The Best Marketing Books of 2021 with Douglas Burdett


Episode 87 of Yes, and Marketing

Doug Burdett is the host of The Marketing Book Podcast, where every week he interviews the author of a new marketing book—and reads every one, making him the best-read marketer in the business. He’s also a career marketer, with experience spanning Madison Avenue advertising and twenty years of running his own agency.

Last spring, we invited Doug to join us on Yes, and Marketing to talk about some of the top lessons he’s learned in his 5+ years of the show, and we were excited to have him back for a special holiday episode to summarize the best marketing books of the year.

Without further ado, Doug’s picks for the top marketing books of 2021:

Best overall marketing book of 2021

The Ultimate Marketing Engine: 5 Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth
By John Jantsch

Most underrated marketing book of 2021

Humanizing B2B: The New Truth in Marketing That Will Transform Your Brand and Your Sales
By Paul Cash and James Trezona

Best new author of 2021

Lies, Damned Lies, and Marketing: Separate Fact from Fiction and Drive Growth
By Atul V. Minocha

Best new work by a returning author

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, New and Expanded
By Robert Cialdini

Best practical book that should serve as your marketing bible

The Smart Marketing Book
By Dan White

5 books that are important for a marketing career

Doug has long touted two books as being important for anyone with a career in a marketing:

#1: The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How to Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value
By Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise

#2: Marketing Flexology: How to Outsmart Change and Future-Proof Your Career
By Engelina Jaspers

In 2021, however, he made 3 new additions to the list:

#3: Stand-out Marketing: How to Differentiate Your Organization in a Sea of Sameness
By Stacey Danheiser, Simon Kelly and Paul Johnston

#4: Sway: Implement the G.R.I.T. Marketing Method to Gain Influence and Drive Corporate Strategy
By Christina Del Villar

#5: The Whole Marketer: How to Become a Successful and Fulfilled Marketer
By Abigail Dixon

Best book about sales

Sell Different!: All New Sales Differentiation Strategies to Outsmart, Outmaneuver, and Outsell the Competition
By Lee Salz

Best book on future marketing trends and predictions

Marketing 5.0: Technology for Humanity
By Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan

Doug’s predictions for 2022

Prediction #1: The growth of influence marketing

The Influencer Code: How to Unlock the Power of Influencer Marketing
By Amanda Russell

Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand
By Jason Falls

Prediction #2: More focus on customer experience

The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money
By Joseph Pine and James Gilmore

I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again & Again
By Shep Hyken

The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share
By Dan Gingiss

Best book for content marketers

Content Inc.(Second Edition): Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful (With Little to No Money)
By Joe Pulizzi

Binge Marketing: The Best Scenario for Building Your Brand
By Carlijn Postma

Human-Centered Communication: A Business Case Against Digital Pollution
By Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli

Best book for marketers to give their CEO

The Ministry of Common Sense: How to Eliminate Bureaucratic Red Tape, Bad Excuses, and Corporate BS
By Martin Lindstrom

The Strategy Mindset 2.0: A Practical Guide to the Design and Implementation of Strategy
By Dr. Chuck Bamford


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