Top Five Marketing Books of 2018

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Last year was a rough year for marketing books. In some ways, it seems like everything that needs to be said has already been said, so there’s nothing new for us. Or it was said in 2017.

That doesn’t mean 2018 completely dried up with marketing wisdom. In fact, there are plenty of introductory 101-level books that will tell you how to use Twitter, or why you need a blog. But there hasn’t been a lot of new knowledge for the advanced marketer.

Luckily, a few people are still producing solid marketing knowledge, and we found a few advanced books we’d like to recommend to you, plus one introductory book to rule them all.

1. Jay Baer & Daniel Lemin, Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth

Jay Baer is the author of six best-selling books on social media marketing, including Hug Your Haters, and a highly sought-after marketing keynote speaker. Daniel Lemin is a consultant with several Fortune 500 companies, a speaker, and an analyst with Baer’s company, Convince & Convert.

Together, they published Talk Triggers, the guide on how to use word-of-mouth marketing and operational differentiators to generate customer conversations.

Baer and Lemin use their own proprietary research on why and how customers talk, original case studies, and the 4-5-6 learning system — “4 requirements for a differentiator to be a talk trigger; the 5 types of talk triggers; and the 6-step process for creating talk trigger.” Don’t you just love learning systems?

The two talk about how to find operational differentiators that create story-worthy experiences for your customers. They want you to dare to be different, rather than just being one of the crowd whose greatest goal is to not alienate or poison anyone.

Don’t just settle for being another of run-of-the-mill businesses who are satisfied with good enough, and only deliver average service or products. Learn how to be so different and unusual, how to exceed expectations so highly, that your customers can’t help but tell their friends about you.

2. Dan Kennedy, Magnetic Marketing: How To Attract A Flood Of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer

If you’re a marketing copywriter of any kind, Dan Kennedy is one of the masters of the craft you absolutely must study. And you can, with his magnificent piece called Magnetic Marketing.

Dan Kennedy has written more than 20 popular business books used by many of the world’s top marketers, direct mail experts, and professional copywriters. So if he puts it down on paper, you know that it’s going to be based on decades of personal experience and hard-won wisdom.

Kennedy says Magnetic Marketing is a change movement that has been used in over 136 different niches. And, he says, it’s a “best kept secret.” It can protect you from commoditization and driving your prices down just so you can beat your competition by a few bucks.

3. Bassem Hamdy, The Book on Account Based Marketing: Practical tips for exponential revenue growth

As big fans of account-based marketing (ABM), you just know we had to find an ABM book to feature. And Bassem Hamdy delivered.

Hamdy is a digital marketing executive in the B2B software world, specializing in demand generation, sales, and customer success. And he put his 20+ years of experience with ABM into this book, showing how sales and marketing can work together to not only increase sales and revenue, but improve your customers’ overall satisfaction.

Hamdy provides a good reminder of why every member of your team needs to be unified in your messaging, such as being able to retell the company’s founding principles, the kind of client you want to reach, or three of your best success stories.

He reminds readers that we are all storytellers and that the best way to share your company’s goals with customers is through stories. Just by being able to tell stories to your customers, you’ll be able to stand out from the competition, while they’re still reciting cold, dry statistics.

4. Nick Westrgard, Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World

Nick Westergard is a podcaster, speaker, and host of the Social Brand Forum, the Midwest’s premier digital marketing event, as well as a professor at the University of Iowa. And he’s the author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World. While it’s a book primarily for businesses, it’s also great for people looking to boost their own personal brand.

But Nick doesn’t just focus on how to cast your message into an endless digital ocean. He teaches us how to stand out with the new rules of branding, and how to hone your brand’s unique story, sharing it through engaging content, and to create a coherent experience.

Since so many other companies are just happy with putting out the same boring content and underwhelming newsletters, Brand Now can show you how to find the highlights of your own brand message, shine them up, and use them to cut through the content clutter clogging up your customers’ commercial consciousness. Excuse the alliteration.

5. Seth Godin, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

We put this one last but it’s definitely not the least.

You could learn some amazing new stuff just by reading Seth Godin’s shopping list, so when he publishes a new book, it’s one every marketer should scramble to get, whether you’re a marketing student or the CMO of a Fortune 500.

Seth has written 18 international bestsellers that have transformed how we market to people, so anything he says is pretty much gospel. That means This Is Marketing is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how it’s done or just wants to fill small cracks in their own vast body of knowledge.

Seth’s new book promises to “show you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.” You’ll learn how to reframe and present your product or service to the world so you can connect with people who want it.

What are some of the marketing books you read in 2018? Share them with us in the comments below.

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