The craftiest digital marketers today have one thing in common: they never stop doing their homework.
To stay competitive, the modern marketer has to ensure that they stay educated in their space to better understand what the future holds.
This list explores some required reading for those looking to maintain their marketing edge.
When we were much younger, before entering the hustle-and-bustle world of digital marketing, most of life’s simple questions could be met with a single, powerful phrase:
Read a book!
Bored? Go read a book.
Want to learn more?
Find a book about it.
Don’t believe it?
Look it up in a book.
Fast forward to present day. Want to reinvent your marketing strategy, understand what’s really working in the digital era and get the edge on your competition?
Read a book.
The concept of reading books may seem antiquated to some marketers.
After all, we live in a digital age where paper and print are relics of the past, right?
We’re all attached to our phones, far too busy to sit down and really think, right?
The benefits of reading are innumerable, even for the buzzing marketer who thinks that they know it all.
If you ever think you know it all, think again.
Every marketer has something to learn, whether they realize it or not.
Sure, we have blogs, and Twitter feeds to keep us in the loop about marketing trends; however, books offer a deeper insight and often times, more information into the marketing world than a quick 140-character blurb.
Furthermore, books require our full attention and focus, not just a quick glance during our coffee breaks.
Whether you’re looking for a new marketing mindset, ways to outdo the competition or simply grow your bottom line online, the following books are absolutely essential to today’s digital marketers.
10 Books Every Digital Marketer Should Read Without Fail
Dotcomsecrets by Russell Brunson
After over ten years of scaling companies online, Brunson has identified low traffic and weak conversion rates as indicative of the larger problems which marketers often fail to see.
Thankfully, Brunson acknowledges those problems as relatively simple to fix (that is, once you understand them).
Dotcomsecrets covers how to “hack” successful sales funnels, qualify hungry buyers, identify the proper deals for your audience and much more.
The book combines a mixture of high-level strategy and low-level tactics, meanwhile maintaining an ethical approach to marketing.
If you’re a struggling small business owner looking to scale, look no further.
Ask by Ryan Levesque
Ryan Levesque’s Ask offers perspective to marketers looking to truly understanding why users are driven to buy.
Levesque’s personal story, as detailed in the book, resonates with readers as we understand how the author turned a $450 laptop and a background in neuroscience into multiple multi-million dollar businesses.
The thesis of Ask is that businesses should never have to guess what their customers are thinking, but rather follow a formula that discovers exactly what users want and how to provide that product.
At only 160 pages, this short-but-sweet read offers a seismic shift for marketers looking for a formula to convince customers to fall truly in love with their products.
Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
These principles are explored in Scaling Up, which details the tools and techniques for taking a small business and turning it into a marketing monster.
Harnish presents strategies that are both accessible to budding business owners and seasoned vets alike.
The book focuses on four major areas that just about every business has to pinpoint: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.
Harnish not only addresses the essential elements to scaling your business but also addresses how to scale during the various stages of growth.
The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Ferriss’ advice and message resonated during the peak of America’s recent economic crisis, suggesting that workers should instead blaze their own paths and strive to put as much of their lives on autopilot as possible.
While Ferriss’ message has been the source of some controversy (such as the suggestion of outsourcing “menial” tasks to virtual assistants overseas), the core principles of “hacking” the traditional workweek to result in less wasted time and more automated, passive income remains key to the strategies of businesses looking to for an alternative to the “traditional” way of running a company.
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth works to dispel such assumptions, and instead offers insight as to how not to be one of the 40% of small businesses that fail within their first year (and even fewer survive as the years roll on).
Gerber’s advice is relatively straightforward and applicable to just about any industry out there.
The book focuses on what you should focus on as a marketer, from the big picture to the tiny, specific details.
Gerber notes that a successful business is more than just passion or a product; rather, it’s about having a solid plan and sticking to it.
Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman
That is, each piece of imagery and line are copy are carefully crafted and influenced by psychology, often unnoticed to the untrained buyer.
Whitman shows his readers how to spot the principles of advertising which cause us to spend, offering more of a “learning experience” than a traditional business book.
Not only does Cashvertising outline how ads reel buyers in, but how to apply such principles to our own marketing efforts.
The book covers how to push the buttons of your audience, faultless craft headlines and add real, raw emotion to your advertising campaigns.
At only 208 pages, the book moves quickly and is brimming with information that could very well transform the way you look at ads.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M Schwartz
Schwartz acknowledges that many of the problems of marketing have been around for centuries, such as grabbing one’s attention and standing out from the crowd.
The book presents a formula for breaking through and appealing to such aspects of human nature, all through the craft of copywriting.
Timeless in its own right, Breakthrough Advertising explores how to invent new styles of advertising rather than rehashing what you’ve seen a thousand times before.
Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
That is, the best way to survive the competition is to avoid them altogether and create your own “blue oceans” (unexplored markets) to grow, thus the book’s title.
Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on the need for marketers to innovate rather than obsess over what the neighbors are doing.
The book includes some case studies across numerous industries which detail the validity of the strategy.
The tagline of the book promises to help you “make the competition irrelevant:” by adopting the “blue ocean” approach, you may do just that.
The Richest Man In Babylon by George Samuel Clason
Many marketers could use a bit of inspiration; thankfully, The Richest Man in Babylon offers exactly that.
Beloved for its simplicity and message concerning the path to personal wealth, the book offers a series of parables alongside life lessons for those perhaps struggling in the financial world.
This isn’t a “get rich quick” text or an in-depth marketing playbook, but rather a short, simple set of principles that may work to humble even the most seasoned marketer.
Cash Copy by Jeffrey L Lant
Sometimes it’s hard to get our users to budge; however, Lant’s approach to copy focuses on getting users to respond.
By keeping your bottom line in mind at all times, Lant stresses the need to vary your copywriting strategy while constantly putting money in the bank (whether the price point it $1 or $10,000).
In short, a copy can result in cash, granted you’ve put your efforts in all the right places.
What’s on Your Reading List?
Marketers are busy, and we understand that; however, now may be the best time to take a step back and do your figurative homework.
By taking the time to gain a new perspective on the marketing world, you open yourself up to new opportunities and the means to tweak your strategy based on best practices.
If you’d like a short-cut to learning OUR best practices, where you can literally STEAL our biggest 7-figure secrets for getting 1000’s of red-hot leads EVERY single day, look NO further!
So, was there any required reading that we missed?
What’s on your marketing reading list?
Guest Blog Contributor