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Seven of the Best Books About Ecommerce and Digital Marketing

Seven of the Best Books About Ecommerce and Digital Marketing


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SaleCycle’s marketing team have picked some of the best ecommerce and digital marketing books…

Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger

“I’m still (slowly) working my way through ‘Contagious’, but so far so good!
Combining in-depth research with powerful and relatable stories, Contagious allows you to understand why certain stories are shared, emails forwarded, or videos go viral – allowing you to make sense of what it takes to create shareable and contagious content.

Berger’s 6 “STEPPS” to viral success (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Story) are simply brilliant, something all marketers should adopt and practice in their everyday.
And then there’s the story about the $100 cheesesteak from Barclay Prime, yes $100!!! But I’ll let you find out that bit for yourselves ;-)” Phil Docherty, ‎Customer Marketing Manager

Creativity, Inc. –  Ed Catmull

“This is not strictly a book about marketing, but more about understanding and unlocking your creativity.
This book gives an informative description of how Pixar, the world’s leading animation studio came to be, the challenges they faced and conquered, and how they continue to foster an environment for creativity and innovation, by embracing mistakes and allowing every employee, no matter their position, to offer valuable input in the running and direction of the business.

This will become one of those books stuffed full of post-it notes, as there is such a wealth of inspiring insight.” Chris Gascoigne, Video Marketing Manager

Simple Thinking – Richard Gerver

“I’ve always been inspired by the ability of great leaders to make the most complex topics look simple. As marketers, our job involves taking a bird’s eye view while still having a sharp sense of detail. In this process, we can end up focusing on the complexities of a project rather than seeing its potential.

In ‘Simple Thinking’, Richard Gerver gives simple tools to identify and fight complexity in both work and life. Key takeaways include: being a good listener, nurturing one’s inner child and being ready to step out one’s comfort zone. Gerver illustrates this using a variety of examples from home improvements, to sports history, lifestyle changes and corporate situations.
The book is easy to read and I’m sure i’ll return to it every now and then, when I feel the need to declutter my mind and thinking.” Caroline Baudin, Marketing Manager,  South EMEA.

Made to Stick – Chip Heath

“It would be hard for me to go a day without at some point having my nose in a book. They’re usually fictional drama, memoirs, or travel literature… until now. For 2018, I set myself a goal of including twelve business or marketing related books into the mix.
After hearing this, our former CMO, popped a copy of ‘Made to Stick’ by Chip Heath, in the post to me. It was his absolute favourite, and he has the whole marketing team here at SaleCycle reading it.

Others on my list that I will be working my way through are:

  • Start With Why – Simon Sinek
  • Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
  • Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
  • I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This – Kate White
  • From Improbable to Inevitable – Aaron Ross & Jason Lemkin

These have all come from recommendations, and I’m hoping for a few more over the coming months!” Katie Ash, Product Marketing Manager.

Nudge – Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

“I’m part way through Nudge which is fascinating, and has opened my eyes to how choices are presented (or could be presented) to engineer a certain result. However until I get to the end of that book I’d say OMG (Observational Marketing Greats) by Geoff Ramm has to be my favorite marketing-related book to date.

There are so many examples of marketing genius in the book and most of them are brilliantly simple they’ll make you think “Why didn’t I think of that?”. It won’t take you long to read but if you’re anything like me, you’ll return to it time and time again to give your creativity a jump-start.” Jack Ford, Head of Marketing.

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug

“This is all about the importance of usability. The title says it all really. It’s about designing web experiences which the average person can understand and use easily.

It makes a simple point and does it well. It’s well-written, entertaining to read and has made a big impression since it was first published in 2000.” Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s how Good You Want To Be – Paul Arden

“If you haven’t got much time on your hands but want a quick read that gives you an insight into the world of advertising and marketing then this is the one. Even though this book was first published in 2003 you can still relate to what this book is talking about.
I’m more than halfway through and so far it’s very inspiring and self motivating covering diverse concepts such as problem solving, creativity, communication making mistakes and more. My favourite quote has to be:

The one thing I will take from this book is to seek criticism not complements. This quirky little book full of quotes, marketing wisdom and wit is a must read for anyone in the field of marketing looking for inspiration and taking their careers forward.” Nic Weschenfelder, Marketing Executive.


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Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.