No matter how many advancements are made in technology, books were, are and will always remain the best source to seek inspiration and gain new perspectives from. In a recent blog post, I recommended eight books every entrepreneur must read at least once in his or her life. Today, I am going to share four books that marketers ought to read in order to sharpen their marketing skills and stay on top of their game.
But why only four? For the simple reason that time is scarce and there is only so much time that one can spare from one’s busy routine. If there were more than 24 hours in a day, I definitely would have extended the list but for now, four will suffice.
So let’s get the ball rolling:
Instead of figuring out how to get the attention of customers and boast about your company’s products or services,you need to ask yourself one simple question: how can we help? Rather than just making a sale, marketers need to focus their energies on forming personal relationships with customers and that can only be done by being genuinely helpful.
I am personally a big fan of Jay Baer’s work. Having worked with over 700 brands as a marketing consultant, he has provided an out of the box solution to companies that will empower them to transform their relationships with their customers.
2. Influence: Science & Practice
The book has gained a cult status and there is a reason for that. Aren’t we all drawn to people who have strong convincing power? If there’s one skill that we would all like to master, especially marketers, that skill is exerting influence and getting people to say ‘Yes’. But what is that secret weapon that can get people on your side?
With over 30 years of experience studying the ways people are influenced, Robert Cialdini defines the six key principles that can be followed to influence decisions and get positive response from your customers.
Why are some companies successful in capturing a large share of the market? What is so special and unique about their product? Why does some online content go viral? Why are some stories more infectious?
Written by Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger and named ‘Best Marketing Book of 2014’ by the American Marketing Association, the book explores the six principles that can be adopted to get people to love your product and create stuff that spreads like wildfire. The techniques that you will learn in the book can be put to practice immediately to obtain tangible results.
4. Purple Cow
The list would have been incomplete without Seth Godin, a bestselling author and marketing guru. According to Godin, traditional marketing has fazed out. Advertising is not having the impact it once used to have. People are surrounded by a ‘sea of information’ that they have stopped paying attention. What to do then in these difficult and testing times?
The idea is simple: create a product that is worth talking about like a Purple Cow. Have you ever seen a purple cow? No because such a product does not exist but if there were one, it would stand out from the rest of the cows. That’s the crux of the book: stop advertising and start innovating. Build a product that is remarkable in its essence.