Here are some thought provoking marketing and business books from my personal collection. These are my favorite, share-worthy marketing, creativity, innovation books from amongst the many many books I read across years. Each book here gave me something of value.
Either got me clarity on the way forward, gave me a new way to look at a current situation, helped me think of ideas in a different way, enhanced my creativity/ imagination, etc.
Give them a shot. They may reveal different things to you.
If you don’t want to read the entire book, you could read my notes and highlights from the respective links.
Only the Kindle editions have notes and highlights (of course). For those I read in hard copy, I can simply recommend the name here. You would have to do the heavy lifting of actually reading the book to mine its gold. But trust me, if the name is here, it will be worth the reading time and effort.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger (Hardcopy)
I had taken the Viral Marketing MOOC conducted by Jonah Berger. It was based on Stepps principle that Contagious is built on. It was good that he wrote it down in book format because it makes for better referencing. I cannot keep revisiting the MOOC lectures but I can keep browsing through the book as and when I need to.
Content wise, to the point, no faff and every point mentioned was supported by scientific evidence. As a marketer, the book was invaluable . It helped sharpen certain thoughts a …more
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (Hardcopy) Walter Isaacson
When you start reading the book, it feels heavy and for a non-technical person like me, it went over my head- because it was too technical- the initial chapters were about mathematicians, followed by chapters on programmers and transistor etc. The people parts of these chapters were good though.
Then as you proceed further into the book, things start becoming less technical. Or maybe because you start moving closer to the technologies we use currently, they were easier to understand.
Through all …more
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind- Yuval Noah Harari (Hardcopy)
Though this page lists marketing and business books, this book Sapiens deserves special mention because it completely changes your perspective about the most fundamental things like family, humans, religions etc. Change in perspective will have a rub off effect on all aspects of your life- personal or professional. Hence, this book makes it to this list.
When you call on your colleagues to learn the going rate for an upcoming job, you might try one of these conversation starters: “I’m talking to a client about [type of job]. Have you done anything like that recently?” [After loosening up the consultant, add the next line.] “Would you mind telling me how much you charged?” “I have the possibility of [describe work]. Do you know the typical rates for this kind of job?” “A client has asked me to do [type of work]. Do you know anyone who’s done this sort of job who might be willing to talk to me, especially about rates?”
negotiation involves distinct steps, and what is on the table differs at each stage: Stage 1: dollars—Talk about how much money you will receive. This is what the client expects when discussing the consultant’s fee. If you feel there is wiggle-room in your initial price, you may offer a lower price at this stage should the client balk. Stage 2: the job description—If the client simply cannot come up with the money you feel is appropriate, try to alter the parameters of the job. Useful negotiating points at this stage include the timetable or schedule, the size of the job, the number of times …more
“I want to apply to work with you at Facebook,” she said. “So I thought about calling you and telling you all of the things I’m good at and all of the things I like to do. Then I figured that everyone was doing that. So instead, I want to ask you: What is your biggest problem, and how can I solve it?”
The book is less a biography, more a chronicle of two unique companies- SpaceX and Tesla. It is fairly detailed in the founding stories and successes and failures of the two companies. Also in the role Elon Musk plays in both.
Elon Musk comes across as Steve Jobs version 2.0. He is as driven, as focused, as insensitive, as visionary as Jobs. Having read Steve Jobs’ biography too, the comparisons are inevitable.
But reading the book, I came away with a sense of hope for the future, knowing there …more
The DEAL of deal making is also an acronym for the process of becoming a member of the New Rich. The steps and strategies can be used with incredible results—whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur. Can you do everything I’ve done with a boss? No. Can you use the same principles to double your income, cut your hours in half, or at least double the usual vacation time? Most definitely.
A year later, fashion retailer Nordstrom made dedicated areas of their bricks-and-mortar stores designated Pinterest sections, which included some of the most pinned products from the Nordstrom Pinterest page that week.
Another great example comes from S-Oil. The South Korean petroleum provider’s ‘Here’ campaign chose a simple solution to one of the biggest problems faced in modern cities: finding a parking space. Hi-tech solutions to the issue include Germany’s ParkTag app, which uses smartphone-enabled crowdsourcing to create a map of free parking spots to be shared among friends. But S-Oil sought a solution not reliant on smartphones or sensor systems, and joined with Korea-based advertising agency Cheil to tackle the issue – with balloons.
Bright yellow arrow-shaped balloons were placed in the middle of parking bays, tethered to the ground by a piece of string. The arrows were boldly emblazoned with the word ‘HERE’, to indicate a free space. When a car drove into the spot, the string was pulled under the vehicle, drawing the balloon down. When it left, the balloon floated back up again, instantly alerting those nearby that the space was being vacated
My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire- Michelle Goodman (Hardcopy)
To stay inspired, we’d perpetually hunt for ideas together, devouring hundreds of magazines and newspapers. Our living room table was a collage of media. We’d flip through copies of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Time, Newsweek, Car & Driver, Automobile, Motor Trend, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, and National Geographic. We’d examine each new product, quizzing each other on whether it would be successful and how we might change it.
Prolific + Brilliant + Healthy=producing great work consistently and in a sustainable wayBrilliance, on the other hand, is about rising to the occasion, seeing clearly and incisively to the core of the problem, and identifying great solutions quickly.
A good strategy honestly acknowledges the challenges being faced and provides an approach to overcoming them. And the greater the challenge, the more a good strategy focuses and coordinates efforts to achieve a powerful competitive punch or problem-solving….
The types of companies hiring strategists snowballed beyond agencies to include innovation consultancies, start-ups, and even the marketing departments on the client side.
The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts. It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, and you will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in “deliberate” practice—practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort. You will need a well-informed coach not only to guide you through deliberate practice but also to help you learn how to coach yourself. Above all, if you want to achieve top performance as a manager and a leader, you’ve got to forget the…
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull
If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better. The takeaway here is worth repeating: Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right. It is easy to say you want talented people, and you do, but the way those people interact with one another is the real key. Even the smartest people can form an ineffective team if they are mismatched. That means it is better to focus on how a team is performing, not on the talents of…
A Technique for Producing Ideas – the simple five-step formula anyone can use to be more creative in business and in life!, by James Webb Young
An idea, I thought, has some of that mysterious quality which romance lends to tales of the sudden appearance of islands in the South Seas.
A book like Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class therefore becomes a better book about advertising than most books about advertising.
an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of elements. In advertising an idea, results from a new combination of specific knowledge about. products and people, will general knowledge about life and events.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki (Hardcopy)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion-Robert B. Cialdini (Hardcopy)
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success-Carol S. Dweck (Hardcopy)
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All- Tom Kelley, David Kelley (Hardcopy)
Steve Jobs– Walter Isaacson (Hardcopy)
Unusually Effective: 25 Unusual yet Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies for Creating an Irresistible brand, Ultimate Business Growth and Massive Profits, by Akshay Desai
Families on the other hand tend to get together for a home cooked dinner or go out for one. A lot of bars, restaurants have discount offers especially for weekends, search a few in your locality and inform your followers about these discounts.
Unusual Strategy #4 #MondayMorning routine No one…including you, likes to be marketed to on a Monday morning but we all could use a little inspiration and motivation. A simple Google search will give you enough inspirational quotes and memes about Monday morning to share with your followers…and you will be surprised to see how many of these get retweeted and shared. When you do this, don’t forget to use relevant Hashtags like; #mondaymorning #mondaymotivation #monday #coffee #dayofpositivity #goodmorning
Marriott’s “Travel Brilliantly” TV, digital, and mobile advertising campaign is a prime example of a hotel chain that reinvented the way it interacts with its guests to be relevant in the age of social media. The campaign asked guests to be co-creators of the lodging experience, by sending the company their ideas to make their stay better or sharing their travel adventures. When a traveler suggested that Marriott install “healthy” vending machines, the chain partnered with Farmer’s Fridge to dispense salads-in-a-jar. Marriott also lends its guests a GoPro camera so they can record and share…
49 Quick Ways to Market Your Business for Free: An Instant Guide to Marketing Success, by Sarah-Jane White
05 Create very short presentations which carry very focused messages about your products and services and share them on the web. These are a great way to reach out to customers and in just a handful of slides deliver a short crisp message about your business. Need inspiration? Then why not start by taking one of your frequently asked questions and presenting the answer in a slideshow, then share. Remember to link back to your website and blog.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder- Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Hardcopy)
Pinterest Power: Market Your Business, Sell Your Product, and Build Your Brand on the World’s Hottest Social Network- Jason Miles (Hardcopy)
Leading the Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customers, Your Products and Your People- Joseph A. Michelli (Hardcopy)
Productivity for Creative People: How to Get Creative Work Done in an “Always on” World, by Mark McGuinness
The Calendar Game Here is a simple game I invite coaching clients to play1 when they are struggling to put in consistent daily work on a project or practice on their art: Buy or make a monthly calendar and hang it somewhere prominent so you will see it every day. Each day you actually do your creative work (hours put in, word count, etc.) color that day red. The aim of the game is to turn the month red. Each time you skip a day, color that day blue.
Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius- Michael Michalko (Hardcopy)
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results- Gary Keller, Jay Papasan (Hardcopy)
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think- Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler (Hardcopy)
Mastery- Robert Greene (Hardcopy)
The most exciting creativity, I believe, is the alchemy of blending apparent opposites, what we often call ‘art’ and ‘science’, recognising that they are not opposites at all, from which we have to choose either/or in a binary fashion, but the yin and yang of a whole.
Successful creative enterprises need to have a creative product or service; they also need to invent a special and workable formula of all the essential ingredients of business.
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users- Guy Kawasaki (Hardcopy)
Outliers: The Story of Success- Malcolm Gladwell (Hardcopy)