The best marketing books for ambitious people who want to get their message out and sell more

The best marketing weaves a story into a promotion. Half the time you forget you’re even being “marketed” to, instead you are excited and fired up to share the product’s story you’ve just been told. After that, you find all the ways in your life that a product would work. Soon enough, you buy. The problem is many books about marketing share examples of what went well, but they rarely explain how to do it. The best marketing books, on the other hand, go in-depth. They are practical and written for the person doing the marketing. 

The best marketing books help you tell your story. They help you craft your message, find your audience, deliver the message in a way your audience wants, and more. The best marketing books help you build a community around your brand. We’ve researched the best marketing books for ambitious people who want to get their message across – regardless of if your job is in marketing or not.

5- The Tipping Point

an early book on marketing in a new era: the tipping point

This seminal book on marketing talks about the moments that define how big a message will become. Malcom Gladwell is a world-renowned psychology professor and in this book he goes deep into showcasing the best examples of messages that spread round the world. Initially published in 2000, The Tipping Point was one of the first books in the modern era of marketing, ushering in what would become dozens of books on the subject. 

Why you should read this book: Gladwell explains the “three rules of epidemics” – the three psychological laws that, when met, make ideas spread. Follow these properly and your marketing will take off. 

4- Made to Stick

made to stick talks about making ideas memorable

Made to Stick explains what makes ideas memorable. If you can get someone to remember something, they are more likely to share the idea and more likely to buy whatever you were advertising. Specifically, authors Chip and Dan Heath explain their SUCCES framework which, when studied in both an academic and practical environment, showed more innovation and more memorable ideas. 

Why you should read this book: In a world where people are exposed to between 4,000 – 10,000 advertising messages per day, getting people to remember your message is the difference between wild success and major failure. 

3- World Famous

One of the best marketing books: world famous

World Famous is a tactical book on branding and brand identity. Author David Tyerman is the founder of one of the world’s most successful branding agencies, Propaganda. He’s worked with Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Tommy Hilfiger. And World Famous is where he takes all of his lessons and puts them into practical tasks anyone can do to better identify who they are as a company. 

Why you should read this book: It takes the elusive, vague world of branding and makes it a concrete, data-driven experiment. Your brand may evolve over time, but the lessons and assignments in World Famous help you build the foundation to hold whatever your brand becomes.

2- Obviously Awesome

One of the best marketing books: obviously awesome

The first book by product positioning guru April Dunford, Obviously Awesome is a book of practical advice on how to position your product so the right customers come to you. Borne from Dunford’s experience repositioning companies (a couple of which went on to be sold for over $1 billion dollars), she shares multiple examples for each stage in the positioning cycle. 

Why you should read this book: It reads almost like a step-by-step manual with examples along the way. Someone who needs to reposition their product (which is nearly anyone who has a hard time building more sales), can read through the book and follow Dunford’s step-by-step guide. 

1- Contagious

One of the best marketing books: contagious

Contagious is a book about how to make your ideas spread. Where Made to Stick looked at what makes ideas memorable and The Tipping Point analyzed the common features of “viral” ideas, Contagious studied the factors that, when followed, increase the chances of ideas “going viral” – spreading organically from one person to another. Whether a blog, a political message, or a product, author Jonah Berger found in his PhD research that anything can go viral if it follows the right steps. 

Why you should read this book: It takes the ideas in Made to Stick and The Tipping Point one step further – to a practical, step-by-step guide you can follow to make your ideas more “viral”. Instead of just explaining what goes viral, Berger explains how your ideas can go viral.

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