Top Digital Marketing Books for your Reading List

8th June 2017

The Digital Co Masters in Digital

Top Digital Marketing Books for your Reading List

How do you prefer to learn?

Do you skim your favourite blogs? Listen to Podcasts? Chat to colleagues? Read headlines on Facebook or Twitter? Perhaps a bit of everything!

Whilst we partake in a bit of everything here at The Digital Co, reading a book offers a completely different learning experience than most digital methods. And there are hundreds of fantastic marketing books available today, and some have been around for years!

So this is our library - a marketing reading list you can enjoy on the beach, in the park, in front of the fire or on your commute. This list is tried and tested, so let us know your thoughts.

This is our library; a digital marketing reading list you can enjoy anywhere

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What kind of marketing books are you looking for?

We have categorised our list into areas of business & marketing to ensure you can quickly grab what you are looking for.

01. Digital Strategy & Tactics
02. Content Marketing
03. Social Media
04. Marketer Skills: Presenting, Creative Thinking, Story Telling
05. Customer
06. Thinking like an entrepreneur
07. The Digital Co’s Highly Recommended (our personal Favourite)

We have read every one of these books in the last year – some are better than others, but we recommend them all.

And of course, there are other books out there, best way to find them is to go look for them – and tell us what you think so we can have a read too!

01. Digital Strategy & Tactics


Written by Lee Odden

How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing.

Lee Odden is digital marketing Rockstar – and makes a very complicated approach to digital marketing sound easy. This teaches you, coaches you, helps you evaluate your philosophy… and then does it all over again.

“A holistic approach to Search, Social Media and Content marketing is essential for a successful online marketing strategy. The book will provide you with the tools necessary to plan, implement, and scale an integrated content marketing strategy to boost your online visibility and relevance with prospects, customers and industry media.”

Who for: A great book for experienced beginner to intermediate digital marketers

New Rules of Marketing & PR; 5th edition

Written by David Meerman Scott

How to use Social Media, Blogs, New Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyer Directly.

This is the modern-day bible of everything digital marketing. NPMPR is full of caste studies, examples and practiced digital marketing theory that will transform how you approach your strategy. You can’t help but enjoy learning as you read this. It’s awesome.

“The one-of-a-kind guide to the future of marketing is back with the very latest digital trends in marketing and PR. Learn new tools and techniques to communicate with buyers directly, raise online visibility, and increase sales.”

Who for: Every digital marketer out there. Have it on your shelf and re-read it every year… or buy the new edition, and then read it!

02. Content Marketing

Content Rules

Written by C.C Chapman & Ann Handley

How to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks and webinars that engage customers and ignite your business.

This book is the content marketing version of Everybody Writes. This time Ann Handley co-authors with C.C Chapman to deliver a really easy read and puts what is complicated about content marketing into a concise and actionable approach.

Again, full practiced theory, tactical uses and case studies on channels, platforms and content formats for you to use time and again.

”This book demystifies the idea of organizations as publishers. It streamlines the process of creating remarkable blogs, podcasts, webinars, ebooks, and other web content that will lure would-be customers to you. It walks you through the fundamentals of how to create bold stories, videos, and blog posts. And then, once you’ve created the content, it tells you how to share it widely online to cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business.

Also, one more key thing: It’s not boring.

Who for: All digital marketers. Content Marketing is everywhere, so you MUST understand the channels discussed in this book to bring a holistic view to your role.

03. Social Media

Return of Influence

Written by Mark Schaefer

The revolutionary power of Klout, social scoring and influence marketing

Mark Schaefer is a leading global digital consultant. His blog is amazing, and this book is his thoughts on understanding social media metrics so you can get the most out of your social media.

Whilst Klout is not the strongest metric to base your social media performance, the values and sentiment behind Mark’s concept of Influence Marketing are industry leading. Since this book was written, Influence Marketing has become a bigger ‘thing’, so it’s very interesting to see how his early outlook still stands true today.

”Return On Influence shows you how to measure, adapt, and grow your influence online using ground-breaking new technologies and field-tested marketing tools. This is a step-by-step guide that shows you how to take advantage of social scoring systems to measure online influence, harness it, and leverage it for your business.

Who for: All Social Media and Content Marketers. The focus on influence marketing is so important in today’s world, that you MUST listen to what Mark Schaefer has to say on the subject.

04. Marketer Skills: Presenting, Creative Thinking, Story Telling

Lead with a Story

Written by Paul Smith

A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire.

There is a science to telling a story and it is one marketers must understand when communicating to their audience. Whether it is a presentation to your clients or marketing a product, this looks at how marketers and businesses should create their stories. It is full of clear takeaways and loads of case studies for you to implement immediately.

”Instead of corporate memos, email, and PowerPoint presentations, storytelling is now being used to inspire and motivate organizations, to create a vision for the future, to define culture and values, to set goals and build commitment to them, and to lead change.

Complete with stories from over 50 companies, this practical resource gives readers the guidance they need to deliver stories to stunning effect. Lead with a Story contains ready-to-use stories for 21 of the toughest challenges leaders face, and a how-to guide for readers to craft their own.”

Who for: All Marketers. It will help frame your story, whatever it is, quickly and clearly.

Show and Tell

Written by Dan Roam

How everyone can make extraordinary presentations.

This book is fun!

It takes 4 typical business stories and shows you how to build a presentation to effectively communicate which one you fall into. So easy to understand and something you will use time and time again.

”Whether you’re a confident speaker or a constant worrier (I’m both), This book will show you how to: • Know your audience before you meet them
• Nail your message through a clear storyline
• Create simple pictures in minutes
• Learn not to worry

Show and Tell Book

Who for: Anyone who creates some form of content to communicate with others. The Digital Co have used this for presentations, interviews, eBooks, report writing and much more.

Presentation Zen

Written by Garr Reynolds

Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition).

Creating a presentation is creating a story; it must be delivered in a way that makes understanding the message crystal clear to the audience. If you build presentations and are looking for the ideal approach to creating the perfect design, then read this. It looks at different styles, layouts, how to create a story and so much more.

”Whether the reader is in research, technology, business, or education–this book will show them how to take what could look like a really dry presentation and reinvigorate the material in totally fresh (and sometimes interactive!) ways that will make it memorable and resonate with the audience.

Garr gives his readers new, fresh examples to draw inspiration from, with a whole chapter for those who present on more technical and educational topics based on techniques used by many presenters who give high-level talks at TED and other powerhouse events.”

Who for: People who create presentations. This will help with designing and translating your story with the visual quality you always wanted.

Lateral Thinking

Written by Edward de Bono

Be more creative and productive.

Looking for a way to bring lateral thinking into your profession? This book shows the science behind thinking creatively so you can teach yourself how to approach creativity. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but stick with it, the insights and methods are cutting edge.

”A healthy human brain does not want to always be creative, it is designed to figure out how to do things or how to think about things and then 'locks' that automatic response or behaviour into a subconscious process so that your conscious brain can focus on other matters.

This is why Dr. de Bono developed the Lateral thinking techniques to help overcome our natural proclivity to get 'locked' into patterns and allow you to be creative on demand. These techniques can be used by individuals and groups are used in most Fortune 500 companies as a way to develop creative and innovative ideas.“

Who for: People who are looking to inject more creativity into their roles. The Digital Co have used several of the approaches in brainstorms, researching and writing and it works!

05. Customer

Little Red Book of Selling

Written by Jeffrey Gitomer

12.5 Principles of sales greatness; How to make sales forever.

I hate the term ‘selling’ but this book is more than that – it looks at life lessons of a successful businessman, work ethic, customer engagement & management, confident and acumen. Really short but full of insights.

”The Little Red Book of Selling is short, sweet, and to the point. It's packed with answers that people are searching for in order to help them make sales for the moment-and for the rest of their lives.

In The Little Red Book of Selling salespeople will learn why sales happen and a philosophy of success-long term, relationship driven, and referral oriented-nothing to do with manipulation or other seedy tactics. It has everything to do with understanding buying motives and taking ethical actions.”

Who for: People with something to sell; possibly in client service roles & business owners.


Written by Nir Eyal

How to build Habit-Forming Products.

We heard of this book when Nir toured and interviewed on the recommended Podcasts we shared; his approach to gaining attention was captivating. Hooked is all about understanding your customers and their intent, so it’s an absolute must for anyone in marketing in this age of Customer-First.

”Practical insights to create habits that stick. Actionable steps for building products people love and can't put down. Behavioural techniques used by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.”

Who for: Anyone. We are marketers, but we are also consumers. This book gives a real insight into the power of marketing on the consumer and the science how your attention can quickly turn into habit.

06. Think like an Entrepreneur

Zero to One

Written by Peter Thiel

Notes on start-ups, or How to build the future

This book is the inner thoughts from one of our generations greatest creators; the founder of PayPal has written a book on starting a business. So insightful, full of interesting observations and makes it all look so easy. If you have an entrepreneurial itch in you, read this.

”Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.”

Who for: Anyone who is associated or works with start-ups. It gives a holistic view on how you should approach it and why.

The Lean Start Up

Written by Eric Ries

The movement that is transforming how new products are built and launched.

As a successful entrepreneur himself, Eric has written a book that has transformed into one of the most widely-adopted business models. This book tells you just how he created the Lean Start Up and how it has & has not worked for him.

”Do one important thing: make better, faster business decisions. Vastly better, faster business decisions. Bringing principles from lean manufacturing and agile development to the process of innovation, the Lean Startup helps companies succeed in a business landscape riddled with risk. This book shows you how.”

Are you interested in learning more about the Lean Start Up – there is a worldwide community building on this – check it out.

Who for: Entrepreneurs, business owners and anyone involved in product marketing.

07. Our Personal Favourite

How to win friends and influence people

Written by Dale Carnegie

The only book you need to lead you to success.

And so, to our favourite book of all time.

Decades old, but all the stories and learnings are still true today. It was revolutionary for its time and if there is one way to live your business life, heck, your WHOLE life, it’s the Dale Carnegie way.

Buy it, read it and love it. You can thank us later.

Millions of people around the world have improved their lives based on the teachings of Dale Carnegie. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, he offers practical advice and techniques, in his exuberant and conversational style, for how to get out of a mental rut and make life more rewarding. His advice has stood the test of time and will teach you how to:

• Make friends quickly and easily
• Increase your popularity
• Persuade people to follow your way of thinking
• Enable you to win new clients and customers
• Become a better speaker
• Boost enthusiasm among your colleagues

This classic book will turn your relationships around and improve your interactions with everyone in your life.

Who for: Entrepreneurs, business owners and anyone involved in product marketing.

What Next?

Hold on, there will be more to come. We will add to this and let you know when we do – so sign up to our Newsletter and get our updates sent directly to you.

Happy Reading.


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