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My Top 5 Favorite Marketing Books

They say that reading is a key habit for success–that our society’s leading thinkers, investors, and decision-makers must be readers.

I fully believe it’s true, and I love this quote from Warren Buffet. Once, when asked what his key to success is, he pointed to a stack of books and said:

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

That stands out as such an inspiration to me–and such a challenge.

Books are significant to me because I’ve built much of my career within the publishing industry, and I feel very passionate about their power to better lives and change hearts–but they’re also significant because they have been the sources of my best learning over the years.

Because marketing is my sweet spot, my fascination, and the reason my agency exists, that’s what I choose to read about most of the time. So today, I’d love to share five of my favorite marketing books.

1- To Sell is Human (Daniel Pink) – Daniel is a marketing genius. I’ve read every one of his books, but this has always been my favorite. You might think this is about sales, which it is, but it’s so important for marketers to understand what the selling actually is. The practical tips he shares around developing an elevator pitch, understanding another’s perspective, and honing your message to be more persuasive are so powerful. This is an essential read for a 21st century marketer. Get your hands on this book! I read it annually to remind myself of the key principles.

2- Everything I Know (Paul Jarvis) – Paul is one of my favorites to follow online, and I read everything he writes. I know that sounds like an impossible statement (you’re like, “Yeah, right. Everything? No way.”), but it’s true. He’s one of the very few people that I do actually read every word from, including his weekly emails called “The Sunday Dispatches.” His humor (sometimes brash) is on point, and he just says it how it is. I love the way he thinks about life and marketing. If you’ve never heard of him or this book, you should definitely check it out. It’s a very easy read and challenges the status quo.

3- Tribes (Seth Godin)Tribes is an absolute classic for any marketer. I’m a fan of Seth Godin, and I have found this to be his most impactful book. The word “tribes” is thrown around a lot today, in regard to online followings or rabid fans, and that’s all because of this book. He argues that we as a people are made to be in tribes, and that we have craved that from the beginning. The way he talks about online tribes is even more relevant today than when the book was originally written in 2008.

4- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (Gary Vaynerchuk) – If you’re struggling to understand how to leverage social media to connect with your audience and ultimately convert them into buyers (whatever that might like look like for you), you need to get your hands on this book. Gary is one of the top marketers out there, especially in the social media space. He covers all of the major platforms in a unique way and shares a handful of amazing case studies that his agency has done with some of the biggest companies in the world.

5- Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich (David Garfinkel) – One of the most important parts of a marketer’s job is to knock out creative headlines for campaigns. This book is a wealth of options and headline combinations to get you off the blank page and thinking creatively. If I’m ever stuck, I pick this book up and start reading some headlines to get my brain waves flowing again. This is a must-read in a marketer’s toolbox. A legendary marketer got me onto this book almost 10 years ago, and I’m so thankful he did.

Second only to being face to face with an expert, reading is the best way to gain marketing knowledge. Click To Tweet

Second only to sitting down with these marketing experts and talking to them face-to-face, reading is the best way to access industry knowledge. With the internet at the tip of our fingers, it’s easy and free to just Google a query and digest whatever pops up (and don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the world wide web)–but long-form expert content that’s carefully crafted, well-edited, and has proven itself successful enough to stay afloat in the marketplace… that’s invaluable to the building of your career and worthy of your time.

What are your favorite marketing books? I’d love to hear from you! Will you comment below, or tweet me up? @ccannon

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