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Dec 12

Category: Career Advice, Marketing & Business Development

Today’s marketing is radically different from five years ago, let alone 10 or 20 years ago. In this sort of fast-paced and ever-evolving environment, staying up to date is the key to success.

Blogs and news websites only give a surface-level overview of the changes that are taking place, though. To really dive deep you need to hit the books. With so many marketing books being published every year, it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are our 25 recommendations for you to get stuck into during 2018 and add to the Christmas list.

Content Marketing

#1. Content Inc: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Review excerpt: ‘Instead of throwing money away and sucking up to A-listers, now there is a better way to promote your business. It’s called content marketing, and this book is a great way to master this new technique.’

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

Review excerpt: ‘I just glanced at the table of contents and I’m already a better writer. Ann Handley might just single-handedly save the world from content mediocrity.’

#3. Humanise Your Brand: How to Create Content that Connects with Your Customers By Jessica Ann

Review excerpt: ‘In a world of bland corporate speak and brands that feel more like robots, Jessica Ann has a refreshing take on how to humanise any brand, no matter the size of the organisation or what product or service you sell.‘

#4. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Review excerpt: ‘A deep, abiding understanding of what you want to inspire, and how you want to lead is the basis of this inspirational book’.

Customer Success

#5. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

Review excerpt: ‘Smart companies aren′t trying to pitch products to strangers anymore. They′re figuring out how to grow, monetize and build an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship with a dedicated base of subscribers.’

#6. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer

Review excerpt: ‘Customer service is the new marketing. You need to buy this book if you care about your customers and your business.’

#7. The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World by Fred Reichheld

Review excerpt: ‘A variety of companies have started using this: Charles Schwab, Apple, Progressive, Virgin Media, and more. Check out the book and see how to use it for your company.’

#8. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Anchor

Review excerpt: ‘Achor transports us to his virtual classroom, a journey along which we glean the seven secrets of happiness. “The Happiness Advantage “reveals the most important discoveries coming out of modern psychology.’

Design/Customer Retention

#9. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Review excerpt: ‘You’ll read this. Then you’ll hope your competition isn’t reading this. It’s that good.’

#10. Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger

Review excerpt: ‘An infectious treatise on viral marketing. . . . Berger writes in a sprightly, charming style that deftly delineates the intersection of cognitive psychology and social behavior with an eye toward helping business people and others spread their messages.’

#11. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon

Review excerpt: ‘Every business is looking for the secret to creating loyal customers. This book not only builds a compelling case for effortless customer experiences being the key to loyalty but also provides a clear roadmap for any business to achieve that goal.’

Customer behaviour

#12. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler

Review excerpt: ‘This book opened my eyes to how humans make decisions, and how easily they can be influenced by their peers and by the way choices are presented to them.’

#13. Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely

Review excerpt: ‘A lively look at how even the wisest among us are too often fools eager to part with our money…A user-friendly and often entertaining treatise on how to be a more discerning, vastly more aware handler of money.’

#14. Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference by David Halpern

Review excerpt: ‘A must-read account of one of the Cameron government’s best innovations. Inside the Nudge Unit is a brilliant guide to making any organisation not just more effective, but more human’

Analytics/Data Analysis

#15. Marketing Analytics: A Practical Guide to Real Marketing by Mike Grigsby

Review excerpt: Mike’s writing is straightforward and entertaining. He brings a conversational and relatable tone and approach to some fairly complex material. Sometimes marketers can take themselves a little too seriously, especially when it comes to the mathematical side of things. Mike’s work reminds us to lighten up and have fun with it.’

#16. Marketing Analytics: Data-Driven Techniques with Microsoft Excel by Wayne Winston

Review excerpt: ‘Most businesses are awash in data. To make that data work for your business, you need a simple, cost–effective tool ideally, one you already know something about. Excel is that tool and this is book to teach you what how to use it’

#17. Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualisations by Scott Berinato

Review excerpt: ‘Data visualisation isn’t a secret art, but a skill you can learn. In Good Charts, Scott Berinato demonstrates this, impressively distilling the history and mechanics of DataViz into a clear and powerful argument about the importance of understanding and making good charts in your own work.’


#18. Edge Strategy: A New Mindset for Profitable Growth by Alan Lewis and Dan McKone

Review excerpt: ‘Alan Lewis and Dan McKone offer an alternate path to growth and show how implementing an edge strategy creates value in a sustainable way. To presume it doesn’t t apply to your industry or situation would be missing a great opportunity.’

#19. Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David Evans and Richard Schmalensee

Review excerpt: ‘More than the Internet, the sharing economy or automation platform companies and matchmaking markets are defining the new economy. Evans and Schmalensee are pioneers in developing economic theories that explain this new economy.’

#20. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

Review excerpt: ‘Any executive reading this book will be motivated to examine the strategy of his or her firm, come to a judgment about it, and then work to develop or improve it.’

And the rest…

#21. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan

Review excerpt: ‘Classic must–read Sullivan mixed with innovation master Boches make the perfect duo. This is the book that will help guide new talent to great career starts. Required reading for a new era.’

#22. Future Marketing: Winning in the Prosumer Age by Jon Wuebben

Review excerpt: ‘Like everything else, marketing will change dramatically in the coming years. Future Marketing is your handbook to navigate the exciting, upcoming terrain.’

#23. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Review excerpt: ‘In this brilliant and original book, Malcolm Gladwell explains and analyses the ‘tipping point’, that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire.’

#24. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman-Scott

Review excerpt: ‘When I read The New Rules of Marketing & PR for the first time, it was a ′eureka′ moment for me. David nailed the fundamental shifts going on in the buyer–seller relationship and wrote the classic text to help marketers take advantage of them.’

#25. To Sell is Human By Dan Pink

Review excerpt: ‘Pink’s ideas deserve a wide hearing. Corporate boards, in fact, could do well by kicking out their pay consultants for an hour and reading Pink’s conclusions instead.’