The Top Marketing Books That You Can Read 4 Times (or More)

When in doubt, pick the right book. Below is a list of marketing books I will never stop reading. Besides being great marketing books, these are some of the favorite tools for the product marketing blacksmith than I am.

Bear in mind, that such a short list is the result of hours spent reading numerous books. My goal is to save you this time. Life is too short to read bad marketing books. ;)

If you like it. Please share this list of top marketing books to your friends and colleagues.

Have you ever been asked: What would you bring on a desert island? If this hypothetical desert island required me to be an elite marketer, I would certainly bring my favorite marketing books. Ok, that sounds like a dream only for a marketing freak…

Marketing = The Sourcing and Harvesting of Cash Flow

Quoting Tim Ambler was the favorite hobby of Bruce Hardie, beloved marketing professor at London Business School—tough love, really. ;) The more time I spend working in marketing, the more I think that Bruce Hardie was right.

Keeping in mind that the cash flow is the target helps to avoid splendid advertising campaigns that are designed to please the decision-makers rather than the customers.

Why am I telling you that?

Marketing is both art and science. We all tend to shift more toward one side or another. The truth is hidden in adopting the right balance. That’s what I tried to do in this reading list. Some marketing books focus on almost-universal principles while others are focusing on metrics and numbers.

Top Marketing Books

Marketing fascinates me because of its mixes so many disciplines including psychology, economics, writing, neuroscience, and product management.

From shaping business opportunities to pitching investors in an IPO roadshow, marketing is one of the central piece of any business. We need water and oxygen to survive. Companies need cash-flow.



Marketing Books Your Cat Don’t Want You to Miss

  1. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy — This book triggered in me this passion for marketing, advertising, and communication. Ogilvy was one of the first advertiser to use statistics at scale to monitor campaign successes.
  2. Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins — Hopkins is one of the fathers of the quantitative approach of marketing. Recommended by Ogilvy himself.
  3. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout — Ries and Trout defined one of the key concepts in marketing: positioning. It helps to understand how brands find their place in our mind.
  4. Beyond Disruption: Changing the Rules in the Marketplace by Jean-Marie Dru — Dru shares a framework that helped companies like Apple and Absolut Vodka to disrupt their market—years before the French spoke about “uberisation“.
  5. The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly — Bly inspired many successful copywriters. This book teaches you how writing can sell.
  6. All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All by Seth Godin — Godin’s theory is that customers lie to themselves. They trust stories and make most of their decisions based on emotions rather than reason.
  7. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout — In this book, Ries and Trout explore what the fundamental elements that are at the bedrock of any successful marketing strategy.
  8. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz — Finishing with Croll and Yoskovitz who highlight the importance of metrics in making any strategic decision. Marketing is not all art. You need also science to back your decisions.


And you? Which are the books you would bring on a desert island?

Let me know on Twitter: @GuerricdeTernay


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Initially published on Sep 16, 2014. The article featured 9 marketing books. I worked hard and shares with you an even shorter list.