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Marketing Tips

Six Marketing Books That Should Be In Your Office

By December 19, 2014April 15th, 2019No Comments

Marketing is everyone’s job. Even if you are not in the marketing department, you have a role to play in the promotion and branding of your company.

If you are in human resources, you have to market your company to attract quality job candidates. If you are in business development, you have to promote your offerings and brand to potential partners.

Here are six marketing books with cross-over appeal. You will find them useful in your job – even if you don’t have “marketing” in your title.

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Just as the title implies, everyone can benefit from writing clearly, succinctly, and passionately. As the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, Ann aimed this book at marketing professionals. However, who couldn’t benefit from writing more clearly?

This is my new favorite book. It has not left my desk in 3 months. I hope this post does Ms. Handley proud.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
In 2008, this book encouraged folks to think beyond bullet points. The link above is to the newer second edition which I’ve yet to peruse. The first edition is within my reach at all times. If you are hampered by boring presentations, this book is a good starting point.

slide:ology by Nancy Duarte
While many think Presentation Zen is the presentation design Bible, I actually like slide:ology better. Both authors have similar philosophies regarding great presentation design. Nancy even includes a section on Garr in her book.

However, slide:ology has more actual design examples and I like the case study sections for reference. It also has a great section on audience definition and planning.
The last edition was published in 2008, so some of the topics are dated. For example, all the design examples use 4:3 layouts, instead of the current 16:9 widescreen standard.

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
I bought this book in 1997 and it hasn’t left my library through four cross-country moves. If you are struggling with positioning or messaging anything, read this book. While it’s aimed at messaging services companies, the book’s recommendations ring true for customer service, operations, and more.

Its caveats ring true from “Life is Like High School” to “Monogram your shirts, not your brand name”.

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
According to the Social Science Research Network, over 65% of humans are visual learners. If your drawing skills, like mine, start and end with stick figures, you’ll love “The Back of the Napkin”.

Dan Roam shows how to solve problems and sell your ideas using simple graphics that even the artistically-challenged can muster on a whiteboard or diner napkin.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
If you think you’re not creative, this is the book for you. I downloaded this book on my Kindle and read it in one night. I love it so much I’m going to order the paperback. It’s a truly beautiful and powerful book with great suggestions such as creating an unplugged, computer-free zone in your home or office.
I’m especially fond of the idea of keeping a daily paper journal complete with little drawings (using The Back of The Napkin concepts, of course).


Which marketing books do you like? I’d especially welcome comments from folks outside of marketing.

Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder of Clarity Quest Marketing and Chief Growth Officer of Supreme Group. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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