Top Marketing Books: Experts Recommend the Best!

Cathy McPhillips of Content Marketing Institute

Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi It makes understanding content marketing simple by explaining objectives and principles, but also strategies. Examples are given to make this an easy-to-digest, as well as easier-to-implement book.
UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging, Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer This book is one that I read at the right time of my career, and one that I’d prefer to buy for someone before I’d give up my own copy. It’s just such an important read in today’s marketing world, and still so relevant 4+ years after publication.
Everybody Writes, Ann Handley As marketing has evolved over the past 20 years, my career has gone from advertising to marketing to content marketing. How does a rusty journalism major hone her writing skills after years of writing ad copy and working on media plans? Writing, writing, and more writing and learning and being inspired by the best.


Josh Miles – Author of Bold Brand 2.0

The Ultimate Sales MachineChet Holmes is one of the most influential books I’ve read. It offers the reader actionable steps to apply concepts as they are introduced
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier is another book that had a big influence. I loved how it included graphs, charts, and interesting visual elements to complement the text.


Jason Miller – Group Manager, Content Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Author of Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11 (book).

Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman – This is the Bible for content marketers. I have a signed copy on my desk from 2011 when I first heard Ann speak.
The Elements of Style, E.B. White – The classic go-to book for writers. I’m constantly working to be a better writer myself and this little gem of a book lays the foundation for proper style and grammar.
Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy – As the original Mad Man and “Father of Advertising” David Ogilvy shares timeless advice for marketers and advertisers. It’s required reading for anyone in business.


Jeremy Miller – Author of Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers & Grow an Incredible Brand

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. This was one of the first marketing books I read. It opened my eyes on how to build a niche market, and how to introduce new concepts into established markets. It also reinforced a long held belief that a brand cannot be all things to all people.
Beyond Buzz by Lois Kelly. I pick up Lois Kelly’s book every year. It was game changing for me. It introduced the idea of building a brand with a strong point of view, and scaling relationships and brand awareness through content. It taught me conversations make brands sticky.
Selling Is Dead by Marc Miller. I am a sales guy at heart. Selling Is Dead is one of the best sales books I have ever read. It’s dense, but really insightful. It talks about how companies have to adapt their selling to fit their market; you can’t sell a commodity the same way you do a new concept. The book’s approach to selling new concepts has influenced my approach to marketing.


Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted

Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.  Rework totally redefined the way I was thinking about getting things done and the way companies and teams work effectively together. I love it as it flips conventional advice on its head and challenges you to think completely differently about how to run your business – especially if you have a team (even a small one).
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown This was the first book that alerted me to the idea of not so much “getting more done” but getting the “right things done”. It changed the way I was thinking about prioritizing and where to spend precious time when you have a business.
Ask, Ryan Levesque – This book made me think differently about how i approach the content, products and services I create for my audience – it helps you to find out what your audience WANTS and then how to deliver it in ways you most likely haven’t considered before.  I’d been asking them, but not in the right way, so this book has quite literally flipped my marketing on its head.


B.L. Ochman, of What’s Next Blog. Marketer, digital and video content creator, speaker, coach and strategist.

NetSmart by Howard Rheingold Simply the most clear, sane look at the skills you need to navigate the ever changing online world mindfully instead of being overwhelmed by it. Includes how to develop a bullshit detector and how to vet information before sharing it.
Cluetrain Manifesto, Christopher Locke, David “Doc” Searls, David Weinberger, and Rick Levine Originally published in 1999 as a set of 95 theses on markets as conversations – explaining how the advent of the Internet changed marketing forever. “First of all, there is no market for messages”
From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbor, Jerry DellaFamina – in which he told the truth about advertising in an entirely different era. At that time, creativity, not metrics were what counted.


Neil Patel, author of HUSTLE: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – how to relate to others in business and life.
The Dip by Seth Godin – the power of perseverance and how to overcome tough challenges in business.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – how our subconscious minds and decision-making work. It’s fascinating.


Michael Pinto  of Very Memorable, Inc.

Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy- David Ogilvy was above all a brilliant storyteller, and if you think about in the world of print he was really doing what we would call content marketing today.
The King of Madison Avenue, Kenneth Roman –  This book details the rise and fall of David Ogilvy.
Insanely Simple, Ken Segall – Ken Segall worked directly with Steve Jobs and was very involved with working with him on everything. This tell-all book goes in amazing detail.


Seth Price – Author with Barry Feldman of The Road to Recognition

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I was not a great student in school, but I was a voracious reader. As a writer, I handed in the required writing for each class and wrote the occasional poem. But it wasn’t until I read Bird by Bird that the passion for writing firmly entered my life. That book made me fall in love with the written word and its ability to tell stories and move people.
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