This is a list of the best marketing books of all time.
These books have been read by tens of millions of people.
The key to successful business marketing in this digital era is simple – never stop learning and innovating.
The fastest and easiest way to that is to read the best marketing books, and read them often.
Here are the best marketing books that I’ve read, and some awesome recommendations from people I work with.
There are 51 in total – and each has something valuable to teach you.
Let’s get into it.
By Seth Godin
Good for: Innovative thinking. Godin has cultivated a game-changing approach that gets to the heart of great marketing.
This book is marketing guru Godin’s manifesto for marketing, distilling his extensive work into a single, digestible volume.
The core of his philosophy is about reframing marketing as “doing work that matters for people who care.”
You’ll be guided through how to identify your target market, how to engage with them by building trust and how to make the buying choice feel as good for them as it does for you.
His approach is people-centered, authentic and compassionate – gifting professionals in any sector with advice that resonates in the 21st century.
by W. Chan Kim and Renee A. Maugborgne
Good for: Reframing your marketing strategy. Take the emphasis off competition and place it on finding new markets.
Widely-considered to be a masterclass on strategy, Kim and Maugborgne use the powerful image of the blue sea to help readers visualise an untapped market.
They argue that normal competition is so cutthroat that it results in a bloody red ocean, where too many people fight over the same, shrinking pool.
To help you achieve the Blue Ocean Strategy instead, the authors share the tools and principles they’ve developed after decades of research across many different industries.
It’s a great companion to help you find those untapped market spaces and achieve growth.
by Richard Shotton
Good for: Getting into your target audiences’ heads and influencing their decisions.
Understanding the mindset of your customers is the first step to influencing their purchasing choices, so Shotton gives you insight into the shortcuts people use to make the big and small decisions in life.
It’s a fascinating look at cognitive bias and how to use the research in this field to create marketing and sales success.
Better yet, each behavioural bias is discussed in a short, snappy chapter with guidance on how to apply your newfound knowledge in your own business.
by Donald Miller
Good for: Crafting a story around your brand that’ll resonate with customers.
If you can tell the story of your brand in a compelling way, you will beat out companies still using bland, self-promoting guff to promote themselves.
Miller has developed a framework called StoryBrand which gives you a seven-step structure to getting this right.
He invites you to think of your customer as the hero of your story and to consider your brand as their guide.
Getting all Obi-Wan Kenobi on the situation is the way to use storytelling to market magnificently. May the force be with you.
by Nir Eyal
Good for: If you don’t like the hard sell. Eyal’s approach delivers consistent results through subtle engagement strategies.
This book is a must-read for those who hate the idea of brash, in-your-face marketing campaigns.
As a former professional in video gaming and advertising, Eyal is an expert in ‘hooking’ customers so they return to your product again and again.
You’ll be introduced to the Hook Model, Eyal’s four-step process to develop user habits that stick.
With tons of advice on building products people love and understanding why people fall in love with them, you’ll have a head start on creating your own hook cycles.
by Byron Sharp
Good for: Getting your questions about marketing and advertising answered by expert research.
Despite his slightly confrontational title, Sharp sets out to provide help and advice to marketers.
This book is built on the foundation of the questions most often asked by professionals working in that area, or entrepreneurs and businesses trying to grow their brands.
What’s great is that Sharp gives evidence for all his answers, and describes the ‘laws’ of growing your brand in context.
In doing so, he gives you the tools to quickly digest and implement his ideas, knowing that they’ve worked across different time periods, financial climates and business landscapes.
by Malcolm Gladwell
Good for: Understanding how to tap into the power of unconscious decision-making.
Psychology fans, you are in for a treat with Gladwell’s thesis on the judgements we made when we are not really thinking about it.
A deserving bestseller, this might not be a traditional ‘marketing’ book, but it’s certainly delivering big value for marketers.
If you can understand the way in which people make the hundreds of split-second decisions we all make every day, you’ll begin to better understand your potential customers.
Taking Gladwell’s insight, it’s then your job to become a no-brainer purchase.
8. Invisible Selling Machine: 5 Steps To Crafting an Automated Evergreen Email Campaign That Makes Money While You Sleep
by Ryan Deiss
Good for: Removing the guesswork from email marketing and automating your sales.
If you struggle to know where to start with your email marketing, then you should read this book now.
This step-by-step guide can stop you wasting any more time staring at a blank screen with a simple framework that removes all the guesswork.
If you feel the pressure to make sure your emails stand out in a crowded inbox then Deiss provides practical techniques that you can implement right away in your email campaigns.
Learn how to automate your sales process and watch your business soar.
by Robert B. Cialdini
Good for: Understanding the science behind behaviour and how that can propel your marketing
Regarded as a classic book on persuasion, Influence, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings.
Based on 35 years of academic research, Dr. Robert Cialdini, draws together his findings on how to have influence over an audience and what makes people change their behaviour.
He explains key concepts commonly used in marketing such as scarcity, social proof, and reciprocity.
by Tien Tzuo and Gabe Weisert
Good for: If you want to make your business the next Spotify, Netflix or Audible. This book is your first step into subscription-based sales.
We’ve all seen the explosion of subscription-based companies and Tzuo and Weisert argue that this model is the future of business.
For web marketers, this book is a fascinating insight into the shift for consumers wanting access instead of ownership.
In this book, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to building this type of business, helping you to plan the architecture of the company and avoiding pitfalls.
According to the authors, we’ll be subscribing to everything in 10 years time, so why not get a piece of the action today?
by Brian Kurtz
Good for: Making sure every bit of marketing you do is accountable by learning how to track and measure it.
With four decades of direct marketing experience, you won’t find many more qualified than Kurtz to give you bonafide marketing tips.
He wants you to share your marketing message as far and wide as possible and create a real impact.
To achieve this, the book breaks down aspects of marketing that contribute to measurable results.
In doing so, Kurtz promises to help you grow your business, make more of an impact, see financial results and, most importantly, enjoy the ride.
by Jeff Olson
Good for: Find it hard to make big changes that last? Small, consistent actions will get you where you want to be.
This business book is all about mindset and how to develop habits that lead you towards success. Marketers can apply this to the consistent actions they need to make in order to get meaningful results.
Olson takes you on a journey through his own business successes and failures, establishing the rules of the Slight Edge and how to make it work to your advantage.
Make like the tortoise who beat the hare by going slow but winning the race.
13. They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer
by Marcus Sheridan
Good for: Content marketing. Use your innate knowledge of your industry or product to drive sales through powerful content.
Marcus Sheridan installs swimming pools and in the middle of the housing collapse, his company tanked.
Today, he is one of the largest players in his industry and has to turn customers away. He did it by answering questions.
Find out how being helpful online by answering questions in your content will prompt customers to come to you, creating inbound sales.
Being able to harness the knowledge you already have to build an inbound marketing strategy, you can get great results.
by Stacey Kehoe
Good for: Novices. Build a digital marketing plan from scratch and get your online game going.
If you’ve never launched a digital marketing strategy and feel uncomfortable trying to market online, this beginner book will be a godsend.
Kehoe outlines the steps you need to take to start marketing online, and the pitfalls you need to navigate.
Not only do you have six easy steps to follow to help implement your first digital strategy, but Kehoe also debunks common myths about online and social media marketing.
It’s your guide to seizing those online opportunities and putting your energy into a plan that’ll pay off.
by Stoney deGeyter
Good for: Websites. Make sure every element on your online shopfront is doing its job brilliantly.
A great resource if you are about to build your website with marketing in mind or have a current site that needs to work harder.
Stoney deGeyter breaks down what you need to put in place and makes it super easy to check off your progress.
The digital deep dive doesn’t merely focus on the look and feel of your site, it also talks about website optimisation, content writing, social media and PPC too.
A great overview of all aspects of brilliant websites, deGeyter’s book could become a digital novice’s best friend.
by John Hall
Good for: Brand awareness days. Keep your business at the front of your audience’s minds.
There’s a reason why the world’s biggest brands enjoy consistent success, they are never far away from the forefront of our collective minds.
By building a business that serves your customers, inspires loyalty and regularly connects with them, you can emulate their approach.
Hall explains how customer needs and expectations must be met these days and gives you a how-to guide to building a strong relationship between your brand and your customer.
Soon you’ll be crafting content designed to inspire, engage and position you as their go-to provider in your industry.
by Jonah Berger
Good for: Understanding social influence and using it to your advantage.
For many marketers, having an idea ‘go viral’ is the holy grail. A decade of research into how and why information spreads, Berger offers his findings and how to apply them in your business.
It’s a fascinating look at social transmission and the science behind it, helping you understand why certain products become wildly popular through word of mouth.
Once empowered with Berger’s actionable techniques, the theory is that you can help your idea become contagious. It’ll also help you get the most out of your social media management tools.
by Nicholas J Webb
Good for: Understanding what your customers love and translating that into sales success.
Have you created a memorable experience for your customer at every stage of their interaction with you?
Webb argues that you must put them and their wants at the core of every touchpoint if you want to achieve success.
You’re advised to really get to know your customers’ likes and dislikes, so that when they have any dealings with your marketing, they’ll engage and absorb it.
With a wealth of practical advice on how to achieve this, Webb’s guide can help you get it right and see real progression.
by Ryan Holiday
Good for: getting your marketing game on with zero budget.
The children of the Growth Hacker Marketing revolution are mostly based in Silicon Valley, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use their bold methods too. Y
You’ll discover how upstarts like Dropbox, AirBnB and Facebook all tossed out the traditional marketing rule book to create their stratospheric growth.
The premise of growth hacker marketing is that you cultivate a narrative of success around your business before it’s grown.
With users, the media and social channels full of excitement about your business, they’ll be marketing for you and quick growth will follow.
by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor
Good for: Refining the art of content marketing that truly engages customers.
Feeling serious FOMO about content marketing?
Many businesses react by wildly flinging words out into the digital ether. Brenner and Bedor want to put a stop to such madness, and show you how to do content marketing that actually works.
You’ll discover ways to deliver content online to reach the right audience and learn how to measure the success of everything you do.
Once you are up and running, you’ll also know how to track the return on your content marketing investment. Smart stuff.
21. Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create New Categories and Dominate Markets
by Kevin Maney, Dave Petersen, Chistopher Lockhead and Al Ramadan.
Good for: Innovation enthusiasts. Don’t play the same game as everyone else – create a new one.
Category creation is the ingenious way that services such as Uber, Salesforce and Amazon build business glory by solving problems we didn’t know we had.
This book looks at how category creation has become one of the most successful business strategies of all time.
The authors explain how by applying category design, you create a product or service that hasn’t existed before.
From there you influence behaviour and buying habits to dominate your created category and see big returns. Have you got the bottle for it?
by Bernadette Jiwa
Good for: Adding emotion into your marketing to win customer devotion.
Short and oh-so-sweet, Jiwa argues that effective marketing is all about learning how to matter to your customers.
She’s here to convince you that you need to get emotional in your marketing if you want to win the hearts of your target audience.
You may be feeling a bit freaked out by all this talk of feelings, but great marketers know that a deep connection with your customer helps to keep them coming back for more. Get ready to move out of your comfort zone and embrace it.
by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Good for: Well, positioning. Learn how to find your place in your market and make an impact.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the necessity of cutting through all the noise in your crowded marketing place to make an impact?
Ries and Trout reckon it’s not as hard as you think when you find a strong position.
They’ll show you how by finding a position in the minds of your prospective customers, you’ll be able to reflect your unique point of difference and your strengths.
They argue that when you do this correctly, you can stay in their conscious while your competitors fade away.
by Jon Wuebben
Good for: Learning how to future-proof your marketing by being aware of what’s coming next.
The Digital Age is still in its infancy, but we’ve seen how fast things move and before you know it, the marketing strategies of today will be old hat.
Wuebben wants you to get ahead and already be planning your marketing moves of the future.
If you are still trying to get your head around what a ‘prosumer’ is, fear not because Wuebben has got you covered.
Hold your nerve as he guides you through what to expect and how to be ready to embrace the future of marketing online.
by Sergio Restrepo
Good for: Getting serious about your digital marketing strategy using a tried-and-tested roadmap.
You can do all sorts of marketing online and fail to make an impact if you don’t have a strategy.
Restrepo attempts to stage an intervention by showing businesses that random acts of marketing do not a success make.
Instead, he shows you how to get a plan crafted and identify the steps you need to take to make it happen.
His POINTS methodology will become your roadmap and the destination is success.
by Gary Vaynerchuk
Good for: Inspiration. Use Vaynerchuk’s endless energy to get you pumped and determined to succeed.
Larger than life, Gary Vaynerchuk, is all about embodying passion in everything you do, no excuses.
And in this book he explains how to make money from living that passion.
He gives some good background detail about how he transformed his family business into an international brand and explains how to use digital marketing to grow your personal brand and create a business around what you love.
This is a must.
by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
Good for: Building a customer base from scratch.
This book gets straight to the point. The reason most startups fail? Not lack of product, but lack of customers.
Traction is regarded as one of best marketing books for launching with impact.
If you want actionable advice to help you find more customers you’ll enjoy this book.
It’s got a great list of business hacks covering both traditional and digital channels.
by Eugene Schwartz
Good for: Explaining emotional factors that prompt people to buy and how to use words to connect to them.
Don’t let the old school cover of this book fool you.
The timeless knowledge inside can propel a business from zero sales to significant profits, with one of the most tried and tested marketing tactics – advertising.
Just as you need a proven format for how to write a press release, this book provides a step by step guide to writing an advert and can take your copywriting to the next level.
Find out how simple words can be your most powerful marketing tool yet.
29. 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating Competition Free Content that Stands out and Gets Results
by Garrett Moon
Good for: Learn to overcome a lack of time, struggling to produce content, an inability to engage your audience, and so many more marketing roadblocks.
If you’re a content marketer and you’ve hit a wall, your tactics aren’t having the impact you want, or your leads are drying up, this is the book to read to get you going again.
Moon shares his formula for success (and he’s had a tonne of it with his company, CoSchedule) and he promises a 10X return on your efforts.
My favourite part is his strategic shortcuts, the quickest way possible to get enormous growth.
If you need results fast, then this is the book for you.
30. Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience
by Pamela Wilson
Good for: an engaging introduction to content marketing by someone with years of experience to draw from.
If you need an accessible, practical guide full of checklists and strategies then Master Content Marketing, by Pamela Wilson should be on your reading list of marketing books.
Her step-by-step process to creating compelling and engaging content will help you take huge steps with your content marketing.
Wilson shares wisdom from her 30+ years of experience in marketing and advocating the creation of relevant and useful content for audiences.
31. Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Small Business Owners Who Are Dissatisfied With the Results They Get From Their Current Advertising
by Bill Glazer
Good for: Real-life examples to show how independent thinking can produce huge results for businesses
If you’re looking for inspiration and someone to push your marketing boundaries, then look no further than Bill Glazer’s book as he shares bold new approaches to advertising.
Bill explains how ingenious thinking can transform a business by getting your customer base hooked on your advertising messages.
We can all benefit from new marketing ideas for small business and this book has plenty.
This is a fun and engaging read and will help you step outside of your comfort zone to new and exciting marketing frontiers.
by Scott Adams
Good for: Helping you understand and then utilise the power of persuasion.
A very timely book that explores the power of persuasion to influence behaviour and how that can be used in marketing.
Drawing upon examples from the recent era of American politics, Win Bigly, looks at the unique public relations strategies Donald Trump used to persuade voters to elect him.
In a nutshell, instead of stating facts, state the desired outcome when trying to win over opinion.
Adams then looks at the power of persuasion and how you can use it in advertising and marketing.
An enlightening but slightly scary read!
by Russell Brunson
Good for: Instructions on how to create convincing and persuasive marketing content
Tony Robbins promises that this book can geometrically transform your business if you follow its instructions – now that can’t be bad!
Regarded as one of the best digital business strategy books, Brunson combines real-life examples and tangible business advice on what generates an impact online.
He covers traffic, conversions and sales funnels in this leading and explains the importance of a compelling messaging to cultivate and loyal and engaged following.
by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Good for: Giving you the confidence to be honest in your content
Audiences are wising up to content marketing so it’s more important than ever before to be authentic as a brand.
This engaging book, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, emphasizes the importance of honesty to build powerful connections with your audience.
In fact, they suggest it is THE only way to break through in a noisy, crowded market place is to be genuine.
If you need to create content that builds meaningful, trusted relationships with your audience then read this book.
by Blair Warren
Good for: Learning how to convince others to take action.
If you need to become more persuasive in your marketing efforts or your next public relations campaign, then this book is for you.
The One Sentence Persuasion Course is one of the top business books to quickly learn this important skill – it can even show you how to help a reporter out.
Blair Warren is a persuasive obsessive – for this book he conducted 10 years of research!
Benefit from his dedication (he’s saved you a job) and become more convincing, believable, prompting others to take action at your every command…
36. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
by Chet Holmes
Good for: Developing focus. Don’t try and do everything once, do one thing at a time.
This book starts with one simple concept: focus!
If you’re guilty of trying to do everything all at once and then getting overwhelmed then this book should be your next read.
Holmes argues that the pathway to success lies firmly in focusing on the few essential skill areas that will make a big difference to your levels of success.
Avoid switching strategies mid-way through, instead concentrate on 12 key areas that can have a huge impact on your business.
37. Getting Everything You Can out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform and Out-Earn the Competition
by Jay Abraham
Good for: Program of proven strategies and real-life examples for marketing success
This book is a must for the opportunists amongst us.
Abraham shares with readers a program for spotting overlooked opportunities and for seeing things with fresh eyes to make progress.
He explains how to adapt to challenges and how to employ new tools to maximise income and influence.
His 21 practical theories, follow a step-by-step format and also include actionable advice.
by Dan Pink
Good for: Getting more comfortable with the business of selling and persuading others to take action.
If you’re a marketeer but a little uncomfortable about selling, this book will build your confidence.
Daniel H. Pink believes that everyone is in the business of selling, not just those working in marketing.
He argues that to sell is part of our fundamental human nature and he explains the science and psychology behind our persuasive behaviour.
One of my favourites.
by Steve Krug
Good for: Rethinking the experience of your website from the users’ point of view.
First impressions count. If a user lands on your website and it’s not up to scratch you won’t get a second look.
In this book, Steve Krug simplifies the complex world of web design for maximum impact.
If you want practical guidelines and specific tips that will ensure your website is not only functional but effective then this bite-sized book is for you.
by Alan Klement
Good for: Helping you figure out the pain points and the problems that need to be solved to make someone buy.
Customers buy products or services to solve a problem.
If we’re being scientific, as Alan Klement does in this book with his concept, Jobs-to-be-done, states that for every purchase, there is a job the customer needs to be done.
Figuring out what problem your product provides a solution is a sure-fire way to success in your marketing.
One thing I love about this book is that Alan not only relays inspiring success stories but also gives press release examples of products and companies that failed.
We know that we all make mistakes, but sometimes we can doubt that and think it’s only us.
Understanding how others do the same and learning from their mistakes is important for anyone in marketing.
by Paul Arden
Good for: A short inspiring read, with motivational quotes.
Hands down, this is one of the best marketing books around.
If you need a handbook of how to succeed in the world, then this motivational book from marketing guru Paul Arden should be on your must-read list.
Despite its brevity a big range of topics are covered in this easy-to-digest little book, such as problem-solving, responding to a brief, communicating, playing your cards right, making mistakes, and creativity.
by Paul Arden
Good for: Powering up with mental positivity.
This book reminds me of the saying: If everyone is thinking the same thing, then no-one is thinking.
Paul Arden, urges us to abandon negative thinking and shake up our stale mental habits that are holding us back.
Arden emphasises the power of positive thinking, explaining that our lives are the product of our thoughts. For success we need to step out of our comfort zone and start taking risks.
Knowing what your audience thinks and wants is an essential part of any marketing or PR plan – read this book to get ahead.
by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith
Good for: Tips on boosting your personal brand to build your business.
If you need tactics on how to network, create a strong first impression and be more likeable then this book is for you.
You, Inc. teaches ways to improve and market yourself, within the understanding that your success depends on how well you can sell yourself.
by Harry Beckwith
Good for: Guidance on the specifics of how to market a service
Finally a marketing book about selling services instead of products!
For those of you in the service industry (agencies, lawyers, accountants, even plumbers!) who feel underrepresented in the world of marketing, then this book is for you.
Selling the Invisible covers the essential aspects of marketing service products, including creating a brand, market research, identifying your customers, and generating word of mouth referrals.
by Geoffrey A. Moore
Good for: Real-life examples of innovative products breaking into the mainstream
There are big bucks to be made in disrupting an industry but bringing the next big thing to market is often harder (and scarier) than it looks.
Geoffrey Moore explains how to overcome that fear and launch big.
He guides readers through how to instantly capture a large market and attract a huge customer base.
by Perry Marshall
Good for: Empowering you to focus your marketing efforts
If you’ve ever wanted to really concentrate your marketing efforts on a particular area of your business, but lacked the confidence to do so, then this book is for you.
Marketing expert, Perry Marshall, explains that by focusing on the top 20 per cent of your customers you can generate bigger profits.
He gives you permission to identify what (skills/staff etc) brings the biggest value to your business and to concentrate on that.
80/20 also offers specific online strategies for growing a business, such as how to effectively use split-testing and how to use ads to find high-quality leads.
by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Good for: Memorable rules to apply to all your marketing efforts.
The fundamentals of marketing are broken down into 22 essential rules in this comprehensive guide.
If you need to know more about how to become top of mind for the customer or the basics of brand positioning then this is for you – includes some useful media training tips.
by Dee Blick
Good for: people who want a practical guide to marketing that is LOW on waffle.
If you’re a small business owner who wants a good general introduction into all areas of marketing this is for you.
These 15 comprehensive masterclasses can be implemented immediately, and cover such topics as marketing plans, copywriting, social media marketing, and public relations.
Dee has worked with small businesses for twenty-seven years so she has a good insight into the multiple hats entrepreneurs have to wear.
The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses for Your Small Business gives entrepreneurs and small business owners proven strategies for effective, profitable marketing.
A cracking little book.
by Seth Godin
Good for: people who loathe BS marketing and yearn to learn how to sell their product or service on its merits
Yes, yes, we know this is the second Seth Godin book on the list but he really is a master and we LOVE this one.
In this book, Seth explains whey great marketing has always essentially been about great storytelling but that in the digital age that story must be truthful.
Marketers fail when they tell fibs and exaggerate. This is NOT what quality storytelling is all about but it’s easily done in the online world.
In this book, we are encouraged to tell true, impactful and emotive stories to connect with our customers. And yes, it can be done!
As Godin writes, “Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn’t invent storytelling. They just perfected it.”
by Mish Slade
Good for: the business owner who wants to learn to think from their customer’s point of view.
Mish explains with clarity why those businesses who can actually help their customers understand what they really need are the ones that will thrive.
This book lays out 12 simple principles that allow business owners – even those with no writing experience – to attract and enchant their ideal customers in all their copy – from online to offline.
With detailed but easy to understand instructions on what works and why you’ll have all the tools you need to turn readers into buyers and then into lifelong fans.
by Allan Dib
Good for: people who need to stop chasing their tail and bring some much-needed order to their marketing efforts.
I know many people who swear by Allan Dib’s simple yet profound approach to marketing.
In this book, he makes a strong case for developing a powerful marketing plan – without which he argues any business will struggle.
So why don’t many businesses have a plan? Because they don’t know where to start.
Dib reveals a marketing implementation breakthrough that makes creating a marketing plan simple and fast.
It’s a single page, divided up into nine squares. With it, you’ll be able to map out your own winning marketing plan and take your business to new heights of success.
What Are Your Best Marketing Books of All Time?
I created this list to help you find the books you need to move your business forward.
And although I have listed 51 of the best marketing books of all time, I’m pretty sure I must have missed some!
And if you’re ready for more then sign up for our free PR course below, one lesson a day direct to your inbox.