in the wind. And this book gives a ton of practical examples of brands that succeeded in making growth hacking a vital component of their culture and were able to grow their revenue really fast.

About the author : Sean Ellis was the one that coined the term “growth hacking”. He is the CEO and co-founder of GrowtHackers.com and has been a startup mentor for years. Morgan Brown launched Growth Hackers with Sean and is a startup marketing veteran.

Authors: Morgan Brown, Sean Ellis

16. Traction - by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction is another heavy hitter, it’s one of the most popular books on digital marketing . The main theme of the book is that growing companies is hard and the most important thing is customer acquisition. Without acquiring new customers your company won’t grow.

Traction introduces nineteen channels that a brand can use to build a customer base and tells you how to pick the right ones. There are a ton of practical examples of big companies that focused on customer acquisition and were able to grow fairly quickly like Reddit, Kayak, Hubspot, and Wikipedia.

It’s considered one of the foremost resources for startups and companies that want to grow their revenue and structure their marketing strategy correctly.

About the author : Gabriel Weinberg is the CEO and Founder of DuckDuckGo, the private search engine and Justin Mares is the founder of two startups and the former director of revenue at Exceptional.

Published: 2014

Authors: Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg

17. Digital Marketing for Dummies - by Ryan Deiss & Russ Henneberry

digital marketing for dummies

This is a great read if you want to go to the basics. Be honest, how many times did you feel like picking up a guide to something for dummies? There’s a reason why these books are so popular because they explain everything in simple language and because they are comprehensive, they cover every aspect of a topic.

The same holds true for Digital Marketing for Dummies .

Authors: Russ Henneberry, Ryan Deiss

18. They Ask You Answer - by Marcus Sheridan

A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer

they as you answer book cover

This book was written by the famous CEO of a struggling pool company during the 2008 market crash that was about to go bankrupt. So Marcus used content marketing and blogging to really educate his customers and get on the top of search results and he was able to turn it all around. In fact, the story was used by Hubspot in the early days to popularize content marketing and the inbound approach.

This book provides some really great resources on how to create a content strategy, how to perfect the marketing funnel, the types of content you should use s and for your business. It will help you structure your marketing strategy in such a way that your customers turn into brand ambassadors and your brand grows long-term.

About the author : Marcus Sheridan was an owner of the pool company River Pools and since then became a content marketing guru. He lectures and speaks around the world and consults large brands on their content marketing strategy.

Authors: Marcus Sheridan

20. #GetSocialSmart - by Katie Lance

How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy

getsocialsmart book cover

Social media is a huge part of your marketing strategy and one of the hardest things to do for a brand is to really create a consistent voice and tell the brand story.

This book is unique in that it not only deals with the practical strategies of all the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) but it also teaches brands how to tell their brand story and how to best interact with their online audience.

It’s a really great read and a must for any brand that wants to scale.

About the author: Katie Lance is the CEO of Lance Consulting, a large social media consulting firm and she has worked with clients like DocuSign, Realtor.com, SmartZip, and Re/Max. She is a nationally-known keynote speaker, runs her own social media academy called the GetSocialSmart Academy , and continues consulting brands around the world.

Authors: Katie Lance

Marketing books are some of the best resources to develop your strategy and learn new tactics. The best part about this list is that all of these books have practical examples and real-world case studies. To get a really good foundation we recommend you check out some of the more general strategy books and then read the more practical books that talk about specific marketing channels and tactics.

And as always, if you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out 😊.

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12 Best Marketing Books You Should Read in 2021

the best books about marketing

Marketing, particularly in the digital age, is constantly changing. Tactics that worked six months ago are already old news. The best marketers – the ones that consistently keep their brands ahead of their competitors – are able to do so because they’re always learning. This list of the best marketing books is a great place to start.

There’s somewhat of a variety of books here. Some are new, with up to date case studies backed up by recent research. Others are older, with timeless advice about human behavior and psychology. Some focus on specific important areas, while others are more general and are written to help you hone the right mindset. As you’ll see, it’s this breadth of information that will keep both your mind and your marketing skills sharper than your competition. The team here at NoGood runs a growth marketing book club where most of these books made it to our list and were heavily debated.

Here is our vetted list of the best marketing books you should read in 2021:

1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products  – by Nir Eyal

the best books about marketing

It’s not always the best products that go “viral” and capture widespread attention. Sometimes it’s the products that were specifically designed to keep you engaged.

In Hooked, Nir Eyal outlines a four-step process by which companies can (and do) guide human behavior in a way that consistently brings users back without having to rely on any additional advertising or marketing.

The Hooked model itself looks like this:

According to Nir, these hooks, when properly executed, allow businesses to increase customer lifetime value, provide pricing flexibility, supercharge growth, and sharpen their competitive edge.

For more on hooks and how they can integrate with growth loops, check out our deep dive into  acquisition loops .

2. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator  – by Ryan Holiday

the best books about marketing

To understand how to best position a brand or client within the media landscape, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of how media truly works. Holiday’s book is a deep dive into exactly that, and unfortunately, the outlook isn’t pretty.

“Trust Me, I’m Lying” is essentially two books in one. The first half explains how blogs drive news and how they can be manipulated. The second part shows what happens when this is done, with examples we can all remember. When a media eco-systems primary KPI is attention and profit, media companies and marketers win, and readers lose.

According to Holiday, the former marketing director for American Apparel,  “I wrote this book to explain how media manipulators work, how to spot their fingerprints, how to fight them, and how (if you must) to emulate their tactics. Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where trolls hijack debates, marketers help write the news, opinion masquerades as fact, algorithms drive everything to extremes, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m pulling back the curtain because it’s time the public understands how things really work. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.”

While the book was meant to be a warning, it’s tough to read it and not come up with actionable ideas.

Ryan was also one of the first thought-leaders to recognize growth marketing and its future and wrote one of the earliest primers on the topic –  Growth Hacker Marketing .

3. Contagious: Why Things Catch On  – by Jonah Berger

the best books about marketing

Think about the last thing you saw online that you immediately shared – YouTube video, NY Times article, meme, etc. What made you want to share that? What exactly was your motivation?

Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton, studies how social influence shapes the decisions we make and why some things go viral, and others don’t. In Contagious, he outlines six factors that help make things go viral: 

This book essentially picks up where Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” left off, showing how ideas catch on in the digital age. The next time you create something with the hope of it spreading, take some time to strategize over how or why someone would be inspired to share it. 

4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion  – by Robert Cialdini

the best books about marketing

“Influence” is the culmination of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 35+ years of research in influence and persuasion, looking into the psychology of what makes people say “yes.” 

To him, there are six principles of persuasion. Understanding these will not only help you become a better persuader, but you’ll also become better prepared to defend when these tactics are used on you.

In marketing, understanding human behavior and psychology are critical. Understanding Dr. Cialdini’s work will make your messaging better. Plain and simple.

5. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See  – by Seth Godin

the best books about marketing

It’s not a list of best marketing books without something by Seth Godin. We really could have included any of his famous works (particularly Purple Cow or Permission Marketing) on this list, but “This Is Marketing” is essentially a culmination of his wisdom from his lifetime in marketing, so it’s as good a place to start as any.

Rather than giving technical advice, Seth’s writing is a bit more broad and philosophical. It looks at topics like the history of marketing and how mass media is less and less relevant or necessary in the digital age. His advice tends to gravitate around a similar theme of making things that are more personal. Rather than trying to tweak your copy or optimize some new tool, Seth’s advice tends to fall back on figuring out exactly who your product is for and what need it fulfills and then crafting your messaging specifically for them.

While the digital space is often fast-moving and tactical, Seth’s advice is more timeless and general. It’s often necessary for every marketer to be reminded that at the end of the day, we’re all trying to connect people with products that can help them. If solving problems is our goal, we can do it by making things we’re proud of.

6. Thinking Fast & Slow  – Daniel Kahneman

the best books about marketing

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and economist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making. He also won a Nobel prize for his work in behavioral economics. So when someone of his background writes 600+ pages outlining everything he’s learned about human behavior, trust me when I say you’ll come out of it with something actionable.

The book covers a variety of topics that seems to touch on all aspects of human behavior, particularly irrational human behavior. He spends a lot of the book talking about “the two selves,” which is essentially a divide between conscious vs. unconscious thoughts and actions. This topic leads to heuristics, particularly why humans are so bad at thinking statistically, showing how and why both types of “selves” can be tricked.

It bears repeating that understanding psychology and human behavior is essential to marketing. Kahneman’s work will undoubtedly help with that, but it will also help with a more underrated trait that every marketer needs to have: empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of people who will be seeing your product or messaging for the first time. The results will speak for themselves.

7. Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen  – by Donald Miller

the best books about marketing

If you’ve ever struggled with getting consumers to respond to your messaging, it often helps to approach the problem with a different lens. If you listen to Donald Miller’s advice, try making your customer the hero of a story.

Miller breaks down “Building a Storybrand” into seven principles:

It’s impossible to read this book and not reconsider how you’re positioning your brand to your customers. Is your messaging just a list of product features that you’re hoping will get a customer excited? Try recrafting those with the customer journey in mind, make them feel understood, and see how much the response changes.

8. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content  – by Ann Handley

the best books about marketing

Despite living in a digital age where more and more communication dwindles to acronyms, emojis, and GIFs, writing remains an important skill for anyone. When everyone has access to the same tools, your choice of words is one of the few areas where you can truly set yourself apart from the competition.

Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, covers all things writing in this book. But don’t worry – this isn’t just an updated version of “Elements of Style.” The lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets ― from web sites, to blogs, to email marketing offers, to Facebook and other social media.

Always remember to grab your readers’ attention early and that your first draft will always be ugly.

9. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World  – by David Epstein

the best books about marketing

Range by itself isn’t so much a marketing book, but its premise helps establish or reinforce the framework of what a good growth marketer should be.  

We live in a world where everyone works to become more and more specialized. People strive to become experts at solving a specific problem with a very narrow skill set. However, as the old saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

In marketing, rarely are we solving the exact same problem over and over — the more general our knowledge-base, the more experiences and potential solutions we have to draw from. For example, sometimes, more paid media is the solution, but it isn’t always. The same goes for content, SEO, email, referrals, and on and on. Growth marketing is about finding unique solutions, so knowing the full landscape of tools and how they work together is essential. This means we need generalists in a world of increasing specialization.

Now, of course, we want to avoid having a knowledge-base that’s a mile wide but only an inch deep. Range reminds us to work towards developing into the  T-Shaped Market er that’s becoming more and more valuable on today’s marketing teams. 

10. 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk – by Al Ries and Jack Trout

the best books about marketing

This book is probably the shortest read on this list at only 143 pages, but it’s almost impossible to read through Al Ries and Jack Trout’s decades of wisdom and not come away with a few actionable insights.

The advice in the book is more high level and less tactical, addressing challenges such as brand positioning (The Law Of The Category) and PR (The Law of Perception). One important thing to note is that many of the ideas in this book surround decisions that a company must make long before their product is released, as opposed to tactics applied after the fact to convince people to buy. Essentially, the laws in the book stress the importance of “product/market fit” long before it became the new buzzword.

It’s also worth noting that the book was released in 1994, so many of the examples and advice may seem a bit dated. This puts it upon the reader to see how these ideas can be applied in the current age. For example, the Law of Focus discusses owning a word in your prospect’s mind, which is an idea that can be tied into modern SEO strategy.

11. No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram – by Sarah Frier

the best books about marketing

Long time tech reporter Sarah Frier offers the definitive story of Instagram and a compelling tale of how social media has transformed the lives of a new generation. The book is less action-oriented than some of the others on this list but for anyone who works with social media or social marketing, it should be essential reading. The book offers insight into Facebook’s heavy-handed focus on the “growth” of Instagram, as opposed to its future commitment to the product or the satisfaction of its users which has ultimately lead to the bloated Instagram app of 2021.

And if you needed any more reason to read No Filter the book was crowned the 2020 Business Book of the Year by the Financial Times and McKinsey.

12. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd – by Allan Dib

the best books about marketing

Almost any marketer that’s been in the business for a while is probably guilty of getting too caught up in the new shiny tactic at some point or another. Dib’s book is a reminder on how to simplify and still drive results.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan breaks down like this:

Everything else is just noise, or marketing for the sake of marketing. Once you have your plan set up, all marketing should tie back towards growing and optimizing one of these defines steps in your plan.

the best books about marketing

the best books about marketing

Mark Arpaia

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Necessary to compose you a quite little word to appreciate you yet again about the nice recommendations you’ve led here.

Great collection of books thanks for sharing this article with us, I am definitely going to read these books.

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Unleash Your Marketing Superpowers: 5 Books That Will Transform Your Strategy

the best books about marketing

By Ocean Rana

the best books about marketing

In today’s era, marketing plays a significant role in the success of any business or enterprise. Whether you are a beginner eager to learn the ropes or a seasoned marketing professional to boost your brand image, possessing the right knowledge is crucial to thriving in the dynamic field of marketing.


Let’s dive into a handpicked selection of marketing books that are sure to inspire, educate, and transform the way you approach marketing in today’s fast-paced business landscape. These books offer valuable insights, strategies, and frameworks that can empower you to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of marketing successfully.

Top 5 Marketing Books

Here is the list of the best books you must read to unlock the power of marketing.

1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Author: Robert Cialdini

Available: Amazon.in


It is a renowned book that explores the principles of influence and persuasion. It delves into the psychological factors that drive people to say ‘yes’ and provides valuable insights for marketers, sales professionals, and anyone interested in understanding human behaviour.

Cialdini presents six universal principles of influence that can be applied in various contexts – reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity.

2. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

Author: Jonah Berger

Contagious - How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

Berger’s book explores the underlying principles behind why certain ideas, products, or messages spread like wildfire while others fade away. The author investigates the concept of virality and uncovers the key factors that make things go ‘contagious’ in today’s digital world.

Berger offers practical advice and actionable strategies for creating contagious content, enhancing word-of-mouth marketing, and generating organic buzz around your brand or message.

3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point

The author explores the concept of the tipping point , which refers to the moment when an idea, trend, or behaviour crosses a threshold and spreads rapidly, leading to significant and often unexpected change. Gladwell examines various examples and case studies to illustrate how small changes can have a profound impact on society and culture.

The Tipping Point provides readers with a deeper understanding of how ideas spread, trends emerge, and behaviours shift.

4. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Author: Nir Eyal


Eyal’s book explores the psychology behind creating products and services that form strong user habits. Eyal presents a four-step framework, based on years of research and industry experience, that can help businesses build products that keep users engaged and coming back for more.

The author also addresses ethical considerations and highlights the importance of creating habit-forming products that benefit users rather than exploiting their behaviours.

5. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Authors: Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Made To Stick

The author explores the factors that make certain ideas memorable and impactful, while others are easily forgotten. The book presents a framework for creating and communicating ideas that are more likely to resonate with audiences and drive action.

Made to Stick is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to communicate ideas effectively and leave a lasting impact. By understanding and applying the principles outlined in the book, individuals and organizations can increase the chances of their ideas gaining traction, inspiring action, and making a difference.

The world of marketing is constantly evolving, and the more you learn, the more you’ll be able to adapt and flourish.

Research Scholar/ Content Writer; Assistant Professor at SAGE University, Indore

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Decades Old? No Problem: Publisher Makes a Bet on Aging Books

A company is republishing books that have fallen out of print and finding new ways to market works that are years, even decades, old.

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Roger Angell is shown on a couch with a full bookshelf behind him and a book on his lap.

By Elizabeth A. Harris

The life of a good book can span hundreds of years, but most of the time, a book gets a flash of attention when it is first published — if its author is lucky. Then, it fades away.

A company called Open Road Integrated Media is trying to change that by giving a second life to older books. It does that by using machine learning to make those titles more visible online and, with a new venture announced on Wednesday, by republishing books that were largely forgotten or had fallen out of print.

“There’s potential to breathe new life into these books,” said David Steinberger, chief executive of Open Road, “and that flies in the face of conventional wisdom in the industry.”

Publishing houses traditionally focus their marketing efforts almost entirely on new books. Once a title has been out for a while, publishers generally have to move on to the next one, no matter how much they believe in the book. There is little to direct attention toward older titles, although in rare cases, new readers may find them through a movie or television adaptation or even popularity on TikTok.

Open Road markets older books with a machine-learning technology that scans the internet for every mention of a title — digging through reviews, social media posts and retail websites — and then generates marketing suggestions for that title. The program also experiments with pricing and promotions on retail websites to try to increase sales and by adjusting keywords so that the books surface in search results.

Another important prong in the company’s approach is an army of about three million heavy readers who receive Open Road’s newsletters. By following links to books on retail websites like Amazon, those readers stimulate algorithms that give the titles better placement on the sites.

On average, Open Road is able to double the sales of the backlist titles it promotes, Steinberger said. Sales of “1942: The Year That Tried Men’s Souls, ” by Winston Groom, have more than doubled to 35,000 e-books sold since Open Road took it on, he said. “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man,” by J. Drew Lanham, has sold more than 15,000 e-books, also more than double its previous sales.

Grove Atlantic, an independent publisher, is working with Open Road to promote about 1,500 of its backlist titles, including “1942: The Year That Tried Men’s Souls” and “Black Hawk Down.” Morgan Entrekin, the publisher of Grove Atlantic, said that after seeing the results, the company became an investor in Open Road.

Every publisher, he said, has put out books it knew were great but that just didn’t work in the marketplace. “It’s very gratifying to see them sell,” Entrekin said. “The fact is that, over time, quality can win out.”

Open Road is primarily in the e-book business, and while its republished works will be available for print on demand in the future, they expect the focus to remain on e-books.

A new venture by Open Road, Re-Discovery Lit, will republish books that either are out of print or have such meager sales that the rights to the book have reverted from the publisher back to the author. (Typically, publishing contracts include a clause to this effect.)

Re-Discovery will start with a few hundred books this year. They include “Season Ticket,” by the longtime New Yorker writer Roger Angell; “Threats and Promises,” by the New York Times best-selling romance author Barbara Delinsky; and a thriller series called “Who Killed Peggy Sue?” by Eileen Goudge, also a New York Times best seller.

“We have these great books that are waiting to be found by a new set of readers,” said Sara Shandler, editor in chief of Alloy Entertainment, which published Goudge and is now working with Open Road. “But with so much focus on what’s next, some of those terrific titles get forgotten.”

Elizabeth A. Harris writes about books and publishing for The Times.  @ Liz_A_Harris

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

A Surprise Best Seller: Gabrielle Zevin didn’t expect a wide audience for “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” her novel about video game developers. Here’s how it became a blockbuster with staying power .

Martin Amis: Our critic assesses the achievement  of Britain’s most famous literary son, who died on May 19  at age 73.

Neil Gaiman: In his stories of horror, humanity and uncomfortable truths, the author is never afraid to go into dark places looking for the light. Here’s where to get started .

A Withering Depiction: The author   R.F. Kuang’s novel “Yellowface” is a blistering satire about publishing. The publishing industry loves it .

How to Be a Better Reader: Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .

Listen to Our Podcast:  Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review Podcast  to talk about the latest news in the literary world.

The 23 Best Marketing Books You Should Read in 2023

Best Marketing Books

I have a love-hate relationship with marketing books.

They represent the most prominent improvement source for my career and my number 1 item in the “time wasted” bucket.

The reality is that most marketers have the idea that writing a book will be a great social proof for their consulting career and will make them look cool and trustworthy, boosting their perceived authority.

Amazon converting the book publishing process into a self-service experience that only takes a few clicks has worsened things. Now we’re bogged with hundreds if not thousands of new marketing books being published every month, most of which are totally worthless.

In the best case, they’ll waste your time. In the worst case, they’ll set you on the path to failure with terrible advice.

I’ll try to keep this list always up to date as I read more books and discover hidden gems. The current list was updated on May 16th, 2023.

What does a great marketing book look like?

There’s no easy way to quickly identify the best marketing books; there are those you should read and those you should skip altogether.

There’s also no single definition of a great marketing book; it really depends on your current skill set and where’s your company at in terms of growth, strategy, team size, and focus.

Let’s list some key indicators to look for in a book to understand if it’s a good fit for you.

Strategy vs. tactics

When it comes to books, I usually prefer to buy and read books focusing on marketing strategy rather than actionable guides on how to do something.

The rationale is simple, in the current online marketing landscape, tactics change too fast for a book to stay on top of the latest trends. By the time it’s published, most tactics could be outdated .

Blogs and communities are the places to get the latest tactics. Marketing books are better suited to provide you with high-level strategies. Some still have an expiration date attached to them, and some are evergreen.

You’ll notice some of the best marketing books I’m recommending here are even as old as 50 years old! However, They all focus on key marketing strategies rather than “How to use the Facebook Ads Manager.”

Target audience

Who’s the book for? Often the author is pretty upfront about defining who the book is written for.

For example, Lost and Founder , not strictly a marketing book, but written by a great marketer and with some beneficial marketing insights inside, is a book I feel is the best fit for startup co-founders and marketing executives.

The Revenue Marketing book is another example that falls in this bucket. It’s a great book, but the best fit for it is a marketing executive who has the vision and power to implement drastic organizational changes.

Other books are written with marketers in mind that will have to implement the marketing strategy or part of it.

Stage and industry of the company

Marketing professionals can get excited easily. More than once, I’ve seen marketers in early-stage startups go off-road because they tried to follow pieces of advice from a book that was clearly meant for later-stage companies with a larger budget, firepower, and team size.

Marketing books rarely focus on a specific company stage or industry.

It’s up to you to understand if a book is a good fit for you and the business you work for. Check the author’s bio. Have they always worked in large enterprises? Did he focus more on B2B or B2C in his career?

This is not a show stopper, and you’ll likely never find the perfect book describing marketing strategies for your growth stage and industry, but this doesn’t mean a book is not good or worth reading. It’s up to you to put what you’re reading in context and then prioritize only the parts that can have the most significant impact on your business.

Digital Marketing is full of opportunities. It’s your job as a marketing professional to understand what has the highest potential impact and prioritize it.

Well, the list here could be endless. You can start reading Amazon reviews… but they can be easily manipulated.

Other red flags can come from the author’s bio. I try to avoid books from authors that have no real-world track record. For a book to be good, usually, it needs to be written by someone who has first-hand experience with what he’s writing about. Otherwise, it’s usually a summary/medley of other marketing books and blog posts.

Of course, having a deep understanding of a topic doesn’t guarantee you’re able to expose it in a book clearly.

The best marketing books, in my view.

Sorry for the long intro. I know you’re here to get inspiration for the next book about digital marketing to read, not to read a guide on how to pick a book. Let’s get down to it!

The books in this section are all books I’ve read and can personally vouch for. Later on, you’ll find more suggestions from friends and industry experts.

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World

Lost And Founder Book

“ Lost & Founder ” is not strictly a marketing book, but it’s written by a great marketer, Rand Fishkin, former CEO & Co-Founder of Moz, and now at the helm of SparkToro.

While the book is a very personal narration of Rand’s adventure as a Startup founder, it’s still filled with excellent marketing advice and covers the whole lifetime of Moz, so you’ll see how things can change as the business grows.

As an example, Rand tells his tales with what we call Growth hacking and how most of the time, it resulted in short-term gains that, however, had a negative impact in the long term. Something I’ve experienced first-hand too.

Overall if you are a marketer in the SaaS space, it’s a very insightful and entertaining book.

Pages: 300 Price: $5.99 Year: 2018 Get on Amazon

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational Cover

I’ve read this book countless times and fell in love with it right away. It’s probably one of the books I’ve handed out as a gift the most.

Dan Ariely is not only one of the world’s top behavioral scientists, but he’s also a great teacher and communicator. His books are insightful, filled with real-world experiments and case studies, and highly entertaining.

“Predictably Irrational” is a book about how our brains work and why we make irrational decisions, especially while thinking we’re hyper-rational. Many of the book chapters focus on our buying behavior and are backed by Ariely’s research.

As an example, do you know the most essential emotion when buying something? It’s Fear. When we don’t buy something, it’s because of fear. That’s why the word “Free” is so powerful, and it removes fear.

Even if he never mentions marketing across the book, once you’ve finished reading it, you’ll have a considerable amount of ideas on how to fine-tune your marketing messages, improve your landing pages and commercial offer, hook users to your product better and faster.

Trust me. This is one of the best marketing books you’ll ever read.

Pages: 302 Price: $8.90 Year: 2009 Get on Amazon

Breakthrough Advertising

Breakthrough Advertising - Best Marketing Books - Advertising

“Breakthrough Advertising” is considered by many a sort of Bible of copywriting. For a long time, it’s also been known as “The lost book.” It was impossible to find and used Amazon copies sold for crazy amounts like $400. And honestly, it was worth it.

Don’t worry, and you won’t have to hand out $400 to get ahold of this book. It’s now being republished by Brian Kurtz, even tho’ at $125, it’s still the most expensive book on this list.

Forget about CPC, CTR, Facebook Ads, and Display advertising. This book was written by Gene Schwartz in 1966 when the only forms of advertising were direct mailing and newspaper ads.

Luckily, while advertising channels have changed in the last 60 years, customer behavior has not.

Also, note this is not strictly a book around advertising, and I’d say the main focus is helping you understand why people buy and crafting the perfect marketing message to make it happen.

All of Gene Schwartz’s ideas have survived wee in the digital age and are arguably even more impactful today than then.

One of my favorite quotes from this book is, “A Marketer’s goal is not to create old into new desires in potential customers. Creating new desires would be incredibly expensive and hard. Your job as a marketer or business owner is to understand people, discover the desires that already exist, and leverage them for your marketing strategy.”

This is an evergreen masterpiece to step up your marketing game.

Pages: 236 Price: $125 Year: 1966 Get on the book’s website

To give you an idea of how good this book is, here’s how much original used copies are selling for on Amazon:

Breakthrough advertising amazon price

22 Immutable Laws of Branding

22 Immutable laws of branding

Al Ries is a renowned author of classic marketing books. By checking Amazon reviews, you can quickly understand this is a controversial one, and people either love it or hate it.

I’m a big supporter of branding, especially SaaS Marketing , and I think branding should be a critical part of every digital marketing strategy.

The biggest problem with this book is that it’s outdated. It goes way back to 2002, and many examples are used in the book to back some strategies that have ultimately gone very wrong over time. For example, Ries thought Amazon would fail to expand out of the book industry, and smartphones would never catch on and become popular.

Some bad examples may undermine the book’s quality to an average reader, but I’m afraid I have to disagree. There are always outliers and exceptions in business, this is one of them, and that doesn’t invalidate the general rules that apply to 99% of the world.

Overall this is an excellent book on branding for marketers and business professionals. It makes great points on how iconic brands are created and how the “laws” described apply to modern internet marketing.

Pages: 272 Price: $11.99 Year: 2002 Get on Amazon

10x Marketing Formula

10x marketing formula

If you love inbound marketing and content marketing, you’re going to love the “10x Marketing formula” (Not to be confused with “10x” by Grant Cardone).

This book is from Garrett Moon, co-founder of Co-Schedule, and you can find a great intro to the approach proposed in the book reading this post .

The core idea is that your marketing success will unlikely depend on many small wins but will be driven more by 10x jumps that will significantly impact.

Given this incipit, the book focuses on how you can build, analyze and optimize a predictable marketing strategy based on bold moves that sometimes will fail, but when they don’t, will have an enormous impact on your business.

The book put a lot of emphasis on content marketing, one of my favorite approaches for scaling SaaS businesses . The author has battle-tested all the strategies presented on CoSchedule’s blog, and social media marketing is also covered quite often.

TL;DR: If you’re planning a digital marketing strategy for a SaaS Business, make sure you read this book, it often goes under the radar in “best marketing books” lists, but it’s totally worth it!

Pages: 368 Price: $0.99 Year: 2018 Get on Amazon

Hooked cover

“ Hooked “ by Nir Eyal is a bestseller worldwide. It’s the Bible on how radically successful businesses build habit-forming products.

Yes, products , not marketing campaigns. This book is not strictly about Marketing and more about hooking users in your product, creating stickiness, increasing retention, and converting them into loyal customers.

It’s probably the best book in this space and if you’re working in product marketing is a must-read. As I’ve discussed when talking about revenue marketing , SaaS business leaders should break down silos and have all the teams work together.

The topics covered in this book are also strategic to approach a Product Led Growth (PLG) strategy.

Pages: 256 Price: $16.85 Year: 2014 Get on Amazon

Traffic Secrets

Traffic Secrets

“Traffic Secrets” by marketing legend Russel Brunson is another book that is often not mentioned in book recommendations. In my opinion, it’s absolutely one of the best marketing books around, and it’s based on Russel’s first-hand experience scaling a digital business from $0 to $100m without raising any VC money.

The book is really up to date, and it’s been published in 2020 and does a great job covering both marketing strategies and tactics.

It explains step by step how ClickFunnel generates traffic, converts it into leads while already making money out of it, and then into new customers.

And it doesn’t stop here. A key part of this book is also how to maximize Lifetime Value with upsells and keep making more money from existing customers.

Everything starts with content and how it can be repurposed across multiple channels, from Youtube to Social Media, books, and so on.

The book itself is a lead magnet for ClickFunnel. I learned a lot by reading the book and analyzing how the book is promoted and used to promote the business.

Some of the tactics described are pretty unconventional in classic SaaS Marketing, but they’re certainly very effective. The only caveat you should keep in mind is that they are so effective for ClickFunnel because of Russel’s powerful personal brand.

Pages: 347 Price: $9.99 Year: 2020 Get on Amazon

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd

The 1 page Marketing plan

I read this book by Allan Dib 6 years ago during my AdEspresso time, and I remember I loved it.

It’s probably the first book everyone in SaaS or B2B Marketing should read as it provides an actionable guide to every step of the funnel required in an effective marketing plan.

The book is divided into three main blocks: Before, during, and after.

The Before phase covers critical activities you should do before going to market with a new business, defining your target market, crafting your message and story, and researching potential customers with advertising.

The During phase covers capturing, nurturing, and conversion to paying customers.

The After phase focuses on delivering a world-class customer experience to maximize lifetime value.

It’s a great high-level guide to planning your marketing efforts. This is also the book’s main problem, and it leaves it to you to come up with tactics to execute the plan. Another issue I found in this book is that it doesn’t cover the traffic acquisition phase too much and focuses more on lead generation.

It’s still a great book, well worth being listed as one of the best marketing books!

Pages: 234 Price: $2.99 Year: 2016 Get on Amazon

Hacking Growth

Hacking Growth

“Hacking Growth” is likely the best book on Growth Hacking, written by two of the top names in the growth hacking world: Sean Ellis, who invented the term, and Morgan Brown, who worked with Sean and then became director of product at Facebook and now VP of growth of Shopify.

Clearly, they do what they preach.

The book is a pleasure to read, and it’s structured in two macro sections. The first one is a good intro to growth hacking and how to implement a good process in your company to make assumptions, quickly test, analyze and improve them before moving on to the next experiment.

In my opinion, this is exactly what most marketers need: a good process to iterate through a series of experiments and analyze their impact.

The second part of the book is more tactical and filled with case studies and real-world examples of how you can start adopting growth hacking to grow your company.

For sure, it deserves a spot on my best marketing books list!

Pages: 300 Price: $12.99 Year: 2017 Get on Amazon

Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence the psychology of persuasion

This bestseller and evergreen marketing book by Robert Cialdini is like the Bible when it comes to understanding why people say “yes” and leveraging it to grow your business.

Please don’t get fooled by the title, the book is not strictly about influencer marketing, and it’s actually very focused on the psychology that drives us to say yes. From this point of view, it’s pretty similar to predictably irrational.

Even though it was written in the 80s; it’s still a great read and actually still very relevant; Human behavior doesn’t change that fast!

I love this book because it’s filled with great examples, and they’re all incredibly actionable. In every chapter, you could find some gems to test right away on your homepage or landing pages.

There’s also a chapter on social proof. I love social proof, and I’ve experimented in Facebook Ads how powerful it is. And while it’s used by most companies nowadays, I think it’s very often used in an insufficient or ineffective way.

Pages: 592 Price: $16.99 Year: 2021 Get on Amazon

Don’t Make Me Think

Don't make me think

This classic from Steve Krug is an evergreen success and should be read by anyone in marketing dealing with the website’s design.

The concept is clear from the title: simplicity is the most important element of any website, no matter if you’re working on the homepage or a landing page.

Too many companies nowadays focus on creative designs rather than web usability. While it might be suitable for branding, it can kill your conversion rate.

The target audience is mainly composed of designers, and it teaches them how to counter-argue with the marketing team and business leaders asking for nonsense designs.

As a marketer, it’s a great idea to read it to better judge website designs and be more aligned with your design team.

Pages: 210 Price: $16.20 Year: 2013 Get on Amazon

Content Inc

Content Inc

Joe Pulizzi is an authority in the field of content marketing, he was among the first to use the term back in 2001, and he’s the founder of Content Marketing Institute , one of the best blogs on the topic.

In “Content Inc,” he does a great job at helping small businesses understand how content marketing works, set realistic expectations, and plan great marketing campaigns.

Most people think about Content Marketing as something very blog-centric. I love this book because it focuses on how to create content that fits your expertise and your potential customer’s interests and needs; it doesn’t focus on a single distribution channel.

The second edition is actually very up-to-date. It was released in 2021 and featured a lot of social media marketing tips covering all the latest trends like TikTok and Snapchat.

Pages: 432 Price: $14.34 Year: 2021 Get on Amazon

Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

Product Led Growth

Product-Led Growth is the trend of the moment in online marketing, and it’s becoming marketers’ favorite buzzword replacing growth hacking.

Wes Bush, the author of the book, is one of the most well-known names in the space and his website, ProductLed , is an excellent source of education on the subject.

PLG’s approach is to basically use your product as a Marketing channel by onboarding as many users as possible in a Free or Trial plan and then optimizing the user experience to have high conversion rates, delight new customers, and incentivize them to refer more customers.

The book is filled with practical advice on picking your business model, optimizing your user experience, reducing churn, and so on. It’s really a great intro to get started with Product-led growth.

Of course, the book has a strong focus on the SaaS space. While it would be an interesting read, it’s probably not a must-read if you’re in the eCommerce space.

If you’ll like this book as much as I did, there’s also an excellent follow-up that focuses 100% on SaaS onboarding titled Product-led Onboarding.

Pages: 278 Price: $9.99 Year: 2019 Get on Amazon

Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

Inbound Marketing

I was a bit split on if this book by Hubspot’s co-founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, should be included in the list of the best marketing books to read in 2023, but ultimately it was at the least worth mentioning.

The book is a bit outdated, and the target is beginners, not advanced marketers. On the flip side, this book impacted me deeply when I first read it as we were getting started with AdEspresso.

Hubspot is the company that made Inbound marketing and permission marketing mainstream and a serious alternative to interruption marketing based on outbound calls and traditional advertising.

My marketing approach has been modeled around what Hubspot was doing back then, and I’ll be forever grateful.

All in all, if you’re getting started with digital marketing and want SEO and content to be an essential element of your career, you should absolutely read this book.

Pages: 216 Price: $12.00 Year: 2014 Get on Amazon

Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy

I actually read this book a long time ago, but it left an impact, and I remember it was pretty good. I’d say it’s more for entrepreneurs than for marketers, though.

The big idea behind this bestseller is to guide readers to find untapped opportunities in the market where competition is low, and you can really grow your business. These markets are called ‘blue oceans,’ and they represent a way more appealing opportunity than bloody red oceans of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool.

Price: $16.20

Get on Amazon

Digital Marketing For Dummies

Digital Marketing for dummies

I never thought I’d include a “For Dummies” book in a list of best marketing books. Even crazier, one that is actually 14 years old!

BUT… this book is written by marketing legend Ryan Deiss, someone I really look up to. The book is clearly for beginners but does a great job setting solid foundations for your marketing career.

All the most important strategies are covered with many success stories to learn from.

Pages: 368 Price: $17.99 Year: 2020 Get on Amazon

The Smart Marketing Book: The definitive guide to effective marketing strategies

The smart marketing book

A recent book by Dan White, published in 2021. It’s likely a book for beginners that provides a very clear and enjoyable introduction to most marketing strategies and channels.

Most comments I’ve seen on this book seem to hint it’s a pleasure to read but very light on most topics—a great place to start reading about marketing to zoom in with more specific books.

Price: $13.72 Year: 2021 Get on Amazon

The Customer Centricity Playbook: Implement a Winning Strategy Driven by Customer Lifetime Value

Customer centricity

It is not strictly a Marketing book but a title that can have a transformational effect on businesses and their marketing teams.

Customer-centric companies really put the customer at the center of all their efforts, from marketing to product, customer support, and success. The Customers are no longer an anonymous monolith but have become a known entity, and his success is the goal of the business.

Pages: 136 Price: $19.99 Year: 2018 Get on Amazon

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

Everybody Writes

I’ve heard just too many praises for “Everybody Writes” not to include it in this list, and I’m going to read it for sure in 2023.

The book is very business and online marketing focused and will help you become a better copywriter to craft stellar content that will attract, convert and retain customers for your business.

In my personal opinion copywriting is a very underrated skill nowadays. Every startup is willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get their website designed by a pro, but when it comes to the copy: “There’s no budget… the CEO or the intern will take care of it”.

This is totally wrong; I can assure you that the copy has a way bigger impact than the design in most cases.

Pages: 320 Price: $21.34 Year: 2014 Get on Amazon

Product-Led SEO

Product-Led SEO

I found “Product-Led SEO” to be an incredibly valuable resource for improving my company’s search engine optimization strategy. The author, Eli Schwartz, provides practical advice and strategies for optimizing not only our website but also our product itself to attract organic traffic and increase conversions.

What I particularly liked about the book was how it emphasized the importance of designing the product with the user in mind. The book provided actionable tips for incorporating user research and feedback into the product development process, as well as optimizing the product’s UI and features for better search engine visibility.

Overall, “Product-Led SEO” was a comprehensive guide to optimizing your SaaS product for search engines. I would highly recommend it to other founders and marketers looking to improve their SEO strategy.

Pages: 262 Price: $10.59 Year: 2021 Get on Amazon

 The Ultimate Marketing Engine

 The Ultimate Marketing Engine

I read “The Ultimate Marketing Engine” earlier this year, and absolutely agree with John Jantsch. The ultimate marketing engine for your company is a happy customer that would give you a deep referral in a heartbeat. Jantsch gets programmatic about this, and gives us 5 clear and actionable steps to turn your customers into ambassadors. Some of these include deep insights into mapping your customer painpoints, uncovering real problems you can solve, and narrowing focus on customers who both need and can pay for your product. Scaling this process involves a deep obsession with solving for these customer ecosystems. I also appreciated how the author focused not just on tactics, but also on the importance of creating a marketing culture within the organization.

Definitely worth a read especially if you’re trying to figure out the marketing ethos for your company. 

Pages: 224 Price: $11.24 Year: 2021 Get on Amazon

Moving to Outcomes: Why Partnerships are the Future of Marketing

Moving to Outcomes: Why Partnerships are the Future of Marketing

I thought this book was above average. While not all of it is valuable, there were some very clear insights on how to drive partnership marketing. I do believe that Marketing ROI should be a priority for SaaS companies, especially during a recession. This book is a great entry point on how to drive outcome based partnership marketing to success. Glazer and Wool spend considerable time making a case for their point through use-cases, and analysis of companies that have done this successfully. The central point is simple: In order to achieve a better return on investment and sustainable long-term performance, brands should consider diversifying their marketing strategies by allocating more budget towards scalable and transparent marketing partnerships. 

My only gripe is that it would have benefitted from talking more about the major pricing and performance rules that underlie these partnerships. That said, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in “diversifying their marketing portfolio” beyond the mainstream. 

Pages: 224 Price: $3.64 Year: 2022 Get on Amazon

Forget the funnel

the best books about marketing

This book is so good for SaaS marketers that as soon as I started reading it, I’ve decided to update this post and add it.

Forget the funnel is literally fresh out of press, it was released on May 9th, 2023 and is the brainchild of Georgiana Laudi & Claire Suellentrop.

The two authors have a huge experience in SaaS Marketing . They’ve worked in amazing companies like Unbounce & Calendly and played a key role in scaling them in the early days.

They then partnered to found “Forget the Funnel” a San Francisco agency helping top SaaS companies scale their growth.

I had a couple of calls with them in the past for Breadcrumbs, and I can guarantee you, they’re very smart and know what they’re talking about.

This book will teach you the exact approach they use to help their customer. And it’s a very unconventional approach that I love.

Instead of burning out your marketing team by going after endless tactics that might or might not work for your company and industry, they put all the focus of marketing, product, and sales team on customers.

This amazing marketing book will teach you how to identify your best customers and how to interview them to understand what got them to buy your product, how they discovered it, how they were doing things before your product, and how using it made their life better.

Once you have this information, you’ll learn how to use them to drastically change how you do marketing and sales. Not by chasing the latest marketing tactics, but by implementing a customer-focused approach that will make your growth organic and predictable.

You know how much I respect Rand Fishking, here’s what he had to say about Forget the Funnel:

“My team paid tens of thousands of dollars to work with  Claire  and  Gia , and we earned every dollar back tenfold. This book shows exactly how they did it and how you can too.”  Rand Fishkin, founder of SparkToro

Pages: 149 Price: $0.99 Year: 2023 Get on Amazon

Tip #1: Leverage Book summaries

I’ve been using Book summary apps quite often in the last period.

Is it worth it? Yes and no.

I think you should read the full book regarding the pillars included in this best marketing books list.

On the other side, many other books are interesting but too long or written in a very boring way but still deserve attention. I often skim through the summary for these books and then decide if they are worth reading fully or not.

I can get a good overview of the book’s key concepts in about 20% of the time. Other times I love the summary and want to read the original edition.

Tip #2: It’s all about learning, not reading

I’m a compulsive buyer. I have something like 70+ books in my kindle that I still have to go through.

When I started, I was using the number of books read in a year as my north star metric, going after all those tweets stressing out that successful people used to read hundreds of books per year. Trust me, when it comes to books, quality matters more than quantity .

With time I understood that while the more you can read, the better it is, the end goal is not reading but improving yourself, taking the time to think about what you’ve just learned, and putting it into practice.

You won’t get less stressed reading a book about meditation if you don’t follow up and start meditating and you won’t become a better marketer if you don’t experiment with the strategies or tactics you’ve just learned.

My advice is: Take your time. It’s ok to read 5 books instead of 20 as long as those 5 books really impact your personal growth.

Love Reading? Here are more recommendations

Massimo Chieruzzi avatar

Massimo Chieruzzi

I'm Massimo and I run this blog. I'm a jack of all trades, master of none, juggling between startups, marketing, and product. You might know me as the co-founder of AdEspresso and Breadcrumbs. This blog is my playground where I build stupid tools to solve everyday marketing problems and experiment with the latest marketing tactics!

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May 21, 2022

Was looking for some recommendations and I came across your blog and realized the genuineness of your books reviews! Very helpful and thank you 🙏

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Grow » marketing, what is a hashtag challenge how to create one for your brand.

Hashtag challenges aren’t just for Gen Z. Brands are using these campaigns to boost engagement and create communities on social media.

 A group of teens stands in a circle outside, applauding one teen in the center of the circle. The teen in the center is a boy in black pants, a gray shirt, a denim jacket, and black-and-white sneakers. The boy is mid-dance, bending himself backward with his legs slightly bent and one arm extending upward. In the foreground, out of focus, a pair of hands holds up a smartphone and films the scene. Behind the group of teens is a building with a tan brick exterior and concrete steps leading up to a white door.

Hashtag challenges are a great way to boost engagement with your followers and solicit creative user-generated content. With hashtag challenge videos racking up thousands, if not millions of views, these campaigns are proven to increase follower counts, improve brand awareness, and produce high ROI. Here’s what you need to know about hashtag challenges and how to create one for your business.

What is a hashtag challenge?

A hashtag challenge is one in which the challenge creator (either an individual or a brand) asks people to perform a certain task and tag their video or image using a given hashtag. Usually with the help of influencers, brands would create online challenges on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to encourage users to share how they use a product or service.

However, hashtag challenges exploded in popularity on TikTok. Early hashtag challenges were inspired by specific dances or songs, such as the artist The Weeknd’s #blindinglightschallenge . This challenge consisted of TikTok users doing a simple few dance moves while the song "Blinding Lights" played in the background. Videos created around this particular hashtag have racked up over 486 million views.

Since hashtag challenges first started going viral, TikTok has taken steps to monetize these videos for brands. Today, the platform offers Branded Hashtag Challenges : sponsored campaigns that companies can use to boost awareness, drive engagement, and build a bigger fanbase.

[Read more: How to Use Hashtags to Promote Your Small Business on Instagram and TikTok ]

How do Branded Hashtag Challenges work?

TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenges (HTC) allows brands to create opportunities for engagement with their audiences. These ads consist of a three- to six-day campaign in which user-generated content appears on the TikTok hashtag challenge page.

Try to pick a challenge that is both easy to complete and leaves lots of room for creativity.

Setting up the challenge is relatively straightforward. TikTok will lead you through the steps, which include selecting music, creating contest rules, and setting up a hashtag of no more than 70 English characters . Sponsoring your campaign using TikTok’s Hashtag Explorer Plus program will ensure your challenge is seen by more users.

“[You] can place your branded HTC on the ‘Discover Page’. This is where TikTok users go to find trending sounds and hashtags. A banner here for your HTC will direct traffic to the hashtag page, the central hub for the challenge,” wrote Tribe , an influencer marketing company.

Tips for setting up a hashtag challenge

Of course, it’s not imperative that you spend big to run a sponsored hashtag challenge. Many brands keep it organic, encouraging their existing followers to participate and working with some influencers to help the campaign spread.

Hashtag challenges should be fun, relevant, and memorable. Try to pick a challenge that is both easy to complete and leaves lots of room for creativity. For example, shoe retailer DSW launched a challenge for users to share videos of themselves wearing shoes with the hashtag #TooManyShoes to be entered for a chance to win a full closet of shoes.

The #improvisewithJUKE campaign , posted by Nissan Australia, aimed to raise awareness of their new crossover car, the JUKE. The brand provided users with music and challenged them to make their own car commercial voiceover. The grand prize: actually being featured in a JUKE commercial on TV.

Work with influencers to make sure your hashtag challenge gets seen. “You can ask them to participate in the challenge and share it on their respective TikTok accounts. This will introduce the challenge to their followers, some of whom will participate in the challenge,” wrote Influencer Marketing Hub . “Influencers can also cross-promote on other platforms and get more people to participate in your challenge.”

[Read more: 4 Smart Ways to Boost Engagement With Social Media Followers ]

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Latest Market News

Marketplace Asia

Japan’s long-suffering stock market is back. This boom may have ‘staying power’

April 2023, Mazda museum, Hiroshima, Japan (Marketplace Asia ep.23)

Japan’s stock market has waited more than three decades for its moment in the sun.

The country’s major stock indexes are trading at highs not seen since 1990, when its infamous asset bubble of the late 1980s was just deflating.

So far this year, the benchmark Topix has jumped almost 14%, and the Nikkei 225 (N225) , which tracks Japan’s blue-chip companies, has leapt nearly 17%. The indexes have outpaced the United States’ S&P 500 and Europe’s Stoxx 600 benchmark indexes, which have both risen 8% in that time.

“In my 33 years in the market, things do seem probably more positive now than they’ve seemed at any time in that whole period,” said Jeffrey Atherton, an investment manager at Man GLG, a subsidiary of hedge fund giant Man Group. “It’s not based on hype.”

Investors say Japanese stocks have benefited from relatively cheap valuations, a long-awaited return of inflation , and a weakening currency.

An endorsement by Warren Buffett probably didn’t hurt either — the legendary investor told Japanese publication Nikkei in April that his flagship investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, planned to increase its holdings in five Japanese companies.

Foreign investors bought $15.6 billion worth of Japanese stocks last month, the highest monthly amount since October 2017, according to the Japan Exchange Group.

For years, investors have hoped modest rallies in Japanese stocks would translate into a sustained market revival for the world’s third-largest economy, which is also home to a raft of household-name electronics companies and carmakers, like Sony (SNE) and Toyota (TM) . But they never did.

But this time, investors tell CNN, really is different.

Change from the top

Japanese stocks have received their biggest bump from an overhaul of corporate governance rules that has compelled company executives to improve shareholder returns. JPMorgan analysts said last week that the “structural change” taking root in Japan could give the current market rally “staying power.”

Earlier this year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange began telling companies to pay more attention to their stock price. It urged them to come up with plans to boost their price-to-book (PTB) ratios — that is, the firm’s share price relative to its net assets.

Half of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange trade at a PTB ratio of less than one, according to Man Group data from February, compared with just 3% of firms on the S&P 500.

A low ratio means the stock is a bargain. The problem is that at least half of Japan’s companies have been stuck trading at a ratio of below one for most of the past 20 years. As a result, there has been little incentive for investors to buy the stocks if they don’t believe they can sell them at a higher price later on.

An electronic board showing the closing numbers on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

“There’s long been a lot of undervalued companies in Japan,” Atherton noted. “We take it for granted in the US and Europe that corporate management is trying to maximize the share price, but that’s by no means been the case in Japan for the last 30-odd years.”

That may now be changing.

Companies tracked by the Nikkei index paid out record dividends in 2022. At the same time, a spate of share buybacks has helped swell stock prices.

Japanese firms bought back 9.7 trillion Japanese yen ($7 billion) worth of their own stock in the fiscal year ending March 2022, according to Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale. That’s the most since he started tracking the data 24 years ago.

For the 2023 fiscal year, share buybacks have totaled around 8.6 trillion Japanese yen ($6.2 billion). That number could rise because a few companies are still to report their earnings.

Inflation is back

A recent spate of encouraging economic data in Japan has lifted investors’ spirits, while a weakening currency has made the country’s exports more competitive.

What central banks in other major economies have been fighting over the past year — soaring inflation — has been welcomed by Japan’s policymakers.

Following decades of deflation, the country’s consumer prices rose in January at the fastest annual pace in 41 years . Inflation has since slowed down a little, but remains well above the Bank of Japan’s 2% target.

Still, the central bank has kept its main interest rate below zero while its counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union have jacked up borrowing costs at a record clip to keep prices in check.

“[Japan] is an economy where policymakers have been beating on the inflation beehive for decades, hoping the bees would come out,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer and founding partner of Chicago-based Cresset Capital Management, told CNN. “And now it appears, finally, they’re getting the inflation.”

That difference in monetary policies has driven down the value of the Japanese yen against most other major currencies. The currency has fallen almost 9% from a year ago to trade at 139 to the US dollar — “table-poundingly cheap,” according to Ablin. A weaker currency makes the country’s exports relatively cheaper on the world market, a particular boon for a major exporting nation like Japan.

Japan’s improving economic fortunes have also made its companies more attractive.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4% in the first quarter this year compared with the last three months of 2022, beating analysts’ expectations of a 0.1% bump.

Activity in Japan’s private sector also grew in May at the fastest pace since late 2013, according to preliminary PMI data from au Jibun Bank, a Japanese lender, compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Challenges ahead

Japan’s economy still faces some enormous hurdles. It has a rapidly aging population — almost one-third of its people are over the age of 65 — and a shrinking labor force, not helped by the government’s restrictive stance on immigration.

More immediately, the country’s market rally could stall if the US Federal Reserve decides to put a brake on its rate hike cycle, says Eddie Cheng, head of international portfolio management at Allspring Global Investments.

“We have already seen US kind of getting into the peak of their hiking cycle,” he said, adding that if central banks began to cut rates, the value of their currencies would fall, meaning the Japanese yen would be “no longer cheap” by comparison.

— Laura He contributed reporting.

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Video shows tanker, school bus collision in South Carolina that left 17 kids hospitalized

GILBERT, S.C. — A school bus collided with a tanker truck Thursday in South Carolina, sending at least 18 people, mostly children, to the hospital, authorities said.

The bus was carrying 36 passengers when it collided with the tanker at about 4 p.m. at an intersection near Gilbert in Lexington County, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

At least 17 children and one adult were taken to Lexington Medical Center for treatment, the hospital told WIS-TV.

All of the patients were evaluated and released, hospital spokesperson Jennifer Wilson told The Associated Press by telephone on Friday.

There was no immediate information on their conditions or the cause of the crash.

The bus passengers were from Gilbert Middle School and Gilbert High schools.

Gilbert is about 30 miles southwest of South Carolina's capital of Columbia.

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    Best Marketing Books Best books about business marketing. flag All Votes Add Books To This List 49 books · 131 voters · list created December 30th, 2013 by Neil Kokemuller (votes) . Tags: business, marketing 9 likes · Like Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes. People Who Voted On This List (131) Neil 11 books 82 friends

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    1- This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin. Marketing is about the stories you tell. And in this practical and insightful book, Seth Godin teaches you how to build products that resonate with customers, develop a loyal following and attract new audiences. One of the best authors in marketing, Seth Godin is ...

  9. The 23 Best Marketing Books Of All Time

    Here are our picks for the 23 best marketing books of all time. 1- The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. An inductee into the Marketing Hall of Fame and author of multiple bestsellers, Godin evokes a famous Greek myth in this book, but turns the usual lesson taken from the myth on its head.

  10. 15 Essential Product Marketing Books for 2023

    Best for: Understanding the customer's perspective. This book puts you in the customer's mindset and helps answer questions around the "why" pertaining to the need of the product. 4. Product Marketing Misunderstood: How to Establish Your Role, Authority, and Strategic Value by Richard King and Bryony Pearce. Pages: 206.

  11. 7 Marketing Books That Will Help You Dominate Your Industry

    It's time to stop feeling as if you're doing marketing all wrong and start moving toward the expert level. 7. Michael Schein — The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets from the ...

  12. Amazon Best Sellers: Best Marketing

    Amazon Best Sellers: Best Marketing Best Sellers in Marketing #1 $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No Alex Hormozi 13,491 Kindle Edition 1 offer from $0.99 #2 Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen Donald Miller 9,035 Audible Audiobook 1 offer from $14.63 #3

  13. 25 Marketing Books You Should Be Reading

    This narrative is incredibly compelling and appeals to marketers of all kinds, regardless of whether you work for an agency or a company.. In these pages, you'll find advice from Seth Godin, marketing entrepreneur and author of 19 best-selling books. Learn about his revolutionary concept of permission marketing, which stands in stark contrast to the classic marketing approach that Godin ...

  14. The 20 Top Marketing Strategy Books

    Epic Content Marketing: - by Joe Pulizzi. 4. Blue Ocean Shift - by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne. 5. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable - by Seth Godin. 6. The Pizza Guide to Digital Marketing - by Christian Farioli. 7. Top of Mind - by John Hall.

  15. 12 Best Marketing Books You Should Read in 2021

    Here is our vetted list of the best marketing books you should read in 2021: 1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products - by Nir Eyal It's not always the best products that go "viral" and capture widespread attention. Sometimes it's the products that were specifically designed to keep you engaged.

  16. Unleash Your Marketing Superpowers: 5 Books That Will Transform Your

    Here is the list of the best books you must read to unlock the power of marketing. 1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Author: Robert Cialdini. Available: Amazon.in. Image Source: Ignition Blog - WordPress.com. It is a renowned book that explores the principles of influence and persuasion. It delves into the psychological factors that ...

  17. The Best Books for Marketers (New and Old)

    The right book, read and implemented, can transform your life, business, and career. That all assumes you can find the right book. We can help. We put together a (non-comprehensive) list of some of the best marketing books, both new and old, to help you become a better marketer—and a better person.

  18. Decades Old? No Problem: Publisher Makes a Bet on Aging Books

    No Problem: Publisher Makes a Bet on Aging Books. A company is republishing books that have fallen out of print and finding new ways to market works that are years, even decades, old. "Season ...

  19. The 23 Best Marketing Books You Should Read in 2023

    There's no easy way to quickly identify the best marketing books; there are those you should read and those you should skip altogether. There's also no single definition of a great marketing book; it really depends on your current skill set and where's your company at in terms of growth, strategy, team size, and focus.

  20. PDF 13-16 April 2020

    MARKETING MANUAL securika-moscow.ru 1 The 26th Anniversary international exhibition of security and fire protection equipment and products Moscow, Russia Video surveillance Fire protection Perimeter security Access control Alarm and warning Building automation 13-16 April 2020 Crocus Expo MARKETING securika-moscow.ru MANUAL

  21. PDF X5 Deploys Machine Learning in Targetted Marketing

    records of marketing promotions, and fine-tune campaigns based on test runs. Marketing managers only need to set targets at the outset of a project and monitor the campaign results. On average, an effective model takes about three months to complete. X5 had been calibrating this system since March 2016, and in autumn 2017 it

  22. PDF A Short History of Russia

    Baltic and the Black Sea, an unorganised people engaged in the marketing of furs and forest produce. Much of the southern steppes at this time was dominated by Turkish nomads, the Pechenegs; and further east, in the lower Volga region, some of the Slavs were subject to another Turkish tribe, the Khazars, who had there established a powerful ...

  23. What Russians Are Reading

    The Raw Youth by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. "It's the second Dostoyevsky book I've read. The first was Crime And Punishment. I actually didn't like it, but it gave me this urge to get to grips ...

  24. 10 Best Tools for Marketers in 2023

    The marketing landscape has shifted drastically in the past decade, and this shift will only accelerate. Marketers need to prepare the right course of action for the future and equip themselves well with the best digital marketing tools available to make their business stand out.. Here in this article we will explore top 10 tools that no digital marketer should miss out on in 2023.

  25. How to Create a Hashtag Challenge for Your Brand

    TikTok's Branded Hashtag Challenges (HTC) allows brands to create opportunities for engagement with their audiences. These ads consist of a three- to six-day campaign in which user-generated content appears on the TikTok hashtag challenge page. Try to pick a challenge that is both easy to complete and leaves lots of room for creativity.

  26. Japan's long-suffering stock market is back. This boom may have ...

    Change from the top. Japanese stocks have received their biggest bump from an overhaul of corporate governance rules that has compelled company executives to improve shareholder returns. JPMorgan ...

  27. Video of school bus, tanker wreck in South Carolina; 18 hospitalized

    0:42. GILBERT, S.C. — A school bus collided with a tanker truck Thursday in South Carolina, sending at least 18 people, mostly children, to the hospital, authorities said. The bus was carrying ...