Peter Drucker once described learning as “a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.” And as the rules of marketing continue to change and evolve, staying on top and in front of the latest trends, techniques and best practices is absolutely essential for today’s marketers.

Books remain a great way to get inspiration and stay ahead of the marketing curve. So here’s a list of 12 marketing books that are sure to educate you and inspire your online marketing.

1. The New Rules of Marketing & PR

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

This is probably the most practical, inspiring and actionable marketing books I’ve ever read. Written by David Meerman Scott, The New Rules of Marketing & PR has been referred to as a “marketing bible” and “modern day business classic.” First published in 2007 and now in its fourth edition, Scott’s message was incredibly forward thinking and clearly spawned a generation of modern marketers. The book informs you how to use the power of the Internet to get your message across to the right people at the right time.

Find out more: The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

2. Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing author, Seth Godin, was called “the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week. His concept of “permission marketing” was the basis for “inbound marketing” and teaches marketers how to shape their message so that customers voluntarily accept it. Godin informs readers how the Internet enables you with the power to reach out only to consumers who have signaled an interest in learning more about your service or product—providing you with an edge over the widely ignored concept of interruption marketing. This tactic allows you to not only build brand awareness, but to create a relationship with potential customers and, most importantly, build trust.

Find out more: Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

3. Content Rules

Content Rules

Another one of my all-time favorites, Ann Hadley and C.C. Chapman’s Content Rules, teaches you how to stand out from the crowd in a digital world where everyone has been given a voice. This practical guide to creating engaging web content and building a loyal following can help you craft content that will cultivate fans and encourage them to share with others. Learn how to define your goals, write in a way to powerfully communicate these goals and use social media tools to distribute them as widely as possible.

Find out more: Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)

4. Get Content, Get Customers

Get Content, Get Customers

Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi and strategist Newt Barrett prove that customers want to consume content that they believe is useful rather than loud claims of product superiority. This is another one of the key books that helped start a seismic shift in the marketing community several years ago. In Get Content, Get Customers, you will learn how to develop this type of compelling content and deliver it in a way that doesn’t disrupt customers’ daily lives.

Find out more: Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing

5. Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing

Hubspot founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, teach marketers how to pull customers in rather than pushing their content out. Consumers have learned to block out traditional outbound marketing and are turning to platforms such as Google, social media, and blogs to find the products and services that they are searching for. Inbound Marketing shows you how to become easily found by customers online within these platforms.

Find out more: Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs

6. Likeable Social Media

Likeable Social Media

In Likeable Social Media, Dave Kerpen teaches that the secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing is to be “likeable.” It’s commonly known that a friend’s recommendation is far more powerful than any advertisement, and Kerpen shows how this can be used to your brand’s advantage on social media. Learn to listen to your customers and prospects and engage with them, and they will spread the word in return.

Find out more: Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks)

7. Optimize


Lee Odden, a leading authority on content and online marketing, teaches readers how to attract, engage and inspire customers using an “Optimize and Socialize” content marketing strategy. Optimize shows how his practical approach to integrating search and social media optimization with content marketing can boost relevance, visibility and engagement with your audience and his tactics have been proven to increase online performances.

Find out more: Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

8. Content is Currency

Content is Currency

Jon Wuebben explains that content is much more than just the written page in this digital age. He explains how to present your business’ story through the use of web, mobile, podcasts, webinars and blog posts while providing insight into the fine art of content development and explaining the latest SEO and SMM techniques.

Find out more: Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web and Mobile

9. The Impact Equation

The Impact Equation

While anyone can write a blog post, not everyone can get 35,000 likes and 7,500 subscribers. In The Impact Equation, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith show how to get your message across by connecting with your audience. Learn how to find out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong to figure out what makes a real impact on your audience.

Find Out More: The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?

10. UnMarketing


In UnMarketing, Scott Stratten teaches readers how to stop throwing yourself out at everyone and to draw the right customers in by providing new information on how to build relationships with your customers through social media. The days of cold calls are out.

Find out more: UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging

11. The B2B Social Media Book

The B2B Social Media Book

Hubspot’s Kipp Bodnar and Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Jeffrey L. Cohen show readers how to generate more leads and promote business growth through the use of proven social media strategies and their specific application to B2B companies. Learn the backbone of effective B2B social media strategies and receive advice on leveraging different social media platforms such as blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Find out more: The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More

12. Youtility


Jay Baers’ NY Times Best Seller and #1 Amazon Best Seller, Youtility, shows readers that they aren’t just competing against similar products in their online communities anymore, but that they are competing against the posts of customers’ friends and family, viral videos and popular memes. In order to be heard above all of the rest, Baers shares groundbreaking information on providing helpfulness to customers in order to remain a relevant part of their online experience.

Find out more: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

What about you? This list is not intended to be exhaustive, so are there any additional books you would add? Feel free to join to the conversation in the comments below.

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