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    Top 40 Marketing Books

    CareerSkills Development

    Marketing is the key to success: from finding the right clients to growing your profit, proper marketing will boost your business. 

    The marketing world expands every year, and the availability of new methods, tactics, and theories can be both exciting and confusing. 

    The most effective marketing approach is an informed one. But faced with such a vast array of books on the subject, you may not know where to begin. 

    We’ve combed through the research and compiled a list of the best marketing books from elite marketers and business executives. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to select the most relevant marketing books for your needs.

    Marketing Books for:

    Factors To Consider When Choosing a Marketing Book 

    The most crucial factor to consider when choosing a practical marketing book is its relevance. Consider the chart below as you read this article. 

    top 40 marketing books

    Overall Marketing

    #1 Building a StoryBrand — Our Top Pick 

    As the CEO of Storybrand, Donald Miller knows the ins and outs of the industry better than anyone else.

    His book provides a comprehensive and clear roadmap to business success through his “StoryBranding” technique — a model that has brought success to millions. 

    Miller has whittled down the seven elements of marketing success and teaches you how to achieve each item on that list.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have any level of expertise
    • Need help building a strong, cohesive brand 
    • Prefer straightforward messaging

    #2 Sales Secrets ​— Best Overview 

    Brandon Bornancin has assembled a diverse anthology from the most successful sales experts across many fields. 

    This book contains clear strategies and tools from leading marketers and entrepreneurs and is an excellent guide to refer to repeatedly. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Prefer action-based resources to theory
    • Want a wide variety of tools and tips to choose from
    • Have any level of expertise

    #3 Digital Marketing Strategy – Best for Online Marketing

    In an increasingly virtual market, it’s essential to have a firm grasp of the factors that contribute to digital marketing success.

    Simon Kingsnorth’s 2019 book is part textbook and part how-to guide, covering everything from marketing automation to AI technologies.

    Relevant if you:

    • Rely heavily on digital marketing 
    • Are a young entrepreneur at the start of your business or marketing career

    #4 Marketing (MindTap Course List) — Best Overview 

    This option is a textbook that provides an overview of marketing fundamentals. It’s suitable for those who didn’t receive a formal marketing education but may be redundant for those who have. 

    The book is in its 20th edition and is up-to-date and relevant to modern technologies. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Need to learn the fundamentals
    • Are interested in theory and practical application

    #5 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Best for Conventional Knowledge 

    From the world’s most successful marketing strategies, Al Ries and Jack Trout, this book outlines the fundamental, unchanging features of the industry. It’s almost thirty years old — but most of the book’s tools remain relevant. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are new to marketing

    #6 Positioning — Most Practical 

    This book is one of the best marketing tools of all time.

    Al Ries and Jack Trout’s model explores the concept of “positioning” your business deep within the collective subconscious of your target market and teaches you exactly how to do that. 

    Though it’s an older book, it has been well-received.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Need to strengthen your brand
    • Benefit from case studies
    • Have any level of expertise


    #7 This Is Marketing – Most Enlightening

    The latest of Seth Godin’s ten books summarizes the core of his marketing strategy. This book was both a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller. It’s an easy yet compelling read. 

    Godin’s strategy focuses on building empathy and connection.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Care about the human element of marketing,
    • Want to build trust with your market

    #8 Quantum Marketing – Best for Forward-Thinkers 

    CMO of Mastercard Raja Rajamannar offers his revolutionary perspective on marketing in the 21st century, arguing for a complete renovation of the marketing industry. This book is as modern and up-to-date as it gets.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are an entrepreneur
    • Are planning for a future in marketing

    #9 Ready-Made Marketing — Most Actionable 

    This book features clear DIY directions so you can apply your learning immediately. In addition, this book comes with customizable resources like email and video script templates. It’s the perfect option for business owners looking for jargon-free resources.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Want to get started now,
    • Prefer direct writing

    #10 Friction: Passion Brands in the Age of Disruption – Best for Innovators

    Renowned author Jeff Rosenblum covers everything you need to know about innovative branding and marketing. Then, learn to create a “passion brand” that overtakes stalwart favorites.

    This book is affordable and perfect for those looking to transform their brand.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Take business risks
    • Are seeking a new direction,

    #11 The Automatic Marketing Machine – Best for Efficient Entrepreneurs 

    Serial entrepreneur Danny Decker will teach you the basics of automation so you can keep a steady, loyal client base. In addition, the book comes with free resources to help you build your automatic marketing machine.

    This book is value-packed and well-priced, making it one of the best marketing books on the market.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are crunched for time
    • Have limited staff

    #12 Marketing Management – Best for Bosses

    This book is often used in marketing courses as it employs an academic methodology to assess managerial strategies. It will teach you everything you need to know about marketing and management.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Aspire to be a manager  


    #13 Upstream Marketing – Best for Consumer Analysis 

    Best-selling authors Tim Koelzer and Kristin Kurth spill the industry’s best-kept secrets in this 2021 book. Learn to identify and fulfill consumer needs — even if you don’t have a product.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Need to clarify your vision
    • Want to cater to consumers

    #14 Instabrain – Best for Targetting Young Consumers 

    This book teaches you everything you need to know about marketing to the new generation. If your product targets younger audiences, this product is for you. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have a young consumer base 
    • Want to expand your customer base 

    #15 Hands-On Data Science for Marketing — Best for Crunching Numbers

    Analyzing and interpreting data is key to successful marketing. This actionable guide will keep you busy learning the basics of data analysis so you can better drive your marketing campaigns.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have business and marketing experience
    • Analyze your own data

    #16 The Nuclear Effect – Best for Online Businesses 

    Renowned investor and adviser Scott Oldford’s six pillar framework breaks the code to successful online businesses using the compelling metaphor of a nuclear reaction.

    This option is for you if you want a deep understanding of modern-day marketing.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Learn by analogy 
    • Have or want an online business

    The most effective marketing approach is an informed one. But faced with such a vast array of books on the subject, you may not know where to begin.

    #17 How to Start and Grow an E-commerce Business – Best for E-commerce 

    Successful e-commerce entrepreneur Charles Camisasca offers user-friendly, step-by-step instructions on how to build a booming e-commerce business and a business plan generator to clarify your vision. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Want to start or grow an e-commerce business

    #18 Own Your Niche – Best for Service-Based Businesses 

    From award-winning author Stephanie Chandler, this book promises to boost sales and widen audiences for service-based businesses. This book is packed full of relevant marketing knowledge and written in an easy-to-understand format.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Operate a service-based business

    #19 Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – Best for Beating Competition

    Marketing expert Jay Abraham has created his program and successfully put it to the test. In this practical guide, he teaches you every step of his model. In addition, this book is replete with strategies and valuable tools. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have competitors 
    • Want to access overlooked opportunities and untapped resources 

    New Brands & Growth

    #20 Marketing Simplified – Best for Beginners

    If you’re new to marketing, entrepreneur Danny Decker’s handbook will help demystify the process and introduce you to the basics of marketing in user-friendly language.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are new to marketing
    • Prefer lighter reading

    #21 Purple Cow — Best for New Brands

    Seth Godin’s most well-known book, Purple Cow, is a how-to guide on building a remarkable brand. 

    This book provides more actionable information than others by the author and includes dozens of case studies and examples to clarify abstract theories.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have no marketing experience 
    • Understand content best through examples

    #22 Marketing for Dummies – Best for Beginners 

    From the classic collection of how-to guides, this book will teach you the broad strokes and most recent research — it is edited every year to reflect shifting trends and data.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Need someplace to start 
    • Are working with any size business or budget 

    #23 1-Page Marketing Plan — Best for Small Businesses

    Alan Dib doesn’t waste any time; his 232-page book is straightforward, clear, and actionable. 

    This book mainly considers the needs of small and medium-sized businesses but also applies to larger companies. It’s been well-received due to its simplicity. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Own a small or emerging business 
    • Want a logical read

    #24 Influence – Best for All Businesses 

    This book is an in-depth analysis of the psychological motivations of consumers. Robert Cialdini is the leading expert in the field of persuasion and brings over thirty-five years of experience to this beloved book.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Work in any field or industry 
    • Are interested in human psychology

    #25 Growth Hacker Marketing – Best for Building a Movement 

    Growth hackers know how to build a buzz around a low budget. This guide teaches you how to leverage a low budget to reach financial success. Growth hacking is the newest trend in marketing and is the secret weapon of brands like Airbnb and Facebook. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Have a low budget 
    • Want to build a narrative 

    #26 The Anatomy of Buzz – Best for Word-of-Mouth Marketing 

    Effective word-of-mouth campaigns can revolutionize your brand. 

    Emmanuel Rosen draws insights from interviews with more than 150 successful executives and researches the time-honored strategy of word-of-mouth marketing. This book will teach you to spread the word and grow your customer base.

    Relevant if you:

    • Have experience in marketing 
    • Want to grow an existing business or product

    #27 Whatever It Takes — Best for Personal Growth

    This book is part autobiography and part guide to success. Brandon Bornancin writes with sincerity and heart as he explores the lessons of his own life and imparts valuable advice to his readers. This book will guide you to break bad habits and unlock your passions.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Love self-help books
    • Want to expand your success in other areas of life


    #28 The Copywriter’s Handbook – Best for Beginning Copywriters 

    This book by persuasion expert Robert Bly appeals to all writers and editors. Whether you’re just getting started or are a veteran, Bly’s guide will have something to teach you. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are an emergent copy-writer 
    • Want to extend your expertise

    #29 The Adweek Copywriting Handbook — Best Guide to Writing Marketing Copy 

    Legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman has written a dense, in-depth exploration of solid writing for marketing, and the reviews are in: it works.

    According to reviewers, this book is dense and information-packed and will revolutionize your copy-writing — and your business.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Write copy
    • Want to improve your writing in general 

    Social Media & Branding

    #30 Social Media Marketing Workbook — Best for Social Media Marketers

    This workbook by Jason McDonald is fun, engaging, and comprehensive. It covers marketing across most of the major platforms and provides explicit, direct instruction. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Learn best from writing and reflecting
    • Rely heavily on social media marketing
    • Want to break into social media marketing

    #31 Everybody Writes – Best for Content Creators 

    Whether you’re a social media influencer or writing your copy, this book will help you fine-tune and strengthen your writing to reach the right audience.

    Ann Handley is an excellent and engaging writer and teaches by example.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Write anything for an audience
    • Want to improve online communication

    #32 Made to Stick – Best for Strong Branding 

    This option is also a book about the power of images and the brands we associate with them. The book is adaptable to all industries and applicable to all businesses.

    Chip and Dan Heath explore popular household names to get to the origins of their success.

    Relevant if you: 

    • Are ambitious 
    • Want to build a popular brand 

    #33 You Are The Brand – Best for Personal Branding

    Behind every successful brand is a credible and compelling person. This book teaches you the basics of personal branding so you can become the next big name in your industry.

    Relevant if you:

    • Want to boost your expertise and credibility

    #34 Contagious – Best for Growing Brands

    Jonah Berger’s 2016 best-seller provides an in-depth analysis of popularity and how certain brands captivate the public.

    This book is best for those with interest in psychology and human behavior. 

    Relevant if you: 

    • Want more impact—even with a smaller budget 
    • Have big dreams of reaching a broad audience 

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      #35 The Luxury Strategy – Best for Luxury Brands 

      Authors Kapferer and Bastien offer a bestselling guide on luxury branding and marketing. They explore the basics of luxury brand management and marketing strategies through well-known case studies.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Have basic marketing experience
      • Want to build a luxury brand 

      #36 Social Media Marketing – Best Value

      This gem by Michael Branding comes with a workbook and provides the most up-to-date information on social media trends and tools. The book is updated yearly, so it’s about as current as possible.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Operate mainly on social media 
      • Have an emergent business 

      Tech & Developers

      #37 Content Rules – Best for Web Content Developers 

      This handbook by renowned author Ann Handley will equip you to write and develop the best blogs, podcasts, videos, and more. In addition, the book is full of enlightening case studies and helpful examples.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Write or develop web content 
      • Want to build a virtual audience 

      #38 TikTok Mastery – Best for Social Media Developers

      This bundle of two books by Samson Floyd provides a roadmap to success on the increasingly popular platform. Floyd’s analysis of TikTok trends is updated each year, making this book as current as it gets.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Rely on TikTok for content and marketing
      • Your brand targets younger audiences 

      #39 The Youtube Formula – Best for Video Developers

      Derral Evans has 60 billion views on YouTube and wants to tell you his secrets.

      This Wall Street Journal Bestseller will teach you the secret of making viral content and promoting your brand on Youtube.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Rely on YouTube for content and marketing 
      • Your brand targets younger audiences

      #40 Loved – Best for Tech Companies 

      Martina Lauchengco’s book teaches by example; she examines the most popular tech companies and draws insight from their effective marketing strategies. 

      Although this book is best for tech companies, Lauchengco’s model offers a customer – and market-centric approach that’s relevant to all.

      Relevant if you: 

      • Learn by example
      • Work in the technology industry 

      Main Takeaways

      Whichever books you choose, be sure to read the top three we’ve selected to deepen your understanding of the industry. Of course, the ultimate marketing books are Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout, and This is Marketing by Seth Godin. 

      Once you’ve chosen the book that fits your needs, create a plan to implement your new knowledge. Contact us if you need help developing your marketing strategy or have any questions!

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