Best Marketing Books in 2017

This is a list of books that I have found to be extremely helpful increasing my knowledge of marketing and related areas. I will keep updating this list throughout the year to provide the most up-to-date list of the best marketing books you should be reading in 2017.

Hug Your Haters By Jay Baer

What Hug Your Haters Says:

Haters are not your problem. . . . Ignoring them is.

Hug Your Haters is a book about customer service, but as Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Customer service is the new marketing.” “Hug Your Haters is a timely book in a world where social media has given a platform for practically every customer and that customer can either help or hurt your brand. The book is about embracing customers who have had a negative experience with your brand and how you can turn that into a positive opportunity.

I got to hear Jay Baer speak at Advocamp (a conference about advocate marketing) when the book was first released. I remember the big takeaway I got from his session is the following quote from his book, “ Haters are not your problem. . . . Ignoring them is.”


Why Should You Read Hug Your Haters in 2017:

Hug Your Haters is full of stories from companies who were able to turn those moments where a customer had a bad experience into one where the customers actually became advocates and help market your business. Hug Your Haters also gives an outline for identifying the different types of haters and their motivations, and show you how to develop systems and playbooks for dealing with them.

Amazon Rating: 4.8 out of 5


Traction By Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares


What Traction Says:

Most startups don’t fail because they can’t build a product. Most startups fail because they can’t get traction.

The most important thing for a business to continue to stay a business is growth and Traction is a book about that. It will teach you how to develop a system to find the channels so your business can grow. The book gives an overview of 19 different channels and how your business can utilize that channel.

The channels are:

  • Sales
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Existing Platforms
  • Trade Shows
  • Offline Events
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Community Building
  • Viral Marketing
  • PR
  • Unconventional PR
  • SEM
  • Social & Display Ads
  • Offline Ads
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Engineering as Marketing
  • Targeting Blogs
  • Business Development


Why You Should Read Traction in 2017:

If you are looking to learn new ways to grow your business and are unfamiliar with some of the latest digital marketing tactics, this is the book for you. There are many books about each specific channel that go into much more depth than Traction does. However, one of the keys of the system that is described in Traction is finding what works for your business. Not all channels will apply to your business and that is OK. Traction will help you discover which channels are right for you. While the book is targeted for technology startups, it can be applied for other businesses as well. Although some of the channels, like engineering as marketing, seem to be something strictly for tech companies.

Amazon Rating 4.6 out of 5


Content Trap By Bharat Anand


What Content Trap Says:

Content is context

At first glance, I thought Content Trap was just another book about content marketing. A couple of chapters in, I realized that it was about much more than creating blogs, white papers and infographics to attract leads. When Bharat Anand, Harvard Business School Professor of Strategy, refers to content, he is referring to a businesses product - music, television shows, the news.

The thesis of The Content Trap is that many companies focus intensely on creating content...and more content. It is a common theme online that, "Content is king." The Content Trap challenges that notion by adding a caveat. Content is context.


Why You Should Read Content Trap in 2017:

Anand takes you into stories about how companies face the digital revolution. He takes a deep, dense dive into these situations and it requires actual thinking to understand the application to your business. The case studies are told as engaging stories. However, as you read the examples, they are not simple formulas that you can apply to your business. Each of the stories is really there to teach you how to see the connections that are important.

Some of the case studies that the Anand looks into are:

The New York Times, Apple, Wal-Mart, The Economist, Tencent, Schibsted, IMG and more.

This is a great book for those looking to see how connections will drive their business and marketing to the next level.

Amazon Rating 4.4 out of 5


Personal MBA By Josh Kaufman


What Personal MBA Says:

Personal MBA is a book that will give you a very thorough overview on the five parts that make up a business:

  1. Value Creation
  2. Marketing
  3. Sales
  4. Value Delivery
  5. Finance

In each of the five parts, Josh Kaufman breaks down each part into specific topics. Each topic is explained and examples are given for it.


Why you should read Personal MBA in 2017:

Kauffman wrote this book as an alternative to an expensive business education. If you have an interest in getting an MBA, I highly recommend reading this book first. It will give you an overview of a business as a whole. As someone who has spent their career in marketing, it was very informative to read about the other parts of a business that I am not as familiar with. Kauffman covers the topics with clarity and uses tangible examples to help you understand the concept. There are even links at the end of each section so you can share the concept with others. This is my favorite business book because of the breadth of knowledge that is covered. I highly recommend this book for marketers who want to have a better understanding of business as a whole.

Amazon Rating 4.5 out of 5