The marketing field is ever-changing, requiring marketers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in consumer behavior to maximize their business. One of the simplest, and most enjoyable ways to do this is to keep up with the latest and greatest marketing books. Below is a list of my personal favorites, all must-read books for a marketing major. Be sure to check them out and let us know what you think in the comments!


1. Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success (Shane Snow)

How is it that some startup companies make it from rags to riches in just weeks? How did icons such as Jimmy Fallon from the Tonight Show and Youtube Star Michelle Pham achieve their success in less time than it takes for an ordinary individual to climb up the promotional ladder at work? There are all questions Shane Snow answers in his book Smartcuts, in which he outlines how young companies can market their product to achieve rapid success in minimal time. Snow’s mission with this book is to help companies stop wasting time repeating the same cycle of mistakes, and rather, to make it big in the least possible time.

2. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers (Seth Godin)

Written by no other than the man BusinessWeek proclaimed to be “the ultimate entrepreneur of the information age”, Seth Godin quickly engages readers in this informative book about how to get customers to willingly buy goods and services. He contends that the traditional method of interruption marketing aimed to disrupt a consumer’s train of thought by diverting his or her attention to the product being advertised through actions such as television commercials between TV shows and telemarketing calls. However, in this fascinating read, Godin outlines methods for businesses to form long-term relationships with customers and how to get them to voluntarily buy their products.

3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell)

In this best-selling book, renowned author Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the sudden and often unexpected changes we see in society. He argues that behaviors, ideas, and products spread like infectious disease. In his book, Gladwell introduces readers to the key personality traits of the individuals who are “natural pollinators” of the latest trends and behaviors and helps us see how a single individual can initiate a social epidemic. Publishers Weekly applauded this novel saying, “The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or “tipping point” is reached, changing the world. Gladwell’s thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors “spread just like viruses do” remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of “word-of-mouth epidemics”.”

4. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads (Luke Sullivan)

In this light-hearted, witty read, Sullivan uses his sense of humor to convey effective methods for marketers to keep their creative spark alive. He closely examines the history of ads, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sullivan takes readers thru the day-to-day operations of leading ad agencies and investigates into why bad ads work sometimes and why good ads fail. In the newest edition (Ed. 4), Luke focuses on the digital marketplace, advising marketers on how to transition their marketing strategy from traditional to digital.

  1. Global Content Marketing (Pam Didner)

In the age of the digital marketplace, ideas and products transcend national boundaries, pushing companies towards developing a global marketing strategy. Being a former global content marketing strategist for Intel, Pam Didner is an expert in scaling content beyond borders. She explains her 4 P’s of the global marketing cycle: “Plan, Produce, Promote, Perfect” in a timeless fashion and shares her insight on how to ensure that marketing and business objectives align.

Article By Amber M.

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