Summer is a great time to read and I don’t don’t just mean escapist fiction. I’ve compiled a list of five books that have shaped how I see marketing. I may share more of my favourite books in a future installment, but here are some excellent works that you should definitely look into reading.

Permission Marketing – Seth Godin

This book has held up well in the 10 years since it came out – if you haven’t read it, the first half of it is available here for free. It’s central point makes so much sense: target your marketing message to receptive prospects, not the whole world. It’s arguable that Godin’s book made marketers realize that their old ‘interruption’ techniques wouldn’t work on the web. It’s also shown us how inbound marketing can work for our own purposes. I draw a lot of my philosophy of marketing from this book.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout

This short work has easy-to-explain concepts and examples from companies we all know, such as FedEx, Apple and Coca Cola. Note that the book doesn’t tell you which of the laws apply to your situation, but it will supply ammunition to help you defend your chosen strategy to non-marketers.

Unleashing the Killer App – Larry Downes, Chunka Mui

Though published in 2000, it continues to be so highly respected that it still serves as a good litmus test for how great technology products can be identified and nurtured. It bears similarity to Geoffrey Moore’s ‘Crossing the Chasm’ but it also outlines small ways you can improve how you market products.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott

While I don’t agree with everything in this book, I feel there’s too much good usable information in it to hold back recommending it.

Marketing Metrics – Farris, Bendle, Pfeifer & Reibstein

This is a reference book that I open when it comes to defining success for a marketing initiative. It contains over 50 formulas and many more explanations of the financial factors at play when we consider return on investment.

If you regard a marketing book highly, please let me know about it!