This Summer’s Must-Read Marketing Book List

Ginny Torok
June 30, 2015
How to
Marketers and business professionals (and anyone else): Here is your must-read marketing book list for long flights and beach-side lounging this summer.

There are a number of insightful business-focused books out there, and why not spend free time learning more about the career you love? I compiled some of my favorites into this marketing book list for your summer reading (and my summer re-reading).

A few are marketing and business strategy, others are for entertainment with less direct, yet still applicable lessons to apply to your process. Some are old some are new, but they are all impeccably insightful. I hope this helps you fill your personal, business, and marketing book list with good reads this summer. And please do share any more suggestions!

Optimize, by Lee Odden

Optimize is one of the most clear and implementable guidebooks for online marketers today. At a strategic level, Optimize helps you think about SEO, social, earned media, owned media… all of it, as one cohesive strategy. From a tactical level, this book shows you how to get it done. All that’s left to do, is do it.

Human to Human: H2H, by Bryan Kramer

"The fact is that businesses do not have emotion. Products do not have emotion. Humans do. Humans want to feel something." This book explains why communication today needs to be adjusted to keep up with social media and the way humans consume information. It'll help you think beyond business and get back to human-centered marketing.And keep on the lookout July 13 for Bryan's new book, Shareology, that I'm sure will be every bit as insightful as the first.

A Natural History of The Senses, by Diane Ackerman

One of the most important books I've ever read. Published in 1991, this book is a scientific and artistic nonverbal communication information trove. In-depth discussions of the five senses will help you better understand how humans interact with the nonverbal world. For marketers this can help you internally solve complex problems using all five senses, but also externally to understand every facet of your customer, which will make you a better communicator all-around. To read this book on anything but paper would be cheating yourself of the full experience - I suggest buying the print version.

Spin Sucks, by Gini Dietrich

A PR book that doesn't talk about how to "spin" your message! This book teaches values of honest, authentic, and open communication - which appeals to today's customers. Business leaders and marketers will gain insight on strategies and best practices for online communication. Full of practical advice, actionable examples, and step-by-step instruction, you can apply your learnings right away.

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield

Hyper-relevant for anyone in the creative field, but also for anyone embarking on a new journey - a new business venture, a new career, even a new relationship. Published in 2002, everyone: if you haven't read this book yet, you need to... and if you have read it, you know it's worth a second read. Inspirational, calming, energizing, creative, and concise are all words that come to mind. If there is something you've consciously been putting off or something in your life you haven't been able to conquer, this book will kick your ass into gear.

Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley

A go-to guide for creating and publishing the best content to reach your audience with insightful, informative messages they want to read. From understanding your audience, to writing better, to grammar, this book covers every step of the writing process. Anyone writing on behalf of an organization (from CEO to community manager) can benefit from these insights, tools and tips. Peppered with traditional Ann Handley humor, this is an enjoyable read that will enable you get to your best work right away.

Finding The Space to Lead, by Janice Marturano

For anyone who works hard, for any leader - this book is for you. The pace of the working world today places heavy demands on leaders, often forcing us to work harder and longer, sacrifice our values, and overburden ourselves. This book walks you through exercises and provides practical tools for bringing concepts of mindfulness into leaders' every day lives. Not just for "the boss," this book can help anyone (especially those feeling frazzled) create the space to be more mindful and improve your self-awareness and listening skills - allowing for more innovation and clearer decision-making.

The Connected Company, by Dave Gray and Thomas Vander Wal

The modern company is a network - not a hierarchy. Traditional siloed organizations are not designed to facilitate exceptional service experiences. This book puts together a comprehensive map for combining leadership, technology, and customer-centric ideas to create a new improved organization model for today's day and age. Great for leadership professionals struggling to unite teams, create integrated strategies, and build customer relationships (new and existing).

What else are you reading this summer?

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