There are myriad books aimed at B2B marketing on bookstore shelves or online – just check out the hundreds that pop up on Amazon when doing a marketing search – but there are some essential reads that can help you market yourself and your business in a way that makes success inevitable.
If you want to get a leg up on the competition, knowing all the tricks of the trade is key – and these are the best B2B marketing books to help you do just that.
Pulizzi founded the Content Marketing Institute, so he knows how important the right content is when it comes to getting your message out. His book turns traditional entrepreneurial on its head by developing colorful content and finding an audience first, then developing a product that fits well with both.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This 1937 classic – inspired by Andrew Carnegie – was written during the Great Depression, and features well-honed lessons on personal development that can help you succeed, no matter what your mission.
Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing by Andy Crestodina
Thousands of companies helped shape the content of this marketing masterpiece. While the basics of SEO, social media and email marketing are covered, Crestodina also addressed the creativity required to market in an appealing way. “My hope is that your new insights into web marketing will motivate you to get started and stay active. I hope you realize that web marketing is enjoyable because it’s creative, something both social and analytical. There’s nothing intimidating about it. You may discover that, yes, web marketing is critical to modern business, but it’s also a lot of fun,” Crestodina says.
X: The Experience When Business Meets Design by Brian Solis
Digital customers have come to expect an experience that traditional customers didn’t, but the impersonal aspects of digital marketing can take away from that experience. This book helps teach you how to create an emotional connection with customers that brings that intimacy back – and improves your sales as a result.
The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! by Stoney deGeyter.
This book teaches you how to build a better website, one important detail at a time. Because web viewers can be fickle, any misstep can send them somewhere else for their information or to make their purchase. This book will teach you how to lure them to your site – and keep them there.
B2B marketers offer their tips on how to woo – and ultimately win over – demanding modern customers.
The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits by Russell Glass and Sean Callahan
Data-driven marketing – which uses online activity including social media to track and entice customers – is explained in this book that breaks down the complexity of marketing technology and shows you how to use it to your advantage by targeting the customers who are looking for you.
This book teaches you how to look inside yourself to find out what things might be holding you back from your goals, and what things might in turn propel you forward. “Success in life comes one day at a time and, as Jeff Olson suggests, one step at a time. ‘The book “will show you how your daily decisions can be the ultimate key to your success,” said Ken Blanchard, coauthor of “The One Minute Manager” and “Lead with LUV.”
Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly by Bernadette Jiwa
Like “Content Inc.,” Jiwa’s book looks at marketing differently, and suggests that success lies in finding out first what people are looking for, and then creating it for them. Essentially, it’s about “making things customers love, instead of by trying to get customers to love their things,” she says. Jiwa is also the author of “Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers,” which is also worth a read, especially if you want to form a long-lasting relationship of mutual respect with your customers.
Almost anyone can be an influencer today, so why not be one that helps build your client base? LinkedIn offers access to countless professionals who likely need your skillset or product. This book teaches you how to find them and meaningfully connect.
Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become? by Michael Schrage
While innovation is everything, Schrage suggests that helping your customers evolve rather than investing solely in technology for product innovation is the key to true success. The trick is to rebrand the client by making them think differently, no rebranding the product you’re marketing to them.
The Content Formula: Calculate the ROI of Content Marketing & Never Waste Money Again by Michael Brenner with Liz Bedor
According to estimates, unused and wasted content costs B2B marketers about $50 billion a year, which is a ridiculous waste of both time and money. “The Content Formula” helps your determine if the content you’re using is actually providing the best return on your investment – and how to fix it if it’s not.
With so much content on the internet, it’s hard to stand out in a crowd, but Handley teaches readers how to essentially put their red dress on and get noticed.
For those who haven’t yet mastered the art of social media and content marketing, Miller’s your man. His work with Marketo, Curata and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions gives him the experience, and his writing style draws you in. “This book is little like having Axl Rose show up in your living room to play a house party. You can’t help but be blown away,” said Ann Handley, who penned the above-mentioned “Everybody Writes.”
Achor, who wrote the international best-seller “The Happiness Advantage,” suggests that creating a mindset of happiness will lead to success. “Happiness is the precursor to greater success – success is a result of happiness, not the other way around,” he said.
Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes
Holmes shows readers how traditional reactions to dilemmas or confusion don’t really provide any real teaching moments. Learning how to deal with the unknown without losing your cool teaches your brain to think differently, and that’s when the best ideas become possible.
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen
While tried-and-true might work for a neighborhood hardware store, most business owners need to embrace technology and the innovative marketing opportunities that tech presents. Christensen helps remind businesses why stepping into the future is vital for sustainment as well as growth.
We all have something special inside us waiting to get out, whether it’s flipping flea market finds and selling them on an internet site that also offers cool tips on how to turn your own trash into treasure or making avant-garde metal sculpture. Clark not only inspires you to find your inner innovator, but also to boldly venture forth and ensure that your ideas get noticed.
Many marketers are paying influencers top dollar to showcase their products and services, but by becoming your own influencer – helping others determine the choices they make, including whether or not to try your product – cuts out the middleman. Lincoln gives you the tools you need to create an online persona that gets noticed.
The best-selling author pulls the choicest morsels from his podcasts and shares them through this ultra-modern exploration of marketing in the era of social media. Vaynerchuk is the founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency VaynerMedia. Oh, and he also has a really nice wine cellar, thanks to his earlier multi-million dollar business, the online store the Wine Library.