We are often asked to recommend some marketing books. Whether in discussions with customers, either at DallesGO Online Marketing Courses or at the events we are involved in – such as GPeC e-commerce events. Thus, we gathered in the meeting room for a good coffee, tea and French Revolution éclair and made a top 5 of the greatest marketing books agreed by the whole MTH Digital team. We did not manage to stop at 5, so 5 + 1 recommendations came up. You know how much we love Math when it comes to creativity.

Here are the 5 + 1 recommendations of the best marketing books that we agreed after long debates:

1. Buyology by Martin Lindstrom

Anca stopped on Buyology. What it is interesting in Martin Lindstrom’s book is the academic approach of neuro-marketing (based on a 2000+ study). Being a very interesting area, but more theoretically treated until the book’s release, the fact that Lindstrom came up with a concrete study of how marketing messages sound in our minds is a big gain for the industry. The author has the figures, but also the storytelling package – which is why the book itself is a marketing lesson.

Three interesting ideas of Buyology:

– we all have the mirror-neurons in the brain that make us want things that can bring us into a happy script that we have seen somewhere – that’s why marketing messages creating the desire to be like those that work best who use a product, not to use the product.

– however sexy a product is, if you do not show it in a context where the audience can resonate, it can not be desirable. People respond to memories, to familiar stimuli.

– People respond to strong brand messages as they respond to religious messages – a study result that looks very much like the way Yuval Noah Harari puts it in Sapiens. Namely, the modern man judges that prehistoric man divinizes imagined beings, but escapes the fact that he also believes in corporations, brands, etc.

2. Hit Makers by Derek Thompson

Anca also wanted to thank Liviana Tane for recommending this book at The Storytailors Business Storytelling Course. It is very cool to come down before telling a story (a brand story, a story of a store, etc.) to the finest but palpable grain of sand the story’s castle is made of. To run away from generations when you promote yourself and to have the courage to associate yourself with a neuralgic point in the reality of the client, the man. It’s an anecdotal book, just a little like Malcolm Gladwell’s style. Two interesting ideas:

– Some of the strongest political, marketing, etc. messages over time have used musical language (repetitions, verses, alliterations). It’s a simple technique, but it creates persistent messages.

– MAYA – Most Advanced Yet Acceptable, according to which the sweet spot in everything, including marketing, is doing something to give the feeling of innovation, but not so new that it does not mean anything to the public.

3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Now that it’s seen the age gets stronger, Raluca recommends a book of the “golden oldies” of marketing, which she says it has definitely changed her perception of promotion campaigns when she read it for the first time. Seth Godin, one of MTH Digital’s favorite authors, starts from the premise that the five P advertisements (Product, Price, Promotion, Placement and Publicity) are no longer 5, but 5 + 1 (as in our title because nothing is accidental), because the P of the Purple Cow was added.

What Seth actually says is that in today’s world where there is so much noise and so much competition for everybody’s attention in the target audience, it is especially important to do something remarkable or communicate remarkably to succeed in attracting attention.

4. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Raluca also insists on the fact that you cannot do marketing without reading Dan Ariely’s book. A book on economic theory with many marketing applications, Dan’s book shows many practical examples where people are not rational but emotional beings, and explains how we can use these examples to make marketing campaigns more effective.

5. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Perhaps not a marketing book per se, but more of Customer Service at first sight, Tony Hsieh’s book could be described as a virtual tour of the Zappos company that managed to attract attention as a magnet by a particular culture. After reading few pages, we realize that this culture itself is Zappos’s marketing – a marketing embedded in the product, a precursor of this growth hacking that has been talked about lately. The book is a 3 in 1 – Zappos culture was actually a Customer Service, Marketing and HR strategy, all in one. Tony Hsieh tells the story so naturally that you can see how there is a solution to every obstacle in the way to success and even if it’s hard, it’s so beautiful to succeed.

Storytelling is an extraordinary way to convey ideas, and the book is not just another book to teach you how to make profit, it’s about happiness and how you can achieve long-lasting results bringing happiness. How to deliver happiness teaches that people want to be happy, whether regarding their life or business, so you have to set a goal to make your friends, partners, customers, employees happy. When you make others happy, you also contribute to your happiness.

6. Branding Manual by Wally Ollins

This book helps you see marketing and branding in a different light, although the title is very suggestive and rather seems to be in an academic note. As Wally says – Many people are talking about branding, but few know how to use it – the same principle can be applied to the large collection of marketing books. This book gives you the brand basics: what it is, how you can create it, but especially how you can manage it. Olins gives you an outlook on branding, customer perception of this term, and the fact that there are so many layers when you want to build a brand.