10 books for novice Marketeers
You've studied hard for years and you’re almost there: you graduate and will take your first steps in the professional marketing world. A very exciting world with lots of opportunities (take that from the Content Marketeer who writes this blog post - ha!), but also a world that is evolving rapidly.
Yes, you will soon find that the knowledge you tried to cram into your head at school is not always sufficient to solve the problems you are presented with in your new job. The challenges are bigger and more complex. And sometimes you're going to have to change tack.
Is it a reason to panic? No, it’s not.
First and foremost: after a while you will start to feel more confident as junior Marketeer. You learn mostly by trial and error. If you want to speed up that process a bit, it's a good idea to - yes, indeed - dive into some books yet again.
These books don’t proclaim to have a monopoly on the truth. They do contain interesting visions and insights from strong marketing professionals who, through their experience, have made some waves in marketing land.
But which books are worth reading? We list 10 books here that will undoubtedly inspire, motivate or surprise you - especially if you're a junior Marketeer. And also even if you already have some more experience ;-)
1. This is marketing - Seth Godin (2019)
Dutch or English / 216 pages / buy on bol.com
If you've Googled some marketing questions yourself, I'm sure the name Seth Godin has come up before. He has already inspired millions of entrepreneurs, Marketeers and leaders with his vision on marketing. Some call him today's god of marketing. Is he worth this title? Nothing beats discovering it for yourself. That's why we recommend one of his most inspiring books.
In the first part of his book he focuses on undoing 'the marketing of marketing’. Um, what? That way, Seth expresses that he wants to get rid of your current image of marketing. "Marketing is selfish" and "marketing consists only of lies" are the prejudices that will disappear from your mind forever. The vision Seth puts in your head makes you fall in love with the work you're doing. You’ll love marketing.
"True Marketeers don't use consumers to solve their company's problem; they use marketing to solve other people's problems", says Seth Godin. Their tactics are based on empathy, connection and emotion. Not on spamming with advertisements and e-mail campaigns. It's time to be seen. How do you do that? By learning how to look first!
2. Marketing, An introduction - Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong (2019)
Dutch or English / 328 pages / buy on bol.com
Marketing, an introduction is the ideal book for those who end up in the marketing sector from a different training background, or for those who like to have the basics to hand as a refresher. Let's just say that the knowledge in this book is a must for every Marketeer.
Some of you may already be familiar with Philip Kotler. For those who don't know him yet, it's definitely a good idea to look him up. Philip Kotler is known all over the world as the father of modern marketing. He has written several successful books and published more than a hundred articles in leading trade journals. His awards alone can fill a whole book. So we can assume that the content of his book is essential for those who want to take their first steps in the marketing world.
Marketing themes are explained in detail in a clear and pleasant way. He talks about interesting topics such as:
- The most important trends in the marketing world
- Customer journey
- Value proposition design
- Disruptive innovation
- The sub-economy
The book is quite theoretical, but this theory is pleasantly illustrated by recent case studies and examples from the Netherlands and Belgium.
Marketing, an introduction teaches you in a clear way the importance of customer value both in theory and in practice. In other words: a good basis to start working confidently in your new job!
3. Digital marketing - Dave Chaffey & Fiona Ellis-Chadwick (2019)
English / 576 pages / buy on bol.com
Are you opting for digital marketing and are you looking for a practical guide? Then this book is the one. These 576 pages give a full overview of digital marketing.
Dave Chaffey is a digital marketing consultant and co-founder of SmartInsights.com. With his extensive knowledge of digital marketing, he teaches at various universities such as the University of Leeds and the institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. For this book, Dave Chaffey joined forces with Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, former professor at Loughborough University school of business and economics.
The book Digital Marketing is the most comprehensive guide to all aspects relating to the use of the internet, digital media and marketing technology. The case studies on leading companies such as ASOS, Spotify and Zalando give you a better understanding of digital marketing in the real world.
From developing a digital marketing strategy to digital marketing techniques and, of course, the optimisation of social media such as Twitter and Facebook: this book covers it all. Bet you can talk like a real pro at the conference table in no time?
4. Don’t make me think, Revisited - Steve Krug (2013)
Dutch or English / 216 pages / buy on bol.com
"As soon as a user has to think for even a second when he's on a site, as a web builder you've done something wrong!", is the first sentence on the back of this book. So if you want to know everything about user-friendliness of websites then this book is a must have.
Even if the book dates from 2013? No doubt! After all, Don't make me think doesn't talk about trends, but about the fundamental truth behind the user's experience of a website:
- Why do users do what they do?
- What choices do visitors to your website make?
- How to create a user-friendly website?
What makes this book so enjoyable is that it doesn't read like a complex, theoretical schoolbook. The book still contains keywords and professional terminology, but Steve Krug writes in an inviting and clear way. He is also very direct, so the 216 pages of his book contain all the information you need!
5. The Storyteller’s Secret - Carmine Gallo (2018)
Dutch or English / 335 pages / buy on bol.com
"Great storytellers aren't born, they are made!" (Gallo, 2017, 261 pages)
In his book De kracht van storytelling (The power of storytelling), Carmine Gallo describes how to tell convincing and inspiring stories that will help you reach your goal.
Thanks to no less than 50 fascinating examples this is the best book to discover the power of storytelling. Whose great stories are we going to hear? Among other things:
- Richard Branson (Virgin)
- Elon Musk (Tesla and PayPal)
- Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV)
- Pete Frates (The man behind the ICE Bucket Challenge)
- Ken Robinson (Legendary TED Talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity)
- Winston Churchill
The book also describes 5 types of storytellers. From storytellers who make things simpler, to storytellers who motivate. In addition to the story, Carmine also talks about the techniques used and the secret of the storyteller.
One of the most important discoveries in this book is the fact that most of the great storytellers have had problems in their lives and have managed to turn that adversity into a victory. Inspiring? You bet!
6. TED talks - Chris Anderson (2018)
Dutch or English / 288 pages / buy on bol.com
Chris Anderson is the man behind the world-famous TED talks. In his book 'The TED method' he explains how the best presentations are made. He gives valuable tools to get the most out of your presentations yourself.
Anderson provides several tips in all areas of public speaking. But also students or people who present to a small audience can learn a lot from this book. His tips are about every part of presenting:
- Building a good speech
- Reading aloud or learning by heart
- Keeping the attention of the public
There are so many tips and tools that it will be hard to choose a favourite! The great thing about his book is that he doesn't impose an approach on you. It's more like a toolbox to choose from. So you can use your favourite method for your next presentation. Success guaranteed!
7. The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand – Neal Schaffer (2020)
English / 288 pages / buy on bol.com
Using influencer marketing is quite a challenge. Many companies see it as too great a risk or take it the wrong way. Neal Schaffel explains in his book how this form of influential marketing can help in your marketing strategy.
Neal's vision? Companies that are successful are companies that are being talked about. Trust in the truth of advertising and businesses is not great. People rely on the words of others and the words of their idols. The brand Nike is a perfect example of how influencer marketing is done well. Look at how Nike conquered the internet through their cooperation with Eliud Kipchoge. In 2019, this man ran a marathon in less than 2 hours, with Nike shoes costing $400.
This is a handbook for anyone who wants to successfully use influencers for their brand. After reading it you’ll know how to identify, approach and involve the right influencer for your brand or product. An indispensable book about a young marketing discipline about which there is still a lot to discover!
8. The Undoing Project - Michael Lewis (2016)
Dutch or English / 368 pages / buy on bol.com
A compelling story about one of the most special and productive friendships in science. These two scientists reformed the way of thinking with their research on how people make decisions.
Michael Lewis is a journalist who already has 15 bestsellers to his name. That does raise expectations for his 16th book, don't you think? The New York Times speaks in praise of the true story of Michael Lewis.
The story starts in the autumn of 1969 at the Hebrew university, where two psychologists start their collaboration. Their first conversations were filled with exuberant laughter and occasional shouts, in a jumble of Hebrew and English that could sometimes be heard from the corridor.
Um, and why is this book on the list? The research of Kahneman and Tversky resulted in one of the most influential social scientific works of the last century. It influenced the thinking of the whole economy, as well as our view of the decision-making process of our customers.
9. Ultimate Guide to Link Building - Garrett French
English / 260 pages / buy on bol.com
Hyperlinks continue to play an outsized role in the Google ranking algorithm.
The web today consists of trillions of links. Who links to your site and how they link to it is an important factor that can determine your position in search results.
Now you may be wondering how you can do that efficiently? Link building expert Eric Ward and online Marketeer Garrett French give the answers. By simplifying the complex world of web links, Ward and French show you step by step how to approach a link building campaign correctly.
Link building is also part of the broader picture of SEO. And believe us, if that knowledge is on your resume, you're in!
10. Hacking Growth - Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
English / 240 pages / buy on bol.com
When it comes to hacking growth, it's about the marketing field where you give your all for the growth of your business, in a short time, with a small budget.
It's hard to imagine, but once Airbnb was the best-kept secret of travel hackers, LinkedIn the exclusive platform for top executives and recruiters, and Uber a start-up that didn't stand a chance against the mighty taxi companies.
Hacking Growth is a practical handbook that teams and organisations from all industries can use to increase their customer base and market share. It is absolutely recommended for all Marketeers, entrepreneurs and managers who are looking for realistic, cost effective and data-driven results! Impress your colleagues? Check!