Here at Oracle Digital Experience Agency, we know we’re only as good as our ideas and our ability to execute. In other words, we’re only as good as our people.
That means we not only aim to hire the most talented strategists, designers, analysts, coders, and account managers around, we are also constantly looking for ways to help them become even better at helping our clients exceed their business goals.
One of the ways we do that is by recommending books that can make them more effective—not only as marketers, but as team members and leaders. We’d like to share those recommendations with you, too.
Our Top 5 Marketing Book Recommendations
In no particular order, here are the books we find ourselves recommending most often to our hundreds of digital marketing and communications experts.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Organizational self-awareness is powerful. Collins advises companies to figure out what they do best and create goals that accelerate that advantage—rather than try to be all things to all people. Conversely, he urges companies to face the cold hard facts when something is broken or the organization is failing. In those cases, there’s a limited-time window to redirect efforts and focus on areas of strength.
For marketing departments, the big lesson is that knowing your value, as well as where you fall down, will help inform successful communications and sales plays. And for marketing team members, the lessons are similar: to avoid being complacent, to look for opportunities to improve, and to be ready to pivot.
What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
We want our team members to grow a little every day, but sometimes people run into their own glass ceilings. An easy-read, What Got You Here is full of great advice that helps you be a better employee, colleague, manager—ultimately, a better person.
Goldsmith helps you gain self-awareness while giving you guidance on simple things you can start doing, like how to ask for feedback and what to do when you receive it. He also helps you avoid the trap of being the loudest voice in the room and realize that the higher you go in an organization the more your success depends on making those around you successful. This book is a great read for those just starting out, as well as seasoned leaders who want to become even better.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
This book will make you appreciate the awesome power of the humble checklist to reduce errors in a fast-paced world where distractions abound and everyone’s multi-tasking. It’s a big efficiency play when applied to processes that are repeated—whether that process is routine for a team member (e.g., QAing an email) or routine for a team (e.g., onboarding a new member).
Checklists are also great for non-repeating processes, like tasks-to-be-done. It’s a visual guide that can help with prioritization and provide a serotonin boost to those like us who appreciate the feeling of a task being completed—like the writing of this recommendation. ✅
Predictably Irrational by Dr. Dan Ariely
At its heart, the job of a marketer is to change or amplify the behaviors of their customers and prospects to meet their business goals. So, it’s critical for marketers to understand how consumers make decisions. As this book makes clear, consumers are far less rational than we might believe. However, while not perhaps logical, there are predictable patterns to consumer behaviors. Predictably Irrational shares many of these important and surprising tendencies.
Email Marketing Rules (4th Edition) by Chad S. White
This is probably the most widely read book among our team members. While that probably has something to do with the fact that Chad is the Head of Research here at Oracle Digital Experience Agency, it also has a lot to do with email marketing being one of our core services, as well as the fact that little to nothing about email marketing is taught at universities. That means email marketing is learned the hard way—on the job. Now in its 4th edition, Email Marketing Rules provides the solid foundation every email marketer needs, making the hard way much easier.
Other Business & Marketing Books We Love
If you’re looking to stretch your marketing knowledge even farther, here are several more books we routinely recommend to our teams:
Need help with your digital marketing program? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers and employees, even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. Our award-winning specialists can handle everything from creative and strategy to content planning and project management.
Completely rewritten, this blog post was originally published on Apr. 15, 2019 by Todd Defren.
Lauren Gannon is Vice President of Agency Services, Oracle Digital Experience Agency.
Clint Kaiser is the Head of the Analytic & Strategic Services team at Oracle Digital Experience Agency. His background in the email marketing space includes 20 years of experience with ESPs and digital agencies. His analytical approach to driving change in digital marketing is reflected in his quantitative approach to improving clients' business outcomes.
Jennifer Lancaster Dana helps clients transform their customer experience by enabling and optimizing their marketing technologies, including CDPs, loyalty, omnichannel delivery, personalization, and analytics. She and her team have collaborated with AT&T, Macy’s, Hewlett Packard, Sephora, Marriott, REI, US Bank, Intuit, and many other clients to build and implement roadmaps that span across technology enablement, CX strategy, and organizational transformation. Jennifer’s consulting philosophy of living by your clients’ objectives has helped Oracle Digital Experience Agency achieve a 96%+ client satisfaction rating.Jennifer lives in Colorado with her family; and outside of work enjoys skiing, hiking, and traveling.
Amy Medina is Senior Consulting Director of Campaign, Expert, & Tech Services at Oracle Digital Experience Agency.
Lauren Kimball joined Oracle Digital Experience Agency in 2018 as the VP responsible for large client engagements in the eastern half of the US. She works with clients to achieve business growth outcomes, discover new opportunities, and maximize their software investments.
Prior to Oracle, Lauren worked on the client side for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and National Geographic, where she led sales and digital marketing efforts. She made the leap into the agency world in 2008 when she joined Epsilon, where she was able to focus on clients across industries from retail to financial services.
Lauren received her BA from the University of Vermont. She is a frequent industry contributor and thought leader passionate about client success. She and her husband raise their two children in Pittsburgh.