Digital marketers have one of the most entrepreneurial jobs in marketing. You are expected to wear many hats, learn quickly, and work cross-functionally with all aspects of the business. Yet the digital marketing landscape is growing at a rapid pace and it is still relatively difficult to come by relevant resources that you can trust.
At Pixlee, we’ve worked with hundreds of digital marketers and pride ourselves on being experts in the field.If you are lucky enough to be heading home for the holidays for some R&R, here are our top ten digital marketing books to help you soak up some knowledge before January.
1. Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for social media. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really work.
2. Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs
The story wars are all around us. They are the struggle to be heard in a world of media noise and clamor. Today, most brand messages and mass appeals for causes are drowned out before they even reach us. But a few break through the din, using the only tool that has ever moved minds and changed behavior—great stories. Winning the Story Wars is a call to arms for business communicators to join a revolution to build the iconic brands of the future. It puts marketers in the role of heroes with a chance to transform the enterprises they represent.
3. Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
Where do great ideas come from? What kind of environment breeds them? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push our society forward? Steven Johnson identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality.
4. Absolute Value by Itamar Simonson
Absolute Value reveals what really influences customers today and offers a new framework of thinking about consumer decision-making. How people buy things has changed profoundly—yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision-making and marketing has not. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes. Absolute Value answers the pressing questions of how to influence customers in this new age.
5. Contagious by Jonah Berger
Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? And what makes online content go viral? Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos. Contagious explains why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content.
6. BrandSimple by Allen Adamson
In an era of mixed media messages, in which brands are extended to the breaking point and complex marketing theories compete for attention, it is more difficult than ever to create effective brands. Adamson offers a refreshingly simple solution: Bring back the basics of good branding to ensure success. He advocates for building a brand on a good idea that you test and staying away from unnecessary and complicated strategies.
7. Aaker On Branding by David Aaker
Aaker offers twenty essential principles of branding that lead to the creation of strong brands. This book provides a checklist of strategies, perspectives, tools, and concepts that represents not only what you should know but also what action options should be on the table. In addition to structuring the larger literature of branding as a whole, Aaker adds to the practice of brand management and, by extension, the practice of business management.
8. The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
The Innovators is the story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. This history of the digital revolution explains how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? Why did some succeed and others fail? Isaacson details how their minds worked, what made them so inventive, and how they mastered the art of teamwork.
9. Googled by Ken Auletta
There are companies that create waves and those that ride or are drowned by them. Auletta tells the story of how Google formed and crashed into traditional media businesses. Using the company as a stand-in for the digital revolution, Auletta takes readers inside the closed-door meetings and paints portraits of Google’s notoriously private founders, as well as those who work with and against them. This narrative provides the fullest account of Google’s rise, shares the secret sauce of its success, and shows why the worlds of new and old media often communicate as if residents of different planets.
10. Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard
Top branding and marketing expert Olivier Blanchard brings together new best practices for strategy, planning, execution, measurement, analysis, and optimization. He defines the financial and nonfinancial business impacts you are aiming for--and helps you to achieve them. Social Media ROI delivers practical solutions for everything from structuring programs to attracting followers, defining metrics to managing crises, and will help give your social media program true business discipline and align with your organization’s goals.