Seven Business Books to Make You a Better and Smarter Marketer in 2014

by Mack Collier


I’m often asked about what some of my favorite business/marketing/social media books are.  Here’s seven of my favorites that will make your job as a marketer much easier in 2014:

Content Rules – The ultimate guide to content creation.  Walks you through how to create compelling content and the different ways in which you can do so.  If any part of your job includes creating online content then this is the book you must own to show you how to do so correctly.

Who should buy it: Anyone that is tasked with any form of content creation, be it blog posts, podcasts, video, anything.

The Passion Conversation – I love marketing books that focus on science and research.  For example, early on in The Passion Conversation, the authors tackle the three forms of motivation that spark Word of Mouth: Functional, Social and Emotional.  I won’t give it away but I did do a Q&A with John Moore a few weeks ago here that has more information on the book.

Who should buy it:  Anyone that’s responsible for connecting either directly or indirectly with customers, and who wants to increase customer loyalty and improve brand perception.

YouTility – YouTility is one of the breakout hit in the business/marketing/social media space in 2013, and it’s a great read.  Jay walks you through how to change your marketing approach and to actually bake usefulness into your marketing messages.  Because if your marketing is useful to customers, they will spread it.  Jay said you should try to create marketing that’s so useful that people would pay for it.

Who should buy it:  Anyone that has ‘content marketing’ listed as part of their job description.

Resonate – Slide:ology is probably Nancy Duarte’s best-known work, but I’m actually a bigger fan of Resonate.  Resonate walks you through how to incorporate effective and compelling storytelling into your presentations.  She takes some of the most famous speeches in history by some of the world’s greatest orators (Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr, Steve Jobs, etc) and dissects their presentations literally line by line and unravels why what they said was so compelling and why it held our attention.  I’ve incorporated so much of Nancy’s teachings into my own presentations, and it’s greatly improved them.

Who should buy it: Anyone that’s responsible for creating presentations and materials (both internally and externally for clients or the public) that wants to sell others on adopting a particular idea.

Think Like Zuck – I will be honest, I did not expect to like this book.  I’m not a huge fan of Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook, but I am a huge fan of Ekaterina Walter, so I decided to give it a shot.  I’m glad I did because Ekaterina created a wonderful book that helps you not only understand Mark Zuckerberg, but also a lot of the driving forces behind most successful entrepreneurs.  Packed with case studies and littered with scientific research and takeaways, it’s an interesting read, even if you’re not a huge fan of Facebook.

Who should buy it: Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit or who loves reading ‘how they got there’ accounts.

The Invisible Sale – Again with the scientific foundation!  I love Tom’s focus on the science of Propinquity, which says that the more you come in contact with someone and have favorable interactions, the more likely you are to enjoy their company.  The same applies to online interactions, if you can frequently interact with potential customers/clients and give them valuable content, the more likely they are to buy from you, or at least the more likely you are to move them closer to a sale.  Tom teaches you how to help potential clients and customers self-educated themselves, so that they literally reach out to you and when they do, they are ready to buy.

Who should buy it: Anyone that’s responsible for driving sales online, especially creating online content that helps generate sales.

Think Like a Rock Star – Think only rock stars have raving fans that literally love them?  You’re wrong, many brands have extremely passionate fans, fans that love them and that are driving real business growth for their favorite brands.  TLARS shows you exactly how to find, understand, embrace and empower your biggest fans.  With dozens of case studies, it walks you through exactly what rock stars like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and even Johnny Cash do to create fans.  The book also shows you how brands of all sizes and industries have built loyal followings of passionate customers that literally consider it their job to promote their favorite brands.  If you want to stop ‘acquiring’ customers and become a fan-centric brand where passionate customers happily bring customers to you, then Think Like a Rock Star is the book for you.

Who should buy it: Anyone in a marketing role that’s tasked with increasing customer loyalty, improving marketing efforts or generating sales.


BTW for each book above if you click on the title it will take you to Amazon where you can read the reviews and order.  You can’t go wrong with any of them.  Also, if you live in the US and want to buy a signed copy of Think Like a Rock Star for $25 shipped, click here.

Which books were your favorites this year?  Any that need to go on this list?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan Hoadley December 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I’ve got 3 of the 7 and agree!
I also have gotten some good ideas from the No BS books.


Justin Dyer December 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I’ve read a couple of those. Good choices there. I would add Wiki Management from Rod Collins.
For the forward thinking business strategist this book is an absolute must-read.
Rod Collins won the 2011 EVVY book award for his last book and I fully expect this one to pick up an honor or two. Wonderfully written, insightful and inspirational. Read it!


Jeff Brown December 9, 2013 at 12:10 am

Great list Mark.

I’d add Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger and Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.


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