The best marketing books (advanced version)

One of my clients asked me for some recommendations for advanced marketing books during one of our business advice sessions, I had to think carefully because she already knows tons about marketing, but I came up with this list for her.

My recommendations for advanced marketing books

So, here are the best marketing books I’ve found which are a bit more advanced and ideal for when you want to take your skills to the next level.

They are all small business marketing books, rather than many advanced marketing books which are more for big corporates.

Robert Cialdini’s Influence

Influence is the classic book on influencing and persuasion tactics in marketing. It’s written pre-internet, but there’s tons of stuff here that is very applicable to online marketing. It’s brilliant, just brilliant, and I use Cialdini’s ideas all the time when helping clients develop marketing campaigns.

I’ve written my thoughts on how to apply these ideas for small businesses – here’s the one about the photocopier queue and the one about the reciprocity principle.

And if you get my exclusive tips and ideas by email, when you read Cialdini’s Influence, you’ll recognise my story of “The Business Advisor and the Three Cocktail Shakers”.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

advanced marketing books


Robert Cialdini’s Pre-suasion

Pre-suasion is the follow-up book to Influence and considers much more about how you can get people ready to buy from you. It made me think about some new techniques for my sales funnel

When you’re working on building your audience/tribe for online marketing or want some great ideas to increase your conversion when selling face to face, this is powerful stuff. Very much an advanced marketing book, but a very easy and compelling read.

Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini

advanced marketing books


Chip and Dan Heath – Made to Stick

You want your brand and your marketing to be remembered, right? This excellent book deconstructs stories that stick in people’s heads, such as urban myths and scientific “facts” which are untrue, to find out why they stick in people’s heads.

And then they give you a great formula, so you can write your blogs and emails so that they stick in the minds of your potential customers. Very useful for content marketing and brand building.

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

advanced marketing books

Ian Brodie – Email Persuasion

A highly practical book about email marketing, based on Ian’s own experience of growing a list and converting those people to buy from him using email.

The book is written for Ian’s audience of coaches and consultants, but the practical parts of it can easily be used if you’re using email marketing for, say, e-commerce.

Email Persuasion is a starter book for email marketing, so doesn’t go too much into more advanced techniques such as tagging and segmentation. But I’ve included it in the advanced marketing books section here because even the most sophisticated marketers seem to ignore email marketing. Given that email marketing can be much more useful in your sales funnel than, say, social media, developing your skills here can boost your business a lot.

Email Persuasion By Ian Brodie

advanced marketing books

Copyhackers – Conversion Copywriting 101/10x courses

Not a book. Conversion Copywriting is a free online course on…well, conversion copywriting. I’ve also bought and worked through the 10x emails and 10x launches courses, which are only open at certain times of the year.

I’ve included this as it’s probably easier to learn the copywriting skills you need for marketing from an online course than a book, so this is a better option to get going with getting to be a great writer.

And when they open up one of the paid for marketing based courses, do invest in it if you can. And work through it. Getting good at this could change your business forever, and save you a fortune in paying copywriters.

Seth Godin – This is Marketing

This is Seth’s latest book, and I’ve just started reading it. If you haven’t read the others, begin with Purple Cow (here’s my starter synopsis) and go through Permission Marketing and We are All Weird.

The last two are out of date in some ways, they talk about companies which have gone bust, and he wrote them before social media was invented. But the principles are still valid – have conversations with your audience, stand out from the crowd, build your brand for your tribe and not the lowest common denominator because you don’t need everyone and their dog to buy from you.

This is Marketing by Seth Godin

advanced marketing books


Wayne Baker – Achieving Success Through Social Capital

This book changed my thoughts on networking and tribe building a lot and helped me to develop much more of a system for developing my social capital.

A little more challenging to read as this is from an academic perspective, rather than a business book, but not difficult.

It is invaluable when you want to sell using a networking strategy, and has tons of tips on how to make the most of the time and effort you invest in building networks of people who can help your business and buy from you. Definitely one of the advanced marketing books, and one to make you think.

Achieving Success Through Social Capital

advanced marketing books


David McCandless – Knowledge is Beautiful

Knowledge is Beautiful is a book about presenting big data through graphics. So why is it in my advanced marketing books section?

Because sometimes you want that edge. That different way of presenting your company, your brand or the impact of your products. Or you want to get across that you do your thing better than your competitors.

And because putting your information out using graphics is an excellent way for people to remember you – maybe it’s part of your Purple Cow. Representing your information in this way won’t be for everyone, but it’s worth thinking about whether you could include this in your marketing in some way.

And, even if you can’t, or this approach isn’t right for you, get this book anyway because it’s beautiful and will give you some way of reflecting on what you do and thinking differently.

Knowledge is Beautiful by David McCandless

advanced marketing books

Other books for the advanced business owner

If you’ve got this far, you must be the kind of business owner who likes reading as a way of learning more about how to help you your business to succeed. These books aren’t small business marketing books, but they will help you to develop your business.

My Sweetspot Pricing book will help you to get your pricing right and has a whole bunch of advanced marketing tactics to make sure that you can sell at the price you need to charge.

Tales of Everyday Business Folk is a gentle story of one woman’s business journey, with lots of points that I’m sure you’ll recognise from your adventures in business.

Your recommendations?

What would you recommend to add to this list? If you were talking to my lovely client about some great small business marketing books, for someone who already had the basics covered, what would you recommend them to read? Drop me a line and let me know which advanced marketing books you would want me to recommend to my clients.

Transparency note

If you follow the links above, it is possible that Amazon will pay me as much as 40p when you buy one of these books. Last year I earned enough from this to buy me 7 bars of quality chocolate. Feel free to buy them from wherever you want though, or get them from the library. I can do without extra chocolate. I think.

Some more good ideas for your business?

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Photo credit to Paul Schafer on Unsplash