Marketing has changed a lot in the past 10 years, and our (now virtual) marketing bookshelf is groaning with proof. Blogs and LinkedIn posts may have supplanted the throne once occupied by books, at least for guidance on immediate trends, but there are still some essential books published during the past decade that are well worth a read.

How many have you read? Do you have others to suggest?

 

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Not strictly about marketing, this book, appropriately enough, starts with, “Why?” Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? The author studied leaders of all kinds who have had great influence, and discovered what they have in common. Guess what it is.

 

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Hits and niches. Anderson’s theory is that the 20th century was dominated by hit products, and the 21st will be the century of niche products. This one really hit home for me when I first started working in the videogame industry.  Anderson looks at the economics and psychology behind niches and how the changing economics are transforming our culture.

 

Lead With A Story by Paul Smith

An inside look at the culture inside consumer product behemoth P&G. Smith, a P&G marketing veteran, is a pro at following his own advice on how to use storytelling to impart big lessons. We’re believers in the power of storytelling, and this book has both fascinating examples from brands like Nike, 3M and Kellogg’s, and real-world tips on writing your own powerful stories.

 

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

We do a lot of content marketing here at Sol. Content or entertainment marketing is the idea of offering potential customers real and valuable articles, video, or similar in order to build brand loyalty. Although service businesses typically favor this approach, content marketing is still very important for ecommerce entrepreneurs.

 

The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know by Robert Solomon

Whether you’re on the client side, the agency side, or service or act as a client inside n organization, this is an acknowledged classic that includes on of my personal mantras: “Be brief. Be bright. Be gone.”. Amazon calls it a fast-reading, pocket-size, actionable checklist of 58 essential ideas to help client service professionals improve their account management strategy and skills. They had me at “checklist.”

 

The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don’t by Nate Silver

Everybody’s favorite statistician takes a look at the wild world of predictions, examining how we can recognize a true signal in a universe of noisy data. Silver’s point of view is that most predictions fail because we have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. I predict a bright future for Nate Silver.