I've never taken a Marketing class (but I did try to get into one last year as part of my tuition program at the University). I've just read books. And I thought a list would be helpful for those of you who are in the same boat.
1) Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion This is a book on rhetoric, and before you say that it has nothing to do with marketing, please remember, marketing is about convincing people that your product meets their need, and rhetoric is about communicating effectively to convince people of things. They go hand in hand. I read this book as part of an awesome business communications course, and it was well worth the money. Lesson number one: Tell a story. Your customers want to buy from you, but first they want to connect with you. Tell them a story about how your product helps them with what they want.
2) Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) This is a book that you'll need to read more than once. What is the most important aspect of marketing? Making it interesting. Content Rules helps you hash out what you need to do to make your writing interesting to your customers and their friends. It also has cool things like links and examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly in marketing terms.
3) Brilliant Marketing: What the best marketers know, do and say This is a book that I picked up a few days ago. I read the intro, and it really is a how-to manual. It teaches you what has worked and what hasn't, so you don't make the same mistakes. Real life examples, such as Nike and Heineken are included in the first few chapters! It's a great reference tool.
4) Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (New Rules Social Media Series) This is a book that we can all relate to. We all know that Social Media rules the day when it comes to reaching new customers. This book explains how to do it, and what works best. I had my blog before I started reading this, but it certainly has reinforced my better habits, such as posting regularly, and making sure my Twitter and Facebook accounts are active and interesting.
5) UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. Any book who has the seven deadly social media sins earns a gold star in my book. This book is all about how to be engaging, and how to actually connect with your audience and have a conversation. You don't sell to your friends. You simply have friends who buy from you. I like this book because it is a good course in
I hope this helps you. And a disclaimer. I linked to these books because I think they have a lot of good information and helpful tips. If you buy them through my links, I will get 1% back through Amazon. Rest assured, I wouldn't link to them if I didn't think they were good, and Amazon has no control over what I link to. Remember, all cards on the table.