I started working in digital marketing before a time when we knew what digital marketing was exactly. It was a new playground. A new horizon. I have been self taught a lot more than institution educated. When navigating through these uncharted territories, I used the knowledge of my betters as a map.
I want to tell you all about the best marketing books I have come across so far. Funny thing is, not all of these were written with the intention of being marketing books, most of them were philosophies on how to live life more efficiently or plan battles better. Below is a quick marketing books review to show you how ancient views and principles apply to modern day warfare.
Old and military based, The Art of War is a timeless piece of work in how to understand your enemy (the competition) and how to plan your strategies to counter the enemy. We may not have a traditional battlefield, but we do have a complex labyrinth of panels and social media platforms to fight this battle in. If you can look beyond the obvious reference to warfare, you will realise that this is one of the top books for marketing.
The art of influencing people is a tool relevant in all life spaces. Based on 6 simple principles, when applied correctly give Influence a standing among the best books for digital marketing. Though dated at a time before social media and digital marketing, this book is still relevant, as the main premise of marketing is to influence decisions in your favour.
A comprehensive blueprint of how social media strategies work. This is one of the newer digital marketing books, where Gary V aims at giving solutions to the hardest hitting right hooks in the world of digital marketing. In a nutshell- It’s not just about high- quality content, but high quality content adapted to each platform. A practical read for every digital marketer trying to fight for the limited audience attention.
The cornerstone of the Hindu faith, the Bhagavad Gita offers invaluable life lessons which I extend into my marketing practices as well. The main takeaways for me are: Offer your efforts to God, see your work as a service to others and try to not worry about the results.
Work your campaigns in a similar fashion and see the strategy play out. As unconventional as it may sound, the Bhagavad Gita is a very strong contender in the top books for marketing list.
A book about creating your own success story, Zero to One talks of finding an opportunity where there seems to be none. Digital marketing is all about coming up with solutions that haven’t existed before. Once you train your brain to look for platforms as opposed to following set guidelines, you will make it. I firmly place this one in my top 5 of digital marketing books.
Tim Ferriss takes us through the hacks of the newly rich- “living in the moment” subculture of people. This group has mastered the art of living life with more results and less presence. This is pretty much the essence of digital marketing. Our office is our laptop, our meeting rooms are our cell phones. We spend less time doing things and get more done. Watch out as this one marks the cornerstone of future living in the best marketing books 2020.
Working for money and having your money work for you- two dichotomies to living your life. Explained through the eyes of the writers own “poor dad” and his friends “rich dad” this book gave me a clear path to how I want to use my money. We can either keep following the traditional methods and working hard with moderate results or break the wheel and make what money we have work for us. Apply this idea in how you plan your digital marketing spends and watch the results pour in. A digital marketing book to watch out for!
Covey outlines 7 principles to live your life by. These principles define how we shape our perspectives, outlooks and relationships with other people in order to get the most out of people and situations. The first 3 points are about habit forming, the next 3 about interpersonal relationships and the last one about personal growth. Now take this out of the life situation and apply it how you plan your digital marketing strategy. As a digital marketing book, it will guide you in your habit of thinking outside the box when planning strategies and platforms, understanding how your audience will react to this and then using this to grow your business.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is”- Henry Ford. These words are not just poetic, they hold true value in the world we live in. A person who is willing to think about what can make him money, instead of just engaging in a job where he does a task that makes him money- will grow rich. Written in 1937, it still holds true today as much as it did then. This books makes sense to us marketers as one of the best books for digital marketing. Instead of planning our campaigns around the same messaging and same platforms, those of us who are willing to think and really stretch the boundaries, take home the results.
A modern day interpretation of Chanakya’s rules to management. The author has a very clear vision of the ancient “Arthashastra” and attempts to apply the same principles to everyday corporate life. Chanakya was first and foremost a master strategist. He used his skills in the running of a state, but his skill set is not limited to that domain. Understanding an employing these timeless principles in marketing strategies in modern times will still yield powerful results. This is not only in my list of best books for marketing, but also on my list of best books for organisations and corporate living.
While all of these are by authors from completely different genres and different time periods, one thing remains constant- the need to be better. We have only 24 hours in a day, the idea is to use them all well. By employing the principles defined in the above books, I have tried to build an arsenal of better thinking and strong strategizing.
Be it in life, or in digital marketing, I believe these are the best marketing books 2020.
Do you have more books to add to my list? Feel free to share in the comments!