When you love what you do, you end up spending a lot of your “free time” reading everything you can about it. Doctors read medical journals. I read business books – especially marketing books. I’ve read most of the books on this subject. Here are my 10 favorite:
1. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely. A revealing look into our psyche and how we make buying decisions which are usually highly irrational. Recounts countless fascinating studies. Highly entertaining. This is a must read. Period.
2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Rebert B. Cialdini. Another excellent marketing psychology book that should be read by anyone in sales or marketing…actually anyone in business who wants to better understand the mind of their customers.
3. Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Well known classic. Not much left to be said.
4. Being Direct by Lester Wunderman. From the pioneer who basically created direct marketing plus popularized the American Express card, created Columbia Record Club, and the toll-free 800 number for placing order.
5. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. Why did I walk into the store to buy some milk and leave with $100 of groceries or buy 3 suits when all I need was a shirt? Will really open your eyes on how malls, department stores and grocery chains market to us. Nothing is by chance and everything is designed so we stay longer and spend more.
6. Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. Classic marketing book on how to get attention with no budget.
7. Positioning: How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace by Al Ries and Jack Trout
8. Why Did They Name It…? by Hannah Campbell. History of how the most well-known products got their name including Jell-O, Coca-Cola, Wheaties, Vick’s Vaporub, and Cutex. Didn’t you ever wonder why Heinz has 57 varieties of ketchup and what happened to the other 56?
9. Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra. Many great examples of how to get attention for your business.
10. Secrets of Casino Marketing by John Romero. Casinos are kings of marketing and no one did it better or at least was willing to talk about it like Mr. Romero.