Posted by Tessa Wegert on April 06, 2016
If you find yourself wishing you had more time for books, you’re in luck. Summer’s on the way, and between vacations, long weekends, and summer hours, it’s the ideal opportunity to catch up on some must-reads for marketers.
There are thousands of books on marketing out there for the taking, but there’s also much to gain from reading a bit outside of your field. A selection of classics and new titles on subjects like product development, consumer behavior, and storytelling can really help you raise your marketing game. These five titles are a great place to start.
Thirteen years ago when Seth Godin‘s seminal 2003 business book Purple Cow hit the shelves, there was no Facebook, no YouTube, and no Instagram. But if even if you’ve never read this bestseller, it isn’t too late. The concept that businesses must create remarkable products in order to reach and retain their target customers isn’t obsolete. In fact, it might be even more relevant today.
Consumers are faced with more ad clutter than ever, and Godin believes the way to cut through it is to think differently (it certainly worked for Apple). “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible,” Godin writes. In other words, be bold, and make your product distinctive. That vital word-of-mouth you’re looking for is sure to follow.
Everybody Writes, by the “world’s first Chief Content Officer” Ann Handley, makes a very important point from the word go: these days, everyone’s a publisher. In order for marketers to be effective, they have to be persuasive, and there’s immense power in language. If you’re looking to produce more engaging content, then understanding how to tell your brand story, coming off as authentic to customers, and showing them the human side of your brand are all key. Handley equips readers with the confidence to write quality content. When you’re responsible for multiple tweets, blog posts, and articles every day, that’s worth a lot.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger
What makes content—and products and ideas—contagious? Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania professor Jonah Berger addresses the “viral” phenomenon in his 2013 book Contagious. Based in part on the notion that word-of-mouth is a marketing equalizer able to be leveraged by businesses of all sizes and kinds, Contagious offers insight into what makes some videos or articles infectious while others just peter out. The answer is tied to six factors: social currency, triggers, emotional resonance, observability, usefulness, and storytelling. Berger explains these in the context of real-world case studies that will have you rethinking your next Facebook share.
Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – Martin Lindstrom
There’s much more to this bestseller than the clever title. Top management thinker Martin Lindstrom analyzes what motivates consumers to buy, from advertising and logos to celebrity endorsements and the subconscious mind. The findings in Buyology are based on Lindstrom’s neuromarketing research. Marketers are sure to find some of them quite surprising.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
Stephen King‘s book On Writing, a go-to for fiction writers at all stages of their careers, deals primarily with the craft of writing short stories and novels but is an invaluable tool for storytellers of all kinds. Does your job include writing branded content, like a blog series or the script for a YouTube video? What about SlideShare presentations and PowerPoint decks? The style, vocabulary, and grammar guidebook aspect of On Writing will keep your writing sharp, while the fascinating first-hand account of King’s life and influential work will keep you turning pages—whether you’re in the office lunchroom or at the beach.
Think of the upcoming summer months as a chance to recalibrate your thinking and hone your marketing skills. Come fall, you’ll be ready for anything.
It’s time to put all of that knowledge to use.
Move forward in your marketing career by contacting a Paladin recruiter to learn about new job opportunities.