Customer Portfolios' Blog

A Marketer’s Summer Reading List

summer reading

After surviving a record-setting winter, it is safe to say that the city of Boston is due for a reprieve consisting of 90+ beach days this summer. To help ensure that your beach bag is packed with the essential beach reads, we have complied a list of books that should be on every marketer’s reading list.

For the data enthusiast…
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

Think Stephan Hawking meets Malcolm Gladwell. Mlodinow addresses the growth and evolution of the theories of probability, or as he prescribes it, theories of randomness. To do so, he ties it together via anecdotes including Las Vegas roulette tables, "Let's Make a Deal," the career of Bruce Willis, and the Warsaw ghetto after Hitler invaded Poland. Mlodinow provides great insight into how chance and luck play a role in determining how situations will play out. This is a great read for anyone who is interested in becoming the next great data scientist or simply interested in data since the book offers a perspective that is often not considered when predictive modeling or segmentation models are being built.

For the CRM intrigued…
Strategic Database Marketing 4e: The Masterplan for Starting and Managing a Profitable, Customer-Based Marketing Program by Arthur Hughes

Hughes is the founder and vice president of The Database Marketing Institute, Ltd. and is a senior strategist at Silverpop. He has designed and maintained marketing databases for Fortune 500 companies for the past 30 years, so it is safe to say he has seen it all and worked in databases of all kinds. This is a great read because Hughes knows databases SO well that he is able to take what might otherwise be a complex subject matter and break it into digestible chunks for the masses.

For marketing disruptor…
Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry by Stephen Denny

Roughly 96% of the US is comprised of companies that have under 50 employees, meaning that most of us do not work at the Coca-Cola’s, IBM’s, GEs of the world. And in the perspective of author Stephen Denny, this is a good thing. This presents a unique opportunity to overcome industry “giants” to grow your own company’s market and mindshare. Pulling on examples from companies such as MINI, Vibram, and Boston Beer Comapny, Denny provides tangible, actionable examples of how marketers and strategists can confront and take on the giants within their industry. It’s a great read for anyone who is interested brand positioning and understanding how marketing plays into organizational strategy.

For the socially-inclined…
What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube: PRIVACY is DEAD. The NEW rules for business, personal, and family reputation by Erik Qualman

It seems a little backwards to be recommending a book on social media, as shouldn’t it be a podcast or webisode? Call me old fashioned, but sometimes books are better. In this case, Qualman does a great job of outlining the importance and implications of a brand on social media. It’s no doubt that social media has disrupted the marketing industry and while brands should use it as an engagement tool, they need to be cognizant of their digital footprint. If you’re someone who works with digital community management or are just interested in understanding how the social media can impact your personal or corporate brand, this is the read for you.

For the product marketer…
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Why do some products capture our attention, while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Author Nir Eyal introduces us to the "Hook Model," a four steps process companies use to build customer habits. Through consecutive hook cycles, successful products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back repeatedly without depending on costly advertising investment or aggressive messaging. This book is perfect for product managers, designers, marketers, and anyone who is looking to learn more about what drives and motivates consumer behavior.

These are just a few books on our summer reading list, what are the books that you would recommend? Share your recommendations on Twitter by tweeting us at @bestcustomers.

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