Read and refresh! Good Reads for Marketers

August 7th, 2017


Whether you’re reading beachside, poolside or inside somewhere air-conditioned this summer, soon to be fall – here are a few book ideas from some of our own AMA of West Michigan Board Members.


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

Jason Dodge, Founder of BlackTruck Media + Marketing shares, “A little known secret at BlackTruck is that we have an expanding collection of business and marketing-related books on the shelf.” One of the books Jason recommends is Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley.

He likes her fresh approach to online written content. “Ann’s insight on content is straight and to the point,” says Jason. Reading Everybody Writes is a great reminder about things you can control as a marketer when you’re publishing a blog post or developing copy for a service page.

For example, she shows how you can become a more empathetic writer or communicator by identifying with the audience and making sure your content fits that approach. Compared to other business and marketing books, Jason says this book is an easier read and doesn’t get super technical/in the weeds.

BDO Marketing Manager Meahgan Pear adds, “Ann Handley’s book is one of the few books I have with me all the time.” She also thinks every marketer should own a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing, which she considers one of her staples.


Purple Cow, by Seth Godin (and anything else by Seth Godin)

834 Design & Marketing Web Director Kayden Grinwis said the Purple Cow showed him new ways to set yourself apart by thinking differently and outside of the box. Using stories about companies like Apple, JetBlue and Starbucks, Seth challenges readers to think about their own marketing messages. “It’s a phenomenal book for any professional and a great reminder of why we do what we do,” says Kayden.

Photographer Adam Bird adds that he recommends anything by Seth Godin because he focuses on people and experience, which is what great marketing is fundamentally about. Adam said Seth’s books have helped him to better understand how his own messages and work reaches people.

Adam says he recommends this book because it puts what is most important into focus; marketing tools help us build relationships with the customers who need our services and products. Seth reminds us that it’s always about the relationship.


The Art of Social Media, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

As a communications manager/writer who has worked in a range of industries, I like to learn about ways to strengthen my approach, so I read The Art of Social Media, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.

It provides resources, etiquette reminders and even a sample social media strategy for a book launch and ideas for blog titles. Throughout the book Guy and Peg also promote positivity in social media interactions. For example, “If you share purely for the joy of helping others, the amount of goodness and reciprocity you’ll receive will surprise you.”

The Art of Social Media can be useful for a business or an individual that wants to expand their social presence. Although it was published in 2014 (think of social media books in terms of dog years), there’s tons of information to give you a solid basis for building out your social presence. Tip: if you get the e-book version you can easily access the example links.

-Carrie Brown 

As a communications professional, Carrie has worked with a range of businesses. She is an award-winning writer specializing in content development, corporate communications and advertising.