2011 Marketing Book Recommendations By 12 Experts

Regardless of your format of choice, hardcover, paperback or ebook, 2011 produced a bookshelf full of great marketing titles as well as more general business books.

When it comes to marketing books, what’s important is gathering input from a variety of sources and determining how to use the information to help move your business to the next level.

Here are the recommendations of twelve marketing experts on their marketing book choices for 2011. (Here’s a list of top Social Media Marketing books of 2011.)

  1. I finally read Good to Great by Jim Collins, and it deserves its place in the business book pantheon. There’s so much wisdom in there, such as focusing on the right people first and then figuring out strategy after. I also got around to Influence by Robert Cialdini, and it’s another worthy classic, both for marketers and consumers. A wildcard here is Charlatan by Pope Brock, which studies one of the most notorious con artists America has ever known; the protagonist also happened to be one of the great pioneers of marketing through print, radio, and other media.  David Berkowitz – 360i
, @DBerkowitz

  2. On my list of best books for marketing were: David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Marty Weintraub’s Killer Facebook Marketing. Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs will inspire and take you inside the mind of the greatest marketer of our time. Lisa Buyer – The Buyer Group, @LisaBuyer
  3. My favorite marketing book, even though it’s closely related to the other two, was Content Rules (Handley/Chapman). Especially if you haven’t dipped your toe into the online world, this book holds your hand and helps you understand the role of content in the new world. Margie Clayman – Clayman Advertising, Inc., @margieclayman 
  4. Roadmap to Revenue by Kristin Zhivago teaches a very powerful concept, how a customer buys. When you can reverse engineer that, then you can figure out how to sell and market. Moreover, it gives tips on how sales and marketing can work together effectively to accomplish more. Sam Decker –Mass Relevance
  5. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson shows that Jobs’ legacy is not just the products he created but his commitment to brand and his hyperfocus on the user experience. Every marketer should read this book. Jere Doyle – Prospectiv, @JereDoyle
  6. My two favorite general marketing books are Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki and Fascinate by Sally Hogshead.  Peg Fitzpatrick – The12Most.com. @PegFitzpatrick 
  7. I haven’t read the best marketing book yet, but I already know what it is: Steve Jobs biography by Walter Issaacson. I look forward to digging into it over the holidays. Lisa Gerber – Arment Dietrich, Inc., @LisaGerber
  8. My general marketing choice is We Are All Weird by Seth Godin. It reminds us of the long tail and opportunities in marketing and business today. Dave Kerpen – Likeable Media and author of  Likeable Social Media@davekerpen
  9. I liked Jan McGonnigal’s Reality is Broken. It is about how to use games to foster collaboration, problem solving, and creativity. Currently, I’m reading Richard Branson’s Screw Business as Usual. It’s about the future of business, where doing good will be baked in, not added on, and that will lead to greater successes B.L. Ochman – What’s Next Blog  @whatsnext
  10. The must read marketing book of 2011 wasn’t a marketing book, but in fact the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. My feeling is that as a biography that Isaacson did a second rate job on Jobs by oversimplifying his subject into a bit of a cartoon character – however that said the marketing and product design insights one learns from Isaacson investigating his subject are first rate. Of course to me the biography was part of a larger flood of articles and videos that came out after Steve Jobs passed away: And they all point to someone who had a real genius for understanding the role of creativity in marketing. Michael Pinto – Very Memorable, Inc. @MichaelPinto
  11. The best marketing book in 2011 is The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis because it is a call to action on how and why businesses need to behave differently and adapt or die. Dr. William J. Ward – S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications- Syracuse University @DR4WARD
  12. There’s nothing quite like an insider’s look at the marketing industry that both fascinates and repels you with its manipulative practices; tremendous power to influence and shape behavior; and the deep pockets needed to sell brands into our hearts, minds and wallets. Such is the case with Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate our Minds and Persuade us to Buy, by Martin Lindstrom. A 20 year ad-industry vet, Lindstrom, author of the New York Times best-seller Buyology, uses Brandwashed to reveal the ad industry’s endless quest to press the consumer’s “Buy Button” through the use of deep-dive research and neuroscience. An investigation of ethics and skullduggery, the book both sounds the warning — Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware — and serves as a cheat sheet on sneaky new tactics we’ll be seeing more of in the brave new world of social marketing. A must read. Juicy and delicious dish. Deborah Weinstein – Strategic Objectives, @DebWeinstein 

No surprise, the top recommendation by far and away was Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, one of the forces behind how we use technology and related content of every sort. That said, there were many other strong contributions to 2011’s marketing book shelf.

Did you have other books that you read in 2011 and thought were worth reading? If so, please add your suggestions to the list and please include your rationale. Also, if you wrote a book that was published in 2011, please let us know about it.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some other related posts that you might find of interest.


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