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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more your business will grow.” – Dr. Seuss (sort of)
Ok, this is not a direct quote from the doctor himself.
It’s actually, “…the more places you’ll go.” But as consummate marketers, we had to give it a clever spin.
Most of us wish they could read more — but with somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US, it’s impossible to keep up.1
This is why we must rely on recommendations and reviews from friends, family, colleagues, and peers. For example, we just finished a collection of articles on topics like user psychology, monetization strategies, and social commerce, including one on influencer marketing by Mile Grncarov, Growth Manager at Mercedez-Benz.
So as a marketer, what are some essential books you should be reading?
In this article, we feature 10 books recommended by mobile marketing experts, founders, and investors, plus 10 bonus must-reads.
Max Altschuler is the founder and CEO of Sales Hacker Inc., a platform of thought leaders in B2B sales. Hacking Sales integrates mobile marketing methodologies such as segmentation and customer profiling to build a sophisticated sales engine.
This book is recommended by Sam Altman, the president of the infamous incubator Y Combinator.2 Sam is also an advisor to some of Silicon Valley’s most elite companies and serves as co-chairman of OpenAI, a non-profit company aiming to achieve a safe artificial intelligence.
This book includes practical advice for lean startup teams to build a sales engine. Using a combination of sales, marketing, and CRM tools offers sophisticated advantages in organization and relationship management. Some things you will learn from reading Hacking Sales include:
David Kirkpatrick covered Facebook for Fortune magazine after meeting Mark Zuckerberg in 2006. The Facebook Effect was the first and last book that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg authorized and cooperated with during the writing process.
In The Facebook Effect, Kirkpatrick investigates what motivates Zuckerberg to make the world more transparent through a tight-knit social network. This book is recommended by Kris Fredrickson a former Benchmark VC whose mobile expertise led to investments in both Uber and Instacart.3
As a mobile marketer, you can study the inner workings of one of the fastest growing companies of all time. Learn how the Facebook team succeeded in creating the world’s most popular social networking product in the face of earlier incumbents like MySpace and Friendster.
Merrill R. Chapman is the managing editor of Softletter, a hub of information for SaaS and Mobile teams. In Search of Stupidity highlights the biggest failures in marketing history over a span of twenty years.
The book is recommended and prefaced by Joel Spolsky. He’s the founder of Stack Exchange, a network of 173 Q&A communities, including Stack Overflow.4 Joel has also written extensively about software development, business, and the internet on his personal blog Joel on Software.
Use the stories in this book as warnings against groupthink and conformity. Maintain an open mind and data-driven approach to high-level marketing decisions. Many of the true marketing failures discussed in this book could have been avoided by running smaller (and less expensive) tests before launching the full campaign.
Geoffrey A. Moore is the author of the bestselling book Crossing the Chasm which helps startups navigate the transition from early adopters to the larger general market. Inside the Tornado takes a closer look at hypergrowth markets and comes recommended by Steve Jobs himself.5
“The Chasm is where many high-tech fortunes have been lost… The Tornado is where many have been made.” — Steve Jobs
From this book, you can expect to have a deeper understanding of the various marketing strategies throughout the stages of the technology adoption life cycle. Learn the importance of dominating the market and not limiting growth potential by raising prices.
Nate Silver is a prolific statistician, blogger, and author. Silver is the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, a statistical analysis publication dedicated to opinion polls, politics, and sports. In The Signal and The Noise, Silver investigates why most predictions fail, highlighting the most successful forecasters in fields such as poker and the stock market as case studies
Learn how to make better predictions from your data and how to determine if the dataset is not reliable for predictive analysis. Learn why we are biased to think our predictions are more trustworthy than they actually are and how to learn from mistakes so as to not repeat them.
This book comes recommended by Andrew Chen, former head of growth at Uber and current mobile guru at his blog and Andreessen Horowitz, where he is a general partner.6
William Ury is the best-selling author of Getting to Yes and the follow-up, Getting Past No. This book is essential for reframing value propositions and changing the mind of anyone who opposes your offer.7
Getting Past No comes recommended by Drew Houston, the billionaire founder and CEO of Dropbox. Drew grew up a voracious reader and spent much of his free time reading while attending MIT for computer science.8
In this book you will learn:
John Doerr is a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins. His investments include Google, Amazon, Slack, Uber, and Doordash, among many others. John cites his former boss and mentor, the legendary Intel CEO Andy Grove, as inspiration for writing Measure What Matters.
“It almost doesn’t matter what you know…it’s execution that matters most.” – Andy Grove9
This book is recommended by Brad Feld, an early-stage investor and co-founder of TechStars and the Foundry Group.10 Brad is a published author himself, writing about venture capital and entrepreneurship.
In this book, Doerr discusses objectives and key results (OKRs), which he is responsible for implementing at Google. These goal-oriented principles for achieving innovation can help guide your marketing, sales, development, or any other team within your company. You will also learn from case studies of companies large and small who use the OKR framework.
Jim Loehr is a performance psychologist and Tony Schwartz is a business journalist and the infamous ghostwriter of Trump: The Art of The Deal. The Power of Full Engagement is a guide to harnessing energy instead of time.
In this book, you will learn strategies for reaching peak physical and mental energy levels to perform at your absolute best. Learn how to manage your energy and productivity through valuable suggestions that cover real-world situations and contingencies.
This book comes recommended by Brian Balfour, former VP of growth at Hubspot and founder of Reforge, a growth education program. Brian is an investor and advisor to Drift, Loom, Namo Media (acquired by Twitter), Helpscout, and more.11
Gary Keller is the founder of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate franchise by agent count. In this book, Keller discusses the importance of finding the one thing that leads to success in any field. Eliminating little distractions and dedicating the entirety of your focus to one thing can deliver extraordinary results.
In this book, Keller takes a unique approach to some of the most widely believed strategies in productivity and achievement. Take the Pareto Principle that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Keller advocates for extreme 80/20 in which you further dissect the 20% of causes to find the one thing that is making the biggest impact.
This book is recommended by David Cancel, the founder of Drift, a conversational marketing platform for B2B.12 David shares insights from building five customer-driven companies on his personal blog.13
Elad Gil is an investor and advisor to some of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing startups including Airbnb and Stripe. Previously Elad built a startup that was sold to Twitter, where he took a VP role and scaled the company from 90 to 1,500 employees.
The High Growth Handbook was written to help navigate the transition from the founding team to a multi-hundred person company. The handbook covers areas of product management, acquisition strategy, hiring, PR, marketing, and more.
This book is recommended by Patrick Collison, founder and CEO of Stripe. Elad is a mentor to Patrick and vice versa. Interviews between Patrick and Elad are used within the High Growth Handbook to highlight the real-world experiences that complement Elad’s tactical advice.14
Many of these books are not conventional recommendations for marketers to hear.
Sometimes, it’s the book you least expect to have a lasting impact on your thought process that actually leaves an impression. It’s like the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“I cannot remember the books I have read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
Let us not go without at least a nod to some of the classics. Whether you are new to mobile marketing or a seasoned veteran, these are some of the most recommended, informative, and thought-provoking reads about marketing (mostly):
Looking for more resources to further your expertise in mobile marketing? Check out our resource library with whitepapers, case studies, webinars, and more for deeper insights into mobile marketing.
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