Top Marketing Books: Experts Recommend the Best!

Mark Schaefer – Author of KNOWN

The single-biggest influence on my career was Peter Drucker. He was actually my teacher in grad school. I have read all his books, usually more than once!


Neal Schaffer of Maximize Your Social and Co-Founder, Social Tools Summit. Author of Maximize Your Social, Maximizing LinkedIn for Business, and Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing.

Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge – This book was so early in how the future of social media would develop and change organizations. While the focus of the book is public relations, the message was really for everyone. It set up Solis and Breakenridge as social media thought leaders. I still look to them for inspiration.
Inbound Marketing, Brian Halligan and Dhamresh Shah – Written early in the social media revolution, Inbound Marketing is really where most businesses started to see distinct business value from social media activities, especially those in B2B industries.
Youtility, Jay Baer –  Youtility is eloquently written with a plethora of case studies. It’s a reminder of what businesses need to achieve to engage with social media users as a business: Become and offer a utility to your audience.

Marcus Sheridan,  author of They Ask, You Answer.

How to Win Friend and Influence People, Dale Carnegie: The best sales/marketing/communication book ever written. By far.
The First American by H. W. Brands: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin—to me, Franklin demonstrated the ultimate model of entrepreneurism, education, communication, and “giving back.”


Stephan Spencer – Author of The Art of SEOSocial eCommerce, and Google Power Search.

The Closer’s Survival Guide, Grant Cardone – Grant Cardone is a master at selling. There’s no better book to learn all the best close techniques from than this one (as far as I know!).
Tested Advertising Methods, John Caples – This is an oldie but goodie; the book dates back to the 1930’s and it’s a must-read. Sales copywriting has become somewhat of a lost art. It’s too easy to throw up anything onto a web page without crafting and honing a persuasive, yet still authentic, message.
Influence, Robert Cialdini – This book unlocks many of the secrets to persuasion. Of course persuasion can be used for good or evil. Persuasion is not manipulation, as long as your intent is pure. I implore you, only read this book if you are going to use it for good!


Pat Spenner Author of The Challenger Customer

The Lean Start Up, by Eric Ries. I’m a firm believer in test-and-learn and parsimonious experiments.


Josh Steimle Author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley – Writing has built my career, and Ann’s book is my go-to.


Jim Sterne, Founder eMetrics Summit and Board Chair Digital Analytics Association. Author of 12 books on digital marketing, advertising, email, social media and metrics dating back to 1995). Most recent are The Devil’s Data Dictionary and Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment (2010).

Drilling Down: Turning Customer Data into Profits with a Spreadsheet, Jim Novo – Novo takes a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand approach to segmentation, model building and all that “analytics” stuff that’s really just slicing and dicing the numbers creatively.
Pattern Recognition, William Gibson – Want to understand branding while being entertained by a wonderful writer? You’ve come to the right place.
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Seth Godin – The best of Seth Godin and that’s saying a lot.


Ruth Stevens – Author of B2B Data-Driven Marketing

Business-to-Business Direct Marketing, by Bob Bly


Noz Urbina Author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand and benefits

The Selfish GeneRichard Dawkins.  Always one to stir controversy, Dawkins’ book is a fascinating look at the nature of information and communication. He uses the context of genetic information being passed across generations, but ends on introducing the idea that messages move through cultures and generations in exactly the same way, evolving and mutating in our memories.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick is a non-stop content nerd-gasm. He takes the reader on a cultural and historical voyage from the message encoding strategies of African drummers that go back thousands of years, all the way up to twitter, demonstrating on one hand how the same fundamentals apply to all communication, and on the other, how new paradigms “rewire” us to be able to think in different ways that were impossible for previous generations.
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