While blogs prevail in today’s modern world, the best marketing books are still being passed around both virtually and physically.
The invention of ebooks has done nothing but grow the amount of knowledge and resources that are available to people in every country and at any age.
But going through the millions of options you have available at your fingertips can be overwhelming at the best of times – and even more so for time-strapped business owners and marketers.
In this article, we’ll list the best marketing books you need to read that cover everything from marketing principles to UX design, and even how people think about money and make purchases.
Let’s dive right in!
The Best Marketing Books You Need to Read – The Definitive List
In order to prepare a proper list, we wanted to cover topics and strategies aimed at every possible category a marketer could want to learn more about.
In this list, you’ll find examples of email and social media marketing, content creation, design, and even core business philosophy.
The best part is that all of the following books can be quickly found online for under $20 – meaning you won’t have to spend a pretty penny to get a serious marketing education.
(P.S The links found below are affiliate links that are used to help keep our blog running and create free marketing content for you, however, we truly believe in each of the selections below and were not asked to advertise these books by their authors).
Best Marketing Books – Selection #1 – The Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss
Many consider The Invisible Selling Machine to be the epitome of modern marketing fundamentals, and for good reason – the strategies contained inside really do work.
Inside this book, you’ll not only find the foundational strategies used to determine your buyer’s journey, but you’ll also get email templates, subject lines, and step by step instructions on how to create hyper-segmented email sequences.
Talk about packed with information.
In addition to all of the above, you’ll also get access to two very important checklists for lead magnets and landing pages – true staples in every marketer’s arsenal. All in all, this is one of the best marketing books you can buy to take your inbound strategy to the next level.
Best Marketing Books – Selection #2 – Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
Some may argue that this isn’t technically a ‘marketing book’ and shouldn’t be on the best marketing books list, there’s no better topic for marketers to study than behavioral economics.
In short, behavioral economics is the study of how people react (psychologically) to money. This includes everything from normal day to day grocery shopping habits to how people make decisions during times of uncertainty (for example, buying from a new brand).
With this book, Ariely tackles a huge issue most marketers forget: human beings are not entirely rational creatures. By truly understanding the key motivations behind why people purchase and make financial decisions, you can find the specific combination of ‘levers to pull’ to encourage sales of your own product or service.
Best Marketing Books – Selection #3 – The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Even though this book is dated by internet standards, this 26-year-old book still has many applicable lessons you can use in today’s advertising realm.
Some of the laws found in this book are fairly straightforward, such as The Law of Unpredictability, which states that unless you write your competitor’s plans you can’t predict the future.
However, a majority are a little more thought-provoking – for example the Law of Exclusivity. This law states that two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind.
If you take a second to really ponder this thought, you’d know it to be true. If asked to name a watch, luxury car, or fast food company you’d have one instinctual reaction – and for a specific reason.
If you’re looking for a book that will help you check your strategy from multiple philosophical angles to ensure you’ve thought about every scenario, this is a must-read.
Best Marketing Books – Selection #4 – 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating ‘Competition-Free Content’ That Stands Out and Gets Results by Garrett Moon
There’s a reason why this particular pick made our top list of the best marketing books – and that’s because the author, Garrett Moon, used the principles and strategies in this book to create his own startup.
Moon, CEO of CoSchedule, states in his book that most marketers think of content as an endless bland cycle, with a ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ mentality.
For those of you operating a startup, you know that being as efficient and lean as possible can mean the difference between staying afloat or losing everything within months.
Moon breaks his strategy down into 4 easily digestible segments – plan, execute, analyze, and optimize. He also gives you actionable advice on how to create content your audience will not only enjoy but also encourage them to use your product or service.
P.S If you’d like to learn more about content marketing and how to create your own content marketing editorial calendar, check out our guide here.
Best Marketing Books – Selection #5 – Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
So far we’ve covered the psychology and foundational strategies used to create marketing content. However, there’s another silent but critical factor in the success of your marketing strategy – and that’s the design of your website |(both desktop and mobile).
If you don’t think web design is terribly important, listen closely. A recent study found that changes in UX design could increase conversions by as much as 200%, and in some cases, even up to 400%.
I don’t know about you, but having 200% more conversions is never a bad thing for most business owners.
Krug aims to break down the tenants of good web design, including how to make the user experience seamless and ‘make sense’ – and he does it with a witty repartee that can make a normally droll topic incredibly interesting.
While you yourself may not be a web designer, you definitely need to place this book in your best marketing books of all time roster.
Best Marketing Books – Selection #6 – Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz
Last, but certainly not least, is Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. While this title is the oldest book in our list (dating back to 1966) the concepts and theories inside couldn’t be more relevant to the current landscape.
In this, Schwartz demystifies the copywriting process by helping you to avoid the common pitfalls of the creative process – like writing for everyone instead of your target audience. Take the following quote for example:
Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exists in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it.
Powerful stuff right? While we spend the majority of our time writing to inform and convince people that they need our product, the reality is that we should be convincing people who already know that they need our product why they should be buying from us and not our competitors.
It’s bits of wisdom like the paragraph above that make this title one of the best marketing books of all time.
In this article, we’ve covered the top 6 marketing books you need to read now in order to solidify your marketing strategy. Did one of your favorites not make the list? Let us know your top marketing books in the comments below!