Marketing Reading List – 2012 Edition

small business reading list 300x240 Marketing Reading List   2012 EditionIt’s 2012. Time to kick-off your marketing in a bigger way than ever. And what better way to do that than by growing your knowledge through reading one business/marketing book a month?

The following list are 12 of the best business and marketing books out there that will help you be more productive, get more organized, gain new, consistant customers, and increase your business revenue like never before.

As the saying goes, “leaders are readers.” So are you ready to make 2012 the best year in business ever? Then start reading and begin putting these strategies into practice!

January:

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

By: John Jantsch

Duct Tape Marketing is the small business marketing road map – A collection of proven tools and tactics woven together in a step-by-step marketing system that shows small business owners exactly what to do to market and grow their businesses. The book combines insights gained from over twenty years of successfully working in the field with real-life small business owners. There are no theoretical complexities presented in Duct Tape Marketing, just simple, effective and affordable marketing strategies that work.

February:

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
By: Seth Godin

In 2002, Seth Godin asked a simple question that turned the business world upside down: What do Starbucks and JetBlue and Apple and Dutch Boy and Hard Candy have that other companies don’t? How did they confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind formerly tried-and-true brands?
Godin showed that the traditional Ps that marketers had used for decades to get their products noticed- pricing, promotion, publicity, packaging, etc.-weren’t working anymore. Marketers were ignoring the most important P of all: the Purple Cow.

Cows, after you’ve seen one or two or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though . . . now that would be something. Godin defines a Purple Cow as anything phenomenal, counterintuitive, exciting . . . remarkable. Every day, consumers ignore a lot of brown cows, but you can bet they won’t ignore a Purple Cow.
You can’t paint your product or service purple after the fact. You have to be inherently purple or no one will talk about you. Godin urges you to emulate companies that are consistently remarkable in everything they do, which drives explosive word of mouth and business growth.

March:

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By: David Allen

In today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.

In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

* Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty
* Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
* Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
* Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
* Feel fine about what you’re not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

April:

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
By: Keith Ferrazzi

Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success? The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his Rolodex, people he has helped and who have helped him.

Ferrazzi’s form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles.

May:

The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By: Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

June:

Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
By: Seth Godin

Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.

Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity -time- Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness – and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

July:

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
By: John Jantsch

The power of glitzy advertising and elaborate marketing campaigns is on the wane; word-of-mouth referrals are what drive business today. People trust the recommendation of a friend, family member, colleague, or even stranger with similar tastes over anything thrust at them by a faceless company.

Most business owners believe that whether customers refer them is entirely out of their hands. But science shows that people can’t help recommending products and services to their friends-it’s an instinct wired deep in the brain. And smart businesses can tap into that hardwired desire.

Marketing expert John Jantsch offers practical techniques for harnessing the power of referrals to ensure a steady flow of new customers. Keep those customers happy, and they will refer your business to even more customers.

August:

The Thank You Economy
By: Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy—it’s real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognize it or not. It’s the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. The Internet, where The Thank You Economy was born, has given consumers back their voice, and the tremendous power of their opinions via social media means that companies and brands have to compete on a whole different level than they used to.

Gone are the days when a blizzard of marketing dollars could be used to overwhelm the airwaves, shut out the competition, and grab customer awareness. Now customers’ demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents’ day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention.

Renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk reveals how companies big and small can scale that kind of personal, one-on-one attention to their entire customer base, no matter how large, using the same social media platforms that carry consumer word of mouth. The Thank You Economy offers compelling, data-driven evidence that we have entered into an entirely new business era, one in which the companies that see the biggest returns won’t be the ones that can throw the most money at an advertising campaign, but will be those that can prove they care about their customers more than anyone else. The businesses and brands that harness the word-of-mouth power from social media, those that can shift their culture to be more customer-aware and fan-friendly, will pull away from the pack and profit in today’s markets.

September:

Influence: Science and Practice
By: Robert B. Cialdini

Markting psychologist Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesman, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes.”

Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

October:

Advertising Secrets of the Written Word
By: Joseph Sugarman

Every trade has its role models. When it comes to copywriting, Joe Sugarman is one of the best. He knows how to build a story, and get readers to take action.

Sugarman has been highly recognized for his effective advertising copy and the innovations he’s brought to the direct marketing field. He won many awards to include Direct Marketing Man of the Year and the distinguished Maxwell Sackheim Award for his career contributions to direct marketing. He’s become a role model for many in sales, marketing and direct marketing. In Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, Sugarman lays out the secrets to his craft, how effective copywriting can bring in new customers and increase conversion rates.

November:

The New Rules of Marketing and PR
By: David Meerman Scott

For marketers, The New Rules of Marketing and PR shows you how to leverage the potential that web-based communication offers your business. Finally, you can speak directly to customers and buyers, establishing a personal link with the people who make your business work. This one-of-a-kind guide includes a step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of the Internet to create compelling messages, get them in front of customers, and lead those customers into the buying process.

December:

The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand!
By: Dan Kennedy

Let’s face it–the business world today is nothing like it was ten years ago. Marketing budgets are tighter, consumers are more skeptical, and social media has changed forever the way we talk to our customers.

In this new edition of his bestselling The Ultimate Marketing Plan, industry expert Dan Kennedy integrates such tools as social media marketing, networking, and strategic memberships into a complete plan that will strengthen your customer base without breaking your budget.

Bonus 1:

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
By Tim Ferriss

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan – there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in today’s unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

The 4-Hour Work Week is a step-by step guide to how Tim went from $40,000 dollars per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per MONTH and 4 hours per week; how to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want; how blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs; how to eliminate 50 per cent of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist; and, how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent ‘mini-retirements’.

Bonus 2:

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got
By: Jay Abraham

A trusted advisor to America’s top corporations and recognized as one of today’s preeminent marketing experts, Jay Abraham has created a program of proven strategies to help you realize undreamed-of success. Unseen opportunities face each of us every day. Using clear examples from his own experience, Jay explains just how easy it can be to find and/or create new opportunities for wealth-building in any existing business, enterprise, or venture.

Just how easy can it be? One entrepreneur took the concept of the ballpoint pen and refined it into a mulimillion-dollar idea: roll-on deodorant. Fred Smith of Federal Express took the methods that banks use for clearing checks to develop an overnight delivery company that has revolutionized the way we do business. Now, what have you seen– or are going to see– that you could take and turn to your advantage?

This program focuses on helping you spot the hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped resources around you, and gives you fresh eyes with which to see and capitalize on them. You’ll also learn how to adapt and apply these tools to your unique circumstances to maximize your income, influence, power, and success.

There’s the list. How many of these have you read already? Reading and applying the principles covered in these books will help your business grow faster, increase customers, profit, and be more efficient.

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About Seth

Spears Marketing solves marketing problems for small business owners. We provide digital marketing solutions for small businesses. Our primary services are marketing consulting, website design, search engine optimization, iPhone/Android app development, social media marketing, & digital marketing audits. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, & Linkedin.

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