“Sun is shining, the weather is sweet. Make you want to move your dancing feet…” ― Bob Marley
If you’re anything like me, your ideal summertime activities might include a day at the beach, hosting a BBQ for friends and family, or simply throwing on some mellow reggae music to jam to. We all know that summertime generally means an overall slowdown in life, often times, punctuated by a vacation or two, for some much-needed R&R from the daily work grind. Now, while laying poolside, one might typically opt for a steamy romance novel or murder mystery to unwind, but this summer we at Folloze would like to challenge you to instead to relax by broadening your marketing skill set.
What, you ask? Marketing reading “homework” during my time off? No way, Jose! But not to worry. When compiling this year’s summer list of the best engagement marketing books – short, effective, and to the point, were all requirements. As a result, each book on our “Top 4” list contains fewer than 300 pages. So, in keeping with our Folloze theme of ABL – “Always Be Learning,” below we present to you our recommended reading list of short and digestible, yet impactful and refreshing, marketing reading for this summer. Enjoy!
The first book on our list, while being the shortest at only 68 pages, still packs quite a marketing punch. In it, the author Bryan Kramer raises the very applicable question – how can we as marketers remain human and relevant in this over-automated age of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and bots? Kramer argues that there are three pillars, or goals, to achieving effective Human to Human engagement: simplicity, empathy and imperfection. He also offers practical advice on how best to build an army of influencers and how being human in your interactions is the ultimate competitive advantage in today’s digital engagement era. In 2017, I had the pleasure of sitting in on Kramer’s “Human to Human: H2H” session at the Marketing Nation Summit and I can assure you that it did not disappoint. :)
Written in 2016, with a forward by award-winning author, prominent blogger, keynote speaker and principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Brian Solis, the next book on our summer reading list provides a complete playbook for organizations seeking a more engaged customer experience strategy. Customizable for any industry, sector, or scale, Travis Wright and Chris Snook demonstrate how to compete in today's market, complete with real-world frameworks for implementation. Digital Sense shows you how to optimize competitive advantage and customer experience, maps strategy back to business objectives, and helps you engage prospective customers with a pragmatic, proven marketing system. Coming in at just over 300 pages, it’s the perfect companion to your poolside Piña colada.
Unless you are new to marketing or have been living under a rock over the last decade, then our next author, Jay Baer, should need no introduction. A marketing and customer service expert, and the New York Times best-selling author of six books, Baer has advised some of the most iconic organizations in the world. In his latest work, Talk Triggers, he offers up proprietary research into why and how customers talk, introduces the “4-5-6 learning system” (the 4 requirements for a differentiator to be a talk trigger; the 5 types of talk triggers; and the 6-step process for creating talk triggers), and details numerous case studies of extraordinary results from the likes of Doubletree Hotels by Hilton, The Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys Burgers and even Penn & Teller. Baer’s Talk Triggers not only dares the reader to differentiate, it includes the precise formula for doing it. It's a book that will create conversation about the power of conversation – and it’s just in time for summer.
The final book on our list provides the winning approach that author John Hall used to grow his company revenues by 100+ percent year-over-year since its founding in 2011, earning it a place on Forbes magazine’s “America’s Most Promising Companies.” In this step-by-step 200-page guide, Top of Mind shows you how to use content to keep your brand front and center in the minds of decision makers who matter most. You’ll uncover how consumer needs and expectations have changed, what this shift means for you, and how to build a helpful, authentic, and consistent brand that serves others just as well as it serves you. Sounds like a recipe for summertime marketing success to me!
We hope you enjoy our curated list of consumable marketing reading and that you find their contents as valuable as I did. But don’t just stop there! Check out our Summer Reading List Board chalk full of supplemental seasonal reading that will ensure you can ABL all year long. Plus you’ll uncover some fun and ‘lighter’ recommended reading from many of you within our Folloze ecosystem. Thanks for sharing your favorites! :)