marketing books for your summer reading list

Believe it or not, summertime is here once again. Maybe you’ve been too busy to notice it because organizing your marketing projects or writing your next blog article really takes up most of your time. But we are here to remind you that summer is back and it’s the perfect time to cultivate yourself by reading good marketing books. In fact; what’s better than flipping through a self-educated book on a long summer night while sipping from a cold lemonade? We’re telling you. Nothing is better than this.

Reading is the key to successful and creative marketing. And we’re not the only ones saying this. There’s a study of 1,200 successful and famous people that all recognized to have this particular thing in common. They like to read and cultivate themselves. You know what they say: “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”. So keep studying and investing in yourself, because you never know what the future holds in store. You could be the next Seth Godin or Steve Jobs. Start with our list of 9 marketing books for this summer and get ready to remodel the marketing world!

9 Marketing Books For Your Summer Reading List 

  1. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

We start our list with a great marketing book; a go-to-guide that helps every content marketer create good and precious content for attracting as many clients as possible. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley teaches us that everybody who is working in the marketing field is a writer, one way or another. She offers actionable how-to advice designed to get fast results.

Through our words; we tell our customers who we are and through our writing, we can either look smart or…not so smart. This means that we need to choose well our words and always pay attention to our audience and what people want to hear.

Ann Handley is a top marketing veteran, cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in social media; who gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production, and distribution. Her pieces of advice and useful lessons apply across all of the online assets such as landing pages, blogs, email, and social media. She delivers a practical approach to create extraordinary, competent, and compelling content; regardless of being a big brand or a small one. This book is designed to be a helpful guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content.

If you still need proof that this book is a must; here is a little sneak peek that might convince you to buy it. It contains sections such as How to write better; Easy grammar and usage rules for a business in a fun way; Empathy, humanity, and inspiration are the key to a true story; Best practices for creating credible and trustworthy content; and Content tools you need to get the job done. Interesting, right? Put this marketing book on your summer reading list and tell us which was your favorite chapter!

2. Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One by David R. Bell

Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One

Moving on to book #2, Location is (Still) Everything by David R. Bell, a must-read book for marketers; especially those involved with eCommerce or with a general interest in the intersection between technology and culture. The Wharton professor and marketing expert David Bell tries to demonstrate throughout this book that the way we use the Internet is influenced and shaped by the physical world we occupy. 

This is a great marketing book for your summer reading list on a fascinating topic. How the location is a crucial part of the online e-commerce era, and how our physical world affects us as customers in the virtual one. Anyone can search online for a nice dress, but the probability to do so depends on our location. The number of stores nearby, local sales taxes, peer pressure, and the list could go on; play a critical role in our decision making when we’re referring to buying online. Our eagerness to search and buy depends on where we live and whom we live next to. 

Location Is (Still) Everything is based on years of rigorous research, explained in an accessible and entertaining way. The author filled practical insights and interesting information, as well as relevant examples. David Bell’s writing style is both captivating and educational. Throughout his book; he offers to his audience an in-depth look at online commerce and retailing through his years of research and investigation. He presents fundamental human behaviors and location-based conditions to explain how the real and virtual worlds connect and what Internet sellers should do to succeed. Read this book and discover for yourself the relationship between the digital and physical world when it comes to online buying.

3. The Catalyst by Jonah Berger

marketing books: The Catalyst

We don’t think there’s any marketer in this world who hasn’t heard of Jonah Berger. He is an associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence. Now he comes with a new marketing book; a must-have for everyone who wants to learn more about changing anyone’s mind. 

Truth be told, everyone has something they want to change. For instance, marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. There’s nothing wrong with change. But sometimes, change is hard. Even if we struggle, we put pressure or push, there are moments when nothing seems to move. What to do in this case? Berger’s book takes a different approach. Change doesn’t come when you push or struggle harder, but when you’re becoming a catalyst. A catalyst removes the roadblocks, identifies the barriers, and tries to mitigate them.

If you’ll read this marketing book, you’ll learn not only how to become a catalyst; but also how to change minds in the toughest of situations. You’ll discover how leaders transform organizational culture, how activists ignite social movements, how political campaigners change political beliefs and the list could go on. The Catalyst is designed for any marketer who wants to change something; whether it’s a person, an organization, or an entire industry. This book offers you a plethora of techniques that lead to extraordinary and fast results. Have we made you curious? Good. Then it means you’ll read this book, you’ll learn how to become a catalyst and you won’t regret it!

4. Ripple: The big effects of small behaviour changes in business by Jez Groom

Ripple: The big effects of small behaviour changes in business

When thinking of great marketing books for this summer, don’t forget to put this one on your list. Ripple by Jez Groom is a really insightful and comprehensive guide on how to use behavior science to make positive changes in business and organizations. It’s all framed around super interesting case studies; proving that small and simple changes can make in fact such a big difference. 

Jez Groom is the co-founder of Ogilvy Change and Engine Decisions. He has been practicing behavioral science for over ten years; working with some of the biggest organizations around the world; so he knows for sure many useful things about behaviors and decisions. In his book, he takes the reader on an experience-packed journey inside the wonderful world of applied behavioral science. In a very impressive way, he demonstrates how little changes can have very significant wide-ranging effects. But each chapter within Ripple is packed with illuminating real-world examples, making the reading part easier and enjoyable. 

Many marketers may have heard of behavioral science; but probably most of them don’t know how to use it in practice. And Groom’s book comes right in time. With simple, easy to understand explanations and practical examples, the author proves that when you apply behavioral science in your working life; you can have positive ripple effects on the world around you. By the end of this book; you’ll have a clear idea about how you can use behavioral science to improve things in your organization. But this is not all. You’ll also notice how companies you interact with are either using it really well or really badly. Pretty cool, right? Make sure you’ll add this book to your reading list.

5. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See

We cannot imagine the marketing world without Seth Godin. He’s a classic, a superstar, a genius that started successful companies, taught millions of people; and left his mark on our creative culture. He is the author of 19 international bestsellers translated into more than 35 languages; including Tribes, Purple Cow, Linchpin, The Dip, and This Is Marketing. He writes daily on his blog, which is one of the most popular blogs in the world; so make sure you’ll pay a visit every day for innovative and brilliant marketing ideas.

This is Marketing is #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller and Instant New York Times Bestseller. And for good reason. For the first time, Seth Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This book shows you how to do work you’re proud of; whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation. It’s useful for anyone who wants an insight into how, and why we buy things or change our habits in any way. The author uses clear and concise ideas and also inserts his insights, personal observations; and memorable examples to teach everybody valuable lessons.

How to build trust and permission with your target market, Why the best way to achieve your goals is to help others become who they want to be, The surprising role of tension in any decision to buy (or not), Why the old approaches to advertising and branding no longer work; are just some of the important subjects that the author approaches throughout his book. If you need a game-changing approach to marketing, sales, and advertising, then you should definitely give this book a try. It’s considered to be one of the best marketing books in the world.

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

We live in a world where influencers become more and more popular. Considering this, one of the marketing books we should read this summer must focus on influence and how it works. And we couldn’t find any better match than this classic book on influence and persuasion by the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, is a major national and international bestseller with more than four million copies sold. Cialdini, an expert in the field of influence and persuasion explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.

Sometimes you may wonder why you act in a certain way, why you said yes when you really meant no or why you get yourself involved in a situation that is far away from your comfort zone. If you need answers to these questions, then this means this book is for you.

Robert Cialdini is an expert in portraying people’s actions, manners, anxieties, likings, and all of that under one phrase – weapons of influence. He approaches interesting subjects as Commitment and Consistency: Once we make a choice, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions, Authority: We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, Liking: The inclination to agree with people we like and, just as important, the inclination for others to agree with us if we like them and many others. Besides being an enjoyable read and providing useful information; this book is a brilliant guidebook in fighting those who are willing to do whatever it takes to take advantage of us. See for yourself how important it is to understand the principles of influence.

7. Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts

Who here hasn’t heard about Ryan Holiday? If you’re reading this article; there are high chances you are already working in marketing, sales, PR, or advertising, attended a few conferences; and stumbled upon marketing gurus like Ryan Holiday or Seth Godin. These guys can already be classified as the new wave of marketing thinkers. With an unorthodox approach to marketing, Ryan Holiday’s books are known to be authoritative and insightful. 

Perennial Seller is a book that brings together insights from Ryan’s work (in case you didn’t know; he was a former director of marketing for American Apparel at just 22) and puts everything together in a well-structured guide. The book is full of wisdom from a number of successful people from a wide spectrum of industries and backgrounds. This is a book that makes you think. And it’s not only aimed at marketing professionals, but to all people who are aiming high in their careers. 

You could very well put this book in the “a book everyone talks about, I really need to read it” category. Or, any other book written by Ryan. Trust me, it’s a good conversation starter. 

At only 33, Ryan has published quite a few marketing books that were international bestsellers.  When you’re done with this one, go on with Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. If you were ever curious about how the current media system works and how manipulation plays a big role in it; give it a try! Of course, like any other international bestseller author, he’s got an online presence that goes beyond his books. Check out his Youtube channel. 

8. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

marketing books:  Never Split the Difference

In the marketing field, many important aspects need to be taken into consideration. The negotiation part is one of them. Our next book is one of the most popular and valuable books that approaches behavioral psychology towards negotiations. Never Split the Difference tells the autobiographical story of a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI who offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes compromise. 

Chris Voss, a 24 year veteran of the FBI,  is one of the most important practitioners and professors of negotiating skills in the world. He’s also the founder of The Black Swan Group; a consulting firm that provides training and advises companies through complex negotiations. Throughout his book; Voss presents how his career as the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals; including bank robbers and terrorists. A pretty risky job he had, right? Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of compromises and into Voss’s head; revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues to succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical and valuable guide; he shares nine intuitive and strategic principles that you can also use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Admitting it or not; our lives are a series of negotiations we should be prepared for: buying a new home, selling our car, making a new loan, negotiating a salary, etc. If we learn to take our emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level; we’ll be able to conquer many professional and personal battles. The writing style, the summary at the end of each chapter, the nice mix of theory together with real-world cases make this book a thrilling read. It’s a must for your summer reading list, don’t you think?

9. Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz

Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear

We couldn’t end our marketing books summer reading list without Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz. If we were to summarize this book in just one sentence; this would be: It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear that’s important. With the help of case studies and examples; Frank Luntz demonstrates how easy it is to think you are saying one thing but your audience hears another that might be completely different from what you expressed. 

Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear is an excellent book on speech and communication. From our point of view, it’s a must-read book on improving your business communication skills. Throughout this book; the author shares anecdotes of companies and politicians who needed desperately to communicate with the public and either completely failed to do so; or used silence as their communication strategy. He explains which of the rules were followed and which were broken and he also offers valuable information about how to share your message clearly; avoiding the potential disasters. Luntz demonstrates once again how powerful the right words can be, and how deadly the wrong ones are.

Frank Luntz is the nation’s premier communications expert who has a lot of knowledge in this field. With the help of his book; he teaches us how the words we choose can change the course of business, politics, and life in our country. With chapters like The Ten Rules of Successful Communication and The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century; he examines how choosing the right words is an essential marketing aspect. If you’re using words for a living and want to harness their power effectively; then this book is definitely for you! 

A bonus for you

Thank you for sticking with us ’till the end. Hopefully, all these marketing books we’ve recommended for you will help you become a greater marketer. But don’t keep them only for yourself. Feel free to share this list or image with everybody you know is passionate about marketing.

9 marketing books for your summer reading list

And since you’re here, we have a little surprise for you. Maybe there will be days or nights this summer when you’ll like to relax in your hammock while listening to the crashing waves. And while you’ll think of how beautiful this life is, you’ll listen to an educational podcast about marketing. We have three delightful suggestions for you:

Make sure to add them to your wishlist right now. They’re all worth listening to. Wishing you all an amazing and productive summer!

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