If you are in the business of online marketing, you already know that regardless of how many academic courses you took in college, or how many hours you spent listening to your teachers, the most you will ever gain is some basic knowledge but will not be taking you to the cutting edge.
Online marketing is a highly evolving field with new techniques, theories, tactics and tools emerging every day, and the only way to stay on top is to stay tuned and on standby ready to grab anything new and useful. However, a google search won’t suffice since the internet is full of bullshit; and although thousands of marketing books are published each year, most of the books are destined to stay on shelves collecting dust. This is why I compiled this list of books for you. My objective is to put you on rail; the rest is however up to you. As a PHD I’ve developed a good sense of the type of books that will elevate you and the ones that keep you grounded. Remember, it is never too late to learn.
10. Buy.logy by Martin Lindstrom
How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we’re barely aware of them?
In Buy.logy, Lindstrom presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed regarding: what sparks our interest and what drives us to buy.
9. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pullizzi
Joe Pullizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), one of the leading content marketing educational resource for enterprise brands, and one fasted growing business since its creation. It is safe to assume that Pullizzi knows a thing or two about content marketing, and in this book, he gives plenty of great advice about how to do it right.
“Epic Content Marketing” takes you systematically through the process of developing stories that inform and entertain customers to act without actually telling them to. Epic content enables you to position your business, as a trusted expert in its industry and it is what customers share and talk about. There are six principles: 1. Your content must fill an unmet need or answer a question for your customer 2. You must deliver your content consistently 3. Your content needs to be written in your voice, preferably with some humour 4. You need to express an opinion rather than giving a balanced history report 5. You must avoid sales speak, as it destroys the value of your content 6. You must aim to produce the very best content relating to your content niche
8. Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard
Top branding and marketing expert Olivier Blanchard attempts in this book to demystify the biggest question that sits on top of the minds of many business managers: what exactly is the return of investment of social media, and more importantly, why should my business be using social media? And finally, how do we justify the investment?
Reading this book, you will learn about the best practices for strategy, planning, execution, measurement, analysis, and optimization in Social Media. You will also learn how to define the financial and non financial business impacts you are aiming for and how to achieve them.
7. The Anatomy of Buzz by Emanuel Rosen
In The Anatomy of Buzz, former marketing VP Emanuel Rosen pinpoints the products and services that benefit the most from buzz-a universe that embraces everything from high-tech equipment to books, various consumer and entertainment products to legal and other support services-and offers specific strategies for creating and sustaining effective word-of-mouth campaigns.
Drawing from interviews with more than 150 executives, marketing leaders, and researchers who have successfully built buzz for major brands, Rosen describes the ins and outs of attracting the attention of influential first users and “big-mouth” movers and shakers. He also discusses proven techniques for stimulating customer-to-customer selling-including how companies can spread the word to new territories by taking advantage of customer hubs and networks on the Internet and elsewhere.
6. Made to Stick By Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Chip and Dan Heath tackle in this book why some ideas thrive while others die, and how to improve the chances of worthy ideas. They reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory,” and creating “curiosity gaps.”
Provocative, eye opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick will show you the vital principles of winning ideas and how to apply these rules making your own messages stick. Made to Stick is simply a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas.
5. Conversion Optimization by Khalid Saleh & Ayat Shukairy
I might be cheating adding Khalid’s and Ayat book in this list, but you will forgive me once you go over it and read it. Based on the authors’ broad experience in helping businesses attract online customers, this book addresses every aspect of the process, from landing visitors to finalizing the sale. You will learn several techniques for blending successful sales approaches with the particular needs of the people you want to attract.
Conversion Optimization offers practical advice on how to persuade visitors to make a buying decision without driving them away through data overload or tedious navigation. You will learn how to use marketing principles, design, usability, and analytics on your site to increase your buyer-to-visitor ratio, whether you are involved with marketing or designing a large ecommerce site, or managing a modest online operation. So the last question left is, are you ready to do what it takes to get a double-digit conversion rate?
4. Selling the invisible by Harry Beckwith
Twenty-five years of experience with thousands of business professionals, Harry Beckwith delivers in this book its wisdom with unforgettable and often surprising examples, from Federal Express, Citicorp, and a growing Greek travel agency to an ingenious baby-sitter.
Filled with wonderful insights you will learn how service marketing is about how to eliminate your clients fear of hiring you, and how to make your invisible qualities visible.
3. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
If you have been around long enough in this business, you already know that Seth Godin is the most influential and brightest gurus in online marketing. Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family meal, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snaring our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing. Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity, time, Godin offers consumers incentives to voluntarily accept advertising. By reaching out to only those individuals who have expressed an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.
2. The Psychology influence of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Influence is a classical book That 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.
You will learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all occupations, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.
1. Positioning by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Positioning is another classical book in Marketing, and is the first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public. This book 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.
By reading Positioning you will learn how to use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name. You will also learn: • Use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name • Build your strategy around your competition’s weaknesses • Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot • Use your present position to its best advantage • Choose the best name for your product • Determine when-and why-less is more • Analyze recent trends that affect your positioning