5 Books to Make You a Marketing Maverick

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Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Needless to say, it is pretty hard to have one without the other. That’s why we put together this list of books to help you navigate a range of marketing tactics from the standard and steady to the new and improved.

Customer Service

Modern marketing lives on the Internet, but the best way to make a positive impression is still good old customer service. Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service written by Ken Blanchard — recognized as one of the most insightful, powerful and compassionate individuals in business today — and customer service legend, Sheldon Bowles, will teach you to learn what a customer really wants and how to institute effective systems to make “raving fan service” a constant feature in your business.

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

This, in a nutshell, is the advice given in a business book that will help everyone within and without your company, in every kind of organization or business, deliver stunning customer service and achieve miraculous bottom-line results. After all, what better marketing than having Raving Fans to do all the legwork for you (and gladly)?

Digital and Social Media

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott will help you come to terms with the latest digital trends in marketing and PR.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR offers actionable strategies that any professional, entrepreneur, or business owner could implement immediately. This useful book covers different social media platforms and the best ways to help you communicate with buyers directly, raise online visibility, and increase sales, weighing the pros and cons of each one.

Called a marketing classic, the book has been updated five times since it was originally published in 2007, ensuring that the strategies and tips within will be the most up-to-date available.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In a culture where “Google it” has become a common answer to any problem from where to eat to what to buy, search engine optimization (or SEO) is more important than ever. SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs by John Jantsch — a business marketing consultant and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System – and inbound marketing consultant and web designer Phil Singleton will teach you the basics of search engine optimization.

SEO for Growth specifically relates to being found on search engines’ results pages organically, that is, without spending your advertising dollars. If you’ve ever been asked the question, “How do I get on the first page of Google?” this is the answer.

The book teaches marketers, web designers, and entrepreneurs both on and off page SEO, as well as keyword uses, link building, and even how to use Google AdWords. All of these techniques or vital to ensure you are not left behind in an online world.

Market Research

Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Smart Passive Income founder Pat Flynn will help you allocate your budget for new ideas by teaching you to validate them before losing time and money on something that may or may not work.

Will It Fly? offers a series of tests to answer the questions:

  • Does your business idea have merit?
  • Does your idea fit the market you want to serve?
  • Is your idea a good fit for the kind of you run?

These three questions will help you evaluate the strength of your idea, and help you refine an idea before implementation, saving you time and money.

Humble Word of Mouth

Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote Contagious: Why Things Catch On to discuss why some products catch on, some ideas diffuse, and some online content goes viral.

Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, emails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content.

This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

Whether you are working on refining classic tactics like customer service or word of mouth, or transitioning into the digital age to tackle SEO and social media, there’s a book that can lead you in the right direction.

* While this article includes links to find out more information on these books, FP International does not have any affiliate arrangements with the authors or retailers of the titles in this list. These links are included for the convenience of the reader to find out more information on them.


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