8th March 2019 Claire Hawes

World Book Day 2019: My favourite marketing books

Looking for inspiration to supercharge your marketing activities? Learn everything you need to know from this collection of marketing books

Who else suffers from parental panic in the run-up to World Book Day?

You know, the stress that comes with cobbling together a last minute costume so that your darling children can excitedly run into school dressed as a character from one of their favourite books.

I breathed a sigh of relief on returning home from the World Book Day school run. Coffee in hand, and with books still on my mind, I ran my eye over my grown up home office bookshelf.

You see, working on my own as a freelancer, I lean on marketing books for inspiration, practical advice and a confidence boost.

So with World Book Day still buzzing in my head, here’s a list of my five favourite marketing books:

1. Best marketing book for small businesses/beginners: Digital Marketing for Dummies by Ryan Deiss and Russ Hennesberry

I’ve got a marketing degree. I know the theory. When I bought this book, I was looking for practical, actionable tips.

I’m on Ryan Deiss’s email list. While I find his writing style a bit ‘over the top’, I do find his digital marketing tips immensely useful.

So when I saw he was the co-author of this digital marketing book, I knew it would provide good value.

If you’re not sure where to start with digital marketing, then over 300 pages, Ryan walks you through the fundamentals.

The book provides clear, concise and practical advice on setting up a customer avatar (buyer persona), customer journey planning, content creation, lead generation, SEO and analytics.

You don’t need to read this book cover to cover. Just pick and choose advice when you need it.

2. Best book for content creators: Copywriting Made Simple by Tom Albrington

I first came across Tom Albrington via a podcast. I went on to read his blogs and admire his approach to copywriting. So when Tom published and promoted his book on Twitter last year, I was excited to get my hands on it.

I wasn’t disappointed. The book feels lovely and weighty and is packed full of useful advice.

As a freelance copywriter, I especially value his insight on nailing the perfect brief. Because as Tom puts it: “The copywriting brief is the mission statement for your copywriting project. It helps you know your destination before you set off.”

Beyond that, Tom shares lots of useful tips for sharpening your copy, being persuasive and buyer psychology. Topics which lead me neatly onto books three and four.

3. Best old school book that still holds up: Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Is it a cliche to include this book on my list? Copywriters often quote this original Mad Man.

Here’s the thing. The mediums in which we communicate might have changed, but primary human motives for buying haven’t.

This book may be 30 years old, but Ogilvy’s understanding of human behaviour makes this book a must read today for anyone involved in marketing.

4. Best book about buyer psychology: Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B Cialdini

So far my list has taught you that a big part of copywriting is understanding what makes people tick.

Therefore it makes sense to include a book on psychology.

Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion is another 30-year-old book. In it, the author, a renowned psychologist explains his six principles of persuasion.

Just a glance at the names of the principles reveal why they are still relevant today:

  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment & consistency
  • Social proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

As a result of reading this book, not only will you know how we make decisions and what influences them, but also how you yourself can avoid being influenced.

5. Best not really a marketing book: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

What makes ideas infectious? What is it that makes crowds follow fads?

Journalist and New York staff writer Malcolm Gladwell tells us: ‘The tipping point is one dramatic moment in an epidemic when everything can change all at once.”

Although not a scientist by trade, he makes a good job of exploring what it is that makes: “Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread just as viruses do.”

The Tipping Point is a riveting read if you want to know how viral marketing tips us into parting with our hard-earned cash.

And finally

I’m always interested in hearing about good reads. So do let me know what marketing or indeed business books inspire you. I’ve also become a fan of Audible. So I’d also be interested to hear if you ‘read’ audio business books.

About Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing persuasive copy that helps businesses to attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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