If you are new to marketing, it can be tough to know where to start. Marketing is the bread and butter of any business, and it is always evolving. There are a lot of marketing books out there, but which are the best marketing books for beginners?
The best marketing books combine tried and true methods with a digital world approach. They provide a well-rounded view of the marketing landscape that is based on experience and research. Most importantly, they will walk you through each step of planning and executing your marketing strategy.
To save you the time and effort of finding the best marketing books for beginners, I’ve compiled a list of 29 picks that will take your skills to the next level. These books will teach you everything from how to create a marketing plan to how to use social media for marketing purposes.
So whether you are just getting started in marketing or you want to learn more about a specific aspect of it, these books will help!
- Best Marketing Books for Beginners
- 1. Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday by Zain Raj
- 2. Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing by Andy Crestodina
- 3. Digital Marketing for Dummies by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry
- 4. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
- 5. The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
- 6. Marketing 4.0: Moving From Traditional to Digital by Philip Kotler
- 7. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani
- 8. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
- 9. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
- 10. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M Schwartz
- 11. The 10x Rule by Grant Cordone
- 12. Uncloned Marketing by Audria Richmond
- 13. Content Marketing Engineered by Wendy Covey
- 14. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
- 15. AI for Marketers by Christopher Penn
- 16. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee A. Maugborgne
- 17. Digital Marketers Sound Off by Matt Chiera
- 18. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
- 19. Traffic Secrets by Russel Brunson
- 20. Hacking Growth: Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
- 21. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- 22. Think Like a Marketer by Kate Colbert
- 23. The Hawke Method by Erik Huberman
- 24. Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored! By Mike Michalowicz
- 25. Affiliate Marketing for Dummies by Ted Sudol
- 26. 300 Email Marketing Tips by Meera Kothand
- 27. Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
- 28. Influence by Robert Cialdini
- 29. The Art of Plain Talk by Rudolf Flesch
- Final Thoughts on the Best Marketing Books for Beginners
Best Marketing Books for Beginners
Without further ado, here are the top 29 marketing books for beginners. These books will teach you the ins and outs of each aspect of marketing as well as the core principles so that you can take your business to the next level.
1. Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday by Zain Raj
If you are looking for a book that will help you understand how marketing has changed in recent years, then this is the book for you. Zain Raj dives into how technology has disrupted marketing and what that means for businesses. He also provides a framework for creating a modern marketing strategy.
Raj focuses on helping the reader to identify the core values of their customers so that they can better connect with them. He illustrates the same techniques that he uses as chief executive officer of SolutionSet, a major marketing agency that serves some of the top brands in the world.
This book will walk you through decisions such as social media, brand-building, and cultivating customer loyalty in the modern world.
Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday is the perfect book for anyone who wants to understand how marketing has changed and what they need to do to stay ahead of the curve.
If you are looking to create a modern marketing strategy, this book is a great place to start.
2. Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing by Andy Crestodina
This book doesn't just tell you how to develop a stellar content marketing plan. It shows you.
Andy Crestodina starts by explaining what content marketing is and why it's so important. He then dives into how to develop a strategy, create compelling content, and measure your results.
He also includes a ton of helpful illustrations to drive home his points.
This is the perfect guide for visual and spatial learners who want a peek into the inner workings of content marketing.
3. Digital Marketing for Dummies by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry
This book reads not only as a guide but as a workbook. It provides an overview of major forms of digital marketing such as advertising, social media marketing, SEO, and email marketing.
It then provides you with plenty of personal audits and checklists so you can assess the effectiveness of your current digital marketing strategy. Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry also include a ton of helpful resources throughout the book such as templates, case studies, and content writing tools.
This book is ideal for the budding entrepreneur that wants an overview of business marketing so they can assess which areas to dive into and focus on next.
4. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday teaches marketers about the mindset of marketing in this book and helps redefine what marketing really is.
Growth Hacker Marketing is all about thinking outside the box and using creative strategies to reach your target market. He provides case studies of companies such as Airbnb and Dropbox which used growth hacking to achieve massive success.
Are you looking for ways to bypass the traditional formats including billboards, press releases, and TV commercials? Then this book is for you.
This book helps marketers who want to think outside the box and find new and creative ways to reach their target market.
If you are looking for case studies on how companies have used growth hacking to achieve success, this book is a great resource.
5. The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
In the overwhelming world of digital marketing, it can be challenging to get started. That's why Allan Dib created the 1-Page Marketing Plan.
Allan Dib walks the reader through how to create a marketing plan that is focused, effective, and easy to implement.
Simply fill out 9 questions about your business and target market on a single page and you will have a complete marketing plan that you can use to grow your business.
This book encourages clarity and action over lengthy marketing plans that sit on a shelf and collect dust.
If you are looking for a simple and effective way to create a marketing plan, this book is for you.
6. Marketing 4.0: Moving From Traditional to Digital by Philip Kotler
In the digital age, consumers spend less attention and time on every piece of media they come across. Rather than feeling discouraged and giving up, Philip Kotler shows marketers how to evolve their strategies to match the changes in consumer behavior.
He provides a framework for understanding how consumers have changed and what needs to be done to reach them where they are at.
This book walks you through the customer journey from awareness of your services to becoming a loyal customer.
This book is a great psychological primer for beginning marketers looking to better understand their target market.
7. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani
Social media is one of the primary branches of digital marketing and Shama Kabani takes you through step-by-step strategies that will reduce stress and burnout in this area.
You'll learn the basics of marketing on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and beyond. Each section provides actionable tweaks you can make to your accounts that can dramatically increase your traffic.
By the end of this book, Kabani will help you to develop a simple routine for social media that will only take 30 minutes each day. This way you can focus on other areas of your online marketing strategy.
8. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is one of the leading marketing minds of our time and this Is Marketing is his magnum opus.
In this book, Godin challenges the traditional ways that marketers have been taught to think about their craft. He encourages marketers to focus on providing value and building relationships with their target market.
By solving problems for customers rather than focusing on the company's bottom line, marketers can create loyalty and trust. Seth Godin writes some of the best marketing books for beginners and you can check out his other texts if you'd like to dive into these topics even further.
This book encourages small business owners to see these relationships as collaborations and not transactions.
9. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Marketing can often involve going under the surface to understand what motivates people. In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely dives into the psychology of why we make the choices that we do.
This book is a great resource for understanding human behavior. Many of the anecdotes can be transferred to the personal relationships you build with customers. This way, you can predict patterns and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Ariely provides case studies and experiments that show how our emotions, social norms, and even placebos can affect our decision-making.
10. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M Schwartz
Don't let the word advertising fool you. this is one of the most coveted marketing books of all time. Written in 1966, Eugene M Schwartz's Breakthrough Advertising is still relevant today.
Schwartz breaks down the principles of effective advertising and provides case studies of some of the most successful campaigns in history.
This book is a must-read for anyone serious about marketing. It will give you a foundation in the basics of creating ridiculously good content and teach you how to craft headings that effortlessly attract your clients to you.
11. The 10x Rule by Grant Cordone
If you want to create a digital marketing strategy that will provide you with serious dividends on your marketing efforts, this is the book for you.
Grant Cardone argues that in the marketing world, we don't set high enough goals. Rather than giving the bare minimum of marketing efforts, we should be aiming for a ten-fold output.
This approach is perfect for those who want to be brave in their marketing outreach and see some real results.
With the right attitude, this book undoes any limitations you've put on your marketing potential. And can help you to achieve bigger results than you've ever thought possible.
12. Uncloned Marketing by Audria Richmond
The launch and marketing strategist Audria Richmond aims to help you to establish yourself as an expert and authority through irresistible offers and marketing campaigns.
She then provides advice to scale marketing strategies for both small and large businesses.
This book is perfect for those who want to bridge their digital marketing with their branding in order to increase visibility, impact, and engagement with their audience.
13. Content Marketing Engineered by Wendy Covey
Wendy Covey is the CEO of TREW Marketing and in this book, she uses her years of experience to provide an actionable framework for a content marketing strategy that works.
Covey's focus is on creating quality content that is aligned with your business goals.
There is also a specific focus on technical writing for those looking to improve their skills in this area. However, it is broad enough to be helpful for any beginner in the digital marketing space.
Wendy Covey will teach you how to build social proof and authority, generate leads, and close deals.
14. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is well known for his brash and in-your-face approach to social media marketing. In this book, he breaks down how to tell your story on each different social media platform.
The metaphor of “jab, jab, jab, right hook” can be translated to “give, give, give, then ask”. He used this specific formula in order to achieve success with social media marketing and is providing a step-by-step guide on how you can do the same.
If you're a beginner in the social media marketing world, this book will be an invaluable resource. It will teach you the value of constantly creating good content and will show you how to offer value to your audience in order to grow your platform.
15. AI for Marketers by Christopher Penn
In the digital marketing world, A.I. has become a buzzword that is thrown around a lot but not many people understand what it actually is or how to use it.
In this book, Christopher Penn breaks down the basics of A.I. and provides actionable advice on how you can use it in your marketing strategy.
He covers topics such as chatbots, machine learning, and other technologies that are being utilized to create more personalized experiences for customers.
A.I For Marketers will help you to bridge your marketing strategy with cutting-edge tools as well as how to distinguish between real A.I. applications and those that are simply gimmicks.
16. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee A. Maugborgne
In a world where there is so much competition, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
The authors of this book provide a framework that will help you to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.
This is done by looking at your industry in a new way and understanding what your customers really value.
This book shows you how to find your own “blue ocean” and provides case studies of companies that have used this strategy to achieve success.
17. Digital Marketers Sound Off by Matt Chiera
Unlike most other digital marketing books that focus on a single author's perspective, this book is a compilation of over 101 digital marketers from all over the world.
Each author provides their own unique insights and perspectives on the industry, which makes for a well-rounded and comprehensive view of digital marketing.
The variety of expert contributors cover topics such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, Facebook Ads, affiliate marketing, Google AdWords, and much more.
18. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
These two prominent marketing consultants wrote this book in order to provide marketers with a set of laws that they should abide by in order to be successful.
Some of these laws include “The Law of Leadership”, “The Law of the Category”, and “The Law of the Mind”.
Each law is explained in detail and provides examples of how it can be applied to your marketing strategy.
You can also grab a copy of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding which is a follow-up to this book if you want to dive deeper into your business strategy.
19. Traffic Secrets by Russel Brunson
Russel Brunson is the founder of ClickFunnels, a software company that allows businesses to create sales funnels. In this book, he reveals his secrets on how he was able to grow his company from 0 to $100 million in just three years.
This book helps the beginning entrepreneur to overcome one of the largest obstacles which is getting discovered and generating traffic.
Brunson also debunks some of the common myths about traffic generation and provides case studies of businesses that have used his methods to achieve success.
Traffic Secrets provides actionable advice that can be implemented immediately in order to start seeing results.
20. Hacking Growth: Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
In this book, Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown reveal the growth hacking strategies that they used to take companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb, and Facebook from zero to millions of users.
They provide a step-by-step guide on how you can implement these same strategies in your own business in order to achieve astronomical growth.
Hacking growth is defined as a data-driven approach to rapid growth and this book will teach you how to utilize data in order to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
21. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Marketing is more than strategy. It's also an art, and this art is largely based in your ability to write well. The best marketing books for beginners are incomplete if they don't outline how to write for your customers.
In this book, Ann Handley provides tips and tricks on how you can improve your writing skills in order to better engage with your audience.
She also covers topics such as creating compelling content, writing for social media marketing, and email marketing.
The book includes numerous examples and case studies of businesses that have used her content writing methods to achieve success.
22. Think Like a Marketer by Kate Colbert
In this book, Kate Colbert provides readers with an inside look at how successful marketers think. This is a great text for digital marketing beginners overcoming imposter syndrome and self-doubt.
Kate walks you through how to develop a marketing mindset, how to set goals and measure success, and how to think creatively about problem-solving. This book is packed with actionable advice and real-life examples that any beginner marketer can apply to their own career.
She covers topics such as understanding your customer, developing a unique selling proposition, and creating a brand story. This is one of the best marketing books for beginners that want to develop a professional mindset.
Colbert's books don't read like a textbook but rather flow like a conversation. This makes for an enjoyable and easy read that is packed with valuable information.
23. The Hawke Method by Erik Huberman
Erik Huberman is the Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, a marketing consulting agency valued at over 150 million dollars. He is a serial entrepreneur who has a set of foundational rules that he applies to each of his endeavors.
In this book, Huberman focuses on three pillars of marketing success; awareness, nurturing, and trust. These guidelines can help you along the entire process of introducing an audience to your business to creating authentic and long-lasting relationships with customers.
This book is easy to digest with straightforward marketing strategies that every beginner will find valuable.
24. Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored! By Mike Michalowicz
This book is a perfect invitation to dare to be different in a sea of marketers using the same old marketing strategies.
In Get Different, Michalowicz breaks down what it means to be truly unique and how you can use that to your advantage in marketing. He also provides case studies of businesses that have used his methods to achieve success.
This book also provides access to several online worksheets that help you to take actionable steps based on the principles in the book.
This guide helps to keep the learning and implementation process of digital marketing manageable and organized.
25. Affiliate Marketing for Dummies by Ted Sudol
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online and can be a great addition to your marketing mix.
In this book, Ted Sudol provides a comprehensive guide on how you can get started in affiliate marketing. He covers topics such as choosing the right affiliate program, building an effective website, and driving traffic to your site.
This book also includes information on how to track your results and troubleshoot common problems.
Whether you're just starting out or have some experience in affiliate marketing, this book is a great resource and will cover all angles of the topic so you can get started.
26. 300 Email Marketing Tips by Meera Kothand
Every strong digital marketing strategy includes an email marketing campaign. In this book, Meera Kothand provides 300 tips on how you can create an effective marketing strategy that shows you how your emails can make you money.
She covers topics such as building an email list, creating compelling content and designing emails that convert. This makes it one of the best marketing books for beginners who want to focus on email outreach and engagement.
It provides a step-by-step approach to optimize their email marketing campaigns or build them from scratch.
Each chapter ends with a “take action” blueprint that helps to condense the information into bite-sized steps you can put into action immediately.
27. Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand and has helped some of the world’s largest brands clarify their message. In this book, he outlines a process that can help any business simplify their digital marketing message to better connect with their customers.
He walks you through how to develop a clear brand narrative and create marketing materials that are in alignment with that story.
This book is a great resource for businesses who want to improve their marketing strategy and create more clarity around their brand (check out brand guidelines).
This book also focuses on incorporating sales funnels into your marketing strategy which is a key component of any successful marketing campaign.
By the end of this book, you will have a well-defined digital marketing strategy that you can implement immediately.
28. Influence by Robert Cialdini
In this book, Cialdini introduces 6 principles of persuasion that have been proven to be effective in influencing people’s behavior. The principles are authority, consistency, liking, reciprocity, scarcity, and social proof. The latest edition introduces the 7th principle of unity.
He provides real-world examples of how these principles have been used successfully in marketing and sales.
If you want to learn how to create more persuasive marketing materials, then this book is for you.
It comes with an accompanying PDF workbook that helps you to apply the principles to your own business and track your progress.
29. The Art of Plain Talk by Rudolf Flesch
Clear writing is a key component of effective marketing. And in this book, Rudolf Flesch provides a step-by-step guide on how you can improve your writing so that it is clear, concise, and easy to read.
Even though this book was published in 1946, it provides timeless advice that is still relevant today. It's one of the best marketing books for beginners because it focuses on fundamental principles of communication.
If you want to improve your writing skills and create more compelling content, then this book is a great resource. You can take these skills and apply them to your blog posts, email marketing campaigns, and social media posts.
More people will be able to understand your message and take action when you use these techniques from The Art of Plain Talk, which will in turn increase engagement and conversions.
Final Thoughts on the Best Marketing Books for Beginners
It was once said that “the best way to learn about anything is to read about it.”
When it comes to marketing, this statement couldn’t be more true.
The books on this list are a great starting point for anyone who wants to improve their understanding of marketing. They can quickly take your skills to the next level with a low level of any initial investment.
Even one or two of the best marketing books for beginners on this list have the potential to change the way you think about marketing. They'll also provide you with actionable steps that you can implement immediately.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose a book and get started today! You'll be glad you did.
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