Summer Reading for Marketers

Summer Reading List for Marketers

I just made summer vacation plans and while I have to wait until August for some R&R, it got me thinking about my reading list. There are a number of insightful books out there that have enriched (or are in the process of enriching) the way I approach my work.

A few of these are pure marketing and business strategy, others are for entertainment with less direct, yet still applicable lessons to apply to your process. There are some old and some new, some serious and some fun.

I hope this helps you fill your Kindle with good stuff this summer. I’m looking for my next read. Please share your suggestions in the comments!

Your Network is Your Net Worth by Porter Gale

I just met Gale two weeks ago at an event for her book hosted by SmartRecruiters. I’m only one-third through this book, but it’s great so far. Our personal networks are becoming more important to our success. This book teaches you how to break through your personal barriers to networking and shows you the incredible value of meaningful relationships.

Influence Marketing by Danny Brown & Sam Fiorella

Brown and Fiorella went and wrote the textbook on how social influence impacts businesses. Their book is a framework for understanding true influence and how to harness it. One of their breakthrough ideas is to put the customer at the center of your strategy, not the influencer. This is the book to read to elevate your influencer marketing strategy to the next level.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Originally published in 1985, this book made my list because I’m skeptical of the big screen version coming out this Fall so you’ve only got four months to read it before the film forever changes our perception of it! It’s an easy read you can get lost in, but Ender’s Game also offers an interesting look at human interaction and the art of strategy.

Lean In: Women, Work & the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

For women, men, parents, managers, CEOs… whoever you are this book is an enlightening narrative of all that has prevented gender equality in the workplace and in our homes. Sandberg gives us an honest account of the internal barriers women need to overcome and the societal norms preventing progress — supported by data at every point.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

We love our gadgets. Could you imagine choosing to live without them and devote your life to the study of mathematics and philosophy, and generally just being a thinker? That’s what the protagonist in Anathem has done. Read this book if you want to indulge in some speculative fiction and absorb the art of amazing storytelling. All 928 pages will engage you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

We are so bombarded by opportunities, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. If you haven’t read this book yet or if you’re feeling like you don’t have control over your todo list, give yourself an effectiveness makeover. My two favorite habits are beginning with the end in mind and differentiating between urgent and important.

Optimize by Lee Odden

I wish Optimize would have been required reading when I was studying marketing. It’s got to be the most clear and implementable guidebook for online marketers today. At a strategic level, Optimize helps you think about SEO, social, earned media, owned media… all of it, as one cohesive strategy. From a tactical level, this book shows you how to get it done. All that’s left to do, is do it.

An Unbalanced Success: Life, Leadership & Libretto by Norrie Thomas

This is a book that will inspire you to dream, jump in and create opportunities. In many ways the author embodies many of the principles Porter Gale talks about in her book. She’s been the type of “Lean In” leader Sheryl Sandberg encourages. She’s as strategic as Ender and as creative as Stephenson. She’s also my mom :).

Attenzi: A Social Business Story by Philip Sheldrake

In this fictional story of Eli Appel, the CEO of Attenzi, a kitchen manufacturing company  Sheldrake paints the new landscape of social business and what it means for organizational design, business management, marketing, PR and more. My teammate, Nicolas Chabot, wrote a review of it earlier this year and I’ve just downloaded it to the Kindle app on my Nexus10. This is an entirely free book available for download on pretty much every device imaginable.

What are you reading?