Navigating the marketing landscape can be difficult. If it’s not gridlocked, it's full of roadblocks with an abundance of routes to a given destination.
This is certainly the case when it comes to digital. Therefore, it’s imperative that we keep in touch with new approaches, considering all of our options and using all the information available to us. Always staying fresh; always generating new ideas.
Books provide great inspiration in this respect. Blog posts and online content can be great to access information quickly, but they do not have the same lasting effect that a good marketing book can have such as improved focus, stronger analytical thinking and mental stimulation.
Good marketing books can change the way we think about marketing - they can inspire and motivate, often shape the campaigns and plans we create and action.
There are so many marketing books available and it would be virtually impossible to consume them all. So here are seven marketing books which I have found to be particularly useful in the last few years, all of which can help the scientific marketer in a number of departments.
Digital and Social Media Marketing
Aleksej Heinze, Gordon Fletcher and Tahir Rashid
First on the list is Digital and Social Media Marketing, a practical book that takes a step-by-step approach to digital marketing and a strategic approach to social media. It communicates up-to-date concepts and techniques for marketers in a day-to-day setting. The book is useful in that it balances theoretical detail with practical real-life examples and is presented in a digestible manner.
Scientific Advertising provides the fundamentals of advertising, from split-testing to customer tracking, that can be read in one evening. The book contains twenty-one short chapters consisting of clear advertising/marketing advice and principles (probably more direct/outbound advice than anything) that have stood the test of time. Read a digital version of this book for free here.
Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion
Webs of Influence draws from the world of psychology, neuroscience and behavioural economics and gives marketers a heavy dose of digital marketing persuasion. The book is particularly helpful as it's aimed at technical digital marketers and web designers/developers to ensure that all content, be it on websites, email or social, amongst other channels, is geared for success with its intended audience.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
Al Ries and Jack Trout
This is one of my favourite marketing books. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, similar to Scientific Advertising, provides common sense advice in an entertaining way. It's by no means theoretical but it is a great book for casual reading and inspiration where many marketing gems can be uncovered. Each law is surprisingly familiar, yet they are often overlooked in our hectic world of speedy decision-making and campaign execution.
Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
Dave Chaffey and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick
Unlike the last book on the list, this book is highly detailed and not at all suited for bedtime reading! Perhaps too detailed at times. What it does bring, though, is a highly comprehensive guide on all things digital marketing, from a strategic and planning perspective through to the tactical implementation and delivery. This is a textbook recommended for senior marketers undertaking professional marketing qualifications, so it brings with it some weight.
Selling to Big Companies
A sales guide for B2B marketers, Selling to Big Companies tackles the growing difficulty of reaching decision makers in large companies and getting them to act on messages and requests. The book looks at how to target accounts, create propositions that will resonate with those accounts, overcome common obstacles and how to differentiate from competitors. Highly recommended for the B2B science marketer for sales and new business alignment.
The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy
In a world where consumer behaviour has gained widespread attention, The Choice Factory emerges as one of the best guides on how to use behavioural economics – how people make decisions – to improve marketing performance. The biases are all based on the author’s own research, which also includes real-life examples of these biases in action. This book recently won a 2019 Business Book Award is the Sales and Marketing category.
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