I try to read as many books as I can. I try to devour books, but I haven’t learned the art of speed reading, yet. I’ve still managed to come across some really good books (and some really not so good books, but I’ll stick to the good books for this list). The books aren’t listed in any particular order. In addition to the books I’ve liked and recommend, I’ve added books I’d like to read.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini – Cialdini introduces 6 universal principle to influence and how to use them. All landing pages, all advertising, and all websites must use some of these principles into marketing. Marketing isn’t nearly as effective without using these principles. With a strong endorsement (social proof) from the Journal of Marketing Research, “For marketers, this book is among the most important books written in the last ten years,” this book is a must read.
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne – From a marketing perspective this book is all about differentiation. The authors look at a few companies that looked across industries to innovate their product(s) to escape the bloody waters of intense competition. Yellow Tail looked outside the wine industry to make fruity wines that traditionally non wine drinkers would drink. Callaway Golf created ‘Big Bertha’ so non golfers would be more comfortable picking up the game of golf. It’s all about Value Innovation.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout – Tim Ferriss has mentioned he re-reads this book before each product launch. With two blockbuster, best selling books, take a cue from Ferriss and at least read this once. The most noteworthy marketing laws Ries and Trout write about are the Law of the Category and the Law of Perception. Apple is the best example for the Law of the Category, each Apple product is designed to be a category killer.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson – almost everyone involved in an on-line business has read this book (if you haven’t you need to right this second). As Eric Schmidt, Former CEO of Google said “Anyone who cares about media . . . must read this book.” Anderson explains why Amazon and Netflix (among others) owe a large part of they’re success to an infinite variety of products (the long tail on a distribution curve). Anderson has updated the book adding a chapter on marketing for the Long Tail: the long tail of influencers and blogging in the long tail.
The Four Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss – The book’s subtitle doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Those overachiever types don’t like the idea of just traveling (neither do I). There are, however, some excellent business concepts woven in-between the travel stories. The whole reason to start a company is moving economic resources from a lower yield into a higher yield. An excellent strategy to make sure that happens is outsourcing everything you’re not good at or don’t enjoy. That’s what this book is all about.
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman – This book was good, but mainly targeted to B2C businesses. For start-up media companies, and beginning bloggers this book gives an incredible editorial calendar strategy: Content Rules also reminds bloggers and start-up media companies about developing voice as differentiating factor.