5 must-read books for marketers in 2020

Estimated reading time
3 minutes
14th January 2020
Author: Zoe Chinery
Posted in: Strategy & planning

At the start of every new year, I always make the same resolution – to read more; and not just fiction and non-fiction books, I’m talking about books that have been written for us marketers to help us keep at the top of our game. It’s extremely important to keep our knowledge and skills up-to-date or we risk being overtaken by our competitors.

The issue is, with so much choice out there, where do you even start?

If, like me, you’re overwhelmed by choice when it comes to deciding which books you should add to your reading list for the year, then this blog is for you. Here’s a brief list of books for marketers as recommended by top marketing leaders. Some new, some not so new, but still very relevant in the world of marketing today.

Enjoy and happy reading in 2020!

 

Conversational marketing by David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt _book cover

1. Conversational Marketing: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 – by David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt – released 2019

Recommended by: Douglas Burdett – Host of The Marketing Book podcast

Modern messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp have changed the way we interact with many brands. However, a number of businesses are still lagging behind, expecting their customers to fill out online forms or send inquiry emails. The problem is, these methods of communication do not provide consumers with the immediacy that they’ve come to expect. 

Real-time one-on-one conversations via chatbots or messenger platforms offer a more convenient way for customers to interact with businesses. Conversational marketing will be key for generating more leads and converting these leads into paying customers in 2020. This book will provide you with all the information you need to be able to implement conversational marketing into your existing strategy.

 

Stories that stick_book cover

2. Stories that Stick – by Kindra Hall – released 2019

Recommended byRand Fishkin, Founder of SparkToro

We know from psychological studies that the human brain is wired for story. Therefore, storytelling is a tool that all marketers should be utilizing. 

In Stories that Stick, Hall discusses the four unique stories that marketers can use to inform, illuminate, and inspire an audience. These consist of the Value Story, the Founder Story, the Purpose Story, and the Customer Story. 

Hall’s book offers actionable takeaways for readers and will leave you feeling inspired to tell your organization’s story.  

 

Everybody Writes_book cover

3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – by Ann Handley – released 2014

Recommended byLee Odden – CEO at TopRank Marketing

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes was released back in 2014, but don’t let that put you off – this book is still as useful today as when it first hit the shelves. As marketers, we rely on our words to carry out marketing messages – that makes us all writers. A brand’s personality is displayed through the words used in its marketing communications. The way we write will always have importance. 

The book is split into a number of easy-to-digest chapters, covering a range of lessons. If you create or publish any kind of online content, then this guide will be your new go-to.

 

Marketing to Mindsets_book cover

4. Marketing to Mindstates: The Practical Guide to Applying Behavior Design to Research and Marketing – by Will Leach – released 2018

Recommended by: Douglas Burdett – Host of The Marketing Book podcast

Much of traditional marketing no longer has the effect that it once had. In order to reach today’s consumers, marketers need to understand and utilize the power of applied behavioral psychology. If you’re looking to deliver sustainable business growth, a key focus should be on the ultimate thing that drives it – changing consumer behaviors.

Easy to read and understand, the book provides real insight into human behavior and offers readers plenty of actionable takeaways. A practical guide to designing for lasting behavioral change. 

 

Email marketing rules_book cover

5. Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks, and 150 Best Practices for Business Success (3rd Edition) – by Chad S. White – released 2017

Recommended by: Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute

Email marketing is very much alive. Of course, there are conflicting reports out there, but email marketing is largely still regarded as an important channel of communication. Email Marketing Rules offers readers a step-by-step guide through 150 best practices and provides tactical checklists along the way. If you’re looking to improve your existing email marketing efforts then be sure to add this to your reading list in 2020.

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