Great marketers love to read and are always learning.

When you learn about marketing, you form your “school of thought”, approach, and discipline from the marketers and books you learn from.

Marketing can have a tremendous impact on the growth of great companies.  Consider the significant impact successful marketing had on taking a burger joint in San Bernadino, California called McDonald’s and helping turn it into an international corporation.

Or look at how great marketing helped take Nike  from a small company operating out of the trunk of Phil Knight’s car to a sportswear icon whose products are worn by the greatest athletes in the world.

Finally, ask yourself how did De Beers diamond company make nearly every soon-to-be spouse in America feel like they needed a diamond engagement ring before they could propose?

You see a pattern here I imagine…

The biggest winners in business aren’t always the ones that offer the “best” option to consumers. They’re usually the ones who can craft a compelling message and leverage the power of mass media to get that message in front of the right people. In other words, successful businesses are masters of marketing.

The art of pitching yourself is doubly important if you’re a small business. You need to know how to reach as many people as possible on a small (or nonexistent) budget and convince prospects to choose you over your competitors.

You already know that reading expert knowledge is a great path to learning a business skill. Warren Buffett, for example, attributes his success to his habit of reading about 500 pages a day.

But here’s the real challenge: how do your learn this essential skill in the little time you have available to read? You, no doubt, are too busy to read at Buffett’s pace. The marketing category of Amazon lists thousands of books, which all seem to promise to teach you the tricks of marketing pros. Reading the description and reviews alone could take days!

Our collective marketing team has read a lot of marketing books, and this list was created based on the valuable nuggets shared by the folks who suggested these great reads.  With this list, you’ll spend your time dedicated to learning more effectively about the marketing craft from marketer’s who’ve come before you.

As any good marketer knows, there’s a lot of “fluffy” marketing books written as well, that are neither informational, inspirational, or influential.  The books on this list do all of those things.  Spend your precious time (or the 33 hours you saved) reading the favorites that have the tidbits of inspiration and information to learn to become a better marketer, and grow your business.

Our list includes decades-old classics that explain timeless truths about effective advertising (Ogilvy On Advertising), universally praised guides on selling services (Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing), and even modern books that teach how to better serve your customers through social media (Hug Your Haters: How To Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers.)

There are even a couple books that are dedicated to teaching you simple, easy to execute marketing tactics, like Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition.

Modern marketing, especially in light of the rise of digital marketing and social media, can feel overwhelming.   Spend a little time learning about a lot of things, and applying the best tactics and methodology to your business based on the inspiration.  Spend time optimizing for ROI, but also experimenting with new marketing channels and tactics.

These books will help you round out a skillset with a lot of skills and techniques that great marketers use.  We hope you’ll enjoy our curated collection, and let us know which of them you found most inspirational, and tell us some of your favorite marketing books.

Below is the list, of the many marketing books suggested.

TITLE AUTHOR
The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything Guy Kawasaki
Hug Your Haters: How To Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers Jay Baer
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Robert Cialdini
Ogilvy On Advertising David Ogilvy
The Ultimate Question: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive In A Customer-Driven World Fred Reichheld
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In Roger Fisher
Contagious: Why Things Catch On Jonah Berger
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising Ryan Holiday
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 David Meerman Scott
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products Nir Eyal
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping – the Global Consumer, and Beyond Paco Underhill
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind – How To Be Seen And Heard In The Overcrowded Marketplace Al Ries
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content Ann Handley
Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition David Newman
Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business Jay Conrad Levinson
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses Joe Pulizzi
The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business Mark Schaefer
Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers Seth Godin
Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing Harry Beckwith
How to Write a Good Advertisement: A Short Course In Copywriting Victor Schwab
The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing Emanuel Rosen
The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself John Jantsch
How to Market to People Not Like You: “Know It or Blow It” Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers Kelly McDonald
Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level Ryan Levesque
Giftology John Ruhlin
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry John Warrillow
The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback Dan Olsen
Become a Technical Marketer: A Guide to Working Faster, Accelerating Growth, Automating Marketing Tasks, and More Justin Mares
Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay Lester Wunderman
A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century Scott Bedbury
Social Media: Dominating Strategies for Social Media Marketing with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Instagram Michael Richards
Return on Engagement: Content Strategy and Web Design Techniques for Digital Marketing Tim Frick
UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging Scott Stratten

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