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Best Marketing Books

Marketing as a function is often confused with marketing as a business philosophy.

I think management guru, Peter Drucker said it very well in his book “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices”.

“…the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available.”

Marketing is not who does it, a department or person in a business.

It is a way of thinking that sees the purpose of the business as creating and then delighting customers. I say “delighting” because a satisfied customer often isn’t very loyal.

The Best Marketing Books

You will only see the books I’ve rated at Four Stars (meaning good and well worth reading) and Five Stars (excellent and very highly recommended). Reviews of lower rated books appear on Amazon.co.uk but I haven’t brought the reviews across to my own website.

If you read my reviews, you’ll see I try to explain why I like them but also to identify any weaknesses. My job as a reviewer is to help you to find the most appropriate books rather than to help sell more books.

On that note, if you do decide to buy, I’d appreciate it if you could click through to Amazon on my links as (hopefully) I’ll earn a small referral commission.

Some of these books can be very expensive so, if you’re happy with a hard back or paperback book, take a look at the second hand options on Amazon. Personally I only buy if the condition is described as “As New” or “Very Good” unless I’m really keen and forced to drop down to “Good”.

I have a separate category of books for Copywriting but I’ve included some of them in this marketing category as it’s hard to talk about advertising of direct mail without thinking about copywriting. And others for Internet Marketing , Persuasion , Pricing and Understanding Buyers.

I’ll let you into a little secret.

I enjoy reading marketing books which means there are a lot of them. In a smaller category, perhaps a few of the four star books may have been upgraded to five but I know you need me to be selective.

Five Star Marketing Books

Money-Making Secrets of Marketing Genius Jay Abraham and Other Marketing Wizards

Mr X reveals the secrets from the extremely high Jay Abraham seminars he attended. A legendary book sold in volume for an astonishing price.

Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

One of the essential books I urge all small business owners to read. It can open your mind up to the opportunities for profit that exist around you.

How to Create a Million Dollar Unique Selling Proposition by Bill Bodri

An extremely comprehensive book to explain how you are different in a few words.

Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples

An early copywriting classic that still packs a punch as Caples emphasises the lessons to be learnt from testing.

The 24 Hour Marketing Miracle by Seth Czerepak

A fine modern marketing book taking into account the buyer’s knowledge of the solution or product.

The Brain Audit By Sean D’Souza

A great book for explaining how to communicate with customers clearly, easily and without hype.

Competing On Value by Mack Hanan and Peter Karp

Fine early Business to Business book explaining how your product improves the profit of the potential customer.

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

An excellent book that looks at business growth across many different aspects.

The Business Owners Guide To Making Out Like A Bandit by Charlie Hutton

Implementation advice for some of the Jay Abraham profit techniques

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

A great marketing book for small businesses.

The Ultimate Marketing Plan by Dan Kennedy

A fine introduction to direct response marketing, even if the title is misleading.

The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

An excellent book that takes you through the multiple stages of a successful direct mail campaign.

Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

The original brand of small business advice and very useful for mindset issues and the seven sentence marketing plan.

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

A very well written book about marketing for professional services businesses.

Reality In Advertising by Rosser Reeves

The early classic that introduced the topic of the Unique Selling Proposition.

Rethink Your Marketing by Tom Shapiro

If your marketing isn’t working, the wide scope of this book will reveal how it can be improved.

Reading Customers Minds by Lindsay Spencer-Matthews

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman

Direct mail entrepreneur and copywriter reveals his methods in a charming book.

Four Star Marketing Books

Summary: Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: Review and Analysis of Abraham’s Book

Summary: Money-Making Secrets of Marketing Genius Jay Abraham and Other Marketing Wizards: Review and Analysis of Abraham’s Book

51 Helpful Marketing Ideas by Drayton Bird

Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing by Drayton Bird

The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick

The Perfect Sales Pitch by Robert Bly

How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger Media

21 Quick Ways to Get More Clients by Kevin Donlin

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guerrilla Marketing by Susan Drake and Colleen Wells

Buyer Legends by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg with Anthony Garcia

7 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make, And How To Avoid Making Them by Craig Garber

More Clients… More Often… More Money by Jim Gehrke

Summary: The Tipping Point: Review and Analysis of Malcolm Gladwell’s Book

Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful by Bill Glazer

Summary: The Ultimate Sales Machine: Review and Analysis of Holmes’ Book

The Orgasm Effect by Charlie Hutton and Emma Hutchinson

The Marketing Secrets of a Multimillionaire Entrepreneur by Jonathan Jay

Twenty-Five Ways to Improve Sales and Profits without Spending an Extra Dime on Advertising by Richard Johnson

No BS Marketing To the Affluent by Dan Kennedy

Guerrilla Marketing During Tough Times by Jay Conrad Levinson

The Guerrilla Marketing Revolution by Jay Conrad Levinson and Paul Hanley

Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing by Jay and Jeannie Levinson

Guerrilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson

Changing the Channel by Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby

Postcard Marketing Success by Joan Mullally and Evelyn Trimborn

Customer Chemistry by Mary Naylor

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Why People Buy by John O’Shaughnessy

Creating Demand by Rick Ott

Chase One Rabbit by David Parrish

Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin

The 22 Immutable Laws Of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries

Visual Hammer by Laura Ries

Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide by James Stephenson

Newspaper & Magazine Advertising That Works by Jamie Sylivian

Obvious Adams by Robert R Updegraff

Cunningly Clever Marketing by Andrew Wood

Other Categories of Business Books That May Interest You

Business Books For WomenBusiness NovelsBusiness PlanningBusiness Start-UpBusiness StrategyCopywritingCustomer ServiceDifferentiation StrategyGetting UnstuckInner GameInternet MarketingKPI & Performance MeasurementPersuasionPricingProfit ImprovementRetail BusinessSales TrainingSocial MediaSpecific Niche MarketsUnderstanding Buyers

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me to help you get unstuck.

Offensive Marketing by Hugh Davidson

Marketing Management and Strategy by Peter Doyle

Jump Start Your Marketing Brain by Doug Hall

Rethink Your Marketing by Tom Shapiro

45 Minute Business Breakthroughs by Tim Wesley