“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” — Milan Kundera
I’ve put together a comprehensive list of marketing books that I’ve found to be insightful or useful in some way. I see marketing as identifying needs, sizing and segmenting markets, surfacing value, differentiating, positioning in the mind and market, branding, sales, pricing, packaging, distribution, and relationship management. Marketing is ultimately a blend of skills, capabilities, and focus across a variety of disciplines.
Personal Marketing is Everybody’s Business
In today’s "open and connected" world, I think personal marketing is even more crucial whether it’s selling yourself, selling your work, or creating a name for yourself among your peers … or becoming indispensible to your employer (… Linchpin, anyone?) Simply put, learning marketing skills is a way to take care of your personal business … the business of you.
The Marchitecture of Business is Evolving …
I see social media transforming marketing in very deep and pervasive ways. From relationship-marketing on Twitter and Facebook to micro-niches and highly-targeted, location-specific advertising to customer-connected product development, the game is changing.
Proven Practices and Timeless Principles
You can learn a lot about the patterns and practices of marketing from many amazing books. For example, you can learn proven practices for influence from Robert B. Cialdini in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Claude C. Hopkins was an early pioneer in the art and science of advertising, and he was a big believer in sampling. You can lean about his mindset and methods in his book, Scientific Advertising. If you want to learn a set of timeless principles that help explain our changing world, you can read The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, by Al Ries. In Married to the Brand, William J. McEwen teaches you proven practices for measuring customer engagement and emotional connection.
Call to Action
- Explore my list of insightful marketing books.
- Tell me what books I need to know about.
- Tell me *why* I need to know about them.
It’s a living library of marketing books. I’m regularly expanding my library and I regularly recommend books to people, beyond the halls and walls of Microsoft.
* update – Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for suggesting I add The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited and Crossing the Chasm to the list.