Many of us set out to be more something this year.
More productive. More efficient. More work-life balanced. More fit. Or maybe being more well-read was on your list.
If spending more time reading wasn't on your list, maybe it should be. Reading boosts your vocabulary, improves your memory, and puts you in an overall better mood.
On the Marketing Cloudcast, the marketing podcast from Salesforce, we ask every guest for their #1 book recommendation for fellow marketers. We shared 20 recommendations last year, and now we're back with 20 more.
So if your new-year, new-you goals also include more success as a marketer — whether that's getting a promotion or simply adding more value to your team — check out these book suggestions from past Marketing Cloudcast guests that may be the perfect fit for you.
And if you haven't already, subscribe to the Marketing Cloudcast for weekly conversations on marketing trends, research, and technology to help you in your daily job.
“I found this book was a really practical and really interesting look at how our brains function when we have so much going on, and how to calm that so we can get more done.” Michele Linn, VP of Content at Content Marketing Institute
Amazon description: Meet Emily and Paul: The parents of two young children, Emily is the newly promoted VP of marketing at a large corporation while Paul works from home or from clients' offices as an independent IT consultant. Their lives, like all of ours, are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, yet more emails, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Just staying ahead of the storm has become a seemingly insurmountable task. In this book, we travel inside Emily and Paul's brains as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they're presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it.
Check out Michele's podcast episode.
“One of my favorite business books of the year.” Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Growth Hacker Marketing
Amazon description: In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
Check out Ryan's podcast episode.
“It's a really killer book. But most importantly, Charles Dickens had one of the best understandings of his audience and how to hook them. That's a lesson we can all learn.” Shana Pearlman, Content Marketing Manager at Mulesoft
Amazon description: In this unflaggingly suspenseful story of aspirations and moral redemption, humble, orphaned Pip, a ward of his short-tempered older sister and her husband, Joe, is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman. And, indeed, it seems as though that dream is destined to come to pass — because one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." In telling Pip's story, Dickens traces a boy's path from a hardscrabble rural life to the teeming streets of 19th-century London, unfolding a gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, and love and loss.
Check out Shana's podcast episode.
“I always try to refresh myself on classics. There's a reason that we learn about them and that they've stood for the time that they have.” Greg Murphy, Salesforce Product Manager, Mobile
Amazon description: The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities.
Check out Greg's podcast episode.
“It's really about how you can drive change inside an organization or even within a market, and how it isn't all about data or appealing to reason — and it isn't just about emotion. He gives a lot of great examples of how subtle things can influence and drive so much change." Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Marketing at Upserve
Amazon description: In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people — employees and managers, parents and nurses — have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change.Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.
Check out Jesse's podcast episode.
"For people who are grammar nerds like me.” Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and bestselling author of Everybody Writes
Amazon description: Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
Check out Ann's podcast episode.
“This book is amazing because it makes anybody step outside their comfort zone and be okay with the creative process — and putting yourself out there and seeing yourself succeed.” Kate Talbot, author of Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat for Business and marketing consultant
Amazon description: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
Check out Kate's podcast episode.
“It's all about why some innovations — whether It's a product, service, or even hybrid corn — catch on. So it's great data and great stories.” Jonah Berger, bestselling author of Contagious
Amazon description: In this renowned book, Everett M. Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, explains how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. The fifth edition addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.
Check out Jonah's podcast episode.
“We’re all overwhelmed with too much to do. How do you really focus on the core essentials of your life?” Tim Kopp, Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners
Amazon description: The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
Check out Tim's podcast episode.
“It’s clinical, it's brilliant, it's also crazy in a lot of places. It takes a lot of ideas surrounding our current digital culture and network culture and shakes it up completely. Reading that book, I think, opened my eyes. I would recommend his book for anyone who's looking for a new perspective or lens on all the changes that are happening in our connected culture.” Cal Newport, author of "Deep Work," an instant WSJ bestseller and Amazon’s Best Business Book for January 2016
Amazon description: A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.
Check out Cal's podcast episode.
“The amazing thing is he wrote this in 1984 and he basically predicted the entrepreneurial economy. I don't know why this book isn't on the bookshelf of every business owner in the world. It's the best entrepreneurial framework I've seen.” Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code, marketing consultant, and speaker
Amazon description: This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America's new entrepreneurial economy. Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today's economy.
Check out Mark's podcast episode.
“How do habits exist, how are they formed, how do they change? It's a very helpful work strategy, as well as a personal strategy.” Angela Sanchez, Vice President of Consumer Relationship Marketing at Universal Music Group
Amazon description: Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.
Check out Angela's podcast episode.
“It's a leadership book with 76 short lessons for leadership. I think great marketers are great leaders.” Todd Lebo, Chief Marketing Officer at Ascend2
Amazon description: The best leaders not only lead well but also reflect on their leadership long enough and thoughtfully enough to articulate the philosophies that cause them to do so. Whether serving in the marketplace or in ministry, as executives or rank-and-file employees, as salaried staff or volunteer servants, good leaders can pinpoint the rationale for their actions and decisions with the ease of reciting their home address. Axiom brokers accessible wisdom from one leader’s journey, as well as emboldens you to nail down the reasons why you lead like you lead.
Check out Todd's podcast episode.
“It just changed me personally and professionally. It's one of the most remarkable books on creativity that i’ve ever read.” Jason Miller, LinkedIn's Global Content Marketing Leader
Amazon description: When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person? Now his first book, Ignore Everybody, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice.
Check out Jason's podcast episode.
“It’s product design-focused but has a lot of great takeaways about thinking compassionately about your designs to include the most users, as opposed to narrowing in too much on a perfect persona.” Lindsay Siovaila, Lead Solutions Developer at Salesforce
Amazon description: You can't always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they'll be in when they do. But by identifying stress cases and designing with compassion, you'll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time. Join Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer as they turn examples from more than a dozen sites and services into a set of principles you can apply right now.
Check out Lindsay's podcast episode.
"For inspiration, I like to go to more fanciful and inspired places — and then come back to earth with new ideas.” Rebecca Lieb, marketing analyst, author, and advisor
Amazon description: Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.
As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder. Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.
Check out Rebecca's podcast episode.
“There's so many great marketing books, but [most people] might not come across this one.” Will Schafer, Beyond Meat’s Director of Marketing
Amazon description: Brand Hijack offers a practical how-to guide to marketing that finally engages the marketplace. It presents an alternative to conventional marketing wisdom, one that addresses such industry crises as media saturation, consumer evolution, and the erosion of image marketing.
Check out Will's podcast episode.
“While digital tactics and digital strategies are the topic du jour these days, and people always want to know more about tech and more about how to tailor the customer journey, at the end of the day the message behind those marketing programs is what really makes marketing campaigns successful. I think people lose sight of that sometimes." Kyle Christensen, VP of Marketing at Invoca
Amazon description: The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors.
Check out Kyle's podcast episode.
“The quest to discover how people end up loving what they do.” Chris Howard, VP of Digital Strategy and Design, Calamos Investments
Amazon description: With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you," Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory reading for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love.
Check out Chris's podcast episode.
“I was interested in the tech space for a long time, and this for me just put everything into place.” James Dearsley, founder of the Digital Marketing Bureau and expert in virtual reality
Amazon description: Social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.
Check out James's podcast episode.
For more helpful insights from marketing leaders like these — or to listen to the full episode of any of the marketers listed here — check out the Marketing Cloudcast on iTunes, or read the latest episode recaps.