The Marketer’s Ultimate Xmas Reading List
If you are a marketer or PR person or senior executive with power over how your brand is seen in the marketplace, then you’d be crazy not to spend a few hours over the Christmas break reading one or more of the books discussed below.
Bottom line is: the world is changing before our very eyes.
Unless you’re immersed in the work of the world’s most progressive marketing thinkers and bloggers…unless you’re reading books like the ones below, then potentially you’re already behind.
Following, is a selection of recently released business books that may help you re-think your current take on marketing (and possibly even help you kick-start the new year with a re-energised focus on what’s possible from a marketing perspective).
microMARKETING: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small
By Greg Verdino
The contention of this book is that mass marketing is no longer a viable marketing strategy and, likely, never will be again.
Micromarketing, though, enables brands to resonate with customers in compelling new ways and achieve the big results that no longer seem possible with traditional approaches.
The book is worth buying just for Verdino’s comprehensive telling of the story of Lauren Luke, a “rather ordinary-looking single mother” from northern England who – thanks to the power of Micromarketing – “is in the process of turning her one-woman global micro-brand into a global cosmetics powerhouse”. Great stuff!
REAL-TIME MARKETING & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now
By David Meerman Scott
Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable, says David Meerman Scott, one of my favourite marketing authors (his ‘New Rules of Marketing & PR‘ was a Businessweek best-seller and to this day is required reading).
Scott contends the world today operates in real-time and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance.
Social media are tools…real-time is a mindset, he says.
WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
By Rachel Botsman & Roo Rogers
Whoah, does this book ever get you thinking! Botsman and Rogers have documented a major societal shift they call Collaborative Consumption – it’s a global movement that’s growing and evolving at a rapid rate.
Social technologies have given this movement scale and momentum; attitudinally though, were also shifting – we are sharing more, using less and becoming more and more community-minded.
Environmental concerns and cost-consciousness are increasingly influencing our actions.
The authors have joined the dots of a number of trends and neatly packaged them with dozens of examples that bring their theories to life. Not so much a ‘marketing book’ per se but still relevant and highly recommended!
BRAINS ON FIRE: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements
By Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones
Written by the people behind the company of the same name (Brains on Fire), this book is not just about how to generate positive word of mouth buzz for your brand but to take it a step deeper and create ‘movements’.
From ‘inside the flap’:
“Yet even as they resist ‘marketing’, your customers are embracing causes and communities that have meaning for them. Empowered by new technologies, theyre speaking out, talking back, and spreading the word on what theyre passionate about. Do you want your business to inspire and benefit from that passion?”
Includes a number of detailed examples implemented by the Brains On Fire agency.
CONTENT RULES: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
By CC Chapman and Ann Handley
I’ve just bought this book and am saving it for the Christmas holidays. I’m a big fan of the authors CC Chapman and Ann Handley (of @MarketingProfs fame) so I’m tipping it’s a beauty!
This, from the back cover:
“To market your business, reach new customers, and create long-lasting loyalty, you need one indispensable element: CONTENT.
“Whether its bite-sized tweets that allow you to forge relationships on Twitter, blog posts that give your readers must-have advice, ebooks or white papers that engage (and dont bore), videos that share the human side of your company, interactive webinars that deliver a valuable learning experience, or podcasts that can be downloaded and listened to on the fly (and more!)…now more than ever, content rules!”
UNMARKETING: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging by Scott Stratten
I’m halfway through this book currently – Stratten stirs the pot (I guess you already knew that from the title!) …
One sentence, however, summed up the book for me:
“People don’t care about your business until they know you care about them.”
Like I said: he stirs the pot. That’s not a bad thing. Read. Absorb. Get angry (get with it?) …
Stratten writes in the introduction:
“If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business. That’s the one line you need to believe to Unmarket. If you don’t believe that, return the book.”
Very practical and in-your-face. Worth a look!
ENGAGE: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web by Brian Soli
Brian Solis is a progressive thinker in the ‘new PR’ space (his co-authored ‘Putting the Public Back in Public Relations’ is a recommended read).
This book looks the new media landscape and how to effectively use social media to succeed in business – one network and one tool at a time.
It leads you through the detailed and specific steps required for conceptualising, implementing, managing, and measuring a social media program. The result is the ability to increase visibility, build communities of loyal brand enthusiasts, and increase profits.
Solis writes: “Social media. New media. Interactive media. Integrated marketing. Experiential marketing. Public relations. Branding. Whatever we call it, it’s simply a matter of digital Darwinism that affects any and all forms of marketing and service. In the world of democratised influence, businesses must ensure a perpetual ‘survival of the fittest’. Engage or die.”
PR people especially should check out Brian Solis.
MARKETING LESSONS FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott
More marketing gold from US author David Meerman Scott. This one’s a quick and quirky read, although the lessons outlined are still important for marketers.
Once you get over the irony of a decades-old hippy band knowing anything about marketing in today’s hyper-connected age, then you’re ready to, errr, rock ‘n’ roll!
Check it out – it’s a very relevant book despite the somewhat odd premise!