3 Must read marketing books

Marketing can sometimes seem like a forbidden art that nobody is willing to explain in too much detail. Websites will only offer glimpses into the knowledge, conferences will only feature subjects that the speakers picked and not necessarily those that interest you, marketing courses and degrees are expensive and time-consuming… so how about checking out a good marketing book?

We won’t hold it against you if you only now realized that these things exist. Books have fallen out of favor enough as-is, and it doesn’t help that marketers these days are doing most of their work online. For your convenience, here are 3 marketing books that you can’t afford not to read if you’re looking to get ahead of the game.

 Must read marketing books

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith: Not all of us are fortunate enough to have a product that’s literally solid: one that our customers can hold in their hands and feel their purchase. Instead, many of us earn our daily bread by offering services which Beckwith refers to as ‘invisible’. Not being palpable and all, Beckwith explains how these services are that much harder to sell than plain old items and how you can better reach out to your past, present and future customers to improve your sales. If you aren’t working as a manufacturer(or for one) and are instead aiming to spread your services, this book will examine how customers think and feel, how to connect with them on a personal level and what you should be doing to have them want your service just as much as they want that bottle of Coke.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay: Talk about a rich title, eh? If the previous book doesn’t delve deep enough into how people think, consider Mackay’s Delusions as your next read. In his book, Mackay observes humankind almost from the standpoint of a curious alien that’s trying to learn how this fleshy race functions. Indeed, the book will show you why groups of people do what they do and how you can alter groupthink for your benefit. When you consider that every successful company relies on the support of groups, you’ll quickly understand why this is a must-read if you’re wanting to know more about marketing.

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout: When this book was released 20 years ago, its authors felt that the market was overcrowded. Well, if it was overcrowded back then, the entrance is now forming a miles-long line. So how can you build up a product or brand from scratch in such an environment? Ries’ and Trout’s insights from two decades ago are, amazingly, still valid today: their book invites you to detach yourself from the nitty-gritty of it all and examine the landscape from a distance. Doing this should help you understand why some companies end up flopping while others succeed: they positioned themselves on the market in different ways. If it doesn’t help you understand this, let’s hope your bookstore accepts returns!