10 books every marketing and PR pro should read in 2023

There are thousands of business, marketing, and communications books available online or at your local bookstore. But what are the ones that marketers and public relations (PR) pros should read today? What books can help you do your jobs better? What books are really worth your time? Are there relevant ones that can be added to your personal library?

To save you time, I have compiled a list of the best marketing books that cover the most critical issues for today’s marketing and PR professional.

Top books every marketing and PR pro should read

Read on to see what books you should add to your book reading list as a marketing and PR pro.

1. Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change

Content Trap

Author: Bharat Anand

Why should you read this book? Bharat Anand, a Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor of Strategy, discusses HBS’ innovative approach to digital transformation.

Simply: foster connectivity over focusing on content.

Organizations are facing two big challenges: getting noticed and making money. To overcome these obstacles, this book examines companies who are doing it right and doing it wrong. These successes and pitfalls show how companies don’t need to make the best content but learn how content enables connectivity. Bharat Anand demonstrates that choices are part of a larger and interconnected strategy.

This book is a modern playbook for how organizations can navigate digital change, transform their business models and thrive in an era where everyone is in the content business.

2. They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer

They Ask You Answer

Author: Marcus Sheridan

Why should you read this book? This book shows you how to develop your content marketing strategy. Answer questions.

In this book, Marcus Sheridan shows you how this simple strategy can work for your organization and been proven to drive sales and business growth.

When people use the Internet, they use a search engine (aka Google) to find their answers. By answering people’s questions and providing answers via your content, your organization will be able on page 1 of search results and be seen.

This book examines how this approach to content marketing is a straightforward way to structure an effective content marketing strategy by utilizing tactics that work, regardless of industry or sector.

3. The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results

The Challenger Customer

Authors: Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman

Why should you read this book? From the bestselling authors of The Challenger Sale book that described a new and bold approach to sales. Their new research suggests that being a “challenger seller” is not enough.

Now, it depends on who you challenge. Challenger sellers do best when they target Challenger customers. These Challenger customers have the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to effectively challenge his or her colleagues to pursue anything more ambitious than the status quo.

Based on data from thousands of B2B marketers, sellers, and buyers around the world, this book helps organizations find and engage the Challenger Customer.

4. The Future of Management

Future of Management

Author: Gary Hamel

Why should you read this book? Long-term business success is driven by management innovation such as mobilizing talent, allocating resources and creating new strategies. In this book, Gary Hamel discussed that organizations need management innovation now more than ever before.

In this book, learn why the management paradigm of control and efficiency is no longer an advantage where adaptability and creativity now drive business success. Find out why now is the time to reinvent management and become a management innovator. Learn from companies like Google, Whole Foods, IBM, Best Buy and others who are today’s management innovators.

Small Data

Author: Martin Lindstrom

Why should you read this book? Big data is a hot topic today but what about small data? In this book, Martin Lindstrom goes to strangers’ homes to understand their hidden desires.

This book reveals the secrets behind how multi-million dollars products are conceptualized and launched. And the book shows how it changes their companies in the process, including: how a worn-down sneaker discovered in the home of an 11-year-old German boy led to LEGO’s incredible turnaround, how a toy stuffed bear in a girl’s bedroom changed a fashion retailer’s 1,000 stores in 20 countries, and how an ordinary bracelet helped Jenny Craig increase customer loyalty by more than 150 percent in less than a year.

6. SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs

SEO for Growth

Authors: John Jantsch and Phil Singleton

Why should you read this book? Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a discipline for how people search to find your website(s) when they use search engines. SEO has become a key area of digital marketing because companies and individuals need a strong online reputation.

Digital marketing today is about capturing demand when they are looking for more information and the key to making sure your organization is found is through content and showing up towards the top of search engine results.

SEO is part of digital marketing you can’t ignore anymore. The authors explain SEO in an easy to understand way so you can navigate the complex and technical aspects of SEO and implement an SEO strategy for your company.

7. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The One Thing

Authors: Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Why should you read this book? This national bestseller and the award-winning book discusses the importance of focusing on one thing at a time.

People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives.

After reading this book, you will focus your energy on that one thing. It will help you achieve better results in less time, reach your goals, lower your stress, increase your energy and master what matters you the most.

What’s your one thing that you are focusing on right now?

8. The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage

The Agile Marketer

Author: Roland Smart

Why should you read this book? This book is modern marketer’s guide to platforms and practices.

Marketing in today’s digital era is about competing on the customer experience.

Marketers capture the customer’s digital body language and the deliver the right experience at the right time via the right channels.

In this book, you will learn Agile methods and their application to marketing, how to become a steward of customer experience and help you transform marketing at your company where customer experience comes first.

9. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade


Author: Robert Cialdini

Why should you read this book? The author of the bestselling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, social psychologist Robert Cialdini reveals the secret to persuasion doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

In this book, Robert Cialdini shows how you can take advantage of the time before you deliver an important message. To change the minds of people, a “pre-suader” must also change their state of mind.

Using extensive experience and research, learn how you can become a master persuader. Cialdini shows how diversion of attention can lead to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience to say yes to your call to action.

10. The Conversion Code

The Conversion Code

Author: Chris Smith

Why should you read this book? This book is about web traffic, leads and sales, says Neil Patel, co-founder Crazy Egg. This book shows the science behind selling and provides a blueprint for increasing sales in today’s digital age.

Learn how to take advantage of the new paradigm shift towards digital lead generation, inbound marketing and the growth of inside sales. It will show you how to increase the quantity and quality of leads, where to find and engage them, and how to position your organization as the answer to their questions.

In today’s mobile-first, social media-addicted era, find and engage consumers where they hang out online and tips for turning them into customers.

As a marketing and PR pro, what marketing books would you add to this list?

Is your favorite marketing book missing from our list? If you are a marketing and PR pro, please share your favorite books.

One thought on “10 books every marketing and PR pro should read in 2023

  1. Kathryn Burkhardt

    Hey Matthew- thanks for sharing these books. Martin Lindstrom’s book Buyology is also a fascinating read.

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