10 Best Marketing Books for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Own Their Marketby Scott Jeffrey
What are the best marketing books to help you gain market awareness, attract more customers, and grow your bottom line?
Developing a Marketing Mindset by Reading the Best Marketing Books
As business guru Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business to create a customer.” And marketing is THE function by which businesses create customers.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow or scale your business, developing a marketing mindset is one of the most important things you can do.
In working with entrepreneurs as a business coach for the last two decades, I’ve noticed that most people tend to shy away from marketing. Instead, they want to outsource this vital function.
Not acknowledging this resistance can be a huge mistake. While you can expand your growth team with skilled marketers as you grow, to make it to that point, every entrepreneur needs to understand how to create and retain customers. And how to continually increase market share.
(Note: Most of my clients now listen to audiobooks more then they read. Whenever possible, I’ve included links to Amazon’s Audible versions below. If you’re not already an Audible customer, you can start a free 30-day trial and get two free audiobooks.)
My Picks for the Best Marketing Books
The following selection of best marketing books will help you hone your marketing intelligence. Reading these books will give you a measurable unprecedented edge and help ensure consistent future growth in your business.
Listed in no particular order:
PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
By Robert Cialdini
Psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote one of the most popular business books of all time: Influence. He returns in Pre-Suasion to reveal the secret to persuasion in your marketing efforts: timing. Through case studies and stories, Cialdini highlights methods to shift your customer’s attention to get their interest before you present your offer.
Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth
By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Blue Ocean Strategy sold over 3.5 million copies with the idea that instead of competing in a given market, you’re better off creating your own. Kim and Mauborgne return with Blue Ocean Shift to offer processes, tools, resources, and new research so you can create your blue ocean. The authors include case studies of numerous businesses who shifted from highly competitive markets to owning their niche.
The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales
By Chris Smith
It’s one thing to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your business. It’s quite another to turn that traffic into leads and customers. The Conversion Code explains the essentials about how to convert your visitors into leads and leads into customers.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
By Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
What are your top three growth strategies you’re using to gain traction and grow your business? If you don’t know what they are, read this book. Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown is another similar excellent title for marketers.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Heath brothers are excellent writers and gifted storytellers. I would recommend any of their books but start with Made to Stick as it addresses an all-important topic in marketing: how to communicate your ideas effectively. Made to Stick is one of the best marketing books you can read about marketing communication.
DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online
By Russell Brunson
Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels, demonstrates a unique ability to break down marketing principles that work online into a simple framework that he is using to create his dotcom financial empire. Don’t be fooled by the hokey title. This marketing book is a must-read for all entrepreneur that works in the digital landscape. In my opinion, it’s the best marketing book for understanding how to build marketing funnels.
Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You
By John Hall
Hall’s Top of Mind highlights how to use content to build an authentic, supportive business that comes to mind when customers think of your related market, product, service, or need. To be chosen first by your audience, you need to develop specific habits and strategies that engage your audience and deliver consistent value. This is perhaps the best marketing book on the topic of content marketing.
Difference: The one-page method for reimagining your business and reinventing your marketing
By Bernadette Jiwa
Jiwa provides a thoughtful process for flushing out what makes your business different. She guides you to fill out her “Difference Map” to highlight how you’re going to build a stronger company that helps you stand out in the marketplace. Difference is one of the best marketing books for brand building.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
Ries outlines a set of principles entrepreneurs can leverage to stay nimble, experiment, gain customer feedback, and pivot to grow their businesses. While The Lean Startup focuses on product development and innovation, the same principles apply to effective marketing too.
Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks, and 150 Best Practices for Business Success
By Chad S. White
The best tactics in email marketing change so rapidly that book on the title can become outdated before it goes to press. While you can find many great articles on email marketing online, if you were looking for a book, Email Marketing Rules is in its third edition. And even though there’s always a new marketing fad, email marketing is still arguably the most influential marketing channel. Email Marketing Rules is arguably best marketing and most comprehensive book on email marketing.
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
By Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Business Model Generation is an unusual business book with clear visuals that help you map out the essential elements of any business. While it’s not exclusively a “marketing book,” it covers vital marketing topics and will help you become a better marketer.