20 Books Every Marketer Should Read

shaking hands and business team

Looking for a great gift for a marketing friend? Consider giving them one of the books on this list.

Here you will find books we have curated from 10 top marketing authors – their personal penned works, plus We’ve asked them to “pay-it-forward” by recommending their favorite reads for marketers (outside their own, of course). The result: A library of content goodness to consume year-round.

With 2015 already here, we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to cozy up with these top picks. Check them out for yourself, or find a marketing colleague to say “thanks” to by giving them the gift of knowledge this holiday season.

Marketing Books Worth a Look: Recommended Reading from Top Authors 

1. Ann Handley


Her work: Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Ann’s new book was our very first “Marketing Book Worth a Look” feature this year. So naturally we can’t say enough good things about it.





Her recommendation: The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly  by David Meerman Scott

In Ann’s words: This book changed the way I think about marketing and inspired me to write Content Rules. I can’t recommend it enough.



2. Jay Baer


His work: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

One of my favorite takeaways from this marketing must-read: “If you sell something, you make a customer today. But if you help someone, you create a customer for life.” Super helpful all around.





His recommendation: Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers by Jeff Rohrs






3. Ekaterina Walter


Her work: The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand

Best-selling author Ekaterina Walter teamed up with Jessica Gioglio to not just tell but show us how to capture the power of visual storytelling, in the most visually compelling way possible. So many great examples in this one!



Her Recommendation: Brains on Fire and The Passion Conversation by the team at the word of mouth marketing agency Brains on Fire

In Ekaterina’s words: The books remind us that we are in the people business and show us what it takes to make people fall passionately in love with your organization or cause and how to create and nurture a movement around your brand.



4. Jason Miller

WelcomeFunnelHis work: Welcome to The Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11

You may recognize Jason’s new “big rock” of content from our October feature in the “Marketing Book Worth a Look” series.





IgnoreEverybodyHis recommendation: Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

In Jason’s words: While this isn’t necessarily a book about marketing or social media, I found it to be incredibly relevant as it brings a very fresh perspective on how to think differently and stand out from the crowd. MacLeod offers 39 Keys to Creativity that changed the way I think about social, content, work, life and pretty much everything in between. This one was a game changer for me.



5. Lee Odden


His work: Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

I’m privileged to have received a copy of this one direct from Lee, and can honestly say — the man knows how to help marketers optimize their efforts to attract, engage and convert customers.




His recommendation: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

In Lee’s words: A classic with plenty of relevant lessons for business, marketing and entrepreneurship.





6. Brian Solis


His work: What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences

If we’re not in the business of creating amazing experiences for our customers, what business are we really in? I love how Brian makes us pause and think in this great read.





His recommendation: Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

(Yep, that’s two votes for Hugh. Go Hugh!)





7. Pam Didner


Her work: Global Content Marketing: How to Create Great Content, Reach More Customers, and Build a Worldwide Marketing Strategy that Works

Scaling content marketing effort globally has become increasingly important in today’s connected age, and Pam provides the strategic insight to set marketers up for success.



pirateHer recommendation: The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism by Matt Mason

In Pam’s words: It’s a fun read and explores various youth movements impact our society.





8. Sean Callahan

big data drivenHis work: The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits

This new big data book from co-authors Sean Callahan and Russell Glass was a big hit as our November “Marketing Book Worth a Look.





His recommendation: The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson of CEB

In Sean’s words: The book takes a buzz saw to the conventional view of salespeople as relationship builders. Instead, Dixon and Adamson make the case that the most effective salespeople challenge the status quo and bring their prospects new and useful ideas, which are sometimes difficult to accept at first. As the pair write in the book, “Customer have been demanding more depth and expertise. They expect salespeople to teach them things they don’t know.” While the book is obviously for salespeople, it’s also critically important for marketers, who can help the sales team craft presentations that deliver challenging flashes of insight to prospects.


9. C.C. Chapman


His work: Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

If you haven’t read this essential guide to all things content, co-authors C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley will make you believe.





His recommendation: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip & Dan Heath

In C.C.’s words: Only when you fully understand and appreciate the concepts in this book can you be truly successful in today’s online media world. It is the first book I tell everyone they should read when entering this space.




10. Joe Pulizzi


His work: Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

Joe knows how to throw a Content Marketing bash in Cleveland. He also knows how to deliver an epic resource in this book for content marketers.





His recommendation: Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

Note: Joe also recommends Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes. We dig the double pay it forward.





Thanks to all of these top marketing authors for sharing their recommended reads with us! Have a book that you’d recommend that isn’t on the list? Let us know. The recommended reading doesn’t stop here. Subscribe for more inspired content for marketers, by marketers.



About the author

R Knight

CEO of 7Day Marketing Inc., a digital marketing company focused on helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs, organizations and businesses build powerful sales funnels, increase visibility and convert prospects into profitable clients.

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