My Top 5 Marketing Books, Right Now

DavidTubbs_2014David Tubbs
Marketing & Communications Lead
Greater KW Chamber of Commerce


By: Scott Stratten

All I can say about this book is that if you haven’t read it you need to immediately. Like last week immediately. Author Scott Stratten stresses the idea that real engagement and creative planning is more effective than any amount of cold calls or the more often costly traditional advertising channels. Besides advocating deeply for using Twitter and thinking outside the traditional “push & pray” marketing most small businesses do, he is intent on business owners adding a voice and interacting with their current and potential clients.

It’s easy to read in truly plain language (with a healthy dose of sarcasm in there too) that makes UnMarketing my #1 pick for Marketing Books. It was also recently updated, but that doesn’t really matter as the messages are timeless and should be learned, quickly.

“Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul”

By: Howard Schultz

Written from the perspective of long-time Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, this book describes how Mr. Schultz took back the reins of the company he helped found and grow it during the Great Recession which nearly crippled the coffee giant. Onward is both a marketing and leadership guide as it stresses the need to constantly evolve and take nothing for granted.

It’s a quick read regardless of its near 400 page size and is worth your time. Best of all, if you’re an avid Starbucks customer you learn a great deal about what goes into you cup of coffee every day. In fact, the book itself is a tremendous piece of marketing.

“The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything”

By: Michael Saylor

This is one of the newest book on this list and may be one of the most important. If you just had a website created or established a marketing plan within the last 6 months and there wasn’t any mobile consideration, then you may already have fallen behind. It almost doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, mobile needs to be a focus. We are growing into a mobile community due to technology enhancements with smartphones and tablet computers. There are no limitations on access to information and if your business isn’t part of this trend you can bet your competition is.

Soon more people will access the internet from their mobile phones than from their home or work PCs. You need to understand how to leverage this audience or risk losing them.

“Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web”

By: Paul Adams

I read this book a little while ago and was rather blown away by the simplicity of the message author Paul Adams makes which is that social media and the web have not changes how we interact. The web has only just caught up with how we interact in real life. Businesses should heed Adams’ words that the social media world is a two way street, not a sign board for advertising.

Social strategies are more than adding social networking options to your website or advertising actions. Social strategies should revolve around engaging the audience. As you can tell it takes the theme of UnMarketing and focuses in on it.

“Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars”

By: Ann Handley & C. C. Chapman

While most of the books above focus on engagement and customer/client experiences with your company or brand, this book by Handley and Chapman is near and dear to my heart because of its content creation focus. It is my belief that you can engage all you want but with a clear and concise content creation aspect to your marketing plan, you will have difficulty starting the engagement process.

You need to show that you have something worth reading, listening to or watching. Filled with excellent case studies and planning tools for strategy creation Content Rules helps its reader understand the benefits of creating content for your business and how to go about creating it. Most importantly the book helps you determine which channel is best for your business. It is absolutely worth a read.