Reading an actual book may seem so twentieth century, and long form content may be too much of a time investment for today’s social media focused sound bite world. However, it’s most definitely valuable – and a great way to get away from the computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. Here are some of our favorites:
Ignore Everybody. Anyone who does any kind of digital marketing or is involved in the blogging world in any way, shape or form probably knows of Hugh MacLeod (a.k.a. the cartoonist behind Gaping Void). But if you haven’t read his actual book, you’re definitely missing out. It’s perfect when you’re running low on inspiration.
Sign up for his email list too – that might be the one email that this strategist always opens. It is a great spark of inspiration that arrives every afternoon (or morning or evening, depending on where you are located).
Permission Marketing. Marketing guru and author Seth Godin’s book on how to turn strangers into friends, and friends into customers, is one of the most popular books in the industry. And for good reason – he points out universal truths about human behavior, and how they apply to brands, advertisers and really anyone else who has something to sell. Be sure to check out his other books as well – Purple Cow, Tribes, The Dip, Linchpin, and more.
The Long Tail. Anyone who is responsible for running a business that has any kind of online presence (which realistically, is basically any company or brand nowadays) needs to understand how people discover their business and their products. And with Google, Yahoo and Bing searches being the primary way that people find information about well, everything, understanding the long tail side of search engine optimization is a must for any business owner.
Cluetrain Manifesto. If you are involved in any kind of marketing or advertising in this day and age, and you haven’t read Cluetrain and are not familiar with the work the authors have done, that’s your own fault. It’s one of the original publications on how the Internet has changed the marketing game in many ways, and the authors were some of the first people to realize the Web is a global conversation.
The Black Swan. While this is not typically considered a marketing book, an understanding of improbable or unlikely events and other types of aberrations or unusual occurrences – and therefore how you can use them as an inspiration for your business – is quite interesting, and it can give you new ways to think about more traditional or standard tactics.
Growth Hacker Marketing. Ryan Holiday has more than proved himself as a marketing genius, but it is his overall approach to life that may be more inspiring. But for business owners and other advertising professionals who need to grow, promote, and otherwise improve their business, this book might be the best choice. It helps you remember that everything you do is a marketing decision – even minor things, like the times you send out social media posts.
Jay-Z Decoded. The hip-hop mogul is more than just a rapper – he’s a superstar and marketing genius. That’s why reading his biography is an incredible learning experience, even if you’re not a fan of the music itself. The story of his life and how he has marketed his work and tapped into his creativity is amazing for any entreprenuer. Skip the lyrical sections if you must (but we don’t recommend that – look them up on YouTube or Vimeo so you can get the background beats and vocals instead), but it is definitely worth your time either way.
The Tipping Point. Malcolm Gladwell is probably the most famous writer on this list, thanks to the success of Outliers, Blink, David & Goliath and many of his other works. But this book – and understanding the meaning and logic behind the Tipping Point – is probably the most valuable for business owners and anyone in a similar position.
Which marketing books are your favorites? We’d love to hear from you and check out your recommendations!