When it comes to great marketing, the best way to get a relevant business education may not always begin in the classroom or culminate in an MBA. These days, marketers with an itch to innovate are increasingly turning to a more grassroots approach, gleaning wisdom from industry leaders who are honing their craft from years of experience.

Recognizing this, Selligent Marketing Cloud is excited to announce that we will be releasing a brand-new book from one of our own in October: Marketing to the Entitled Consumer: How to Turn Unreasonable Expectations into Lasting Relationships, written by chief marketing officer Nick Worth, Dave Frankland, and Josh Bernoff.

Already hailed by legendary marketing thought leader Don Peppers as “a warning shot across the bow of traditional marketing”, Marketing for the Entitled Consumer holds the keys to relevant marketing engagement in the age of the consumer.

In the meantime, these are The 5 Books Every Engagement Marketer Needs to Read:

1.  Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean by Josh Bernoff

Are empty words, bloated sentences, and ‘business speak’ getting in the way of what you really want to say? They probably are – and it’s worse than you think. According to author Josh Bernoff, who also worked with Selligent’s Nick Worth on Marketing to the Entitled Consumer, we live in an age where the average news story gets only 36 seconds of attention. So unless you change how you write, your emails, reports, and web copy don’t stand a chance of making an impact.

Loaded with real-life examples, Bernoff lays down the tools for writing and communicating without BS. Learn how to eliminate weasel words and front-load your communications with actionables for direct results, and pick up the tools for mastering digital promotions while you’re at it. Every. Marketer. Needs. This. Book.

"Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. That couldn’t be simpler. And yet everything that’s wrong with the way businesspeople write today stems from ignoring this principle." - Josh Bernoff

2.  The End of Marketing as We Know It by Sergio Zyman

This book by the Coca-Cola Company’s former Chief Marketing Officer is an industry classic. Sergio Zyman became a legend at Coca-Cola by developing a results-driven strategy that took the company from $56 million market shares to $193 million in just five years.

By tailoring messages towards the tastes of the people who actually buy the product and putting their brand experience front and center, Zyman describes his journey of constantly measuring results  – and sometimes painfully changing course. 

“The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.” - Sergio Zyman

3. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Chip Heath

Only 7 percent of all word-of-mouth messaging occurs online. The most effective form of this kind of marketing – and here lies the secret to the world’s catchiest trends – happens when people actually want to tell their peers about what to buy, what to wear, and who to follow.

Why? Because they are ‘infected’ with a viral message.

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger shows how marketers can harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing by following the six basic principles of how messages become contagious.

“Most people would rather look smart than dumb, rich than poor, and cool than geeky. Just like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, what we talk about influences how others see us. It’s social currency. Knowing about cool things—like a blender that can tear through an iPhone—makes people seem sharp and in the know.” - Chip Heath

4. Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Get your story straight! That is essentially what New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller encourages marketers to do at every step of their marketing campaigns. At the heart of his StoryBrand process, he outlines a seven-step formula of storytelling that every listener instinctively responds to – whether it’s used in a Star Wars movie or an advertising campaign for a new electric automobile.

Connecting with your customers happens naturally when you build your own brand script along Miller’s framework: A character is on a mission and encounters an obstacle before they can complete it. At the peak of despair, a guide steps into their lives, gives them a plan, and calls them to action. That action helps them avoid failure and end in success. 

‘In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.’ - Donald Miller

5. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd by Allan Dib

Sometimes a radically simplified formula for transforming the way you work may prove a little tough to implement in the ‘real world’ (The 4-Hour Work Week, anyone?). But putting a full-fledged marketing plan together on just one single page not only sounds transformative, it actually works. Serial entrepreneur and rebellious marketer Allan Dib lays down the principle in The 1-Page Marketing Plan, based on a simple yet effective nine-point template that will guide your unique marketing strategy.

First things first, Dib dispels some of the marketing myths that are holding back small and medium-sized businesses; mainly that they need to copy exactly what successful large businesses are doing. Instead, the book showcases strategies for getting big results on a small marketing budget, landing new customers and standing out from the competition. Follow the one-page plan and see if it works for you. If not, there’s always the four-hour work week to consider…

"Put another way — the majority of your success comes from the top 4% of your actions. Or put yet another way 96% of the stuff you do is waste of time (comparatively)." - Allan Dib

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Learn how real-time marketing (RTM) may be your key to giving customers the brand experience they seek. Find how RTM has evolved over the years, get key tips on the technologies you need to use it well, and why emphasizing relevancy over social media engagements is key to unlocking this strategy's full potential.

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