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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
Al Ries and Jack Trout (2001)
This book on marketing will always remain relevant. In it, the authors document their perspectives on marketing. They share the concept of value as it is perceived by the prospect, a concept we will explore later in this book. They published this book in 1981, after twenty years of writing and evangelising about their perspective on a developing area of marketing called positioning. Their work should be mandatory reading for the modern marketer.
Claude C Hopkins (1923)
The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact. The causes and effects have been analyzed until they are well understood. The correct method of procedure have been proved and established. We know what is most effective, and we act on basic law. Advertising, once a gamble, has thus become, under able direction, one of the safest business ventures. Certainly, no other enterprise with comparable possibilities need involve so little risk. Therefore, this book deals, not with theories and opinions, but with well-proved principles and facts. It is written as a textbook for students and a safe guide for advertisers. Every statement has been weighed. The book is confined to establish fundamentals.
Drive – The Surprising truth about what motivates us
Daniel H Pink (2011)
Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people – at work, at school, at home. It’s wrong. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does – and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In DRIVE, he reveals the three elements of true motivation: AUTONOMY – the desire to direct our own lives; MASTERY – the urge to get better and better at something that matters; PURPOSE – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward. DRIVE is bursting with big ideas – the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.
Ogilvy on Advertising
David Ogilvy (1983)
Ogilvy published this book in 1983. Sharing stories from a lifetime as an advertising legend, his insights make for great reading. His introduction, called ‘Overture’, is particularly relevant to this chapter. There, he speaks of the changes he saw from the time he launched his agency in 1949 to the time of writing the book in 1983. He writes, ‘I run the risk of being denounced by the idiots who hold that any advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete’.
Building A Story Brand
Donald Miller (2018)
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. _Building a StoryBrand_does this by teaching readers the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion-dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.
The Lean StartUp
Eric Ries (2011)
Most new businesses fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that’s being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup is about learning what your customers really want. It’s about testing your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it’s too late. Now is the time to think Lean.
Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean
Kim Scott (2017)
Radical Candor is the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on the one side and ruinously empathetic on the other. It is about providing guidance, which involves a mix of praise as well as criticism, delivered to produce better results and help employees develop their skills and boundaries of success.
Great bosses have a strong relationship with their employees, and Kim Scott Malone has identified three simple principles for building better relationships with your employees: make it personal, get stuff done, and understand why it matters.
Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Drawing on years of first-hand experience, and distilled clearly to give actionable lessons to the reader, Radical Candor shows how to be successful while retaining your integrity and humanity. Radical Candor is the perfect handbook for those who are looking to find meaning in their job and create an environment where people both love their work, their colleagues and are motivated to strive to ever greater success.
Free to Focus
Michael Hyatt (2019)
Everyone gets 168 hours a week, but it never feels like enough, does it? Work gobbles up the lion’s share–many professionals are working as much as 70 hours a week–leaving less and less for rest, exercise, family, and friends. You know, all those things that make life great.
Most people think productivity is about finding or saving time. But it’s not. It’s about making our time work for us. Just imagine having free time again. It’s not a pipe dream.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
Phil Knight (2016)
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business. He details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream – along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.
Principles of Marketing
Philip Kotler (1980)
Philip Kotler wrote most of his books in the 1960s and 1970s. We love referencing this classic. It’s a marketing 101 textbook, and the first edition of this book was written in the 1980s. Each year, he updates the book with new case studies. The core of this textbook will never change, but new case studies reveal new ways to execute on the same principles.
Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion
Robert Cialdini (1984)
We believe every marketer should periodically review this book throughout his or her career. In it, Cialdini focuses on persuasion within marketing—how to get people to do what you want them to do. The principles are, again, fundamental to any form of marketing. This book was first published in 1984, and in recent years Cialdini has started making regular appearances at digital marketing conferences around the world. Even though his seminal work was published roughly fifteen years before Google was conceived, the industry now views him as a thought leader when it comes to conversion rate optimisation and digital conversion.
Robert Cialdini (2016)
When it comes to persuasion, success can begin before you say a word.
This is the world of ‘pre-suasion’, where subtle turns of phrase, seemingly insignificant visual cues, and apparently unimportant details of location can prime people to say ‘yes’ even before they are asked. And as Cialdini reveals, it’s a world you can master. If you understand the tools of pre-suasion, you will be better placed to win a debate, get support for an idea or cause, promote a campaign – even persuade yourself to do something you find difficult.
Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
Seth Godin (2007)
Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favourite programme or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family meal, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snaring our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works. Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity, time, Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to voluntarily accept advertising. Now the Internet pioneer who has dramatically improved marketing effectiveness in media introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out to only those individuals who have expressed an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness, and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.
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