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These 5 Marketing Books Changed How I Do Business

Read these five marketing books to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant as a founder.

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BY Robbie Abed - 29 Sep 2018

These 5 Marketing Books Changed How I Do Business

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It's no secret that readers are leaders.

Often, success models a clear formula that can be very easily reproduced after reading how someone else did it first. Through the power of books, anyone can hone their skills and learn lessons that others have learned before them in order to avoid making the same mistakes.

Nowhere is this more true than in the world of marketing. Marketing is changing rapidly with the advent of social media and digital tools.

These books will help on your quest to improve your learning and expand your marketing acumen.

1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Read this one first. Seriously.

This classic book by Al Ries and Jack Trout sets up 22 unbreakable laws that are universal in the field of marketing. If you haven't read it yet, chances are, you've broken a few yourself.

The opening filler pages offer this synopsis of what the book is about: "dedicated to the elimination of myths and misconceptions from the marketing process."

This is incredibly accurate, as marketing experts are often mythologized figures who seem mysterious to the rest of us. In this book you'll find sage wisdom such as Law #6: the Law of Exclusivity which states that "no two companies can own the same word in the customer's mind."

That's why Kleenex and Band-Aid will always be the first in class, because we use the brand name instead of words like tissue and bandage.

2. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

This is one of those books where you can learn a lot from the title alone. The first rule of entrepreneurship is that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

The reason I take 250 coffee meetings every year is that I know a relationship might not provide value to me now, but there is a good chance a few years down the road, a solid relationship will help me succeed in my career and business.

Adam Grant's ideas and concepts have gained some serious traction recently.

Why?

Due to the fact that he paints a realistic picture of different types of professionals. Anyone can learn how to advance their careers while simultaneously helping those around them through reading Give and Take. Understanding what makes giving valuable in terms of marketing is what makes this book so important.

3. Made to Stick : Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

I've seen a lot of pitch decks in my days. And most of them have one thing in common: I don't remember any of them.

This is why this book is so important for entrepreneurs. You not only have to create innovative ideas, but you have to learn how to present these ideas so that they stick in the minds of others. In this book, by brothers and academic researchers Chip and Dan Heath, the pair articulate a reason that great marketing and ad campaigns work: sticky storytelling.

An effective campaign that sticks must be: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and include stories.

4. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

I know, I know. Gary Vaynerchuck, again? Listen, here's the deal. For every one person that is sick of hearing Gary Vaynerchuck, there are 5 other passionate fans who listen to every word he says.

In this book, Gary Vaynerchuk explains how most people market themselves by asking directly for a sale, or what Gary calls a right hook. He explains that you need to "jab" constantly by giving relevant content and doing it as often as possible through permission-based marketing.

Only then can you right hook by asking for the sale. If you don't know where to start with social media marketing, or you aren't seeing the sales that you would like, go read this book right now!

5. 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More

Work less and make more? You got me sold!

In this book, Perry Marshall explains how the eighty/twenty principle can help your business and marketing reach the right customers with the least amount of effort.

Instead of focusing on the 80% of customers you need to market to, Marshall urges his readers to focus on the 20% who can yield 80% of the business in order to 10x or even 100x your output.

Working on the bigger problems in your business and targeting the right customers with a more sophisticated approach gives you the power to do what this world-class marketer suggests in the title: work less and make more money.

Note: This article contains affiliate links that may earn Inc.com a small fee on purchases originating from them. They do not influence Inc.com's editorial decisions to include mention of any products or services in this article.

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