Readers are leaders. Successful entrepreneurs and small business owners love to expose themselves to new ways of thinking which is best achieved through reading books, listening to audio tapes and networking. Today I’d like to share with you a list of five must-read marketing books for small business owners.
Prior to my corporate career I studied marketing at the university, and to this day I will never forget the main book we had to learn from:
Marketing Management by Philip Kotler & Friedhelm Bliemel
This book had 1,200 pages (I kid you not!) and it was packed with marketing theories. It took me years to understand what Prof. Kotler meant with those theories and I guess there’s still loads to uncover in the years to come.
Theory is nice but won’t get you very far. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, we need proven marketing strategies and tactics that can be implemented in order to on board the right customers, increase brand awareness and generate profits.
Marketing Books For Your Shelf
The following marketing books have helped me look at companies, brands and marketing from a different perspective. The list has no particular order.
#1. Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout
This is one of the classic marketing books that will help you understand what marketing is all about: “a battle of perceptions, not products and services”. In today’s loud and crowded world, positioning your business strategically and intelligently in the prospect’s mind has become a huge challenge. This book provides hands-on strategies and examples of how to define your unique selling proposition in order to rock it right from the start.
#2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
The book can be seen as an extension of Positioning. Simon Sinek introduces the concept of the “Golden Circle” which helps us understand why we do what we do. Manipulations can drive a sale but not create loyalty. Companies who inspire their customers are the leaders. If a business knows its WHY, the HOW and WHAT becomes easy.
Find out why Apple is so successful and how they manage to inspire people worldwide. Apple starts with WHY.
#3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Understanding the six scientifically validated principles of influence (reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus) will make it easier for you to create and test different marketing strategies and campaigns. The book is full of stories and case studies to help you understand human behavior and the core process of decision-making.
#4. Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner who lacks a huge marketing budget but has lots of creativity, this book is most certainly for you. The author reveals tons of low cost and highly-effective marketing concepts to attract more customers and generate sales. You don’t have to be a multinational company to make it in business. Creativity will help you crack the code and pick the right marketing vehicles according to the budget you have. This book is a marketing goldmine for small businesses.
#5. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout
This is my favorite book on the list. Success and failure in the marketplace is governed by the basic laws of marketing. No matter how brilliant your marketing programs are, if you violate one of the 22 principles you’ll fall flat on your nose. Therefore it’s wise to be aware of the following mistakes and avoid them in the first place. If I could recommend one book on this list, this would be the one.
Wrapping It Up
Unlike Marketing Management, the above mentioned marketing books are enjoyable and easy to read. I have personally read all of these books and applied the principles I’ve learned numerous times both in my corporate career and as an entrepreneur.
If you’re a serious small business owners, looking forward to changing this world by offering valuable and unique products & services AND making money, these marketing books are a must-read for you.
Have you read the five books mentioned above? What other marketing books do you recommend?