10 Great Books for Marketers to Read in 2017


I am always on the hunt for a good business book. I tend to devour them. I came across a recent article on Salesforce that had some really good book recommendations. I plan to read these this year and thought you might want to as well. Here are my top ten picks.

1. Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers

 “It’s all about why some innovations — whether it’s a product, service, or even hybrid corn — catch on. So it’s great data and great stories.” Jonah Berger, bestselling author of Contagious

Amazon description: In this renowned book, Everett M. Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, explains how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. The fifth edition addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.

 2. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier  

“It’s clinical, it’s brilliant, it’s also crazy in a lot of places. It takes a lot of ideas surrounding our current digital culture and network culture and shakes it up completely. Reading that book, I think, opened my eyes. I would recommend his book for anyone who’s looking for a new perspective or lens on all the changes that are happening in our connected culture.” Cal Newport, author of “Deep Work,” an instant WSJ bestseller and Amazon’s Best Business Book for January 2016

Amazon description: A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

 3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

“We’re all overwhelmed with too much to do. How do you really focus on the core essentials of your life?” Tim Kopp, Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners

Amazon description: The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

 4. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

“One of my favorite business books of the year.” Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Growth Hacker Marketing

Amazon description: In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

 5. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

 “It’s really about how you can drive change inside an organization or even within a market, and how it isn’t all about data or appealing to reason — and it isn’t just about emotion. He gives a lot of great examples of how subtle things can influence and drive so much change.” Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Marketing at Upserve

Amazon description: In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people — employees and managers, parents and nurses — have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change.Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

 6. Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock

“I found this book was a really practical and really interesting look at how our brains function when we have so much going on, and how to calm that so we can get more done.” Michele Linn, VP of Content at Content Marketing Institute

Amazon description: Meet Emily and Paul: The parents of two young children, Emily is the newly promoted VP of marketing at a large corporation while Paul works from home or from clients’ offices as an independent IT consultant. Their lives, like all of ours, are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, yet more emails, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Just staying ahead of the storm has become a seemingly insurmountable task. In this book, we travel inside Emily and Paul’s brains as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they’re presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it.

7. Innovation and Entrepreneurshipby Peter Drucker

“The amazing thing is he wrote this in 1984 and he basically predicted the entrepreneurial economy. I don’t know why this book isn’t on the bookshelf of every business owner in the world. It’s the best entrepreneurial framework I’ve seen.” Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code, marketing consultant, and speaker 

Amazon description: This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America’s new entrepreneurial economy. Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today’s economy.

 8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Businessby Charles Duhigg

“How do habits exist, how are they formed, how do they change? It’s a very helpful work strategy, as well as a personal strategy.” Angela Sanchez, Vice President of Consumer Relationship Marketing at Universal Music Group

Amazon description: Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.

 9. Ignore Everybodyby Hugh MacLeod

 “It just changed me personally and professionally. It’s one of the most remarkable books on creativity that i’ve ever read.” Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s Global Content Marketing Leader

Amazon description: When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person? Now his first book, Ignore Everybody, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice.

 10. Design for Real Lifeby Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer

“It’s product design-focused but has a lot of great takeaways about thinking compassionately about your designs to include the most users, as opposed to narrowing in too much on a perfect persona.” Lindsay Siovaila, Lead Solutions Developer at Salesforce

Amazon description: You can’t always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they’ll be in when they do. But by identifying stress cases and designing with compassion, you’ll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time. Join Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer as they turn examples from more than a dozen sites and services into a set of principles you can apply right now.