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December 22, 2008

Must Reads & Worthy Reads for 2008

In year’s past, I’ve put together an awards list of “Best Marketing Books.”  You can read the winners (and some losers) from … 2003200420062007.

No awards this year. 

Instead, a listing of some books I consider MUST READS and WORTHY READS from 2008.

*** For clarification purposes, MUST READS are books that will definitely alter how you think, demonstrate, and articulate your business. WORTHY READS are interesting books that can positively impact how you approach making better business happen. ***


10 Commandments of Business Failure (Donald Keough)
“If a company never has a failure, I submit that their management is probably not discontented enough to justify their salaries.”  That’s just one tasty line from Keough’s book sharing super-smart insights on what NOT TO DO in order to better achieve success.  For more tasty lines, PEEP THIS.

Groundswell (Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff)
GROUNDSWELL is must-read material for all Marketing Managers and Marketing Directors who want to use the power of the Internet as an extension of their marketing department.  Since “the Internet is your marketing department,” might as well tap into it.  Unleash the power of the groundswell by reading and acting upon GROUNDSWELL.  LEARN MORE

Inside Drucker’s Brain (Jeffrey Krames)
Peter Drucker is the Rosetta Stone for the art of business management.  His nearly six-decades long career produced an unrivaled canon of business wisdom.  Problem is, Drucker wrote too much and shared too much.  There have been lots of attempts to summarize and update Drucker’s canon of business wisdom.  The most enjoyable and actionable of these attempts comes from business book editor and writer, Jeffrey Krames.  For much more on INSIDE DRUCKER’S BRAIN ... GO HERE.


Pirate’s Dilemma (Matt Mason)
A fun read.  An informative read.  You will think differently about business strategy and the origins of “The Rave Party” after reading Mason’s intoxicating book.

Inside Steve’s Brain (Leander Kahney)
Portfolio Books is onto something with their “Inside {name} Brain” series.  This one from Mac enthusiast Leander Kahney shares insights from Steve Jobs on how to design kick-ass customer experiences, create lickable products, hire top talent, and foster innovation.

Obsessive Branding Disorder (Lucas Conley)
Playful and insightful. Conley takes jabs at brands relying on superficial branding maneuvers to best explain ”branding is an all-in-one ideology.”

This One Time at Brand Camp (Tom Fishburne)
It’s Dilbert for us marketers. I promise laughter will erupt, ideas will flow, and cringing will happen while reading all these spot-on cartoons about life in the marketing trenches.

Red Rubber Ball at Work (Kevin Carroll)
Go to the bookstore and read the intro chapter. It’s a summary version of a life-altering keynote presentation from one of the best presenters around, Kevin Carroll.

Do You Matter? (Brunner, Emery, & Hall)
A vital book. You’ll learn the importance of why baking meaningful customer and employee experiences inside a business matters.

Hug Your People (Jack Mitchell)
Jack’s used to run a small family business. He now runs a big family business. It’s now big because he knows why baking meaningful customer and employee experiences inside a business matters.  In this book, Jack shares the how (along with the why).

Age of Conversation 2 (237 authors)
An interesting collection of essays from social media champions testifying and evangelizing the merits of businesses using social media tools to better connect with customers.

Talent is Overrated (Geoff Colvin)
Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)
Colvin’s approach is geared towards the business crowd. Gladwell’s take is more for the general audiences. Both books focus on how practice, practice, practice, and more practice is why the super-talented make it look so easy.


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Hey, thanks for the props for Groundswell. We like you, too.

A hundred client engagements later, the methodology and ideas in Groundswell appear to be working.

Let's hope nobody ever writes "Inside Bernoff's Brain" !

I know it will be good if John Moore recommends it.

I was inspired to create my own list of top marketing books for 2008.

I run a small board games publishing business, and I'm very aware that marketing is my weakest link. What three books from all time would you recommend to a beginner with no marketing experience?

I sell most of my stock to distributors, who then sell to shops and finally to customers, so I need to hit all points in the chain with a very limited budget.

Jackson ... my top-of-mind ... off-the-cuff ... not-looking-at-my-bookshelf answer is:

1. Purple Cow (Seth Godin)
2. Brand Gap (Marty Neumeier)
2. Creating Customer Evangelists (McConnell & Huba)

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