There is quite a bit of controversy about reading business books during a vacation. Some people would rather quiet their mind, while others maintain a regular reading habit throughout the year, regardless of their activities.
Assuming you want to sharpen your marketing skills this summer, here are a few suggestions in no particular order.
Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost into Profit – Joe Pullizzi and Robert Rose no longer need introduction in the content marketing world. The provocative title advocates for a radical change in how businesses approach marketing. Although marketing has considerably evolved over the past 15 years, the perception of the marketing function has not. Marketing is still largely viewed as a cost centre that reports to sales.
But what if the purpose of marketing was to create value, not for sales, but for customers? And what if businesses could monetize that value through the use of owned media? It is hard to predict the future of marketing, but one thing is for sure: you need to look at the impact of marketing holistically, not just at the results of individual campaigns.
Driving Demand: Transforming B2B Marketing to Meet the Needs of the Modern Buyer – This is one of the best B2B marketing books out there, especially for CMOs or senior marketing professionals. Many organizations recognize that the B2B buying journey is changing. As a result, these organizations are investing more, doing more and creating more content in the name of demand generation, but what they really need to recognize is that this is a change management initiative.
It starts with transforming the culture of marketing and sales. But that is not enough. The approach to execute demand generation must also change. This is what Carlos Hidalgo calls adopting a “demand process” to align people, process, content and technology to the buyer’s journey.
The 1-page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd – Thirty-page marketing plans require a huge amount of effort to put together, just to end up on a shelf where they will never be consulted again. Whereas a one-page marketing plan is much easier to keep up to date and serves as a guiding map to achieve your vision.
The proposed framework to develop a marketing plan has three parts, which correspond to the three essential phases people go through when they interact with a business. In other words, you need to market differently to prospects, leads and customers.
Allan Dib‘s book provides fundamentals that are clear and precise. If you feel a bit overwhelmed with marketing, this book will help you narrow down your efforts.
80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More – As its title indicates, the central theme of the book is how you can apply the Pareto Principle to get more sales and marketing results with much less effort. This is a principle we strongly believe in at bNurture as our motto is “Focus on what matters.”
The author, Perry Marshall, one of the world’s most trusted experts on pay-per-click advertising, talks extensively about Google AdWords. But he also covers other important—and often neglected—aspects of marketing, such as your unique selling proposition, best practices for a website redesign, strategies for increasing your customers’ wallet share, and hiring and outsourcing marketing work.
The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales – Whether you need a sales script or a checklist to redesign your website, Chris Smith‘s book is packed with lots of practical information.
Once again, we are reminded that “a lead is just a lead” until it converts. Marketing may do a wonderful job, but if your salespeople are not following up within minutes (yes, minutes, not hours or days) after an online lead submission, you are essentially leaving money on the table.
It’s worth mentioning that the book was initially released in 2016. That may not seem like a long time ago, but the world of online marketing, and especially Facebook marketing, is changing so fast that you may need to take some of the proposed “best practices” with a grain of salt. But if you’re open to testing new ideas, you’ll definitely get some value out of it.
This list is intentionally short. But who knows, in the not so distant future, we may come up with the 10 or 20 best marketing books of all times. In this case, we’d love to know what your favourite marketing book is and why. Please share your answers in the comments section.
Because, remember, the best thing about reading a book is not so much the information it contains, but the discussions it generates.