Four books you need to pack this summer

As summer arrives and you’re probably off on holiday soon, now is the time to think about your reading material.

This year ditch the chick-lit and car mags for some more serious reading this summer and come back full of ideas and knowhow.

Marketing, books,

Did you know that serious marketers should read the equivalent of 10 or more educational and industry books per year (2,500 pages) to maintain and expand skills and knowledge (as recommended by the CPD)? That’s not really a lot of books, we must consume at least that amount a month here at Peek, but what are the best ones?

Here are our holiday picks for some inspiration:

Marketing: A Love Story, How to Matter to Your Customers
by Bernadette Jiwa

This book is about how to introduce emotion into your marketing communications. It will give you plenty of insight, ideas and inspiration. Ideal for entrepreneurs, B2B and B2C marketers.

When you are selling a product or service, what you are actually doing is selling is a story.  A story about your brand. Stories need both facts and feelings to be compelling.

Adapted from a series of blog posts that Jiwa wrote, the book is original and engaging. It’s not long (only 81 pages) so you could read this one on the plane.

We love this quote from the book:

“Marketing is not a department; it’s the story of how you create a difference for your customers. Marketing is about becoming part of people’s stories.”

When you’ve arrived and are heading to the pool here’s your next challenge. It’s one that is often the stumbling block for finishing any brochure or website project.

The content creation.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley

Everybody can write, you just need to start. The fear of the blank page invokes paralysis in many people. Ann’s book gives insightful guidance that you can use to write like a pro and develop content that gets results.  It covers everything from grammar to organizing your words to tell your brand story (the one you’ve worked out on the plane from the first book).

Ann says “You’ve got to choose words well, and write with economy and the style and honest empathy for your customers. Being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s a necessity. And it’s also the oft-overlooked cornerstone of nearly all our content marketing.”

You have no excuses now for not meeting our copy deadlines, get writing.

Time for something else now. What to do with this new well-written content? This book is an excellent reference including many practical, specific, and current details offering insight and advice.

Digital Marketing for Dummies
by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry

It’s a very readable 300 pages and covers the customer journey, marketing planning, landing pages, blogging, SEO, SEM, social, display, email, and data and analytics.

Like varieties of Heinz, there are 57 blog category ideas to help you expand your story into interesting bite-size chunks.

As Email marketing is a must for any business (despite the GDPR hiccup) you will still be looking for the headlines that get your emails opened and content that gets clicks. This book recommends you think about these four questions when creating email marketing: Why now? Who cares? Why should they care? Can you prove it? Great advice

We love Chapter 14: The Ten Most Common Digital Marketing Mistakes and includes ten classic errors to avoid, including the distraction of shiny objects. Ohhhh shiny…..

A really really useful book.

After such a heavy tome of info to digest, here’s something more cultural.

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Digital Distraction
by Derek Thomson

Ever wondered why some things hit and some miss? Then absorb this great book. This is Derek Thomson’s study on what makes things break – big time.  He looks at all sorts of media from the last couple of centuries including art, political speeches, movies, music, fashion, books, and mobile apps.

We love the acronym MAYA that he uses: “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”. This defines the range of where something new is novel and refreshing but also not so different from known elements as to feel too strange. That is the sweet spot for cutting-edge design and media we are all striving for.

This book is told well by a young writer and a perfect way to finish your holiday reading.