It's that time of year, where we are all scrambling for gift ideas and there is always one person that is difficult to buy for because they have everything. If that person works in marketing, then I may be able to help with a list of books that every marketer should have on their desk. Even better, give them one of these books on an iPad, Kindle or other eReader and they will love you forever, especially if they don't have one of these devices.
This book is now in it's third edition and it's no wonder as it's used in university and colleges to teach the new principles that marketers need to know in an online world driven by social media. It talks about how companies need to become publishers to reach buyers directly using blogs, social media, online video and other tactics. A great read full of lessons every marketer needs to know.
It's a classic. While this book focuses on services, there are literally hundreds of lessons a marketer can learn to help them sell their services AND products better. The format makes this a quick read and lots of practical tips can be easily applied the next day. To this day, I haven't seen a better template for writing elevator pitches and positioning statements. Beckwith's other books are also worth adding to your marketers book shelf.
The subtitle for this book says it all, "Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition". What marketer doesn't need to learn about that to help their company. The second edition has updated case studies that show you how to differentiate your product or services and dominate your market. There are a number of other great books by Trout, like Positioning which is written with Jack Ries, but I wanted to highlight one that fewer people have on their bookshelf already.
It's hard to believe that this book was released over 10 years ago. You definitely won't believe it after you read the book as it talks a lot about how markets are conversations because they are made up of people. Sounds a lot like what we talk about when we refer to social media but the insights of these authors were shared before Facebook, Twitter and the other tools we take for granted today even existed. I definitely want to read this again and look at how it fits with all that has changed.
I hope this list helps both marketers looking for reading material over the holidays or if you have a marketer on your list and need to get them one more little gift. I very specifically wanted to choose books that are still relevant but not initially published in the past couple of years. For more current books, you may also want to check out the books I've reviewed on this blog.