Constant practice and learning is a key for any professional to thrive. In the case of marketing, which has undergone a massive transformation due to mobile and social media, it becomes all the more important to keep up with all the developments happening almost daily. This enhances a marketer’s ability to deliver better messaging for a brand. One of the ways to learn is through books, which allow one to learn from the brightest minds in the world directly, an opportunity that would have been impossible otherwise. Let us see some of the books that are absolute must-reads for marketers:
The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss
A self-proclaimed ‘guinea pig’ who does experiments on his body and mind, Wired called Tim Ferriss “The Superman of Silicon Valley”. This is more of an entrepreneurship book than one on marketing, but there are various theories laid out by the author that make it a must-read for most marketing folks. The book talks about personal branding, managing your outsourceable tasks to Virtual Assistants, marketing, and creating businesses. Keep notes of the various ideas that Tim puts across as he wants you to replicate them in your business.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, Robert Cialdini
Marketers need to influence people to persuade them to buy their goods. There are very few companies that take care to make the customer understand what the product is and pull them into the sales funnel accordingly. Cialdini, the author, gives examples on areas such as identity, crowds, attention, importance, etc. A compelling read, the book also talks about how social proof works and how people are persuaded to buy by making them receptive to a message before they experience it. Robert Cialdini’s previous book Influence was also a bestseller.
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
According to Malcolm, the tipping point is that moment of magic when an idea or behaviour crosses a threshold and spreads like anything, thereby becoming a phenomenon. He talks about personality types who create a phenomenon with word-of-mouth. The book delves on how a single event could change the entire course of anything – from a religion to a fashion label brand – or even decrease the crime rate. Why should you read this book? To understand how behaviour influences society at large. Malcolm’s other works make for interesting reads too.
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising, Ryan Holiday
In this book, Ryan Holiday explains the growth hacker mindset and why traditional marketing isn’t as attractive anymore. He says that the biggest companies in the world right now, like Facebook, Twitter, DropBox, AirBnB, etc., which were once unknown, became hugely successful by acquiring lakhs of users through growth hacking. The book talks about how many companies broke the traditional rules of marketing and built huge brands.
They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer, Marcus Sheridan and Krista Kotrla
This book is a guide for content marketing and talks about how to structure an effective content strategy. Sheridan’s strategy is based on the premise that customers want you to educate them, and helping them with answers is free, thanks to the Internet. You need to gain the trust of your customers by giving them information on what they are looking for. If you have a forum to address their queries, do it without hesitation. Once you build yourself as an authority, it becomes easy for the customers to pay for your services as they begin to trust you. You don’t even have to ‘sell’.
Permission Marketing, Seth Godin
Seth is one of the biggest names in marketing and this book talks about how you can craft a message to your customers in such a way that they will willingly accept the advertising. He calls the traditional marketing where telemarketers make cold calls “Interruption Marketing”, and suggests that the internet has given us different ways to communicate with customers without coming across as bothersome. This book enables you to think long-term with your customers and thereby improve the chances of making a sale.
The books outlined above give a sense of the different ways one can go about marketing for customers. Use the ideas outlined in them in your marketing career and do not restrict yourself to a handful of such books only. Books are the easiest way to get mentored by people who have been there and done that. Immerse yourself in more works to get a much better understanding of all things marketing.