The 5 books to make you a better marketer

by | Feb 20, 2019

Marketing is ever-changing which means that in order to be the best marketer you can be, you have to read—a lot. We’ve read our fair share of not-so-helpful books, but there are a few gems out there that have made it onto our brand-spankin’ new bookcase.

In celebration of the new-found storage (I mean, display piece) we’ve put together a few of our favorite books that’s given us the knowledge keep our marketing minds fresh and motivated.

Happy reading!

Made to Stick

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

Who should read this?

Anyone who needs some help getting their ideas heard, Malcolm Gladwell admirers

Why is it on this list?

This one is a classic for marketers. The Heath brothers outline a framework on what makes an idea stick while others fall to the wayside. It’s also a great reminder that we’re all trying to sell something no matter what job title we hold.

The takeaways

Storytelling has been a buzzword in marketing for a while now, but what does it mean anyway? Chip and Dan break it down into bite-sized, easy to understand pieces and interesting stories (great realtime practice-what-you-preach examples here!).

Content Strategy for the Web

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson

Who should read this?

Content writers, strategists, managers and anyone in between that manages online content

Why is it on this list?

As far as we’re concerned, this is the reference book for content strategy. Seriously.

The takeaways

Oftentimes, content is created for the sake of creating content. Kristina Halvorson disagrees and lays out why that’s a bad idea. She offers loads of actionable tips for a solid content strategy, including

  • Tie content to business goals.
  • Figure out when to say no.
  • Focus on the user experience.

The most important tip of all? Think “”better,”” not “”more.”

Everybody Lies

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Who should read this?

Data nerds, psychology enthusiasts, Google fanatics, digital marketing strategists

Why is it on this list?

This is one of my favorite business books ever. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz takes interesting case studies to show how data is a better indicator of truth when compared to what people say. As marketers, we know now to trust data rather than our gut or intuitions, and this book puts that in context.

The takeaways

Stephens-Davidowitz takes Google’s search data and makes sense of it all, but the larger lesson here is that we should be using data in a useful and meaningful way. Make sure what you’re measuring matters in the end.

Bonus: The book breaks down how search data pointed to a Donald Trump win, Hilary Clinton loss in the 2016 presidential election and how everyone got it wrong. It’s a good reminder to follow the data and pay attention to what people actually do, not what they say.

10x Marketing Formula

10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating ‘Competition-Free Content’ That Stands Out and Gets Results by Garrett Moon

Who should read this?

Marketers who are responsible for leading or creating content for their company or clients

Why is it on this list?

The book describes an actual process marketers can follow. Garrett does not speak in abstract terms but rather lays out a well-defined formula for creating content. There are also templates and guides to help you implement the formula without fail.

The takeaways

You can’t copy what your competitors are doing. You have to step out in front of the pack and lead the way and taking these strategic short-cuts will get you there faster.

Lost and Founder

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin

Who should read this?

Anyone who is interested in starting a business, seeking investors, or just curious how the startup world works

Why is it on this list?

As a Rand Fishkin fanboy, Stephen was uber excited by the thought of him writing a book. He has always been transparent about the way he led Moz and did not shy away from that in this book. He talked candidly about his salary, his accomplishments, his struggles, and shared advice only someone with his experience could.

The takeaways

1. You have to hire people who share your established culture based on shared values and ideas. Anytime he made a hire that he hoped would come around to the company’s culture, it ended poorly.

2. Growth hacking can lead to short-term wins, but it is not a long-term strategy for success. As marketers, we should experiment with these ideas but only when we have a solid plan rooted in data and strategy behind it.

A little about the author...

Hami Arrington

Marketing nerd by day. Bonne vivante by early evening. Pun lover all the time.

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