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The 30 Marketing Books Every CEO Should Read

As someone who writes for an online media outlet, no one knows how important marketing is more than me. That being said, there is a huge gap in the knowledge of CEO’s and business owners who simply don’t understand the HUGE potential they are missing out on in some cases. Here are 30 books that can correct that.

#1 Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson

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In this bookm Author goes into major detail of how to build a tribe not just theory. One week after reading this book we launched a group, called Rank Makers, that generated almost 3 million dollars within the first year. Highly recommend this book. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ray Higdon from Higdon Group

  1. I love Ray’s books and the group Rank Makers because I’ve learned what I need to do to become successful in Network Marketing.

  2. EXPERT Secrets is like the modern day marketing Ninja handbook!
    Ray Higdon knows his stuff with a thriving company as recognized by INC 5,000. Glad to see his name on the contributing list!

#2 Play Bigger by Ramadan, Peterson and Lochhead

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This is the first book I have read that truly expanded the concepts of Trout and Reiss, the legendary pioneers of branding and differentiation. In this book you learn the concept of becoming a category king vs. just focus on a niche. Truly powerful book that has really impacted how we view the future of our company. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ray Higdon from Higdon Group

#3 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

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Many are aware of the Pareto principle that 80% of your whatever comes from 20% of whatever, most commonly 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts but Perry dives deep into the monetization of companies and the multi-dimensional nature of 80/20, Spoiler alert: 80% of your income comes from or was originated by 20% of your clients and 80% of THAT income was generated from 20% of THOSE clients and how to expand that in your sales and marketing. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ray Higdon from Higdon Group

  1. Ray Higdon knows his stuff with a thriving company as recognized by INC 5,000. Glad to see his name on the contributing list!

#4 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

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This book is excellent for CEOs, aspiring marketers, and anyone who wants to succeed in today's internet and social media content driven world. The author masterfully provides lessons that help you grow in your field and become excellent content creators. A must read! 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Sabrina Kizzie from Baruch College 

#5 Small Business Marketing by Aaron Pfeifer

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A great short read for any CEO is Small Business Marketing: Grow your Business Strategically Without Breaking the Bank. It is a great easy read during a flight and covers marketing strategy fundamentals as well as provides specific ideas for business owners to implement to promote their business cost effectively. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Aaron Pfeifer from Obsidian Solutions LLC

#6 The Copywriter’s Handbook, By Robert W. Bly

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As a copywriter myself, I am partial to this book. But I truly think that being able to master great conversion copywriting techniques is one of the top ways to get your message across clearly and profoundly, and David Bly neatly goes over top tips and tricks in this book. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#7 Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

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A smart book that teaches you brilliant tactics to acquire and grow your customer base. One thing is to figure out the way to acquire new customers, but what's more important to me is to find the customer base building channels that will actually work best for my own business, which ones are most cost-effective and secure me with desired business growth. A must read for every start-up owner.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Kuba Koziej from Zety

#8 Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman

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This book is a quick read yet still goes in depth on HOW to sell. It explains secrets that agencies use, how important psychology is in the process, and data on industry trends. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#9 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R Covey

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With the advent of technology, consumers are going through a paradigm shift and no longer want to be sold at and talked to, they want to be understood and guided; meet them where they are at. Inbound marketing is the most effective way of reaching consumers now, so understanding how to most effectively create those relationships will be extremely helpful. Not just that, but this book will help a CEO be a better boss as well. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#10 Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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Despite the age of this book, it still has great value in today's business world. 

The most valuable conclusions I gathered from this book: 

  • You cannot acquire great wealth without a concrete plan for attaining that wealth, a serious passion that compels you to act on your plan continuously, and great faith that your plan will allow you to succeed. 
  • Many of the world's greatest achievers were passionate to the point of obsession, and in order to emulate their success you must cultivate a desire until it becomes an obsession. 
  • Material success does not come solely as a result of knowledge acquisition, but rather from one's ability to organize and transform specialized knowledge such that it can be delivered to a wide audience in the form of a product or service. 
  • Persistence often makes the difference between success and failure. It is a state of mind that is essential to success and can be overcome through effort. 
  • One of the common attributes of highly successful people is the ability to reach decisions quickly and to change them slowly. Most of us are the opposite. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Angelo Frisina from Sunlight Media LLC

#11 Purple Cow by Seth Godin

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It goes into the best practices for developing brands and making your business extraordinary. It cuts through the bullshit that many agencies tend to use and explains the foundation of how to get your brand noticed. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#12 Confessions of an Advertising Man

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Ogilvy is a marketing legend. Even though the book is old, and many trends have shifted to a digital sphere, the concepts still hold true for today. He talks about the best way to run an agency, and what specific practices to use in order to best captivate an audience. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#13 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

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This book is written by two industry leaders, and delineates the laws of marketing that every marketer--or even business owner-- should know. It goes step by step on how to make your brand memorable. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Katie Goodwill from Digital Radar Marketing

#14 The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

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The Pumpkin Plan explains marketing really clearly and includes plenty of real-world examples that make it far easier to follow along with and, more importantly, put his advice into action. He also includes an incredibly helpful section where he lists a selection of great questions to ask clients that will help you provide a better service. On the face of it, it’s a simple concept, but it’s a book I read over and over again to help us improve our marketing service. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ross Davies from Strafe Creative

#15 #ASKGARYVEE by Gary Vaynerchuk

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In the book, Gary definitely brings some current and practical advice to the table and there’s some value there for sure.. He’s out there grinding and some of his takes are making me rethink a few of my habits. 

Gary is an entrepreneur who had the foresight to go beyond traditional methods and use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to reach an untapped audience that continues to grow. The book showcases the most useful and interesting questions that he has addressed on his podcast show. 

It’s interesting and fun to read, with plenty of real-life scenarios that can be followed. His practical advice is both useful and possible to implement in my own business.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Brian Lim from iHeartRaves 

#16 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

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The Tipping Point is about how little things can make a big difference in your business. It outlines 3 agents of change you can use to catapult your business to achieve its growth goals. 

There are practical marketing concepts you can apply to your business whether you have marketing experience or not. This is a great one for CEO's looking to make a big impact in the market.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Natalie Athanasiadis from Ormi Media

#17 Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

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This book ads validation to those entrepreneurs, like myself, that did not attend business school. Had Branson conformed to the conventional do's & don'ts of starting a business, it's likely that Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic would have never been started. So many of Branson's achievements are due to his unyielding determination to break the rules and rewrite them himself. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Angelo Frisina from Sunlight Media LLC

#18 Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

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Unless you have a marketing background, it's difficult to know where to start when developing your marketing strategy. There are so many channels, tactics, and tips that the possibilities can be overwhelming. 

Traction gives you a simple framework for creating and validating marketing channels, giving you the tools you need to measure and iterate on your marketing efforts. Some of the marketing channels outlined in Traction are things I'd have never thought to try on my own. 

The chapter-long description of each channel certainly didn't make me a marketing expert, but it gave me enough information to make educated decisions to up my marketing game. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Dave Lane from Inventiv 

#19 Change by Design by Tim Brown

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There's so much noise right now in the marketing and advertising space that the only way to truly reach people is to make something useful. Design thinking helps you do that by teaching you to tap into human wants and needs and solve problems that actually need to be solved. Marketing must be packed into a truly useful solution. 

This book is also ideal for CEO's because it's very integrative in its approach and gives actionable advice for how an entire organization can be run to achieve stellar results. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Catherine Giese from Fundera 

#20 The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

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This book shows that productivity doesn’t come from being overworked. If you want to learn the secret to being successful without sacrificing your lifestyle, this is the book for you. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

#21 Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing

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As per the Contributor: As a marketer, I read this book, but I truly believe that it would be beneficial for any CEO. This book has won many awards and listed as a favorite from Forbes, Mashable, Oracle, and more. The book is ultimately about being smart and efficient within digital marketing, it will help you think of marketing in a new way that makes sense for your specific business, and gives ideas and strategies in order to “do more, with less.”Since I’m a content nerd, one of my favorite parts of this book about content strategy and creating various forms of content that are super engaging. It gives tips, tricks, and awesome content hacks! I would definitely recommend it. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Jenna Erickson from Codal 

#22 Everything I Know About Business by Barry Barnes

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It’s grounded in business and marketing theory and it’s easy and fun to read. It offers some surprising lessons for the 21st century from the Grateful Dead rather than typical marketing and business books. Unlike any other book about marketing or business book, this one doesn’t focus on large businesses but uses a rock ’n’ roll band as a business model, which will be more appealing to a teenager. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Barry Barnes from Nova Southeastern University

#23 The Barrows Popularity Factor

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The book is about some easy-to-use advertising math I developed that can help all kinds of businesses make a lot more money. The math will give businesses more of the information they need to make key marketing decisions with far less risk, and it can help them increase their sales, increase their profit and decrease their risk. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Robert Barrows from Barrows, Inc.

#24 The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

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This is an amazing book that will powerfully change the way you do business. Chet Holmes is a one-of-a-kind talent and this incredibly practical book is the embodiment of his highly successful approach. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Angelo Frisina from Sunlight Media LLC

#25 EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

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“Your company is only as strong as its leaders” is what the author states in this book. The team will never grow beyond the CEO. It’s a great practical business book for those with plenty of business experience as well as people with not as much. If you want to work your business instead of in it, this is the book for you. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

#26 Digital Bacon: Make Your Online Presence Irresistibly Attractive

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This book is great for not only CEO's but even veteran marketing professionals. The reason I like it is that the author Alex Rodriguez simply breaks down all of the essential elements for successful digital marketing campaigns from start to finish. He also includes very valuable tools and resources to accomplish them. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Vivek Chugh from Listables 

#27 Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition

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If you want to stand out in a competitive field, you need to read this book. It teaches you how to find uncontested, valuable markets where you can sidestep competition and get direct access to consumers. The examples are fantastic and really drive the points home.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Dann Albright from Content Strategy and Marketing Consultant

#28 Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

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The subtitle of this book is Why Content Marketing Is About Help Not Hype. Modern CEOs need to understand content marketing because it's quickly becoming the only option for effective marketing. Help not hype needs to become every company's motto. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Dann from Dann Albright

#29 Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

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We all want a successful product and/or business that attracts a lot of people, but the question is. how? This book especially focuses on that idea: how a business can attract a lot of customers and grow. This book discusses how the business must have a targeted audience, have social proofs, have benefits and practical use, and must be familiar for the audience and/or have an emotional connection. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Steve Kurniawan from I Know SEO 

#30 Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice

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It is the bible of digital marketing, covering every aspect of the practice in depth with real life examples and case studies to demonstrate. It also includes a number of industry insights to help you understand how the profession operates in practice. 

Dave Chaffey is one of the best respected academics in the industry, so his advice and insights are highly valuable and credible.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Steve Pritchard from It Works Media

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Written by Taegan Lion