1. The New Rules of Marketing and PR, by David Meerman Scott
As an online event company it will come as no surprise that the first book on our list focuses on modern, online marketing. The subtitle of this book is “How to use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to reach buyers directly”. So it makes sense that this is of interest to us.
The thing about marketing that always amazes (and frustrates) me is how fast the landscape and rules change. Google Analytics is a great example here: what is fine one month may not be OK the next month, so it is imperative to be on top of your Digital Marketing and this book is a great help for that.
The book opens by defining the importance of social media to all organisations, comparing it to more traditional marketing methods. The books then delves more deeply into the various social media tools that are available and how organisations can use them. Most relevant to us was the detail on the implications for content on your web site.
The crux of the author’s message is that we are now in a time where you can reach out to your customers directly, inviting a back and forth dialogue and encouraging participation from customers.
2. Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
This book forced me to rethink everything I know about content marketing.
Pulizzi’s radical approach reverses the typical marketing strategy, focussing on building an audience before developing a product that then meets their needs. The main idea that gave birth to this approach is that current methods force companies to fight over an ever smaller pool.
Pulizzi describes a six step start-up process, starting with what he calls the “Sweet Spot” and ending with Monetization. This approach is easy to follow and to visualize using your own business.
The real value in this book comes from the action steps provided at the end of each chapter, giving you tasks to think about and complete.
3. Pre-Suasion: A revolutionary way to influence and persuade by Robert Cialdini
I picked up this book in an airport while waiting for a flight and managed to polish it off before I reached my final destination. Pre-Suasion is a longed-for follow up to Cialdini’s earlier publication “Influence: Science and Practice”.
The content of this book will help in two areas of marketing and persuasion. Firstly, looking at internal colleagues and how they can support the company’s overall marketing plan and goals. The second area looks at the consumers and how to encourage them to take action.
For me the most exciting moment came when Cialdini added a seventh principle of influence. Those familiar with his work will be well aware of the six principles that have been around for near 30 years. The newly added principle is Unity referring to the perception we, as humans, have of a shared identity, family being the most common example.
4. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
The idea behind this book is such a simple one, yet the way Baer has constructed the arguments in this book is genius.
This book really focusses on the positives we can gain from having “haters”. Essentially nobody values Haters and it is always drummed into us that people are more likely to complain than to say something positive. This book proves that the previous statement is a good thing!
It’s lovely to receive praise and positive comments or affirmations, right? But in the grand scheme of things how useful are they? The argument here is that negative comments are more valuable as they are more actionable.
Baer makes the above argument very eloquently, looking at two primary types of complainer. We might think we are great at customer service, but if the customer disagrees does our opinion even matter?
The eureka moment in this book comes when you totally re-evaluate your view on good customer service. There is no one solution, consumers are individuals and their needs, even in customer service, will differ. So scrap your old views and grab this book, to aid the reconstruction of your approach.
5. Purple Cow: Transform your business by being remarkable by Seth Godin
I have to confess…I absolutely judged this book by its cover. I want to be a Purple Cow.
Anyone who has studied marketing will be very familiar with the 4 P’s of marketing. In fact, many people in other business disciplines will have studied these at some stage. These marketing practices are tired, and while very useful for structuring university essays, they just don’t work in the real world anymore.
Godin’s book is based entirely on being remarkable, like a purple cow. The argument put forth is that if your product or service does not include a purple cow it is not even worth sending to market.
There are so many good marketing books in the world right now, creating a list of five proved incredibly difficult. If you are heading out for a summer holiday grab one or two of these books and enjoy. I promise you will quickly become engrossed. Have a great summer and let us know any summer reads you enjoyed.
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