Since putting my book on the top of this list of 9 must read books for marketers is blatantly self-serving, perhaps you’ll take someone else’s word for it. Thus, here are a few highlights from Hugh Taylor’s review of Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands for CommsFactory.net:
Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands, by Drew Neisser, offers CMOs a collection of thoughtful, practical insights into what it really takes to succeed in marketing a corporate brand. Neisser, an experienced marketing consultant and “Chief Marketing Renegade” at Renegade, the marketing firm he founded, has a lot of valuable ideas to share.
This book resonated with me for a number of reasons. I have previously run marketing for B2B tech brands, so I can relate the pressure that CMOs face. I also wrote a book on a related topic, so I appreciate, perhaps more than most, how business-to-business (B2B) marketing is distinct from consumer marketing. Many marketing books conflate the two, which is irritating. No, marketing Coca Cola is not the same as marketing an enterprise storage array.
His suggestion is to get your message down to eight words or fewer. In his case, it’s two: “Cut through.” This is harder than it looks, but Neisser gives the reader some ideas on how to realize this useful goal.
Throughout, Neisser provides great real-life examples based on his years in the marketing field. He once arranged for a Hummer to drive over a laptop on live television to demonstrate how tough it was. As a colleague of mine might have said, that took some serious stones. But, that’s what it takes to stand out.
I recommend this book for anyone involved in B2B marketing.
Of course, this is not the only marketing book I recommend for you and your marketing friends. Here are 8 others including one that is only available on pre-order (we like to keep you ahead of the curve):
- Well Made Decisions: Pro Tips for Finishing the Decisions You Start by Jennifer Davis. Filled with insightful stories from a successful career, Jennifer’s book will help you categorize decisions and develop a process for dispatching the easy ones. This is a perfect read at the start of the new year as it is sure to inform your resolutions.
- I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again & Again by Shep Hyken. Let’s make 2022 the Year of The Customer shall we? With Shep’s book in hand you’ll have the tools you need to first identify and rectify customer service issues and from there be able to increase loyalty and lead your category.
- Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value by Kimberly Whitler. If you’re tired of the “ready, fire, aim” approach your organization is taking for positioning, drop everything and read this book. Comprehensive, systematic and easy to follow, this is the new textbook on positioning — defining its criticality and showing you how to identify a truly distinctive one.
- How Not to Suck at Marketing by Jeff Perkins. There’s a reason I’ve had Jeff as a guest a couple of times on my podcast and live streaming show. He’s smart, funny and has amazing stories to share. He’s also incredibly accomplished and one of the few CMOs that rose to CEO. Jeff’s book is just like Jeff: clear, honest and fun from start to finish.
- The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share by Dan Gingiss. Read this book and you’ll become instantly more observant of every customer experience, good, bad or indifferent. And when the birthday cake arrives with mere candles instead of sparklers, you’ll know this restaurant is on the “boardinary” side and far from the WISER approach Dan prescribes.
- Re:Think Innovation: How the World’s Most Prolific Innovators Come Up with Great Ideas That Deliver Extraordinary Outcomes by Carla Johnson. Before you have your next brainstorming session, read this book and you’ll figure out the steps you’ve been missing to consistently come up with innovative ideas. You’ll also lose any excuse you might have given yourself for not being “creative.”
- The Long Game: How to be a long-term thinker in a short-term world by Dorie Clark. Dorie’s book stands out from the others on this list in that it focuses more on individual achievement rather than helping your company stand out. However, if more individuals adopted Dorie’s approach to long-term thinking, the world (and marketers) would be in a better place.
- Sell Without Selling Out: A Guide to Success on Your Own Terms by Andy Paul. I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of this ground-breaking book that will be sure to take the Sales world by storm in early 2022. Andy’s book will make every sales professional rethink their approach and elevate their self-esteem. And for marketers, this book will give you insights into the future of your all-important partners in success.
If you have some great marketing books to recommend, please let us know. And if you’re a fan of marketing books, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Douglas Burdett’s Marketing Book Podcast (which featured 6 of these books and 2 other soon).