Top 10 Marketing Books To Read In 2021

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

Looking for a great marketing book to enhance your marketing prowess?—Check out my top 10 books for marketers in 2021.

Undoubtedly, marketing is time-consuming; marketers are typically busy individuals.

However, regardless of how busy we might be as marketers, it is unwise to sideline the importance of continuous learning.

Even the most talented marketers do not rely on their natural intuition, but rather proven techniques and processes that make marketing work.

What are the best marketing books to read in 2021?

Of course, there are countless marketing books out there but certainly not all of them are worth your time.

That's why I've put together a list of 10 top books on marketing—read any of them and you won't be disappointed.

How To Become A Brand Marketer.

While some are new with up-to-date information, some are older classics, they all offer timeless insights about psychology and human behavior.

I have based this list solely on content and the value offered—these books often have best reviews and are authored by foremost marketing experts.

Pick up any of the book from my list and it will help you learn from the best marketers of our times, so that you can and develop a better marketing strategy and run a successful marketing campaign in 2021.

Having said that, below is my review of the top 10 books every marketer should read.

10 Best Marketing Books

  1. This is Marketing
  2. Made to Stick
  3. The 1-Page Marketing Plan
  4. Hooked
  5. The Influencer Code
  6. Purple Cow
  7. Growth Hacker Marketing
  8. Building A StoryBrand
  9. Contagious
  10. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Without any further ado, let us get straight into it!

I describe each book shortly to help you make the right decision as to which book you should add to your collection.

1. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

It is impossible to list top best marketing books without including Seth Godin’s “This Is Marketing.” —the book climaxes his wisdom and experience as one of the best marketers of our times.

A must-have book for innovative thinking and purposeful marketing.

Learn how to identify your target market and engage with them with the broader and philosophical advice explored in this incredible book.

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin—A must-have book for innovative thinking and purposeful marketing.

Having read This is Marketing,” I am convinced it is one of the best resources for anyone looking to learn marketing in 2021.

Seth analyzes marketing topics as carefully as possible in this book, exploring a game-changing approach to marketing.

Topics in this book include the history of marketing, the reduced relevance of mass media in the digital era and how to market effectively to your specific audience.

Seth explores a people-centered, compassionate, and authentic marketing approach.

The book will guide you through the best way to build trust in your prospects, that will in return make the buying choice feel natural to your prospects.

Overall, “This is Marketing” will help you identify ways to create a meaningful connection with your audience, which is should be the main goal of your marketing strategy.

Buy This is Marketing on Amazon

2. Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

“Made To Stick” is an another must-read book for digital marketers where the authors tackled the primary reasons why ideas don’t thrive, helping you come up with practical solutions to improve your marketing campaigns.

Learn how to craft an influential and memorable marketing message.

Chip Heath & Dan Heath explored various reasons why most marketing ideas die while only a few succeed, showing you ways to prevent your ideas from going unnoticed.

Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath—Learn how to craft an influential and memorable marketing message.

“Made To Stick” with help you understand the dynamism of business ideas, what makes them noticeable, understandable, remembered, catered to, and acted upon.

The authors examine the essential factors for efficient marketing and the best methods to execute your ideas and gain the most traction.

This indispensable book concludes that ideas that stick have six (6) common traits and how to implement them into your marketing strategy.

This is an eye-opening and a bit provocative book that analyzes the principles of ideas that work and how you can apply such principles to your own ideas.

You'll learn how to keep your communication simple and how to be clever when coming up with your marketing message.

Buy Made To Stick on Amazon

3. The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

Yet another classic marketing book, this time from Australian marketer Allan Dib who discusses his best practices in direct response marketing (I interviewed Allan on my podcast).

A practical step-by-step process to direct response marketing.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan will help you stop chasing your tail while revealing proven strategies and tips on how to step up your marketing efforts with a concrete plan of action.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib—A practical step-by-step process to direct response marketing.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan is basically a compilation of tips on how to get new customers and make more money while standing out from the crowd with a unique message.

Prevent yourself from over-complicating your marketing strategy or campaigns with this 9-step marketing plan from Allan Dib.

The author comprehensively discusses how marketers can maintain simplicity without hindering excellent results.

This book explores a simple yet effective marketing plan that creates a guide for marketers looking to get the most bang for the buck.

It solves the central problem of “getting started” that so many small businesses struggle with, helping you validate your ideas and get confidence in their execution.

The one-page marketing plan is an excellent go-to resource for developing a successful marketing plan for your small business.

Buy The 1-Page Marketing Plan on Amazon

4. Hooked by Nir Eyal

A successful marketing campaign largely depends on the type of product being marketed—Can you make your product look desirable or even addictive?

Learn how to create marketing strategies that achieve consistent results.

According to Eyal, if you appropriately execute the hooks outlined in this book, it will increase your customers’ lifetime value and you will experience exponential business growth.

Hooked by Nir Eyal—Learn how to create marketing strategies that achieve consistent results.

“Hooked” by Nir Eyal is a book that teaches digital marketers and business owners how to create addictive products that leave their prospects hooked (as the name suggests).

Eyal analyzes why customers are drawn to some products and services more than others and he shows you how customers make buying decisions with little or zero conscious thought.

He further outlines several tips on how your can do the same for your products or services when you follow his process.

“Hooked” explores a four-step model guiding you to perfectly understand human behavior and how to exploit such understanding to make your customers return without additional advertising.

This book will certainly help your products and services win widespread attention with returning, satisfied buyers.

Buy Hooked on Amazon

5. The Influencer Code by Amanda Russell

In "The influencer Code," Amanda Russell explores the concept of influence and trust and how it is crucial to developing effective digital marketing strategies.

An essential book if you wan to become an influential digital marketer.

The author describes how she began recording success in her marketing campaign, explaining how to shift your focus from transactions to building relationships with your prospects and it is so important.

The Influencer Code by Amanda Russell—An essential book if you wan to become an influential digital marketer.

“The Influencer Code” is an essential resource for anyone who wants to leverage the power of influencer marketing to scale and ultimately grow their brand.

Influencer marketing is rapidly gaining recognition amongst business owners due to its powerful strategies and tactics.

In this book, Amanda comprehensively outlined the dynamics of influencer marketing, helping you to identify the best ways to use influencers to your advantage (and how to work with them).

The author reveals how you can get your influencer marketing right, by using factors to identify an influencer that suits your business best and can help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

You will also learn how to research, approach, and hire influencers, legally integrating them into your campaigns to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Buy The Influencer Code on Amazon

6. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

The Purple Cow is a classic book (2009) by marketing guru Seth Godin that launched a movement to make remarkable products that are worth marketing in the first place.

Transform your business by creating a truly remarkable product.

The premise of this book is that you’re either remarkable or invisible and you can't be both—learn how to create products that are truly desirable in the first place so that marketing becomes easy.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin—

The Purple Cow is yet another excellent book every marketer should consider reading in 2021 (even though it was written over 10 years ago).

Seth, in this book, developed a creative and efficient process for marketing your businesses that still works in 2021 as it did in 2009.

Basically, Seth believes a transformable company must be remarkable—Hence, you will learn how to make what you offer remarkable and attract cult-like following.

Through stories about brand like Starbucks, JetBlue and Apple, Seth teaches you various principles to market your company successfully.

Generally, this is a quick read divided into easily digestible chapters—A perfect book to read on a short flight.

Buy Purple Cow on Amazon

7. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

In "Growth Hacker Marketing", Ryan Holiday has comprehensively explained how you can use growth hacking to your advantage for optimal success.

Apply growth hacking to reach users and market your businesses.

This book is the go-to guide for persons who have decided to leave the traditional way of marketing, ready to explore a better, trackable, testable, and scalable advertising method.

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday—Apply growth hacking to reach users and market your businesses.

Growth Hacker Marketing will help you identify, measure, and test growth opportunities, helping your business succeed via viral growth engine.

The author explain how branding like Instagram, Dropbox, Snapchat or Airbnb were able to grow their business without spending money on traditional advertising, press releases, TV commercials or billboards.

Ryan explains his new rules for marketing—ones that became a marketing classic in Silicon Valley and around the world.

This new book edition is updated with great case studies of startups and small businesses, so that you can find something relevant to your industry.

This book helps you develop the right marketing mindset, ensuring you don’t miss out on significant marketing opportunities.

Buy Growth Hacker Marketing on Amazon

8. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller

In this book, Donald Miller, explores seven (7) universal, powerful story elements to teach you the proven way to tell your brand story and engage your potential customers.

Craft your brand story in a way that makes customers listen.

Donald’s Building a StoryBrand will make marketing easy for you, helping you identify the right words to use and the best moments to say them.

Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller—Craft your brand story in a way that makes customers listen.

Building a StoryBrand is strongly recommended to business or product owners who find it hard to talk about their business efficiently.

This book will help you save on marketing cost by using the revolutionary methods of communication that help you build a competitive advantage while connecting with customers.

You will discover the best way to make your customers understand why they need your product, services, or ideas.

In essence, Building a StoryBrand is your go-to option if you want to improve the way you talk about your business, what you say, and the value you offer to them.

Overall, a very practical book on brand storytelling with a ton of examples and case studies to get you inspired.

Buy Building A StoryBrand on Amazon

9. Contagious by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by New York’s Bestseller, Jonah Berger is a properly-written book for marketers, explaining why certain things go viral while others don’t.

Learn how to efficiently position your product or business for wide acceptability.

In Contagious, you will learn the techniques that will help you spread news about your products far and wide without having to spend large sums of money on traditional marketing.

Contagious by Jonah Berger—Learn ow to efficiently position your product or business for wide acceptability.

Johan, in this book, teaches readers how to design advertisements, content, and messages that people will love to share and engage with.

Regardless of who you are, whether a big business or a startup, you can boost your product or services awareness by exploring the methods outlined in this book.

The author answers the often asked questions: why are some stories more infectious and what makes them go viral?

By examining some of the most successful marketing campaigns, Berher reverse-engineered what made them great so that you can apply the same principles to get similar results when it comes to marketing your own brand.

Overall, Jonah Berger's book contains best tips on what makes content ‘go viral’ than any other book in the world.

Buy Contagious on Amazon

10. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

My list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the classic book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook authored by marketing guru and social media expert—Gary Vaynerchuk (similar name, huh?)

Discover the best ways to tell your story in today's noisy social world.

This book is mush up of the older best selling books by Gary—it serves as a blueprint for developing your social media marketing strategy.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook—Discover the best ways to tell your story in today's noisy social world.

The metaphorical "jab, jab, jab" is what Gary advices to that every marketer should do—give out valuable content for free to build trust and relationship with potential customers.

The "hook" in the title refers to the time when you ask for sale—your typical sales campaign.

Vaynerchuk explains that while communication is key, it is the context that matters more than ever.

It’s not anymore about just developing high-quality content (jabs) but that content must be perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices.

In his book, Gary teaches you how to produce content that people want to consume and then how to ask for that sale (hook).

Overall, a great classic that will definitely help you understand the big picture of social media marketing in 2021.

Buy this book on Amazon.

Conclusions

Undoubtedly, information is power and technically, the more you learn about marketing, the more you position your brand for success.

All of the books on this list are an invaluable addition to your marketing skillset but ultimately is all about execution.

At some point you have to put these teachings into practice and execute on your thoughts and ideas.

Alternatively, if you don't like to read—check out my other article where I feature top marketing strategy courses.

Did I, by chance, miss any great book on marketing?—Do not hesitate to share them with me via the comment section.

Looking for marketing or branding for your small business?—Just send me an email to get aquote.

Branding Guide

Build a brand your customers will love.

Save money

Best Deals for Creatives

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
Start a project

Need help with your brand?