Marketing Must-Reads – Best books about Marketing

by Maximilian Claessens
Marketing Must-Reads - Best books about Marketing

Marketing is an incredibly fast changing world. Therefore, it is often difficult to keep track of current literature and marketing must-reads. We would like to point out some of these must-reads, both classics of marketing theory and more temporary approaches.  Certainly, this list is not exhaustive and does not attempt to be. However, if you are looking for a good book on marketing, these marketing must-reads may be a first starting point.

Classic Marketing Must-Reads

Marketing: An Introduction

by Philip Kotler, Gary Armstrong.

“An introduction to the world of marketing using a proven, practical, and engaging approach. Marketing: An Introduction shows students how customer value—creating it and capturing it—drives every effective marketing strategy. Using an organization and learning design that includes real-world examples and information that help bring marketing to life, the text gives readers everything they need to know about marketing in an effective and engaging total learning package.”

Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital

by Philip Kotler.

“Marketing has changed forever—this is what comes next. Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital is the much-needed handbook for next-generation marketing. Written by the world’s leading marketing authorities, this book helps you navigate the increasingly connected world and changing consumer landscape to reach more customers, more effectively. ”

Essentials of Marketing

by Jim Blythe.

“Essentials of Marketing provides a vibrant and accessible introduction to Marketing providing concise and accessible coverage of:

  • traditional marketing techniques and theories
  • the practical and tactical decision-making processes involved in marketing
  • up-to-date topics such as corporate social responsibility, social media and ethics.

The book takes a practical approach, with plentiful examples and up-to-date case studies, complimented by a full range of online resources.”

Crossing the Chasm

by Geoffrey A. Moore.

“Here is the bestselling guide that created a new game plan for marketing in high-tech industries. Crossing the Chasm has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets. This edition provides new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing, with special emphasis on the Internet. It’s essential reading for anyone with a stake in the world’s most exciting marketplace.”

Blue Ocean Strategy

by W. Chan Kim.

“In this perennial bestseller, embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.”

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

“The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a “position” in a prospective customer’s mind-one that reflects a company’s own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:

  • Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there
  • Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader
  • Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one.”
The New Rules Of Marketing And PR

by David Meerman Scott.

“When it comes to marketing, anything goes in the Digital Age, right? Well, not quite. While marketing and public relations tactics do seem to change overnight, every smart businessperson knows that it takes a lot more than the ‘next big thing.’

The New Rules of Marketing & PR is an international bestseller with more than 375,000 copies sold in twenty-nine languages. In the latest edition of this pioneering guide to the future of marketing, you’ll get a step-by-step action plan for leveraging the power of the latest approaches to generating attention for your idea or your business. You’ll learn how get the right information to the right people at the right time—at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.”

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert Cialdini.

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.”

Selling the Invisible

by Harry Beckwith.

Selling the Invisible is a succinct and often entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services and their prospects, and how any service, from a home-based consultancy to a multinational brokerage, can turn more prospects into clients and keep them. Selling the Invisible covers service marketing from start to finish.”

Other Top-Picks

Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

by Donald Miller.

“Donald Miller’s Story Brand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services.”

The Lean Startup

by Eric Ries.

“Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. ”

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

by Allan Dib.

“To build a successful business, you need to stop doing random acts of marketing and start following a reliable plan for rapid business growth. Traditionally, creating a marketing plan has been a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it often doesn’t get done.

In The 1-Page Marketing Plan, serial entrepreneur and rebellious marketer Allan Dib reveals a marketing implementation breakthrough that makes creating a marketing plan simple and fast. It’s literally a single page, divided up into nine squares. With it, you’ll be able to map out your own sophisticated marketing plan and go from zero to marketing hero.”

Epic Content Marketing

by Joe Pulizzi.

“How do you cut through the noise, commotion, and bad information that is right now cluttering up your customers’ digital space? One of the world’s leading experts on content marketing, Joe Pulizzi explains how to draw prospects and customers in by creating information and content they actually want to engage with. No longer can we interrupt our customers with mediocre content (and sales messages) our customers don’t care about.”


by Jay Baer.

“The difference between helping and selling is just two letters, but those two letters make all the difference.
What if – faced with more competition than ever before – you stopped trying to be amazing, and just started being useful? Jay Baer’s Youtility offers a new business approach that cuts through the clut­ter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.”

Growth Hacker Marketing

by Ryan Holiday.

“A new generation of megabrands like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitter haven’t spent a dime on traditional marketing. No press releases, no TV commercials, no billboards. Instead, they rely on a new strategy—growth hacking—to reach many more people despite modest marketing budgets. Growth hackers have thrown out the old playbook and replaced it with tools that are testable, trackable, and scalable. They believe that products and businesses should be modified repeatedly until they’re primed to generate explosive reactions.”

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