So, I am a firm believer that the foundational principles of online marketing NEVER, EVER change. Yes, algorithms change, yes, tactics change, but the foundational strategies never die. Because of this, I read a lot of marketing books… well, maybe not read, but I listen to them to and from the office each day as my commute is around 45 minutes each way.
About 90% of what I hear is nothing new to me, but a lot of it brings back ideas of strategies and tactics I may have forgotten about or pushed aside for new and exciting ones. This is very helpful for me when putting together campaigns for my clients as sometimes you have to go back to the basics to build a solid foundation.
Well, enough of that… in my post today, I wanted to run through the best digital marketing books that I’ve read over the last few years that I highly recommend to anyone currently employed as a digital marketer or anyone looking to get into the industry.
Optimize by Lee Odden
The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott
Content Strategy For The Web by Kristina Halvorsen & Melissa Rach
The Ultimate Guide To Link Building by Garrett French & Eric Ward
Search Engine Optimization Secrets by Danny Dover
Accelerate by Arnie Kuenn
Unmarketing by Scott Stratton
Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash
If you have any other marketing books you’d recommend, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Here’s an interesting post to follow up my last… I’m listening to David Meerman Scott‘s book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR and he made a very intriguing statement… marketing is not about your agency winning awards, it’s about your business winning customers… or something along those lines 🙂
When I worked for SEO.com, we won all sorts of awards. We were on the Inc. 500 and we won all sorts of local awards for fastest growing company in Utah, etc. It was fun, it was exciting, it was something we wanted to brag about… a lot! It was so fun and exciting, that’s all I’ve wanted for my new company… awards, awards, and more awards!
Well, that’s until this afternoon when I had a huge reality check (thanks Mr. Scott). Marketing isn’t about us winning awards and being awesome… it’s about our clients winning. It’s about our clients growing their businesses. It’s about them winning the big awards. Freaking A, right?
It will still be cool if and when we win some awards, but this honestly changed my perspective of why I do what I do each and every day and that’s a blessing in and of itself.
Image via JeffBullas.com
So, I was browsing the Inc 500 tonight and noticed that there were three specific companies on the list last year that failed to make it this year and it got me thinking… what makes an Inc. 500 company? Sure, there’s the obvious ones, companies with huge margins and a rockstar marketing and sales force, companies who innovate like crazy, companies who solve the specific needs of a very specific niche, etc.
What else? Well, the people do. Your front line employees, your middle management, many of your upper management, etc. Not just people though, people who are bought into the company mission, vision, values, and goals. People who feel respected each and every day. People who are driven by crazy success. People who are given credit for the hard work they do each and every day. People who trust in company leaders to make the right decisions and do the right thing, every time and in every situation. People who aren’t scared of the owner or individuals on the executive team and their next asinine, dictating moves. And the list can go on and on.
I’ve been reading Good to Great and it is sad what one person can do to a company. In as little as a few years, one arrogant, egotistical person can corrupt an organization and bring it to its knees. Honestly, reading this book and pondering after reading through each company on the Inc. 500 list this year makes me want to be a different kind of leader with my new company. It makes me want to work harder each and every day to develop our people and to give them credit for their work and their successes. It makes me want to lose myself and not worry what everyone outside of the organization thinks of me, as long as our people trust and believe in the direction we are taking things.
I’ll tell you one thing, I’m excited for the coming years and I’m extremely excited to see where our people take our company.