Several years ago I shared my 10 favorite advertising/marketing books and got some great feedback from readers who bought and read many of them. Let’s update that list to 2010 with a list of my 10 favorite new reads on advertising and marketing, many of them geared to understanding, and maximizing success in the age of E.
First, before I provide the list, let me share a powerful tool that many of you will greatly appreciate. It’s a service called www.getabstract.com. You can sign up for this service and for a fee of about $400 a year, you can download condensed abstracts of an unlimited number of titles of the most popular business books in print. You can download the summaries in PDF form, directly to your Kindle or Sony Reader, to your Blackberry or as a podcast. The summaries are concise condensations of the key Take-Aways and abstracts of each title. You’ll be able to read 10 or more great business books in an afternoon. As a member of this service, I read upwards of 100 new books a month. If you’d like to see a sample, email me and I’ll send you one of the abstracts from any of the titles I’m describing now (just one per person). Even though $400 annually sounds like a lot, if you share these summaries with your team, the cost is reasonable. By the way, if you like the abstract of the book, you can easily order the entire book right on the GetAbstract website.
1. Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott/McGraw-Hill. Subtitled: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, this 384-page book explains what ‘growing up digital’ has done to a generation, key characteristics the ‘E-gen’ shares and how this generation is changing the world. You have no future in selling if you don’t understand what makes this new breed click.
2. FREE! by Chris Anderson/ Hyperion. I just love this book. In all of advertising history the two most powerful words are still ‘new’ and ‘free’. Chris explains how and why you should be building your bottom line with free stuff. And don’t let the word free scare you car guys. There are ways to legally use this powerful word in your marketing in all 50 states!
3. Twitter Power by Joel Comm with Ken Burge/John Wiley & Sons. Joel and Ken help you ‘tweet’ your way to success with the hottest new communication tool in the world. Lots of time constrained execs find ‘tweeting’ preferable to all other forms of social media tag-alongs because of the short and sweet 140 character max.
You’ll learn exactly what ‘Twitter’ is, how to use it and how to apply Twitters specific capabilities to boost your business or personal brand. As the little yellow bird says… ‘very tweet’!
4. Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and David Brake/John Wiley & Sons. I’m recommending three books on social media, and this is the first: The Bible. Lon and David break down the seemingly complex world of social media so even a neophyte can understand it. You’ll learn what online social media is…and is not, what you can with certain social sites and how to start a social media program. Let me make a little suggestion right here. Form a ‘social media’ team of at least three people. Have all three read this book as well as the other two I’m recommending. Then formulate a marketing plan of attack for your dealership brand.
5. Marketing to the Social Web by Larry Weber/John Wiley & Sons. Trust me on this one. Forget everything you think you knew about marketing and sales when it comes to the social web. It’s a completely different language. Larry shows you how to develop a successful strategy for this new environment and explains what tools to use on the social web. There is a good section of taking advantage of search engine technology as well as an ‘easy to use’ explanation of blogging without getting ‘blogged down’.
6. Social Media Marketing by Dave Evans/Sybex. Good style. Easy to read. Very easy to apply to your day to day efforts in making the most of the new social media internet sites. Dave shares tools and applications to help market your company’s products and services and very realistic strategies for an effective marketing outreach via the social web. One of the best explanations in writing yet on how people are using social sites and how you can influence them in regard to your products and services.
7. Web Copy That Sells by Maria Veloso/Amacom. It’s what you say and how you say it and Maria does an excellent job in explaining why effective Internet sales copy should not look like or read like traditional print advertisements. (Can you say short sentences? Bullet points?) This books shares ideas on selling with psychological triggers like fear, anticipation, tension and emotional satisfaction. This is an excellent primer on how to write web and e-mail copy that sells.
8. Hot Button Marketing by Barry Feig/Adams Media. This is not about just web related copy. This is a good overall read on the proven ‘hot buttons’ of power, achievement, control, family values, sex, love, etc. that keep readers engaged and move them to the next level of participation. At 256 pages, this is an easy read on applying motivational methods to your promotions, recognizing your customers ‘hot buttons’ and knowing which of the 16 hot buttons are most effective for various demographics and opportunities.
9. Hispanic Marketing Grows Up by Juan Faura/Paramount. I’d be remiss in not mentioning this new book by Juan Faura. It’s an excellent read that explains why attempts to sell to the US Hispanic market often fall flat (even when so-called Hispanic media experts are involved). There are very few markets in the U.S. today where an understanding of the Hispanic market is not important. We’re talking about $600 billion dollars a year in spending power. But not all Hispanic markets are alike. There are at least three racial backgrounds, each motivated by different motivational hot-buttons. Read this book, understand, and get your share of the huge, and fast growing Hispanic market.
10. Words that Work by Frank Luntz/Hyperion. This is my favorite read of all. Frank is a pollster who has made quite a name for himself by conducting focus groups where the folks ‘spin the dials’ as they react to commercials, videos and speeches. If you watch Fox News, you’ve probably seen him on a number of shows. Frank demonstrates the ‘Ten Rules of Effective Language’ such as using small words, short sentences, offering something ‘new’ and staying consistent. It’s an easy read with an overall rating of 9 on a scale of 10. You’ll find yourself speaking and writing completely different after finishing the book.
If you would like a sample ‘abstract’ (condensation-summary) of any of the above 10 books, just e-mail me. For information on abstract service, go to www.getabstract.com. If you like to read, it will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.