Survey: What are the best marketing books?

Jimmy Daly
August 12, 2022

We asked the Content Career Growth Slack community about their favorite marketing books, and they delivered. Here are the books we've collected so far. These are not in any particular order and I've included any comments left by our community members.

Tip: Use the Library Extension Chrome plugin to see if these books are available from your local library. It can look for paperback, hardcover, ebook and audio versions:

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Don't Shoot the Dog

"The best book I've ever read about changing behavior. Better than Influence when it comes to understanding why people do things."

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

"The best book I've read on business strategy. Shows an approach that goes bigger than strategy vs. tactics."

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

"Teaches how to look bigger and see how different elements of a system (or marketing) interact with each other."

How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know

"The most important book ever written about marketing. It dispels many of the common beliefs (differentiation etc.) with real data."

Building Distinctive Brand Assets

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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

"Funny, down-to-earth tips for reaching today's readers."

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

"Clear, helpful advice on how to eliminate the noise and distractions to really focus on the tasks at hand."

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

"How to incorporate design thinking to improve cross-team collaboration."

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It

Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

"It helps you fight your biggest critic/enemy--you and shakes you up to push the envelope."

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Thinking, Fast and Slow

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

"Learning about writing through Stephen King’s personal experience and observations was better than any class. The man knows his stuff!"

The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators

"A fascinating history of marketing with a clear focus on the US though there are a few chapters that mention UK marketers, too; made me fall in love with my profession due to the highly intelligent and thoughtful people who shaped the industry."

Ego is the Enemy

"Helped me to take people, esp. colleagues, clients, managers, as they are and focus on the good stuff and the task at hand; has made my work life massively easier."

Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing

"This book got me hooked on content marketing when I read it a couple of years ago and I still use it to look something up at least once a week."

They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

"Helped be understand how to break through the noise."

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

"Showed me how to harness my creativity."

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You

"Taught me how to be a better manager."

Ogilvy on Advertising

Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads

"Shaped my understanding of messaging/advertising."

Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

"Taught me how to host better meetings AND write business content that wasn’t boring."


Breakthrough Advertising

"For writing headlines based on the level of awareness and sophistication in a market."

Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message

"Amazing framework for writing an introduction to any blog post or sales page."

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

Have more to add? Join our Slack community and check out this discussion.

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