Must-read books for 2018

Guest post by Erika Goldwater

Books have always been my strongest foundations for learning and there is no shortage of great business and marketing books to keep me busy. I love to have a book in my hands and a notepad by my side. I am a voracious reader, sometimes reading two books a week. Although I have to admit, not all my book choices are business or marketing related as I have a weakness for James Patterson books.

As we get ready to jump into 2018, there are a few marketing and business books that are essentials for the New Year. Some of these books may be familiar and some may be brand new. These selections offer a variety of perspectives on today’s relevant business and marketing topics, but also, touch on leadership and personal growth to help guide us in life and in work.

I’ve included a few books here written by friends because not only are they great reads, but they are written by people who live and breath marketing and sales every day. These are not books written by scholars, they are books by practitioners that have experienced success and failures, and share their stories along the way. Take a look and enjoy your newest reading list.

Principles by Ray Dalio

If you haven’t heard of Ray Dalio, you must read this book first. Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, is known for practicing “radical truth” is inspirational but also instructional. This book discusses the role of principles and why they are essential for establishing a successful business, but also, a solid foundation for our personal lives as well.

The Workplace Writers Process: A Guide To Getting The Job Done by Anne H Janzer

This how-to-guide gives practical advice for writing that will help even the most reluctant writer, write. Take a look at the section on the field guide to writers in the workplace including the aspirational writer and the inadvertent writer that made me laugh.

Contagious by Jonah Berger

The title says it all. This book by Berger shares insights into why something catches on and it’s not what you might think. This is a fun and engaging book that will help you think about your business and marketing efforts in a different way.

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Handley makes writing fun, even for those who say they can’t write. This book is a must-have for anyone who writes, and that, of course, is everybody.  Might be one of my favorite books on the list for many reasons, least of all because it is universally helpful, most of all because it makes learning about how to write better an engaging read.

The Right Way To Select Technology, Get the Real Story on Finding the Best Fit by Tony Byrne

This is a must-read for anyone involved in technology purchases. Why? Because you are probably making purchase decisions and attempting the integration all wrong. Byrne helps explain how to select technology for the best fit and gives examples and instructions. Don’t buy technology in 2018 without reading this.

Analytics How to win with intelligence by John K. Thompson and Shawn P. Rogers

Analytics and big data are part of what powers organizations today. However, many organizations aren’t using the data effectively and in fact, they may even be using the information without permission. Thompson and Rogers introduce the three-part litmus test (context, permission, and accuracy) that can help us all maximize our analytics.

Getting to Yes And, The Art of Business Improv by Bob Kulhan

Improv techniques used in business? Yep. Marketers are well aware of the use of this art form via marketer Tim Washer who uses improv techniques in his work at Cisco. This book by Kulhan is a great introduction to using more agile thinking in business and highlights the “so what” factor for each

Unleash Possible A Marketing Playbook That Drives Sales by Samantha Stone

This is a true B2B marketing playbook that shows how to build the marketing engine to drive revenue for organizations of any size. Stone gives case studies, metrics, interview guides and instructions to get the reader thinking about the marketing and sales partnership that drive results.

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
I love this book. If you have ever had the pleasure of hearing Sinek speak, the book reads the same way he delivers a presentation; engaging, educational and totally entertaining. Read it and incorporate some of the leadership tips he shares. Your teams will appreciate it.

Driving Demand by Carlos Hidalgo

This book was published in 2015 and in all honesty, I had a hand in it. It is still an essential read for any business, sales or marketing leader who is looking to transform their organization using modern marketing methods and change management techniques. Becoming a customer-centric organization isn’t easy but Hidalgo helps teams get there via clearly defined methods.

Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing by Carla Johnson and Robert Rose

The buying process has changed today, yet marketers still struggle to engage their audiences. Experiences is the book that will help marketers become more effective in 2018. With extensive data and practical experiences to support their advice, Johnson and Rose show not only how we need to deliver experience-driven content, but explain why as well.

Be Like Amazon by Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg

What can we learn from Amazon? A lot. Jeffrey and Brian Eisenberg make the guiding principles of Amazon easy to understand and help anyone looking to get into business or grow an existing business actionable. Not every business wants to be Amazon, but if we learn customer centricity Amazon-style, success is possible.

This is only a snippet of some of the great books available. Did I miss any of your favorites? Share them in the comments.