Marketing is all about people. In order to create effective campaign you need to know how they behave, what motivates them and what they like/dislike. To be a great marketer is to have a great dose of empathy and a deep understanding of social and psychological reasons that underlie human behaviour. Also together with our environment, reasons and behaviour change constantly so it’s important to keep learning.
This is why I decided to share 5 books I’ve found very useful in becoming a well rounded marketer.
Ann Handley is a marketing superstar. She knows how to create a great content and how to write. “Everybody writes” is a must read for every content creator. Whether you write blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets or emails, you will find practical tips on how to avoid the most common mistakes and how to be a better marketing writer. What you might find useful is a guide on how to organize the process of writing, a list of common grammar mistakes and a chapter that highlights strategies for different marketing channels.
2. “Sociological Imagination” by C.Wright Mills
This is not a marketing book. However I think that the idea can be easily applied in marketing. In Mills’s words, sociological imagination is “the awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society”. Mills’s point of view takes into account structural and historical features of the sociocultural system. These features are meaningful for people and they affect their values and their behaviour. This book is a lesson on empathy, which implies thinking about others from within their frame of reference.
3.“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk
This best-selling book is full of with insights and case studies. Social media world is rich in content. We produce more and more so it’s really difficult to stand out and to reach our target group with our message. The boxing analogy fits perfectly here: right hook is a sell and self-promote content, whereas jabs should engage and trigger emotions. In boxing your jabs should create a perfect opportunity for the right hook, and that applies to marketing as well. The things you may find interesting is the relation between content and context, how to use Facebook analytics, and my favourite micro-content idea.
4. “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business” by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman
Another book about content. This is a must read for everyone who is in charge of content strategy. You learn how to create, curate and manage various types of content. The topic is discussed from technical as well as business perspective. This makes it a great source of knowledge and ideas your company can benefit from.
As a sociologist I have a soft spot for authors that come from that field. Here is another book that is not explicitly about marketing. Bourdieu did a vast research to show the relationship between taste and various social features. Neuromarketing gained popularity in recent years, and it’s a precious viewpoint. Bourdieu, on the other hand, looks at what people like from a social angle, which is also useful while defining target groups.
There is an abundance of great marketing books I haven’t mentioned. Tooploox is growing and so is our marketing team, so we feel the urge to keep learning. We’ll be happy to share our experience and sources.