25 Best Marketing Books for Entrepreneurs to Read in 2018

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to think about how we can improve ourselves and our approach to business.

Especially in the rapidly changing world of marketing.

To get you started, we’ve found some of the best marketing books out there to kick your marketing strategy into high gear and make the most of the tools at your disposal in 2018.

Broken down by category:

  • General Marketing
  • Branding
  • Customer Service
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • The Future of Marketing

General Marketing


The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout

The best-selling authors lay out 22 innovative rules for understanding and succeeding in the international marketplace. From the Law of Leadership to The Law of the Category to The Law of the Mind, these valuable insights are designed to stand the test of time and present a clear path to successful products.



Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior by Nick Kolenda

Get inside the mind of your customer. This may sound creepy, but this book provides an effective way to get potential customers to want your product—a foundation for any marketing plan.



Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

This expanded edition is crucial for any marketing plan. The central thesis is that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”—untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. And this book provides a systematic approach.



The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Think you have the next big idea? This book breaks down that “magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” The phenomenon outlined here has changed the way people think about selling products and disseminating ideas.



Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini 

We’ve always been told that our messaging is important. But this book argues that it’s really the moment before that message is delivered that matters. What if you could persuade customers before you ever got a chance to message them? This book shows the way.



Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small by Nick Westergaard

Interested in ramping up your marketing without having to increase your budget? This is the book for you.




Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, 4th Edition by Alina Wheeler

A bestselling toolkit for creating, building, and maintaining a strong brand—this book provides brand managers, marketers, and designers a proven, universal five-phase process for creating and implementing effective brand identity. It’s a detailed look at the latest trends in branding, including social networks, mobile devices, global markets, apps, video, and virtual brands.



The Road to Recognition: The A-to-Z Guide to Personal Branding for Accelerating Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media by Barry Feldman and Seth Price

This book is packed with actionable advice for developing your personal brand and accelerating your professional success.



Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

The book provides a process through which business owners can fine-tune how they talk about their brand and connect with customers.


Customer Service


Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer

Customer services is an often overlooked marketing tool. This book breaks down how you can give customers a “knock out” experience and keep them coming back for more—even when all they do is complain about you.



Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants, Second Edition by Paul Cherry

Learn how to ask the questions that get to the bottom of what your customer or client needs. Knowing your product is not enough—you also need to know your customer. This book provides a path to figuring that out.


Digital Marketing


The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing and Generating Leads Online by Rich Brooks

If you’re looking to make sense of all this digital marketing stuff, then this is the book for you. This book outlines how to make a digital marketing plan and make the most of the digital tools at your disposal.



Social Media Marketing: Facebook Marketing, Youtube Marketing, Instagram Marketing by Mark Smith

A literal box set to get you started on crucial social media platforms. Great for beginners.



The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith

The testimonials for this book could hook you alone, having helped thousands of businesses generate millions of leads. This book provides a blueprint for successful sales online.



SEO 2018: No Bullshit Strategy by Casey Leigh Henry

This step-by-step guide will help you skyrocket to the top of the search engine results—reportedly for free. This best-seller is updated for the new year.



They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan

A good, sophisticated catchall digital marketing book. This book argues that quality content is the key to success—and outlines just how you can make it on any budget.


Content Marketing


Content—The Atomic Particle of Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Content Marketing Strategy by Rebecca Lieb

This book makes the case for content as the central piece of your marketing strategy and goes beyond the conventional wisdom of social media best practices. Deeply researched and insightful.



Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You by John Hall

This book outlines how to be the first thing that comes to mind when customers think of your related industry, product, or need. Develop habits and strategies that focus on engaging your audience, create meaningful relationships, and deliver value consistently, day in and day out.


Influencer Marketing

marketing-books-for-entrepreneursThe Influencer Economy: How to Launch Your Idea, Share It with the World, and Thrive in the Digital Age by Ryan Williams

Williams defines an influencer as someone who can create a movement based on the passion and loyal support of a niche community. This book outlines how to launch your business with influencer vision, collaborate with other influencers to build your brand and a loyal community, and thrive through authentic relationships.



Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

A four-time best-selling author shares stories of entrepreneurs who found success through building their personal brand on social media. This book offers a practical guide for anyone who wants to hack the popular social platforms of today to increase status—and customers—within their industry.



How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie & Associates

This time-tested classic is more important than ever as we build relationships and seed influence online, especially with the rise of influencer marketing.


The Future of Marketing


Non-Obvious 2018 Edition: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future by Rohit Bhargava

A Georgetown University professor outlines just how to know what’s coming and optimize it, with the central thesis being that it’s usually not the place you first look.



Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

A time-tested marketer for major brands and businesses spills the beans on how to generate buzz around your business or product without overspending on traditional marketing routes.



Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose

One of the downsides to marketing is that it can be costly with uncertain returns. This book provides a path for the future of marketing to turn those efforts into profits.



The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

This author uncovers how entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. Revealing deep truths about how humans shop, interact, and even think, this book blends psychology and observant wit with first-rate reporting, demonstrating the “limited appeal of the purely digital life—and the robust future of the real world outside it.”


With these 25 outstanding marketing books added to your library, there’s no reason 2018 can’t be your business’s best year ever. You just might have to do things a little bit differently.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

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