The Top 5 Marketing & Business Books We Read This Year

September 25, 2017

Here at Commit, we’ve evolved our digital marketing processes through a combination of preparation and practice. Over the years, we’ve found that marketing and business books often plant the seed that germinates into a great idea or technique. A good book can provide the spark you need to take your business or marketing department to the next level. The book is just the match – it’s up to you to light the fire!

To get you started, here are five business and marketing book recommendations from the talented and dedicated people at Commit Agency:

  • Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Recommended by Joel Coen, Chief Digital Officer

Don’t let the title throw you off. This fascinating read, subtitled “Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are,” delves into the psychological information-gathering capabilities of internet search analytics. With these technologies, it’s easier than ever to target a specific market segment. “Companies are able to see into the private lives of consumers in a way that we couldn’t before,” notes Joel. The book explains how internet searches reveal what people want. Whether you are struggling to identify consumers that might be interested in a new product, or looking for new ways to market your business, Everybody Lies opens new ways to make it happen.

Get a sample of the book HERE.

  • Data Driven Marketing by Mark Jeffery

Recommended by Elaine Ralls, CEO

Named the Best Marketing Book of 2011 by the American Marketing Association, professor Mark Jeffery’s guide was intended to help marketers prove the worth of their department. His insights go beyond mere number-crunching, though. “He pinpoints 15 specific metrics that smart marketers use to make decisions on their marketing priorities and budgets for their campaigns: things like brand awareness, reputation management, profit, customer lifetime value, conversion rates and cost, etc.,” says Elaine. “[It] helps with validating our campaigns and supports the recommendations we make at Commit.” Insights are gleaned from surveys of 252 Fortune 1000 firms, conducted by the Kellogg School of Management. According to the book, these companies spend $53B annually on marketing. The audio version of Data Driven Marketing is narrated by actor/impressionist Jim Meskimen, making for a fun listen.

  • Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

Recommended by Jonathan Dunn, Intern

A popular instructional for budding entrepreneurs, Content Inc. posits a new way of developing content for your business. He offers six steps to starting your own business, beginning with identifying the sweet spot where your personal passions intersect with your abilities. “It’s about the importance of content in today’s marketing ecosystem,” says Jonathan. “[Pulizzi] also takes an in-depth look at starting and monetizing your own content business.” Chapters contain a recap and interactive workbook section to really get your creativity and ideas flowing, making this a perfect read for marketers who want to challenge their thinking patterns.

Check out Pulizzi’s podcast HERE.

Recommended by David Ralls, President

Written by two retired Navy Seals, this book is a prime example of how leadership skills can translate across industries. “Their lessons focus on how the leader ultimately owns everything, whether good or bad. They teach that great leaders allow their people to do their best work and not be micromanaged,” says David. More than just an instruction manual, Extreme Ownership is about taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, as well as a company or department. It’s an excellent read for those at the executive level, and others who aspire to get there.

Get the audio version free with an Audible trial subscription HERE.

  • Traction by Gino Wickman

Recommended by Sam Gallen, Digital Strategist

If you’ve recently started a business or new position and don’t know where to start, Gino Wickman’s book gives a solid foundation. His approach is solution-oriented, discussing common problems that businesses face and offering suggestions for tackling those difficulties. “His EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) is based on human nature and how people actually operate, which really separates this book from the many other business books out there,” says Sam. “[Wickman] focuses on people and process as the core principles for running a better business, increasing control, having a better life balance and gaining more traction.”

Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing something hands-on. In other cases, it’s wise to learn from others’ mistakes before you take the leap. No matter how you learn, you’ll need to start somewhere. A well-written business book can provide the foundation for improving your marketing and leadership skills, ultimately propelling your business forward. We hope our suggested readings will inspire you to seek out fresh ideas and new perspectives.