21 Jun 2024 Reviews

4 best marketing books – reviewed by the LikeMind Media team

Woman in a yellow jumper and jeans reading a book

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Looking for your next marketing book to help take your brand’s marketing to the next level? Well, you have come to the right place.

The LikeMind Media team are avid bookworms, and have (very handily) reviewed their favourite marketing books, including why they like them so much, and their key learnings.

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what your next marketing book choice should be.

The only thing we can’t help you with is telling you where to read your book… That is up to you, and all depends on whether you love reading pages before turning off the light ready for the land of nod, sitting in a hip and trendy cafe (probably on a bean bag), or catching some rays on your next beach holiday.

Ready? Let’s delve right in!

Why are marketing books important?

Reading is good for us! Why? There are so many reasons.

Reading gives you the opportunity to learn essential foundational marketing knowledge based on recogonised principles, theories and practices. You can also get insights from trusted experts who share their own skills and knowledge, plus stay up to date with the latest news, information and strategic thinking in the industry.

Marketing books are a great source for inspiration and creation, often helping to spark new ideas and creative approaches to your own marketing strategies and tactics. You can also focus on the data and hone your analytical skills, learning how to read metrics on marketing performance and measurement.

Lastly, and most importantly, you can learn from thought leaders and ensure you’re prioritising your own professional growth and career development.

How do I choose the best marketing book for me?

It can be overwhelming when choosing the best marketing book for you. First up, always ask yourself what is it you want to learn? Where do you have a knowledge gap, or what would be most useful to you right now, or in a few months?

Take some time for some reflection. Where are you right now, and where do you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and so on? Having a rough idea is important, then you can identify where you have gaps in your experience or knowledge. Then, you can research and choose books that help you fill that gap.

It’s also a good idea to read reviews or ask your colleagues and peers for book recommendations.

And, it just so happens, we have some book recommendations and reviews for you…

4 Best Marketing Books

1. The Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins

Do you find keeping up to date with consumer insights, digital marketing trends, and evolving technology and software overwhelming, and a little impossible? If it’s a resounding yes, this book is for you. Schaefer provides an easy-to-understand framework that you can follow to help you to stay ahead of the curve by approaching marketing efforts where empowered consumers are the focal point.

Review by our Creative Lead, Charlie Thacker:

“This book is class. Schaefer addresses the fact that consumer behaviour has changed, meaning effective marketing isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. We’re in an information age where consumers have access to more and more information, resulting in traditional marketing techniques losing effectiveness. Consumers aren’t waiting to be told what to buy next, they are well-informed and often more sceptical, meaning we have to be smarter with our marketing.

“Consumers do their research before committing to buy something; they analyse reviews and testimonials, read articles, and get advice from their peers, friends and family.

“Schaeffer argues that because of this change in behaviour, brand loyalty is a thing of the past – it’s more about consumer empowerment and experience. Consumers want authenticity, transparency, and to have meaningful experiences from the brands and companies they engage with.

“To combat this change, Schaeffer proposes a human-centered marketing approach, with the aim of creating memorable and more personalised consumer experiences.

“To implement this approach, he shares his easy-to-implement framework you can follow that fosters customer advocacy through exceptional service and engaging content, all while continually innovating and embracing changes that are happening in an ever-changing world around you.”

Who is this book best suited for?

Businesses and brands who believe in rethinking traditional strategies to align them more to modern world values, and the expectations of empowered consumers.

2. Using Behavioral Science in Marketing

For those fascinated by human nature and behavior, this book is a great fit for you. Harhut teaches you how to use behavioral science in marketing to increase engagement, response rates and the ROI of marketing initiatives. It’s a step-by-step guide to applying behavioural science principles in key areas of marketing including marketing communications, email, direct mail, social media, and more.

Review by our CEO, Paul Ince:

“There are many marketing books on the shelves of your local bookseller (and the big online ones) that are uber-light and, frankly, a waste of your time reading. Often, marketing books are a collection of blog posts bound together with a twine made of the author’s ‘eccentric’ personality. In such books, one learns much about the author and not much about marketing.

“Not so with Nancy Harhut’s Using Behavioral Science in Marketing.

“The book discusses how to help your customers take the desired action by prompting them to do so in the marketing you produce. As I’m sure you know, LikeMind Media is all about how content plays a role in shepherding customers to their final destination. This book fits perfectly with our own methodology and has helped shape our approach, particularly in how a customer reacts to marketing activity.

“I know (because I asked her) that Nancy Harhut was invited to write the book by publishers KoganPage (again, another tick in the box for me). Harhut has built her reputation over the years on the work that she has been involved in. This book uses her experience in the stories she tells about how her theories contained within it can be applied in the real world.

“Each chapter can be read independently or in sequence, and there is a cross-referral throughout which ties ideas together. There are mistakes to avoid and key takeaways in each segment to consolidate one’s learning. It also has plenty of references for further reading.

“It’s one of those books that a marketer should have within arm’s reach to refer back to time and again. If it’s not battered and worn, you’re not reading it right.”

Who is this book best suited for?

Businesses and brands interested in learning more about behavioral science, and how it can be applied with marketing to create campaigns and strategies that actually work.

Does your marketing align with your customer journey? Take our free 5-minute quiz to find out today!

3. Cultural Intelligence for Marketers: Building an Inclusive Marketing Strategy

Brands play a big role in culture, not only reflecting it but also helping to shape cultural norms and values. Gabriel explains how brands can build marketing strategies that not only resonate with audiences, but also has a positive impact on society as a whole. She shares an approach that is grounded in understanding cultural shifts and critical perspectives that uphold equity and inclusion.

Review by our Marketing Consultant, Hema Sisteedhur:

“In today’s interconnected world, leveraging the power of culture and communication is crucial not only for driving business success but also for fostering positive social impact.

“This book richly illustrates this approach, showing how brands can use their marketing voice to spark change while achieving commercial triumph. Through game-changing case studies like Nike’s cutting edge diversity campaigns and Airbnb’s culturally attuned global expansion strategies, the book highlights the transformative potential of the 4 Cs: cultural competence, curiosity, collaboration and communication.

“This book fits in seamlessly with our approach at LikeMind Media, where we prioritise content that deeply resonates with a brand’s customer journey. It goes beyond simple content placement, delving into emotive connections and messaging delivery that move customers to action.

“From my own marketing experience, I’ve seen many clients thrive by adopting such strategies. Therefore, for businesses with a global vision and mindset, regardless of size, this book makes a clear winner for a place on the office bookshelf.”

Who is this book best suited for?

Brands and businesses who want to learn more about inclusive marketing campaigns, and how they can use their influence for good.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

This is your ultimate go-to guide for creating and publishing content that will help make your business or brand thrive. Handley teaches you how to write content that attracts, engages and retains customers through thoughtful communication. Everybody Writes is a field guide for those who know that great content is the key to thriving in this digital world.

Review by our Content Editor, Jonathan Paul

“If the bottom was about to fall out of the world and the only thing that could save me from the impending doom and horror of it all was a marketing manual, there is only one book I would reach for before plunging into the abyss. And I would grasp on to it until my fingers bled.

“Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley, is not only my go-to guide to creating content, it should be yours, too.

“If your name is in the Can’t Write, Won’t Write club, this book has got you covered. If your heckles go up at the mere thought of having to write, fear not, because Ann will teach you how to hate writing less.

“If you can write well, or even expertly (in your own humble opinion), there’s still something in it for you. It’s a Wall Street Journal bestseller for a reason.

“Because words matter, whatever platform you are writing for. Whether it’s blogs, emails, website pages or social media, it’s our words that tell our customers who we are. We are all writers in some way and, in her own inimitable style, Ann helps us become better.

“There are lessons aplenty, and they are lessons to be heeded. As Ann herself says: “Being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s necessary. And it’s also the often overlooked cornerstone of nearly all our content marketing”.

“Ann has been referred to as the Godmother of Marketing, and Everybody Writes is the bible we must follow. When she writes, we read.

“My copy of Everybody Writes contains a handwritten note from Ann, personally addressed to me. Not everyone gets one of these, of course, but it’s the kind of extra touch that makes Ann and this book so special.

“When you read Everybody Writes, you’ll find it is crammed full of special notes that will speak directly to you. Don’t worry that they’re not handwritten, it’s the words themselves that matter, not the ink.”

Who is this book best suited for?

Brands and businesses who want to hone and perfect their writing skills to attract and engage with their audiences.

6 tips for getting the most out of reading marketing books

  • Make sure you put time aside for reading, whether that’s during your morning coffee or lunch break.
  • Read less and act more. Don’t overwhelm yourself by reading too many books and not having time to try to action certain marketing strategies and methods.
  • Make notes! Scribble on your book, as this is a great way to make sure what you’re learning is going into that wonderful brain of yours. If it’s a library book, or you’re borrowing it from a friend, maybe scribble on a notebook instead.
  • Set clear goals from the get-go. Before reading a book, have an idea about what you want to achieve from reading the book.
  • Join a book club! These are great for accountability, and to hear recommendations for more wonderful marketing books. Can’t find a book club? Start one yourself!
  • Share what you learn with others. This is a great way to summarise your key learnings and takeaways. Teaching others also helps make sure you’re retaining the new marketing information and knowledge.

Takeaway

Reading is not only good for the soul, it’s also a great way to learn and develop your own marketing knowledge and expertise.

Always do your research, and make sure the next book you’ve chosen is the right fit for you. Does it help you get where you want to be?

Be accountable, and make sure you actually factor time in for reading. Find a slot in your diary that makes sense to your daily routine. Also, don’t set yourself up for a fail, and set realistic expectations. If a chapter a day is too much, reduce this to 10 or even 5 pages a day.

Always put time aside to implement what you have learned before digging into your next book. Don’t be a too-eager book-worm.

And remember, reading a book should be enjoyable. If you’re not vibing with a book, it’s okay to not finish. Sure, give yourself time to get into your book, but if you’re halfway through and it’s a challenge, maybe, just maybe, it’s not the right book for you.

Does your marketing align with your customer journey? Take our free 5-minute quiz to find out today!

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