Most Essential Takeaways from 6 Popular Marketing Books, According to the Authors

December 16, 2019

Most Essential Takeaways from 6 Popular Marketing Books, According to the Authors

A truly enlightening book invariably leaves us with at least one lasting revelation, which can remain in our minds long after we finish the last page and set it back on the shelf. This enduring takeaway can vary from person to person, based on what resonates personally. Therein lies the beauty of thoughtful prose: It affects different readers in different ways. 

We selected the six marketing books for our #LinkedInHolidayReads giveaway contest because we feel they are all extremely important works for pros in the field today. Each one contains many valuable lessons and insights that can stick with a reader. But which are the most pertinent?

We wanted to see it from the other side, so we asked each author: What is the single biggest takeaway you’d like marketers to draw from your book? Here’s what they had to say.

Essential Lessons from 6 Marketing Books 

Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life, by Brian Solis

Brian’s Message for Marketers: We live in a world of constant digital distractions and that creates a pervasive sense of anxiety and a sense of urgency to keep up with everything and everyone. As marketers, we have to consider how digital distractions affect the customer and how they feel. When we get their attention, we have to reimagine how to deliver more meaningful and useful experiences that make them feel valued.

Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life, by Michael Brenner

Michael’s Message to Marketers: Mean People Suck is my plea to marketers to think of empathy as their secret weapon to attract and keep new customers. It doesn't cost anything to put your customers at the center of organization (over product promotion or executive worship). And my research, examples, and experience show that marketers who define cultures of empathy in their companies, and with their marketing, see significantly higher growth.

Break the Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work, by Jay Acunzo

Jay’s Message to Marketers: In a world drowning in ideas and advice, the most valuable skill is knowing how to vet all those possibilities. Otherwise, we just get stuck clinging to the convention or copying one another -- a sprint towards average. Unfortunately, we don't have a system for vetting possibilities or making sense of the noise, so we use a shorthand called the "best practice" -- a possibility vetted by someone else. And therein lies the danger. Break the Wheel is a journey through science and story to determine the right questions we can ask to challenge best practices, think more critically, and make better decisions, faster.

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

Ann’s Message to Marketers: Dear Marketers: Your words matters. Your writing matters. A lot. Your writing can make you look smart. Or it can make you look stupid. It can make you seem relatable, warm, competent, or trustworthy — or it can make you seem humdrum. Discombobulated. Flat-out boring. Your choice. Love, Ann

Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, by Robert Rose and Carla Johnson


Robert’s Message to Marketers: One of the biggest trends we see in content development is to look at our owned media platforms as products, rather than campaigns. If we treat our digital content-driven experiences as part of a product portfolio and create, manage, promote, and measure them as such – we stand a much better chance of being able to deliver differentiated, experiential value to customers. This book is, at its heart, the “developmental guide” for how to think about the people, process and operation of those experiences.  

Carla’s Message to Marketers: Just creating great content isn’t enough. We need to take people on a journey. Brands like Nike, Marriott, Emerson and Aon are now setting themselves distinctly apart from their competitors by developing and delivering story-driven experiences. 

Momentum: The 5 Marketing Principles That Will Propel Your Business in the Digital Age, by Shama Hyder

Shama’s Message to Marketers: There's a constant push for marketers to keep creating new content but what if that's not always the right approach? One of the five principles of Momentum is curation, and this idea that if you can be an excellent curator, you can have just as much success as a constant creator.

No More Marketing by the Book

Each of these authors seeks to instill an important mindset shift for marketers, who must adapt to a transformed digital environment or risk irrelevance. If any of the messages above strike a chord with you, we highly recommend clicking through the Amazon link and grabbing a copy — even if you weren’t one of the lucky #LinkedInHolidayReads winners. 

Packed with innovative ideas and fresh thinking, these works will help you ensure you’re staying ahead of the pack rather than marketing by the book in 2020 and beyond.

Meanwhile, you can keep a finger on the pulse of all things modern marketing by subscribing to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog.