10 Essential Books For Content Marketers

The books I keep close to my desk:

1. Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others DieDan & Chip Heath

“The Curse of Knowledge: when we are given knowledge, it is impossible to imagine what it’s like to LACK that knowledge.”

“To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from “What information do I need to convey?” to “What questions do I want my audience to ask?”

“When you say three things, you say nothing.”


2. To Sell Is Human | Daniel H. Pink

“Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead.”

“What an individual does day to day on the job now must stretch across functional boundaries. Designers analyze. Analysts design. Marketers create. Creators market.”

“Pitches that rhyme are more sublime.”


3. The Dip: The Extraordinary Benefits of Knowing When to Quit (And When to Stick) | Seth Godin

“The people who skip the hard questions are in the majority, but they are not in demand.”

“The market … demands a signal from you that you’re serious, powerful, accepted, and safe.”


4. Symbols: A Handbook for Seeing | Mark Fox, Angie Wang

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5. The Eureka Effect | David Perkins

This is a very enjoyable book, offering useful information for companies and people engaged in creative activities. I like it that Perkins suggests that problem solving is a little like looking for gold, using analogies about the landscape and the different stages of problem solving itself: false hits, stuck in canyons, etc. There’s a lot to learn from this book, on many levels.


6. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing | Harry Beckwith

“There’s little point in killing an idea by saying it might fail. Any idea might fail. If you’re doing anything worthwhile at all, you’ll suffer a dozen failures. Start failing so you can start succeeding”

“When companies discuss their problems, they talk about themselves. It’s not ego at work. It’s just that people talk about what they know, and what people know is their company. But what people really need to know—what you really need to know—is your customers and prospects. Get out, climb out, have someone pull you out of the tunnel.”


7. Design As Art | Bruno Munari

“What then is this thing called Design if it is neither style nor applied art? It is planning: the planning as objectively as possible of everything that goes to make up the surroundings and atmosphere in which men live today. This atmosphere is created by all the objects produced by industry, from glasses to houses and even cities. It is planning done without preconceived notions of style, attempting only to give each thing its logical structure and proper material, and in consequence its logical form.”


8. The BuyerSphere Project: How Businesses Buy from Businesses in the Digital MarketplaceGord Hotchkiss

This book is full of ground-breaking original research collected from hundreds of companies. It offers sound practical advice about online and in-person selling. I also recommend Gord’s blog – his posts are very wise and highly original.


9. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations |Nancy Duarte

Sample advice copied from the book:

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10. Telling True Stories: Practical craft tips on narrative nonfiction from some of America’s leading journalists | Mark Kramer, Wendy Call

“When you write, and especially when you write narrative, you create a sequential intellectual and emotional experience for the reader. From your perspective as the writer you are doing other things: describing an event, creating a record, imparting information, explaining that information’s source, or doing what my high school teachers called “showing your work”—as in “Solve this problem, show your work.” But whatever else you are doing, the fact remains: Your readers will have an intellectual and emotional experience as they read your work. If that experience isn’t pleasurable or exciting, they will stop reading.”

 

ica shop
My favorite book shop in the entire world: At The ICA, London

 

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