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The 24 Top Marketing Strategy Books You Need to Read This Year

Read our curated list of the top marketing strategy books from great masters such as Sean Ellis, Seth Godin, and more.

Rakefet Yacoby From
By Rakefet Yacoby From
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Edited by Mayple staff

Updated February 21, 2024.

The 24 Top Marketing Strategy Books You Need to Read This Year main image

Creating a marketing strategy is one of the most vital steps in running a brand. As essential as it is, though, this step is often missed.

It's easy to see why so many skip this stage: more often than not, creating a winning strategy is hard. And with so many (often contradictory) sources of information online, the entire process can become downright confusing.

There's good news here too: marketing books can help you gain a comprehensive understanding and build a strategy-oriented mindset, rather than losing focus and trying out disparate tactics.

And if you're looking for the best books on advertising and marketing strategy, you're in the right place. Here are the top 24 ones every marketer and business owner should read in 2024.

Let’s dive in.

1. The Blue Ocean Strategy - by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

blue ocean strategy book cover best strategy books

First on our list is the iconic Blue Ocean Strategy.

It’s a book that was super transformational when it came out and completely transformed the business world. Its core idea is that of a “red ocean” where companies compete against each other versus the “blue ocean” where each company has its unique value proposition and position in the market and is focused on thriving and creating.

The book discusses the mind shift a company needs to make from “competing” to “creating” and the different techniques that help companies create their own space in the market.

What does that mean? You can ignore your competition and just plow on? No, not quite. The book teaches you how to create a product-market fit and solve that problem for your customer in a unique way.


What brands used to do is to constantly look over their shoulder and either add more features to beat the competition or constantly underprice their product. Instead, this book provides examples of how companies can find differentiators through new technologies, materials, and channels. There are a ton of examples of different companies across a wide range of industries and it’s a fascinating read.

About the authors: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne are professors at one of the world’s top business schools - INSEAD, in France. They are co-directors of the INSEAD Institute for Marketing Strategy and have consulted for some of the world’s largest brands to help them create a blue ocean strategy and make that mind shift.

Published: 2005

Authors: W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne

Get the book on Audible, Google Play Books,

2. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - by Al Ries & Jack Trout

the 22 immutable laws of marketing book cover top marketing books

This is another classic that is a must-read for any marketing manager. It’s a great book because it shows exactly what NOT to do and brings a lot of fun examples of brands that failed because they went against some of these principles.

Here are some of these laws that still apply today:

  • The Law of the Mind - it’s better to be first in the mind of the customer rather than first in the marketplaces.
  • The Law of the Opposite - if you’re shooting for second place, then your strategy is determined by the market leader (similar to what we spoke about in the Blue Ocean book).
  • The Law of Line Extension - there’s a lot of pressure to extend the brand's equity by creating more similar products, and it’s not often wise to do so.
  • The Law of Perspective - sometimes it takes a long time to see the effects of your marketing campaigns in the public perception or in the marketplace. So don’t just focus on the short-term ad campaigns but also play the long game.

As you can see, these are fundamental things that can dramatically change the way brands approach marketing strategy. You can use these to help focus your strategy on the right things, on the right product and brand attributes to really differentiate yourself from the competition and succeed.

A word of caution: the book was written before the internet, so many examples are totally outdated. A lot of the companies mentioned there either failed or don't exist anymore. But if you follow the principles carefully, you can apply them to your business. However, keep in mind that many of the present-day marketing channels and technologies didn’t exist then.

Published: 1993

Authors: Al Ries, Jack Trout

Get the book on Kindle, Audible,

3. Epic Content Marketing - by Joe Pulizzi

How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

epic content marketing books cover

Content is everywhere — so much so it has become a critical part of any marketing strategy.

We’re talking about the web content (home, product pages, category pages, our story page, checkout process), social media, landing pages, and brand positioning. If you get your content right, then you can describe your brand to your users, and your brand is much more memorable to the consumer.

And, as the previously-mentioned book puts it, being top of mind for consumers is one of the immutable laws of marketing.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Tell your brand story
  • Craft a content strategy for your business
  • Create content that sells, step-by-step
  • Analyze your content to see how you can improve

And last time I checked, this book is actually the textbook for several college business courses in content marketing, so if you want to be a master content marketer, you should read it.

About the author: The book was written by Joe Pulizzi, a veteran content marketer who founded the Content Marketing Institute and runs the largest content marketing event in North America called Content Marketing World. He’s known as the “godfather” of content marketing and has spoken at more than 200 events worldwide.

Published: 2013

Authors: Joe Pulizzi

Get the book on Kindle, Google Play Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble.

» Want to up your social game? Check out the top social media books to read this year.

4. Blue Ocean Shift - by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth


The Blue Ocean Shift is a sequel to the Blue Ocean Strategy. It was published 15 years later and has a whole set of case studies and examples of companies using some of the principles discussed in the first book. The first volume was lacking implementation and examples that showed these principles in action, and the sequel has it all.

What’s new is the implementation of the strategy. They created a great five-step process for developing a blue ocean strategy that makes it super easy to implement these key concepts. Here’s what it looks like.

Otherwise, I’d say it’s a pretty good book for those people who read the first one and were intrigued and a bit confused about how to implement the principles in their business. But if you haven’t read the first one, I recommend to start with the second one. It’s clear, concise, and super practical.

Published: 2017

Authors: W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

5. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable - by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin book cover best marketing strategy books for entrepreneurs

Seth Godin is a maverick and master writer and we have two of his marketing books on this list. Just the title of this one sounds inviting, doesn’t it? And the fact that you actually have to turn your head to read the title of this thing. Wow.

This book completely revolutionized marketing when it came out in 2003. In this book, Seth Godin highlights how some of the top brands made it big because they worked on becoming exceptional and standing out in the marketplace. He tells the stories of brands like Apple, Dyson, and Starbucks and it’s really inspiring.

The only downside to this book is that it’s not going to give you a practical step-by-step process of how to become extraordinary. So if you’re looking for concrete methods this isn’t the book for you. But it will definitely inspire you and get you into the mind space to start transforming your business.

About the author: Seth Godin is an entrepreneur turned internationally acclaimed best-selling author and marketing influencer with 19 international bestsellers. His marketing books for entrepreneurs include the Icarus Deception, Tribes, Linchpin, and others. He runs a very popular marketing blog at

Published: 2003

Authors: Seth Godin

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

6. The Pizza Guide to Digital Marketing - by Christian Farioli

A Delicious First Byte of the Biggest Business Game Changers of Your Lifetime

the pizza guide to digital marketing by christian farioli book cover top digital marketing books

Fascinating title but the guy is Italian, so I guess they enjoy reading their marketing books over a large pizza and a glass of wine.

It’s refreshing to see a marketing book written by a marketing agency owner. And this one is quirky, funny, and super practical. It offers a lot of advice, tips, examples, and a comprehensive picture of digital marketing that’s more geared for the beginner.

About the author: Christian Farioli is a lecturer at the Digital Marketing Institute and owns the digital agency called “Agency of the Future”. He has trained more than 10,000 marketers and his clients include Armani, Bayer, and Huawei.

Published: 2003

Authors: Christian Farioli

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

7. Top of Mind - by John Hall

Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You

top of mind book cover by john hall top strategy books

This book provides a practical combination of content marketing and influencer marketing and how to use these two disciplines in the context of marketing strategy. This means building relationships and engaging your online audience or community to really get your brand to be top of mind for your ideal customers.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Build a content strategy
  • Better manage your marketing team's knowledge
  • Create and distribute content the right way
  • Create relationships with the right influencers and brand ambassadors

Another great theme in this book is how brand values and thoughts about the marketing strategy are communicated within a company, and between different teams. John has a whole chapter dedicated to that. In it, he gives a lot of helpful tips for making your marketing strategy stick and communicating it to the other teams and departments.

About the author: John Hall co-founded the scheduling tool He also co-founded a digital marketing agency called Influence and Co. He is a well-known influencer and speaker and has written articles for over 50 online publications including the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Mashable, and others.

Published: 2017

Authors: John Hall

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

8. Positioning - by Al Ries & Jack Trout

How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace

positioning the battle for your mind book cover

You guessed it — this book is all about brand positioning and how to do it right.

What is brand positioning? It’s how you communicate your brand to the outside world, how you communicate your strengths and weaknesses, and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.

Brands often compete in an overcrowded marketplace where it’s hard to differentiate the brand or the product line. This book presents an extensive history of brand positioning, practical methods on how to extend or reposition a brand, and how you can use it to craft the perfect marketing strategy for your business.

What I love about this book is that it presents several fascinating examples of brands repositioning themselves and succeeding. There are stories about Xerox, Milk Duds, Mailgram, New Jersey Bank, and even the Catholic Church!

So overall, a really fun and interesting read that will challenge you and delight you at the same time.

About the authors: Al Ries and Jack Trout (known as the father of positioning) are two of the world’s most well-known marketing strategists and have written several best-selling marketing books. The two actually worked at the same marketing strategy firm for over 26 years. Their customers have included well-known brands like AT&T, Apple, IBM, HP, Pfizer, P&G, Xerox, and Southwest Airlines.

Published: 1980 (new edition came out 2001)

Authors: Al Ries, Jack Trout

Get the book on Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble.

9. Permission Marketing - by Seth Godin

Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers

permission marketing by seth godin book cover digital marketing books

This is a must-read for anyone who’s developing a marketing strategy or running marketing campaigns. This is another heavy hitter from Seth Godin where he explains the notion of permission marketing.

The idea is that brands should move away from disruptive advertising and market to the potential customer in a way that doesn’t disrupt their online experience. It’s a great mindset for any omnichannel strategy because the user experience is crucial. There are many different touchpoints along the customer journey and this book helps brands focus on putting the user first and not disrupting their experience.

Published: 1999

Authors: Seth Godin

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

10. Quantum Marketing - by Raja Rajamannar

Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers

quantum marketing by raja rajamannar book cover top strategy books

If you’re tired of outdated marketing examples and want a fresh and updated outlook on what marketing should be in this day and age then this book is for you.

Quantum Marketing is written by Raja Rajamannar, the CMO of Mastercard, and in this book, he shares the breakthroughs and challenges that firms face when they create their marketing strategy.

In this book you will find:

  • Practical lessons from the world’s top market
  • The type of thinking that’s required to achieve breakthroughs
  • The best marketing strategies and tactics that will help you grow your business
  • Techniques for continued innovation into new channels and media

Overall it’s a great read and a good refresher of the newest marketing technologies that every brand should be using.

About the author: Raja Rajamannar is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Mastercard. He is also the president of the World Federation of Advertisers, and has more than 30 years of experience as a global executive. Adweek has recognized him as one of the industry's most tech-savvy CMOs and the top 5 World’s Most Influential CMOs by Forbes. He has taught at more than 40 top management schools in the world.

Published: 2021

Authors: Raja Rajamannar

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

11. What Customers Crave - by Nicholas J. Webb

How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

what customers crave book cover top marketing books

One of the most vital steps that brands miss when creating their marketing strategy is the customer research stage. You need to know what your customers love, what they hate, and what issue your product solves. Without that information, you will not find a good product-market fit and your brand will ultimately fail.

This book teaches you how to get that data and structure your product around the customer experience. It’s super practical and will teach you the methods to go about it.

About the author: Nicholas J. Webb is a popular speaker and corporate strategist in the areas of customer experience design and innovation. His firm, Cravve, provides consulting and training to many of the world’s top brands.

Published: 2016

Authors: Nicholas J. Webb

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

12. Marketing Plan Template & Example - by Alex Genadinik

How to write a marketing plan

marketing plan template & example book cover

Once you have your marketing strategy you need to put it into a marketing plan, and that’s where some brands get stuck. That’s why we recommend this book to all our readers because it’s such a practical next step from strategy to plan to execution.

What’s so unique about this book? Alex created a really innovative and quick way to structure and come up with your marketing plan template. First, you start with a 3-sentence marketing plan, distilling your strategy into just three sentences. Then you expand that into a 1-page plan, and finally, you will create a full marketing plan.

Most people get stuck trying to write essays and don’t get to the execution piece fast enough. This book introduces a way that cuts through all the unnecessary stages and helps brands create a marketing plan fairly quickly. It’s a fast read with tons of examples and real-world scenarios.

About the author: Alex Genadinik is one of the top marketing teachers on Udemy with over 20+ best-selling courses (including courses on eCommerce). He’s written several best-selling marketing books for entrepreneurs on Amazon about marketing.

Published: 2015

Authors: Alex Genadinik

Get the book on Google Books, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

13. Digital Marketing Strategy - by Simon Kingsnorth

An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing

digital marketing strategy an integrated approach to online marketing books cover

This book is for the digital marketer who is ready to implement an effective marketing strategy. The book goes through all the various marketing channels - SEO, social media, content marketing, user experience, paid advertising, lead generation, customer loyalty, online & offline marketing - and introduces cutting-edge techniques and strategies for each channel.

A word of caution - this book goes through the topics fairly quickly, so if you need a deep dive into any one of them I would recommend reading industry blogs or getting another book on the specific marketing channel or technique you’re interested in exploring. This book is more of a big-picture general refresher of each channel geared towards the marketing novice.

About the author: Simon Kingsnorth is an award-winning digital consultant and marketing strategy expert. He has worked for and consulted many leading brands around the world. He is a well-known speaker and corporate trainer.

Published: 2016

Authors: Simon Kingsnorth

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

14. Marketing Strategy: The Thinking Involved - by Mark E. Hill

marketing strategy the thinking involved book cover

This one is more of a textbook, it’s used in universities and colleges across the US. Don’t get tripped up by the vague title, this is a very comprehensive book that covers every aspect of digital marketing strategy. It deals less with practical tactics and more with the analytics thinking required to get the big picture right.

Topics include:

  • How to craft the perfect marketing strategy
  • The marketing mix and which channels to use
  • Logistics / operations
  • Price strategies
  • How to create the right company culture

About the author: Mark E. Hill is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Montclair State University with more than 20 years of academic and professional experience. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Marketing Strategy, Marketing Research, and Consumer Behavior.

Published: 2012

Authors: Mark E. Hill

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books.

15. Hacking Growth - by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success

hacing growth books sean ellis

This is one of my favorite digital marketing books of all time. Hacking Growth really represents the growth of Big Tech and how marketing went from glorified PR to a measured and precise science. Growth hacking involves cross-functional teams and rapid A/B testing based on rigorous data analysis. And above all, it focuses on the customer-centric approach.

The main premise of the book is perhaps that companies that learn the fastest grow the fastest. The top brands gather data and make their entire company culture revolve around making data-based decisions, instead of shooting in the wind. And this book gives a ton of practical examples of brands that succeeded in making growth hacking a vital component of their culture and were able to grow their revenue really fast.

About the author: Sean Ellis was the one who coined the term “growth hacking”. He is the CEO and co-founder of and has been a startup mentor for years. Morgan Brown launched Growth Hackers with Sean and is a startup marketing veteran.

Published: 2017

Authors: Morgan Brown, Sean Ellis

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

16. Traction - by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction is another heavy hitter, it’s one of the most popular books on digital marketing. The main theme of the book is that growing companies is hard and the most important thing is customer acquisition. Without acquiring new customers your company won’t grow.

Traction introduces nineteen channels that a brand can use to build a customer base and tells you how to pick the right ones. There are a ton of practical examples of big companies that focused on customer acquisition and were able to grow fairly quickly like Reddit, Kayak, Hubspot, and Wikipedia.

It’s considered one of the foremost resources for startups and companies that want to grow their revenue and structure their marketing strategy correctly.

About the author: Gabriel Weinberg is the CEO and Founder of DuckDuckGo, the private search engine and Justin Mares is the founder of two startups and the former director of revenue at Exceptional.

Published: 2014

Authors: Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

17. Digital Marketing for Dummies - by Russ Henneberry & Ryan Deiss

digital marketing for dummies

This is a great read if you want to go to the basics. Be honest, how many times did you feel like picking up a guide to something for dummies? There’s a reason why these books are so popular because they explain everything in simple language and because they are comprehensive, they cover every aspect of a topic.

The same holds true for Digital Marketing for Dummies.

Topics include:

  • Gaining a deep understanding of the customer journey
  • Choosing the right marketing campaign
  • Crafting a winning offer
  • Content marketing & blogging
  • Crafting landing pages that drive conversions
  • SEO and search marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Data analysis and optimization
  • Top marketing tools

Published: 2016

Authors: Russ Henneberry, Ryan Deiss

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

» Want to get more tips on email marketing? Check out our list of the top email marketing books to read this year.

18. They Ask You Answer - by Marcus Sheridan

A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer

they as you answer book cover

This book was written by the famous CEO of a struggling pool company during the 2008 market crash that was about to go bankrupt. So Marcus used content marketing and blogging to really educate his customers and get on the top of search results, and he was able to turn it all around. In fact, the story was used by Hubspot in the early days to popularize content marketing and the inbound approach.

This book provides some really great resources on how to create a content strategy, how to perfect the marketing funnel and the types of content you should use for your business. It will help you structure your marketing strategy in such a way that your customers turn into brand ambassadors and your brand grows long-term.

About the author: Marcus Sheridan was an owner of the pool company River Pools and since then became a content marketing guru. He lectures and speaks around the world and consults large brands on their content marketing strategy.

Published: 2016

Authors: Marcus Sheridan

Get the book on Kobo, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

20. #GetSocialSmart - by Katie Lance

How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy

getsocialsmart book cover

Social media marketing is a huge part of your marketing strategy and one of the hardest things to do for a brand is to create a consistent voice and tell the brand story that gets their target market interested — and invested in the brand.

This book is unique in that it not only deals with the practical strategies of all the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) but it also teaches brands how to tell their brand story and how to best interact with their online audience.

It’s a really great read and a must for any brand that wants to scale.

About the author: Katie Lance is the CEO of Lance Consulting, a large social media consulting firm and she has worked with clients like DocuSign,, SmartZip, and Re/Max. She is a nationally-known keynote speaker, runs her own social media academy called the GetSocialSmart Academy, and continues consulting brands around the world.

Published: 2017

Authors: Katie Lance

Get the book on Audible, Kindle, Barnes & Noble.

21. Hooked - by Nir Eyal

How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked Nir Eyal

There's a reason people like some products better than others — and Nir Eyal has cracked the code behind customer behavior and what it takes to build products that get users hooked.

In Hooked, Eyal dives into his concept of habit-forming products and explains how companies and marketing experts can create powerful triggers that encourage customers to keep using their products. He reveals the 4 steps of the Hook Model:

  • Trigger
  • Action
  • Investment
  • Variable Reward

Topics approached in this book include how to offer solutions that act as painkillers vs. vitamins, leveraging the power of external vs. internal triggers, what it takes to create products that drive customers into the "Habit Zone", and more.

About the author: Nir Eyal is an entrepreneur, investor, and lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He's also the founder of two tech companies and has been featured in Fast Company, Psychology Today, and The Harvard Business Review, amongst many others.

Published: 2013

Authors: Nir Eyal

Get the book on Audible, Kobo, Barnes & Noble

22. Breakthrough Advertising - by Eugene Schwarz

Masters of Marketing Secrets: What Makes Marketing Work - For Real

Eugene M Schwartz Breakthrough Advertising

Breakthrough Advertising is a must-read book for those looking to get serious about their marketing efforts. This book explores the various strategies that top companies have used to create successful campaigns, from concept formation to testing and tracking. Although more connected to traditional advertising, this book remains extremely relevant more than six decades after its publishing.

Authored by Eugene Schwarz, Breakthrough Advertising covers topics such as research and strategy development, connecting to customers, creative planning, and copywriting techniques.

About the author: Eugene Schwarz is largely considered one of the most influential copywriters of all time. He was known for his direct email copywriting methods and was also the founder of one of the most successful copywriting agencies.

Published: 1966

Authors: Eugene Schwarz

Get the book on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Nobels

23. Scientific Advertising - by Claude Hopkins

Scientific Advertising Claude Hopkins

Claude Hopkins' Scientific Advertising is a classic marketing book — a must-read for anyone looking to gain valuable insight into how advertising works. It explains how the scientific approach can be applied to crafting effective marketing messages and campaigns.

The book is a comprehensive guide on advertising, and it covers topics such as market research, testing techniques, copywriting principles, budgeting guidelines, and more. With this knowledge, you'll be able to create campaigns that drive results and increase ROI.

About the author: Claude C Hopkins was a pioneer of modern advertising, often referred to as one of the advertising greats. Aside from Scientific Advertising, he wrote several books on the subject, focusing mainly on direct response and copywriting.

Published: 1923

Authors: Claude C. Hopkins

Get the book on Audible, Kobo, Barnes & Noble

24. Everybody Writes - by Ann Handley

Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Everybody Writes Ann Handley

Ann Handley is the queen of content marketing and her book, Everybody Writes, is a must-read for anyone looking to create amazing content.

In this book, Handley helps you understand how to write great content that resonates with your audience, how to use content for branding, what her writing process is, and how to save time and create content efficiently.

About the author: Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. She's been featured in Entrepreneur, NPR, The Financial Times, and more.

Published: 2014

Get the book on Audible, Kobo, Barnes & Noble.

Mastering Marketing Strategy through Essential Reads

Marketing books are some of the best resources to develop your strategy and learn new tactics. The best part about this list is that all of these books have practical examples and real-world case studies. To get a really good foundation we recommend you check out some of the more general strategy books and then read the more practical books that talk about specific marketing channels and tactics. And as always, if you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out.