Best Marketing Books to Read Today

80 20 Sales and Marketing

80/20 Sales and Marketing

by Perry Marshall

Are You Tired of the "New Bag Of Tricks" Treadmill Yet?

From the author:

Forbes Magazine said "96% Of What You Do Is A Waste" in Eric Wagner's review of this book. It's true.

If you've been marketing online for any length of time, you've gotten daily pitches about all the ways to get web traffic...How many of those things do you think you can master? Is your head hurting yet? Mine is.

Well, my friend, I got tired of the Technique-Of-The-Month club a LONG time ago. I'm not on that bandwagon anymore.

The 80/20 Principle is THE most powerful lever in business. It is the ultimate simplifier because 95% of this stuff is a waste of time. It's literally the first thing any sales or marketing professional should master. It's not merely a rule of thumb, it's a law of nature. Most people have no idea how many layers of selling power it contains. That's why I wrote 8020 Sales and Marketing.

If you're a "numbers person" and you're just starting out in sales or marketing, this book will become the master framework for everything you do and everything you learn going forward. If you're an experienced sales or marketing pro, this book will redefine your very profession.

Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing

by Seth Godin

Seth Godin, one of the world's foremost online promoters, offers his best advice for advertising in Permission Marketing. Godin argues that businesses can no longer rely solely on traditional forms of "interruption advertising" in magazines, mailings, or radio and television commercials. He writes that today consumers are bombarded by marketing messages almost everywhere they go. If you want to grab someone's attention, you first need to get his or her permission with some kind of bait--a free sample, a big discount, a contest, an 800 number, or even just an opinion survey. Once a customer volunteers his or her time, you're on your way to establishing a long-term relationship and making a sale. "By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message," he writes. "It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange."

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

"Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a bestselling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message--that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world."

Influence Science & Practice

Influence: Science and Practice

by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request). Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes."

Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of persuasion. Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort

Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort

by Steven Van Yoder

The best clients and customers are those that seek you out because they've already heard of you. Get Slightly FamousT shows how to build visibility and credibility by making yourself a thought leader and indispensable resource to your potential clients and customers. This expanded new edition provides a toolbox of strategies for: Getting consistent media attention; Using speaking engagements to cultivate your target market; Becoming a center of influence within your industry; Leveraging the Internet and Web 2.0 to its full potential; Creating ancillary info-products that supplement your income and build public awareness.

How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients

How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients

by Jeffrey J. Fox

Rainmakers make the big bucks. For their companies and for themselves. Here’s how.

The rainmaker is the person who brings big clients, big money, and big deals into an organization. How do they make the rain fall? Waiting for luck won’t do, a very particular human being must get involved. Successful rainmakers are among the highest-paid employees in every company in every industry. They operate under many titles—owner, partner, sales representative, CEO, agent, managing director, and fund-raiser.

Author Jeffrey Fox is a rainmaker who knows how to talk about his gift. He pursues revenues and, in his sharp, witty style, takes you along for the ride. This hard-hitting collection of sales and marketing stories is packed with fifty smart, no-nonsense tips that show you how to succeed with any customer.

Fox will explain the Rainmaker’s Credo, why customers don’t care about you, the six killer sales questions, why you should dare to be dumb, and why breakfast meetings bring rain. He’ll help you discover why you should never be “in a meeting,” why earthquakes don’t count, why you should sell on Friday afternoons, and other critical skills. If becoming a rainmaker is your goal—whatever your business—this program is for you.

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market

by Gerald Zaltman

A New Approach to Understanding How-and Why-Customers Buy

Despite the resources spent on market research, nearly 80 percent of new offerings fail. The pattern is predictable: Customers say they want something, companies create it, and once it's available, customers don't buy it. Why? Is it because customers just don't know what they want? Gerald Zaltman sorts through this puzzle and concludes that, at some level, customers do know, but marketing's most overused tools-surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups-and conventional thinking don't dig deeply enough to help them discover and express it.

In this mind-opening book, Zaltman argues that 95 percent of thinking happens in our unconscious. Therefore, unearthing your customers' desires requires you to understand the "mind of the market," that dynamic interplay between the consumers' and the marketers' thoughts that determines the outcome of every buying decision.

Building on research from disciplines as diverse as neurology, sociology, literary analysis, and cognitive science, Zaltman offers rich insights into what happens within the complex system of mind, brain, body, and society as consumers contemplate their needs and evaluate products. Zaltman illustrates how leading companies are "mining the unconscious" "-with remarkable results, and introduces innovative tools and techniques that help marketers:

  • Develop research questions that speak to the unconscious brain.
  • Evoke valuable meaning through a customer's metaphors-and instill those images in brand communications.
  • Measure consumer reactions to marketing stimuli-and alter advertising or positioning strategies accordingly.
  • Build "consensus maps" that reflect a market segment's universal thinking-and reengineer them to boost customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales.
  • Understand how their own minds work-and how they can think in creative new ways.
  • The mind of the market is waiting to be explored. Make sure your competitors don't get there first.
Getting Business to Come to You: A Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Attracting All the Business You Can Enjoy

Getting Business to Come to You: A Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Attracting All the Business You Can Enjoy

by Paul and Sarah Edwards

A huge book packed with practical advice to help the self employed to market their services and products.

Get Clients Now!: A 28-day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, And Coaches

Get Clients Now!: A 28-day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, And Coaches

by C.J. Hayden

Get Clients Now empowers readers with its 28-day plan for energizing their marketing efforts and dramatically increasing their client base. With over 100 tactics, tools, and foolproof recipes customizable for any professional service business, this new edition is powered up with road-tested strategies for relationship-based marketing in the Internet age, plus proven techniques for overcoming the fear, resistance, and procrastination that block effective action. Readers will learn:

  • how to choose the right marketing tactics for their situation and personality
  • a foolproof method to diagnose exactly what is missing in their marketing and how to fix it
  • how to use the latest Internet marketing techniques like e-zines, search engine optimization, and blogging
  • hands-on approaches for replacing unproductive cold calling with the power of relationship marketing
  • and much, much more!
Branding For Dummies

Branding For Dummies

by Bill Chiaravalle, Barbara Findlay Schenck

A simple, practical guide to the basics of branding.

Branding For Dummies breaks down the basics of brand-building for businesses both big and small. Branding is more important than ever as differentiation becomes more difficult and products become increasingly interchangeable. This handy, easy-to-read guide demystifies the process by which brands are created, managed, differentiated, leveraged, and licensed. Branding For Dummies gives readers the tools they need to apply a dynamic brand creation model to their own business using templates, tools, and proven processes. For entrepreneurs who need to jump-start their businesses, struggling small business owners, or anyone who needs to brush up on the basics of branding, this friendly guide provides the techniques and strategies of successful branding.

Kellogg on Branding: The Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg on Branding: The Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management

by Philip Kotler and Alice Tybout

The Foreword by renowned marketing guru Philip Kotler sets the stage for a comprehensive review of the latest strategies for building, leveraging, and rejuvenating brands. Destined to become a marketing classic, Kellogg on Branding includes chapters written by respected Kellogg marketing professors and managers of successful companies. It includes:

  • The latest thinking on key branding concepts, including brand positioning and design
  • Strategies for launching new brands, leveraging existing brands, and managing a brand portfolio
  • Techniques for building a brand-centered organization
  • Insights from senior managers who have fought branding battles and won

This is the first book on branding from the faculty of the Kellogg School, the respected resource for dynamic marketing information for today's ever-changing and challenging environment. Kellogg is the brand that executives and marketing managers trust for definitive information on proven approaches for solving marketing dilemmas and seizing marketing opportunities.

Selling to Big Companies

Selling to Big Companies

by Jill Konrath

Struggling to Get Your Foot in the Door of Big Companies?

Setting up meetings with corporate decision makers has never been harder. It's almost impossible to get them to pick up the phone. They never return your calls. And if you do happen to catch them, they blow you off right away.

It's time to stop making endless cold calls or waiting for the phone to ring. In today's crazy marketplace, new sales strategies are needed to penetrate these big accounts.

Discover how to:

  • Target accounts where you have the highest likelihood of success.
  • Find the names of prospects who can use your offering.
  • Create breakthrough value propositions that capture their attention.
  • Develop an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign.
  • Overcome obstacles and objections that derail your sale efforts.
  • Position yourself as an invaluable resource, not a product pusher.
  • Have powerful initial sales meetings that build unstoppable momentum.
  • Differentiate yourself from other sellers.

Use these sure-fire strategies to crack into big accounts, shrink your sales cycle and close more business. Check out the Account Entry Toolkit for ideas on how to apply this process to your own unique business.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

by Al Ries, Laura Ries

As it becomes increasingly associated with impressive corporate gains realized in recent years by companies ranging from FedEx and Rolex to Starbucks and Volvo, "branding" has developed into one of the marketing world's hottest concepts. And for good reason, contend well-known strategist Al Ries and his daughter Laura Ries in The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand.

"Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect," they write. "If you can build a powerful brand you will have a powerful marketing program. If you can't, then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotion and public relations in the world won't help you achieve your objective." A no-holds-barred look at a diverse collection of successful--and not-so-successful--branding efforts undertaken by these and other high-profile firms, their book distills the most critical principles involved into a series of clear rules with straightforward titles such as The Law of Expansion, The Law of Contraction, The Law of Consistency, and The Law of Mortality. While some of their suggestions may at first seem counterintuitive, together they compose a logical blueprint for success in today's ever-more-competitive environment.

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

by Harry Bedwith

You can't touch, hear, or see your company's most important products… So how do you sell, develop, make them grow? That's the problem with services.

This "phenomenal" book, as one reviewer called it, answers that question with insights on how markets work and how prospects think. A treasury of hundreds of quick, practical, and easy-to-read strategies, Selling the Invisible will open your eyes to new ideas in this crucial branch of marketing, including:

  • Why focus groups, value-price positioning, discount pricing, and being the best usually fail
  • The vital role of vividness, focus, "anchors," and stereotypes
  • The importance of Halo, Cocktail Party, and Lake Wobegon effects
  • Marketing lessons from black holes, grocery lists, the Hearsay Rule, and the fame of the Matterhorn
  • Dozens of proven yet consistently overlooked ideas for research, presentations, publicity, advertising, and client retention… and much more.

Based on the author's twenty-five years of experience with thousands of business professionals, this book delivers its wisdom with unforgettable and often surprising examples--from Federal Express, Citicorp, and a growing Greek travel agency to an ingenious baby-sitter, Fran Lebowitz, and the colors of oranges and lemons.

The first guide of its kind and a book already causing a sensation in the business community, Selling the Invisible will help anyone marketing a service, a product, or a career. Read it, and you almost certainly will understand why two advance readers call it the best book on business ever written.

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