7 great reads to drive your marketing career

Looking to add to your arsenal of marketing knowledge? Columnist Mary Wallace shares her top reading recommendations.

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With the advent of the internet, how we marketers do our job has changed significantly. We’re now using technology (e.g., marketing automation, predictive marketing) to engage prospects through a wider variety of media outlets (e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat). We are also being made more accountable than ever before for our business’s performance.

But at the same time, the what we marketers do has not changed. Regardless of whether the business is a startup or an established Fortune 500 company, we’re still business people working with other business people to make our business a success.

This creates an interesting paradigm as we steer our careers. We understand the importance of staying current and delivering value. And we understand the need to constantly increase our knowledge about new marketing techniques and technology, as well as how to persevere and prosper in a business environment.

Below are eight books and blogs to feed our zest for learning, leading and growing.

“Who Moved My Cheese?”

Marketers are living in a constant state of change. We can no longer “rest” on an accomplishment. We need to keep optimizing what we do and how we do it.

The book “Who Moved My Cheese?” is packed with motivation for prospering with change. Written by one of the co-authors of “The One Minute Manager,” the book is a super-quick read.

The book, which takes a metaphorical journey through a maze with mice faced with unexpected change, illustrates how by embracing change, you can control your destiny.

Seth Godin’s blog

Seth Godin is a marketer, a consumer and a business person. His blog and accompanying daily email provide inspiring thoughts to encourage you to think outside the box.

Many posts are extremely short, but spending a minute each day reading them can inspire one to solve problems creatively or head in a new direction. Godin is the author of 18 books, including “Linchpin,” “Tribes,” “The Dip” and “Purple Cow.”

“How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Marketers are the newest members at the boardroom table. We must communicate with other senior executives as we drive our businesses and love our customers. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” provides insights into building interpersonal relationships that produce the best possible outcome.

Written over 80 years ago by Dale Carnegie, this book is by no means dated. It provides insight into handling people, winning friends, bringing people over to your way of thinking and being a great leader.

The book, which focuses on success based on interpersonal relationships, has been updated three times, most recently in 2011. The newest edition, titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age,” extends relationship-based business success into the digital age.


This one isn’t a “great read” per se, but it’s a fantastic resource for uncovering even more inspirational reading. At least every once in a while, we all need to be inspired. TED videos never fail to spawn ideas — whether they’re about a new campaign, a new product or a better way of leading others.

The basis for these videos is an unlimited number of powerful live TED performances held throughout the world. The videos cover a wide range of topics, including business and marketing. Free to watch at your leisure, these presentations provide inspiration for marketers and people of all professions.

The TED blog has helpfully posted lists of books recommended by TED speakers. Check out this list and this one.

“Leadership Is An Art”

Marketers are in a pivotal role of driving the business. We must motivate and lead: ourselves, our colleagues, and our customers.

“Leadership Is An Art” stresses the importance of initiating ideas and creating a lasting value system within an organization. It provides insights on motivating and creating leaders.

First published in 1987, this book contains ideas and beliefs to strengthen leaders to do what needs to get done in the most effective and humane way possible.

“Getting to Yes”

We all face situations in our work lives where we need to convince our colleagues and team members to agree to something. Regardless of whether it’s a new campaign, a different technology, or defining the optimal user experience, we need to reach consensus.

“Getting to Yes” offers a straightforward, universally applicable method for negotiating disputes without getting angry or getting taken.

“7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

Marketers must make an impact and meet the objectives defined by the business. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” provides a philosophical view of what it takes to be constructive and add value.

Written by Stephen R. Covey, the book documents seven traits of successful people (e.g., be proactive, think win-win, synergize) and why those traits matter.

What books have inspired you in your marketing career? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or our LinkedIn Group.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Mary Wallace
Mary Wallace is a modern marketer with the skills and ability to increase revenue and optimize campaign performance by leveraging technical, business, management, content, and marketing expertise. With over 25 years of industry experience, Mary has a diverse background in marketing, technology, media, consulting, and leadership that enables her to help clients implement solutions that produces optimal results. A leader in marketing automation and marketing technology, Mary provides thought leadership for a variety of publications.

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