New Year business reads for marketers



New Year business reads: The Marketing Centre selection

With Christmas careering towards us like a runaway sleigh, it’s high time we all got our wish lists in order. And while we thoroughly recommend switching off for at least a week, there are some superb business books out there which make for perfect stocking fillers for the business owner looking to get ahead in 2018 and beyond.

We put the call out to our Marketing Centre directors for their book recommends. So get these requests out to your nearest and dearest, and think of us when you’re enjoying your read with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine.

1. Leadership and the One Minute Manager – by Kenneth Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi, Drea Zigarmi

The core insight behind the book is simple: “different strokes for different folks”. Blanchard points out that everyone in a team will be at different stages of development, competence and motivation. It makes sense, he suggests, to negotiate with each person the management style that works best for them; directing, supporting, coaching or delegating. A book that can be read in one commuting day, but the impact for you and your employees will last a lifetime – Malcolm Johnson, Regional Director for the Eastern Counties (Read Malcolm’s full review here)

2. The Reputation Economy: How to Optimise Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset – by Michael Fertik

Making connections and inferences from personal information available online is a core theme of the book, which analyses how data can be collected by brands to profile customers and target marketing activity. The flipside of big analysis is that it can be used to infringe on consumers’ right to privacy. Fertik’s book offers valuable insight into how our opinion of ourselves and others can be impacted by online search – Christina Hamilton, Marketing Centre marketing director in the North-West (Read Christina’s full review here)

3. Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture – by Greg Bustin

American business coach Bustin has worked with a host of Fortune 500 companies over the past few decades and here he explores the nature of accountability, deconstructs it and then gives his appraisal of what the term should mean for managers. He covers a lot of ground readers will find a new perspective on using accountability as a tool for achieving clarity of purpose and commitment to action by teams – Bernard Page, Marketing Centre marketing director in the North-West (Read Bernard’s full review here)

4. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be – by Paul Arden

If you ever experience self-doubt in business, this is an easy, essential read –  a thought-provoking collection of ideas, suggestions and practical advice from one of advertising’s original ‘Mad Men’. Arden’s book was written for advertisers, designers and marketers but in reality, the wisdom in the book is applicable to anyone who wants to succeed. This is an espresso for a jaded creative system; a tequila shot of motivation from an expert source. And we could all use one of those in our work as marketers and otherwise – Linsey Wooldridge, Marketing Centre marketing director in London and the South East (Read Linsey’s full review here)

5. Thinking, Fast and Slow – by Daniel Kahneman

As a professional, much of how I see myself is bound up in the phrase ‘I have seen the enemy, and he is us’. That’s very much how Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, sees and explains our astonishing lack of awareness about why we do things and make decisions every day. For those of us looking to improve their self-awareness, Kahneman’s book is an enjoyable, important read – and might just change how you view yourself and others. – Ged Leigh, Regional Director for the North West (Read Ged’s full review here)

6. The Lean Startup – by Eric Ries

The great thing about The Lean Startup is that you don’t need a business background to understand the concepts inside – nor do you have to be an entrepreneur or senior manager to benefit from it. Ries coined the ‘Lean Methodology’ and lean methods have gone a long way in helping me ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget, and with the full collaboration and buy-in from the customer. If it does nothing else, Ries’ book should inspire employees and entrepreneurs to do more with less – Jason Russell, Marketing Centre marketing director in London (Read Jason’s full review here)

7. Getting Goosebumps: a pragmatic guide to effective inbound marketing – by Bryan Adams & David Hazelhurst of Ph. Creative

In Getting Goosebumps, Inbound marketing is described by the authors as a philosophy: a mindset that puts your audience first; an approach that focuses on pulling the customers in, rather than pushing your sales message out. The book breaks down the different tactics and channels marketers need to create a winning digital strategy. And it’s written in layman’s terms, so it’s an easy, digestible read for marketing novices and experts alike – Christine Moses, Marketing Centre marketing director in the South West (Read Christine’s full review here)

2016’s List

  1. Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change – Joe Tidd and John Bessant
  2. Exposure: From President to Whistleblower at Olympus – Michael Woodford
  3. Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck – Chip and Dan Heath
  4. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses – Joe Pulizzi
  5. Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One – Ross Brawn
  6. Scale Up: How to Take Your Business To the Next Level Without Losing Control and Running Out of Cash – Colin Mills


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