Our digital marketing experts top marketing books to read whilst working from home 📚
If you’ve got some free time while working from home (let’s face it, you’ve likely saved some time off your normal commute!) It’s time to get reading.
There are millions of ‘Marketing Books’ available when you consider the endless YouTube download-my-free-ebook types. But how do we separate the great from the not so great? The insightful from the ‘oh but I already knew that?’.
We asked our very own team of digital experts what they’re recommendations were, and have put together a list of our experts’ favourite marketing books. Trust us – these are books you need to read.
Daniel Kahneman – Thinking Fast and Slow
This book has been a seminal text since it was published in 2011. Kahneman draws from a fundamental concept of the ‘fast brain’ and ‘slow brain’ – otherwise known as the lizard-wizard brain or other such dualities – and goes on to apply it to a variety of ideas such as anchoring and framing messaging.
Fundamentally, the fast brain is the part that responds reflexively: if you stub your toe you shout, if a snake falls onto your desk you jump, and so on. The slow brain is the part that considers decisions before making them: what’s the value of this or that?
The big idea here is that being aware of which part of the brain will best respond to your messaging is the best way to craft your messaging – and aiming to get as close to the fast brain as possible is likely to help. In practice what we understand reflexively isn’t usually innate, so over time and lots of clever marketing things can be learned to a reflexive level (think coke = refreshing).
This book is a great way to get a good grip on linguistic messaging without needing to do a masters in Literary Theory.
Seth Godin – Purple Cow
The fundamental message of Purple Cow is ‘be different’. Seth Godin goes back to basics here: if you want to win in business, you have to stand out from the vast crowd of mediocrity. And the best way to do that is to start with a great product.
In this video, Godin runs through the fundamentals of the theory – that if you’ve got a great product or service, if people understand why your laundry detergent is the best, then you just have to spread the word. But it’s well worth reading the book too, it runs through a number of examples. And, perhaps expectedly, these are unexpected examples.
True to fashion, it was itself marketed originally in unusual ways. The first edition came packaged in a milk carton!
Martin Lindstrom – Buy.logy
This remarkable book centres around a $7million psychological study on the responses to imagery. Lindstrom signed up around 2000 people and scanned their brains while they were shown various imagery. Things like the gruesome imagery on cigarette packets actually make smokers want to smoke more!
The book goes through a number of its findings and details how the deep unconscious plays a huge role in buying decisions.
Joe Pullizzi – Epic Content Marketing
Pullizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, he takes a similar approach to Godin but focuses specifically on using content marketing as the way to stand out. That is, rather than interrupting the things that people are interested in (such as in TV ads), you instead become the thing that people are interested in.
You can only truly do this through a focus on content marketing. Because what’s left when people are fed up with being interrupted is a really good conversation with them – the way a solid article allows.
Where this book differs from the others is that it’s a much more hands-on, functional guide. It includes the theory but also goes as far as to give guidance on how you can strategise and create great content yourself.
Chip Heath & Dan Heath – Made to Stick
If you can’t communicate ideas effectively, then you waste a huge amount of time developing them and trying to explain. Chip and Dan Heath explore in Made to Stick the ways in which ideas can be communicated effectively by framing good ideas as ‘sticky ideas’.
These sticky ideas have to be interesting, actionable, and (most importantly) memorable. Ideally, they also need to be succinct.
In essence, you need to create and express your ideas in compelling ways – in ways that make your readers think “what’s going to happen next” like a great detective novel. There’s really no difference. Except in a detective novel the intention is for you to ‘buy’ the story – to believe it and accept it. While in good marketing communication, the intention is to get you to ‘buy’ the product or service.
Marketing advice all round!
These books are all great resources to help improve your marketing skills. However, if it’s digital marketing skills in particular you’re looking for, look no further than our other great digital marketing blogs, covering SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content Marketing and more!