Miscellaneous Reads

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20 Apr: Hey, Marketing Trainee, Read This!

How often do you read blogs? Whose blogs do you follow? What’s your favourite book on marketing?

As a marketer, I’ve always been asked these inevitable questions. Mostly, it’s that new MBA trainee the agency just hired asking me these questions. In some cases, it might be the marketing executive trying to warm up to me by showing his or her reading list, in the hopes that I will return the favour. Personally, I like to keep my sources well-protected and often respond to these questions with generic blogs like Copyblogger or the Hubspot Blog.

But, we have a moral responsibility: save the future of marketing by shaping these young, hungry minds into boisterous and decisive marketers. So, I often end up revealing two or three of my favourite bloggers (Luke Sullivan, Seth Godin and Bob Hoffman).

With almost everyone blogging or writing a new book on marketing for the digital age, it’s really hard to find the cream of the crop. So, given below are some of my favourite books and blogs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Books

Reading a Book

When the thought of a career in advertising passed my mind, I scrambled to find a book that could help me understand what I was getting into. Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple Squeeze This was the perfect fit. Luke showcases his wit, angst and sheer admiration for the industry and the many inspiring works it has created. With the help of humorous examples and narratives, Luke reveals all the secrets to writing and creating great ads.

I’ve always seen Ogilvy as a no-holds-barred adman and that’s why his legacy remains unmatched. This book cements my perception. In Confessions of an Advertising Man, the father of modern advertising proves why he’s an expert storyteller. David Ogilvy was and will forever be an advertising genius. The book sheds light on all the tactics and techniques that defined some of his memorable advertising campaigns.

No one has had more influence on my life and career than Seth Godin. He is no stranger to taking an alternative look at marketing. This is best explained by his alt. MBA course. Business Week called Godin, The Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age. Seth’s book, Permission Marketing pushes marketers to look deep into the brands and find ways to develop long-term relationships with customers, how to build brand authority and ultimately improve sales opportunities. Somewhere in this great novel, Godin tells you about the need to be honest and truthful when dealing with clients and customers, an advice that’s rarely given by others.

Martin Lindstrom is one of my favourite writers, period. Buyology features some incredible findings from a neuromarketing study Martin had conducted. The book not only introduced neuroscience into marketing but also maps out the mental processes involved in buying a product or service. The man was voted one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in 2009. I’m currently reading his new book, Small Data (another incredible book).

Who doesn’t know Gary Vee? The unconventionally inspiring entrepreneur taught us how to crush it. Gary is best at captivating audiences with his “gloves off” approach. Get a taste of his enthusiasm with this Wine Library video he made 10 years ago. Based on experiences from his popular online podcast,  #AskGaryVee, the book showcases some of the outrageous yet honest answers. From memorable rants to never-before-seen insights, Gary’s book shows the way things are done in the world we live in and just how aggressive you’ll need to be to edge out your competitors.

Lost on a Deserted Island is a popular icebreaker game we play here at the agency. Whenever I was asked on the five books I would keep while stranded,  Hug Your Haters was always on the list. If you’ve been reading marketing blogs in the last five years, you would have certainly heard about Jay. He’s a renowned marketer, podcaster and author of five bestsellers. He also has a great blog. In the book, Jay offers a compilation of playbooks and formulas to deliver outstanding service that helps retain furious customers.

They gave us the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing but nothing comes close to Positioning. Al Ries and Jack Trout combine their expertise and understandings and show you how to fit your product in the centre of the consumer-market Venn diagram. Published in 1981 and again in 2000, the book still holds true in today’s digital world.

You didn’t think I’d leave out this old chestnut, did you? When it was first published in 1983, Guerrilla Marketing left marketers and critics polarised. The book has eventually managed to transform marketing strategies for the small and medium enterprises by presenting a series of aggressive approaches in finding new businesses. Often regarded as the entrepreneur’s marketing bible, Guerrilla Marketing offers hundreds of sound ideas.

Blogs

Convince & Convert was named the #1 Content Marketing Blog in the World by Content Marketing Institute. The blog offers an assortment of engaging content from podcasts to eBooks and case studies. Recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the USA, Convince & Convert is run by Jay Baer, the most retweeted digital marketer in the world.

Unbounce is just what any marketer needs to consume before kicking off their day (apart from a nutritious breakfast). One of the most recognized digital marketing blogs around the world, the Unbounce blog (much like the product) helps you fix common errors and find new or innovative ways to reduce bounce rates and generate more traffic to your website.

The folks here at A Slice of Digital love Moz. Rand Fishkin and his amigos have created an incredible world for SEO fanatics and those who remotely feign interest in SEO with the Moz blog. The term “10x Content” was coined here and if you prefer watching videos than reading posts, you will enjoy Whiteboard Friday.

Yes, the genius mind behind Duct Tape Selling is in charge of the Duct Tape Marketing blog. John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, bestselling author and podcaster whose blog continues to offer amazing tips to make digital marketing work for you. Don’t forget to check out John’s “Weekend Favs” which lists out some incredible new (and old) tools and websites, he chanced upon during that week. The blog also offers amazing podcasts featuring renowned marketers and speakers.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the need of the hour. Given the eCommerce boom in front of our eyes, CRO is highly essential not only for up-and-coming online stores to make an impact on website visitors, but also for giants like Amazon and ASOS to generate more sales. In Bryan Eisenberg’s brilliant blog, you will learn how to optimise conversion rates without much of a hassle.

It is perhaps one of the most informed blogs for content creators. Copyblogger has moved up a notch to help the entire industry in creating content that doesn’t suck. I’ve been reading Copyblogger for over 5 years and it has never ceased to benefit me with helpful advice and information.

Woman Reading On Her Laptop

Those That Almost Made The List:

The Conversion Code by Chris Smith [Book]
Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi [Book]
Driving Demand by Carlos Hidalgo [Book]
Neil Patel & Kissmetrics [Blog]
Customer IO [Blog]