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The Influential Marketing Book List – May 2011

Who has time to read books? We all should, but it's tough to know what is worth reading. As an author in the midst of writing a new book, I have a unique point of view on what I look for in great books. The Influential Marketing Book List will spotlight and review the best new books relevant for marketers, entrepreneurs and those interested in business with ideas worth learning and sharing. 

1. Brand Atlas

IMB_BookReview_BrandAtlas Authors: Alina Wheeler & Joel Katz

THE REVIEW: This book is the branding equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, you'd never whip out all the tools at once … but they are damn useful when used individually. The first thing that caught my eye about this book was the structure, created to mirror how an actual geographic atlas might be laid out (hence the title). Carrying through Alina Wheeler's trademark of beautiful layout and design, the book takes you on a journey through just about every important element of branding you could think of, from passion to positioning. Each page uses visuals and curated quotes from thought leaders to get you thinking about how that might apply to your brand. The best way to read this book is to skip back and forth between pages and ideas, with a notebook at your side to jot down notes and ideas that you are sure to get as a result.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A goldmine of ideas and resources to help anyone faced with the real task of figuring out what a brand stands for.

IMB_BookReview_The-Idea-Writers 2. The Idea Writers

Author: Teressa Iezzi

THE REVIEW: I admit this book has been on my read list for months, and I only recently had a chance to read it – but it was worth the wait. In our world of instant content creation where anyone can become a "published" author – Idea Writers is a much needed rallying cry and inspiration for the professional writer. The author takes her considerable expertise at writing about brand marketing campaigns as Editor of Advertising Age's Creativity and delivers an inside look at how the role of advertising and the copywriter has evolved over the last 50 years. Deftly moving between the historical and modern perspectives, this book takes a sweeping look at advertising without becoming too academic or encyclopaedic. Many of the book's stories offer overdue credit to unheralded writers like Bob Cianfrone – the copywriter on CP+K's Subservient Chicken campaign for Burger King. For the sadly shrinking group of marketers and content creators who describe themselves first and foremost as writers, the author's takeaway message is clear: "if you're calling yourself a writer, you should be a strong writer first; you should be reading all you can and writing for all you're worth. If doing that doesn't appeal to you, maybe you should pursue some other creative path."

THE BOTTOM LINE: A much needed manifesto for the importance for high quality writing in marketing, advertising and our culture as a whole.

3. BOLD: How To Be Brave In Business And Win

IMB_BookReview_BOLD-How-To-Be-Brave-In-Business Authors: Shaun Smith & Andy Milligan

If you believe everything you read, you might conclude that the biggest problem facing organizations today is the innovation gap … most need to find a way to innovate more as an entire organization to drive their products or services. The premise of this book is that often innovation matters less than simple bravery. Through sharing the stories of 15 brands as case studies of companies who are bold and brave, it is only the last chapter of the book that is dedicated to sharing an analysis of what makes a BOLD brand and how you might go about creating one. Those last 15 pages are a guidebook to transforming an organization through 8 principles which are presented simply and clearly – they make this book an essential read.

THE BOTTOM LINE: An entertainingly unique marketing book that uses 14 well presented case studies as stories which lead to 8 core principles for how to create a BOLDER organization.

IMB_BookReview_15-Minutes-Included-Q-A 4. 15 Minutes Including Q&A: A Plan To Save The World From Lousy Presentations

Author: Joey Asher

Most of us (myself included) avoid books that seem published simply to provide another piece of marketing collateral for a professional consultant. If that sounds familiar, you could be tempted to skip this little book by executive speaking coach Joey Asher, but that would be a mistake. In about 100 sh
ort pages, Asher shares some of the tips and tricks that have made him a successful consultant on professional speaking and presenting. While some of the tips in his book will seem quite obvious (eg – make sure to have 3 key takeaways from any presentation), the methodology he uses is useful for anyone who needs to present in front of a group. Packed together, this book is a quick read that delivers on its promise to offer ideas for how to make your presentations (and your delivery) stronger – and at just $3 for the Kindle version, it is a bargain.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A quick read of tips from a professional speaking coach on how to make your presentations 1000 times simpler and more compelling.

Review Philosophy (Why These Reviews Matter):

All the books that are reviewed in this series are worth your time. That's why you won't find any negative book reviews on this blog. As a Author myself, I have hundreds of book on my shelf and have researched hundreds more. I dozens of invitations to preview books and search online as well as looking at pitches to choose the 5 best books for marketing and busines readers every month to share here on this blog. Read my other book reviews at 

Disclaimer: I have personally purchased many of the books reviewed in this blog, however many others are provided by publishers or an author for review purposes. In each case, the reviews of every book represent my honest and unbiased opinion about the book and are not paid or compensated for in any way apart from recieving a review copy or advance galley copy of a book at no cost. I have also used affiliate links for Amazon throughout this post.

To recommend a book to be featured in the Influential Marketing Book List, send an email pitch to

2 thoughts on “The Influential Marketing Book List – May 2011”

  1. As summer is always my season for catching up on my “to-read” list, I’m always looking for these lists that provide reasoning for the rankings. I’m very much looking forward to reading at least two of these gems, thank you.

  2. As a decorative artist I have been branding myself for quite sometime and been studying marketing for the last 4 years. I think it is great to have found your blog and recommendations for the “good reads”. I would like to get a newsletter but couldn’t find a sign up form.


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#1 WSJ & USA Today Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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