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Best Marketing Books 2020

by Rachael, on 10 January, 2020

New year, a whole lotta new marketing books to read! 

It's no secret we love a marketing book, soaking up their wisdom...and if we're lucky picking the brains of their illustrious authors.

So what's on our book shelf for 2020?We've done a quickie round up of books we've recently read, are in the progress of reading and definitely will read this year.

In absolutely no apparent order are 9 marketing-must-reads

2020-books (1)

Delusions of Brandeur by Ryan Wallman

If you give a damn about marketing then chances are you follow this guy on Twitter - @Dr_Draper - and honestly if this book is half as good as his punchy, pithy social feed then I'm betting it will be a page turner!

Wallman's book promises to be a breath of fresh air in the 'business book' space - promising with tongue firmly in cheek - to be nothing like it's counterparts by Gary Vee or Simon Sinek.


Uncanny Valley a Memoir by Anna Weiner

At the time of this writing Uncanny Valley the debut book by Anna Weiner is available for pre-order, scheduled for release on 14th January - and has already collected a bunch of accolades for its explosive content about the Silicon Valley start up culture.

*deep breath*

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a January 2020 IndieNext Pick. An Amazon Best Book of January. One of Vogue's 22 Books to Read This Winter, The Washington Post's 10 Books to Read in January, ELLE's 12 Best Books to Read in 2020, The New York Times's 12 Books to Read in January, Esquire's 15 Best Winter Books, Paste's 10 Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2020, and Entertainment Weekly's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020..

Oh and of course the MarTech Alliance Must Reads list for 2020.


Alchemy the Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense by Rory Sutherland

I LOVED this book, but to be honest it could be because I listened to the audio book narrated by Rory himself and he was giving me mad Stephen Fry vibes.

Narration aside it was a brilliant book, I'm partial to anything around cognitive behaviour and was equally enamoured with Richard Shotton's The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy which quotes Sutherland a lot, so I knew I was in for a good read. - Rachael


Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal with Julie Li

6 years after publishing his debut best seller Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (26/12/2013) Nir Ayal is back with his sophomore book, a guide to help avoid life's inevitible distractions - especially in our tech dependant world. 

Considering I write this sentence with 35 browser tabs open, a podcast episode blaring in my headphones and my spare hand inexplicably scrolling instagram on my phone while I sporadically peer out my office window to see who brought cake in to the office kitchen - I'm fairly keen on a tip or two about paying attention to what's important.


Data Story: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story by Nancy Duarte

This is the sixth book under Nancy Duarte's belt with this latest publiscation focussed on transforming your data into persuasive narratives to drive action.

Don't be fooled in to thinking this is a book about big data, GDPR, data collection, CDPs or data mining. It is as Duarte disclaims a "book is about how data is communicated, not formulated."

DataStory promises to help you:

  • Explain data through the lens of empathy
  • Spark action through story structures
  • Craft recommendations that get approved
  • Write clear observations of charts and annotate them
  • Structure and layout a Slidedoc
  • Inspire others with data that sticks

data story

SEE ALSO: Our definitive list of the best marketing books

Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff

The year is 1999, the dot com bubble is still a couple of years from bursting, Jeff Bezos has just been named Time magazine's Man of the Year and the world is 5 years away from its introduction to Facebook.

Salesforce began in a small apartment in Telegraph Hill in San Francisco and would become one of the most formidable SaaS pioneers - fast forward some twenty-one years later and we are finally getting a peek behind the scenes at the life and times of Marc Benioff the man behind one of the highest performing companies - not just in the martech landscape - but of all time. 


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Considering the obsession our own founder Carlos Doughty has for trainers - particularly Nike trainers - it's no surprise that the memoir by the creator of Nike is going to make it's way in to the must read list!

You honestly can't shut him up about how much he loved this book, it's insight and back story - how Phil Knight started with $50 borrowed from his father, the legendary 'waffle iron', and the many risks and daunting setbacks that afflicted Knight's journey.

shoe dog

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph

Following on from Shoe Dog it was only fitting to include Marc Randolph's incredible book on the untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company. 

Starting with an idea many thought impossible and having to convince his own mother to be an early investor, to now having over 150 million subscribers and making leaps and bounds in the video streaming industry. It truly is one of the most remarkable and visionary entrepreneurial stories of our time.    

If you're looking for a kick up the arse to start chasing your dreams, this is definitely the book for you. 

that will never work

Stories That Stick: how Story Telling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Trasform Your Business by Kindra Hall

'Whatever you do, wherever you are in your career, this is the book to read right now. Practical, funny and true, Kindra's new book is a keeper.' --Seth Godin

Storytelling is most definitely an artform - and one often lost on B2B marketers, Kindra's book offers advice on the four unique stories you can use to differentiate, captivate, and elevate: 

  • the Value Story, to convince customers they need what you provide;
  • the Founder Story, to persuade investors and customers your organization is worth the investment;
  • the Purpose Story, to align and inspire your employees and internal customers; and
  • the Customer Story, to allow those who use your product or service to share their authentic experiences with others.


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Topics:Marketing & Tech Book ClubMust see