Fresh ideasIn my opinion, there’s never been a better time to get involved in the field of marketing.  The advances in technology, the spread of social media and the incredible need that organizations everywhere have for individuals that get that marketing is a philosophy…a way of thinking and acting, and not a department, has never been greater.

A sidebar…I absolutely hate the textbook study of marketing and the very narrow view that is perpetuated about this college major, profession and function. I asked for a show of hands recently from a group of college seniors (business majors) on how many believed that marketing was mostly about advertising and promotion.  About 80% raised their hands….even with my obvious and leading question.  The fault is not their own…it’s a flawed education process developed and perpetuated mostly by well-intentioned people that haven’t been on the hook for creating value through great marketing practices outside of the Ivy-covered walls.

Recently, a number of students and early career professionals have asked me for a reading list to help jump-start their learning (or re-learning) and to help support their job transition process.  While my list is wholly incomplete, If I wanted to  retrain my brain, jump-start my marketing re-education and a passion for this arena in the next 90 days, here’s what I would read:

Marketing Writing to Retrain and Inspire:

Books in order of my reading preference:

  • Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch
  • Purple Cow, Seth Godin
  • Tuned In by Phil Myers, Craig Stull and David Meerman Scott
  • The New Rules of Marketing and P.R. (second edition) by David Meerman Scott
  • World Wide Rave, David Meerman Scott
  • Winning, by Jack Welch (marketing and strategy content)

For Tech and Product Marketers (these are older…but timeless in my opinion)

  • The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christenson
  • Crossing the Chasm, Geofrey Moore
  • The Discipline of Market Leaders, Treacy and Wiersema
  • Innovation, Tom Kelley


There are many great blogs out there, and I would definitely check out the “80 Essential Blogs for the Modern-Day Marketing Student,” of which Management Excellence is listed at #22.  And while the names are familiar as the authors of many of the books above, these are some of the key people redefining the rules.


It’s an eclectic list that by design, crosses organizational boundaries:

  • FastCompany
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Wired
  • INC.
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • Something or several pop culture pubs, including People, Reader’s Digest (yeah, you heard it here)…and your choice of your favorite

The Bottom Line for Now

While the above list is fairly long, many of the books are quick and fascinating reads, and the blog and magazine content can be consumed on the fly.  I’ll be back next week on activities that I would dive into to further my marketing re/self-education, including getting involved social networking beyond Facebook.

Happy reading and here’s to breeding a new generation of professionals that understand that marketing is more than advertising and promotion.