What Are the Top-10 Marketing Books?

There are literally thousands of marketing books available today. A handful of them stand out as most influential on the art and science of marketing. But which books should be in the top-10 list of "must read" marketing books?

To get an answer, I conducted a quick survey among the 17,000+ members of the B2B marketing community on LinkedIn. After collecting and analyzing hundreds of your survey responses, here is the "ultimate" top-10 list:

The Top-10 List of Marketing Books

  1. Crossing the Chasm
    (Geoffrey A. Moore)
  2. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
    (Al Ries, Jack Trout)
  3. Marketing Management
    (Philip Kotler, Kevin Keller)
  4. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
    (W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne)
  5. Inside the Tornado
    (Geoffrey A. Moore)
  6. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
    (Al Ries, Jack Trout)
  7. The New Rules of Marketing and PR
    (David Meerman Scott)
  8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
    (Robert B. Cialdini )
  9. SPIN Selling
    (Neil Rackham)
  10. Confessions of an Advertising Man
    (David Ogilvie)  

Other suggestions by the B2B Marketing Community that didn't make the top-10 include:

Competitive Strategy (Michael Porter) | Marketing High Technology (William Davidow) | eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale (Ardath Albee) | Groundswell (Josh Bernoff, Charlene Li) | Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Chip Heath and Dan Heath) | Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Paul Farris, Neil Bendle, Phillip Pfeifer, David Reibstein) | All Marketers Are Liars (Seth Godin) | Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah) | Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged (Michael A. Stelzner ) | Product Strategy for High Technology Companies (Michael McGrath) | The Leaky Funnel (Hugh Macfarlane) | Word of Mouth Marketing (Andy Sernovitz) | Influencer Marketing (Brown and Hayes) | The Chasm Companion (Geoffrey A. Moore) | Diffusion of Innovations (Everett M. Rogers) | Marketing ROI (Jim Lenskold).

I am sure there are many of your favorite marketing books missing here (there are simply too many good ones out there). What are your personal favorites? Please share in the comments section below.


Tom DelMonte said...

Great post for beginning of year - thank you for compiling. Everyone needs some reading to fill out the list.

Mark McClure said...

In addition to #6 as one of my top picks in the survey, I'd also add:

a) Stories That Sell by Casey Hibbard
(I'm currently in Ms. Hibbard's Case Study mentoring program and making extensive use of this book.)

b) Crafting White Paper 2.0 by Jonathan Kantor
This one focuses on creating and marketing business white papers in a world where attention spans have shortened and marketers are having to "do more with less".

Both a) and b) deal with the bugbear of effective marketing - creating content that helps prospects and moves them closer to making an informed sales decision.

BrainRider said...

Great post Holger!

What surprises me is how many general marketing classics are on the list including Kolter and Ries. They are great reads.

But your "Other suggestions" list is really terrific and perhaps the more B2B relevant list. Thanks for including it.

Scott Armstrong
"sharing what we know about how to connect with and convert more B2B customers is what we do!"

Holger Schulze said...

Tom - thanks for your comment - I agree the books are worth reading to get some perspective beyond our day to day marketing experiences.

Holger Schulze said...

Scott - I was surprised too. I assumed that the more recent B2B marketing books would lead the list. Looks like the classics have been read by a broader audience over time, and many still prove valuable today. I added the other books to provide some examples of recent material that is shaping the B2B marketing discussion and practices today. Glad you enjoyed the list!

Holger Schulze

Anonymous said...

Content Rules should be on the list IMHO.

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