Regardless of their chosen field, practitioners should have on their bookshelves (or in their e-readers) several must-reads that pertain to their profession. So what are the best books for marketing? Here are five essential books for understanding and practicing marketing in the modern landscape.
1. Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, by Jim Lecinski
The book explains the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) and how it has become an essential, if not THE essential element in successful marketing. The first moment of truth is when a consumer is presented with a selection on the store shelf and must make a choice. The second moment of truth is the experience the consumer has after the purchase. The ZMOT takes place when the consumer researches products before going to buy. Increasingly, all three MOTs are merging into a single MOT, which must be won for a product to succeed. This book explains how.
2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini, PhD
This book is based on extensive research conducted to determine what makes people say “yes.” An essential book for any marketer, the Journal of Retailing said, “Influence should be required reading for all business majors.” The book is highly readable despite its academic nature.
3. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
With so many changes occurring in the field of marketing, this book provides useful information to marketers even though it isn’t about marketing. In Switch, the brothers Heath present their analysis of successful change agents and the remarkably similar strategies used by those agents of change. According the authors, they wanted to share this common game plan with everyone “to make the hard changes in life a little bit easier.”
4. Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders, by Adam Morgan
Written over a decade ago with a second edition released in 2009, Admap called this a “must read for anyone in marketing.” The book explains how to compete when you are not a market leader.
5. Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, by David Aaker
Brand guru David Aaker shows how to make competitors irrelevant by creating new categories or subcategories and effectively creating barriers to competitors entering and competing in the new niche. Substantial competitive advantage can be gained by creating a new category or subcategory of product in the mind of consumers and treating it as your brand.