Novice at marketing? Ten acclaimed books that can get you started


Marketing is one of the most vaunted professions today with countless people rushing down the career path with dreams of making it big. Commensurately, there are countless online resources available for improving one's marketing skills; from blog posts to videos to free courses, there's no shortage for those who want to learn. But sifting through all the noise can be cumbersome and when contrarian points arise, you won't know whom to trust. When it comes to learning the fundamentals of any subject, be it marketing for that matter, books are often the most useful resources available.

Image: Shutterstock

If you want to get a better understanding of marketing — things like what makes it work and how you can do it better — here are 10 books about marketing that deserve your time:

Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

This book is the ultimate guide for small business owners looking to gain maximum profits through inexpensive marketing strategies. Using successful case studies, Jay Conrad Levinson covers an exhaustive range of topics including digital marketing, how to leverage new technologies, programs for targeting prospects, gaining repeat customers and managing freelance employees.

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy, advertising tycoon extraordinaire, covers the 'A to Z' of advertising in this incredibly insightful and engrossing book. Since it was written in 1985, some of the information is a bit outdated but the core principles of advertising, expounded on by the 'father of advertising' himself, are still sound and relevant.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

Selling, as Daniel Pink explains, is an intricate part of everyone's lives. From employees pitching new ideas to colleagues to entrepreneurs requesting investors for funding to marketers asking customers to buy their products, mastering the art of sales is invaluable. This practical book, describes the basics of sales which include understanding other's perspective and crafting clear and persuasive messages.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr Robert B. Cialdini

Dr Robert Cialdini, a renowned psychology and marketing professor, explains how people make decisions and what influences them, in this highly acclaimed business book. Drawing upon his decades of scientific research, Cialdini teach us how to master the art of persuasion while simultaneously equipping us with the mental tools to defend against it. While no doubt invaluable for marketers, Influence is a remarkable self-improvement book for people from all walks of life.

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

Today's consumers are drowning in a sea of information and advertising is making them more sceptical than they have ever been. Surely an enormous challenge for a brand to capture their attention and that is precisely what this book aims to solve. Ries and Trout describe an approach for companies to position themselves as an industry leader, wheedle their way into the collective subconscious of the market, and stay there.

Principles of Marketing by Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong

A veritable bible of marketing, this book by Kotler and Armstrong expounds on the four major marketing themes: building and managing profitable customer relationships, building and managing strong brands to create brand equity, harnessing new marketing technologies in the digital age and marketing in a socially responsible way around the globe. Whether you're just starting out as a marketer or a veteran, the case studies, examples and practical information in the Principles of Marketing are bound to give you the edge.

How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know by Byron Sharp

In this no-nonsense book, Byron Sharp answers the key issues faced by marketers every day using empirical data. He covers important topics like business growth, advertising and brand loyalty while simultaneously challenging the myriad myths deeply entrenched in the marketing industry. How Brands Grow is a book that is especially relevant for large corporations, but its insights are highly informative for all marketing professionals.

The Copywriter's Handbook by Robert W. Bly

Described as 'a step-by-step guide to writing copy that sells', this book by Robert Bly is useful for people working in almost any business department, most of all marketing and advertising. Praised by David Ogilvy himself, The Copywriter's Handbook contains techniques that help readers improve their ability to write copies for ads, direct mail, sales letters and marketing emails.

All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

Reasoning that we live in a world where consumer-trustworthiness is at an all-time low, Godin suggests a marketing approach based on storytelling rather than direct selling. In All Marketers Are Liars, he implores marketers to ditch insincerity and instead create a brand narrative that align with their customers' worldview — a story that they'll intuitively embrace and then share with others.

Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra

The last word on marketing strategies based on out-of-the-box thinking, Marketing Outrageously is a book touted for its value by countless entrepreneurs and marketers. Jon Speolstra tells his readers that the best way to get maximum revenue from a marketing campaign is to break free from the shackles of the conventional, to take risks, and execute bold ideas.

If you're a marketer and have recommendations about other books that are worth a read, then be kind and share your wisdom.


Updates from around the world