The 20 best marketing books of all time! – WAU

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In your opinion, what is marketing? A question so broad that it gives scope for all kinds of answers. From the most expensive to the most elaborate. One of these definitions, presented by author Ryan Holiday in his book “Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising”, says that marketing is everything that wins and keeps customers.

But the answer can go far beyond that concept – which is why thousands of scholars, professionals and experts dedicate their time and talent to works they seek explore this market, reflect on its origins, and point to trends that will dictate the future.

Thus, whether you are a marketing professional wanting to update yourself, a student seeking knowledge or even an entrepreneur wanting to know a little more about this department, marketing books are essential for many people.

After all, it’s not just about selling products or services, but also about ideals, causes – and even our own personal marketing.

From the most basic, which present the fundamental concepts of the area, to the most advanced, which bring segments and deep reflections on the sector, which are not lacking in the market are great marketing books.

Whether from novice authors, bringing trends and exploring new branches of the market, or more experienced, with their classic and must-read works, marketing books are able to open up new perspectives and point to more efficient ways of doing – and selling – your business.

But, in the midst of so many titles, where to start? Or what are those mandatory works?

The question is difficult and there will always be different opinions. But we try to make our contribution and we list the 20 best marketing books of all time.

So, if you intend to catch up on reading, keep up to date, or even start your studies in the area, you can not miss checking our list.

1 – The Purple Cow, by Seth Godin

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We started our list with one of the greatest marketing classics of all time. In a world that is increasingly full of information, it takes more than just advertising to get companies to convince people to choose their product or service.

With the market becoming more competitive every day – in quantity and quality – it takes much more than a cute jingle, a correct slogan or a well-done ad to attract consumers’ attention amid so much information.

On those days, when just being “good” is no longer enough, you need to look for strategies and actions that make your brand exceptional. It is necessary to be different from the others, to draw attention in the midst of so much information and make people comment on your brand and wish to consume your product or service.

It is precisely about this challenge that the book discusses. Godin, one of the most renowned marketing professionals in the United States, navigates this new market, helping readers to highlight the importance their businesses need to profit in today’s world.

2 – Confessions of an Advertiser, by David Ogilvy

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One of the greatest advertising classics could not be left out of that list. David Ogilvy, one of the most creative publicists of all time, started his career on Madison Avenue and gradually gained the spotlight in the American markets.

In his book, Ogilvy “confesses” the path he has taken to the top and gives valuable tips on how consumers’ minds and emotions work.

It is no wonder that the book has become one of the greatest legacies of the professional and a must-read for all generations of advertisers, entrepreneurs, marketers, communicologists, sociologists and several other professionals interested in consumer psychology.

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What does it take for something to be successful with people? If you have thought of “good advertising”, it is better to review your concepts. Although ads still have their space, they are no longer as relevant to people as they used to be.

If a few years ago a space on the radio, TV, magazine or newspapers was enough to convince a consumer to choose a certain brand, today it is necessary to win it in other ways.

One of the most efficient is the opinion of friends, family and influencers.

This is what Jonah Berger, professor of Marketing at Wharton, defends. After spending decades researching the subject, he was able to identify what factors cause a rumor to spread on social networks, or a video to go viral on the internet and how this social phenomenon influences our decisions – purchasing, attitude, beliefs etc.

In the book, the author shares with readers the hidden science behind online contagion and social sharing, in addition to dividing the six essential principles that drive all types of content to go viral. Unmissable!


4 – The Digital Marketing Bible, by Cláudio Torres

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In this practical guide, the reader is invited to understand each stage of the digital marketing universe, as well as the necessary tools to use the internet for business and to implement online marketing, communication and advertising actions.

In the work, Cláudio Torres addresses the greatest strategies, platforms, tools and actions used on the internet. It also offers a practical guide for the reader to start putting the teachings into practice as soon as possible.

Another differential of this guide is its accessibility.

Developed so that anyone can take advantage of the benefits of digital marketing to expand and strengthen business, the book is aimed at all audiences – from lay people, students, to professionals and experts in the field.

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With a good dose of creativity, energy, time and money it is possible to achieve anything through marketing, correct? Do not.

At least, that’s what Al Ries and Jack Trout, authors of the work, think. According to them, there are 22 laws of marketing that, in case they are broken – intentionally or not – will definitively compromise all planning.

Therefore, no matter how much time, talent and money has been invested, every campaign will be doomed to failure for those who do not care to follow these laws.

In the book, the 22 rules are specified and detailed, and the authors point out what works and what doesn’t in the sector, in addition to giving tips to experts and managers who don’t want to fall into these traps.

The 22 Consecrated Marketing Laws

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One more of him!

One of the greatest specialists in digital marketing today, the American Seth Godin is a mandatory author for anyone who wants to understand the size and impact of the internet and the new digital communication platforms in business and, of course, in marketing.

In Permission Marketing, Godin introduces the unprecedented concept of “permission marketing” (one of the premises of Inbound Marketing) and invites readers to learn how to create marketing strategies that can make consumers yearn to receive messages from your company.

To be the dream of all marketers, isn’t it?

Permission Marketing

7 – Words that work: It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear, by Frank Luntz

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Why do some people manage not only to say what they want, but to do it in an impactful way? How do some speakers manage to transform simple speeches into emblematic moments, stirring emotions and causing people to take certain actions?

What makes some copywriters raise the bar to a simple slogan, turning them into mottos for their consumers?

The answers to all these questions are in Frank Luntz’s “Words That Work”.

In the work, the linguistic architect and public opinion guru discusses the essential techniques for an efficient language, as well as inviting a deep reflection on which are the right words to achieve your goals, and what are the best ways to use them.

So, whether to boost your sales, reinforce your company’s branding, inspire your team or even get a job or that well-deserved increase, using the right words – and in the right way – can make all the difference.

8 – The Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create New Markets and Make Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

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In the book, the authors invite to think about a new way to develop marketing strategies. For this, they defend the creation of new spaces (which would be the blue ocean) and the separation from competition (which would be the red ocean).

To write the book, Mauborgne and Kim studied the speeches of 150 winners and losers from 30 different industries, and realized that classic explanations did not explain the method of those who won.

For the authors, the answer to this phenomenon is the fact that the winning companies have in common the creation of niche markets. With that, the competition becomes something more and more irrelevant, as they create new ways to grow.

The Blue Ocean Strategy

9 – All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren

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The ninth novel on our list is set in the 1930s and tells the story of the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark – for many, inspired by Louisiana Governor Huey Long.

In the book, Robert Penn Warren tells the fictional story of the humble family lawyer who begins his political career guided by the needs of the poorest population. From an idealistic youth, Willie becomes an orator acclaimed by the crowds.

However, during his growing trajectory, the lawyer ends up making dubious alliances, and calls for corruption and blackmail to remain in power. Published six decades ago and adapted twice for the cinema, “All the King’s Men” is considered, until today, one of the greatest political novels in American literature.

10 – Marketing 3.0 – The Forces Defining New Human-Centered Marketing, by Philip Kotler

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Finally, another one about Marketing 3.0.

In this book, the new marketing model is presented in detail by Philip Kotler.

Characterized by the unique way in which it treats its customers, Marketing 3.0 sees in each consumer the complex and multifaceted human being he is, and learns that it is necessary to offer products and services as unique and personalized as each customer.

In the work, Kotler argues that the future of marketing lies in creating not only products and services, but also companies and business models capable of inspiring, including and reflecting what their customers think, believe and defend.

For this, he shows how the future will be and how professionals in the field need to give up the ideologies of the past to embark on this trend.

Marketing 3.0

11 – The Logic of Consumption, by Martin Lindstrom

Why do we buy the things we buy?

In this book, Martin Lindstrom, voted one of the most influential people by Time magazine in 2009, explains how everything we do and think is influenced by outside forces. Using neuroscience and marketing, the author shows us how science can be applied to understand consumer desires.

The Logic of Consumption: Truths and lies about why we buy

12 – Buzz: Word of mouth marketing, by Emanuel Rosen

A classic marketing book. Rosen explains to us here how brands started to gain public attention, teaching us to attract the public and ensure that they will promote their product, based on interviews with more than 150 executives and marketers.

book cover the weapons of persuasion

Over three decades of research, the renowned American psychologist Robert Cialdini, author of the book and renowned psychologist, analyzed the art of persuasion, trying to understand why some people are able to convince others so easily.

He teaches us here the greatest secrets of persuasion. This book is not specific to marketing, but it can be used to increase the convincing and persuasive skills of all marketers looking to reach their target audience. In this book, you will learn how to become an influential person.

The Weapons of Persuasion

14 – Ideas that stick together: Why Some Ideas Take and Others Don’t, Dan Heath

How do you come up with valuable ideas that will really expand your business and your brand value? This book will teach you in detail how to tell a good story. In addition, we will understand the anatomy of the ideas that work.

This book can be an incredible source of inspiration to produce ideas of real value.

Ideas That Stick

This book is a powerful tool for understanding the power that marketing gives us to connect and really understand people. According to Ferrazzi, the secret to all success lies in making good contacts and connections. Here, you will learn how to truly connect with the people around you and how to use that to your advantage.

What makes a product popular?

Gladwell shows us the exact moment when a product becomes a success. It is that magical moment when something goes viral and becomes known to a large portion of the public. This book is very enlightening to understand the concepts of viral marketing and how and why some things become overnight success.

The Turning Point

17 – Tribes, Seth Godin

This book by Seth Godin shows us the importance of leadership in powerful marketing. How to become an influencer? How to create your own tribe? Learn from Godin to be an enviable leader.

18 – Linchpin, Seth Godin

It is not for nothing that Seth Godin is already appearing for the third time in our list.

Are you indispensable?

Marketing genius, in this book the author encourages you to get up and do an incredible job that you and your team are proud of at the end of the day. How to survive in the current economic situation and do your best in all your efforts?

Linchpin can help you to be the best marketer you can be.

Godin teaches you this and more at Linchpin.

19 – The Last of the Mad Men, Jerry Della Femina

The last of the mad menA classic from the world of marketing and advertising, which inspired the renowned Mad Men series.

The book is an account of Femina about the golden age of American advertising in the 60s and 70s, decades of large investments in advertising. A must for all those who wish to learn a little about the history of marketing and the reality of the great campaigns of that time.

20 – Hooked, Nir Eyal

To finish our list, we present the book “Hooked”, by Nir Eyal.

Eyal shows us in his work why some products capture our attention. What makes us like a product? How can consuming something become a common habit in our routines? Here, the author will teach you how to create and understand user habits, as well as essential tips for creating products that will make the audience fall in love.

So, what did you think of our list? Have you read any of them? What do you think? Did any mark your career? Is there a book that you would like to see here, but that was left out? Comment, share the list and give your opinion. If knowledge is made through the union of knowledge, we want to be part of your process – and invite you to be part of ours.