Operating in the business-to-business marketing world can sometimes feel a bit like getting left behind. Many educational materials for marketers such as courses, masterclasses, and certificates focus on the business-to-consumer side of the equations. That leaves B2B experts scraping the barrel for resources or adapting B2C content to apply to them in order to hone their craft.
Thankfully, there’s a strong community of authors dedicated to providing tools like B2B marketing books to help marketers grow and evolve in their profession.
Hone Your Craft With These B2B Marketing Books
Here are some of the best B2B marketing books available today:
1. Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life by Michael Brenner
Marketing isn’t just about selling a product; it’s about establishing relationships with people who may eventually become customers. That’s one of the compelling premises behind Mean People Suck, Michael Brenner’s compelling look into just how far empathy can go in building workplace cultures that deliver success and greater satisfaction for employees, customers, and shareholders. Just about everyone knows firsthand that mean people suck, but there’s not always an obvious way to counter that negative energy. Brenner’s book outlines a helpful way for turning kindness against rudeness and strengthening your business in the process.
2. Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands by Drew Neisser
If the insight of a single marketing expert can completely transform the way you view your profession, what impact do you think the insight of over 400 would have? Drew Neisser interviewed that many top marketers for Renegade Marketing and B2B professionals at all stages of their career will have something to learn from what he found. Nessier formulated that what he called the CATS characteristics — courageous, artful, thoughtful, and scientific, were the cornerstones of all great marketers, and his book helps everyone who reads it leverage their CATS qualities into marketing success.
3. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence And Engage Those Who Matter to You by John Hall
When people think of leaders in your field, industry, or region, there are probably a few names that pop up no matter who you ask — why is that? What makes those people so universally acknowledged? That’s the question John Hall asks in Top of Mind, and his answers can be immediately put into practice by any B2B marketers who read them. By deploying the right content in the right places at the right times, you can leverage your existing marketing skills towards achieving levels of reach you never thought possible.
4. Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy by Eli Schwartz
Marketers who have dabbled in SEO know that it often feels more like witchcraft than science. Eli Schwartz is here to demystify it all for you. His Product-Led SEO isn’t just a how-to guide that tells you what to do without giving you an explanation; it’s a deep-dive into the fundamentals and logic of SEO so that you don’t have to feel as though you’re stumbling through the dark. B2B marketers can’t afford to ignore SEO, and Schwartz’s book is the best introduction out there.
5. Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
The best marketer isn’t really a marketer at all: it’s the customer. A satisfied customer will sing your praises to other customers likely to engage with your products. If they have a good experience, they create even more satisfied customers and so on. How can marketers maximize this effect? Talk Triggers gives a multitude of examples and case studies to try and answer this question, and authors Jay Bear and Daniel Lemin also provide a framework for trying to formulate your own methods. The more customers who do your marketing for you, the easier your job becomes in the long run.
6. The Challenger Customers: Selling to The Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman
Trying to market a product to an entire business poses a number of challenges. One of the biggest is often trying to drum up a consensus within the business itself. You may have successfully sold to a certain project manager only for another to step in and disagree. The Challenger Customer was written to help you identify exactly who you need to direct your efforts towards, who in a business will be able to build the consensus necessary to buy your product. If you can convince them — which the book also provides guidance for — you’ll be able to convince the entire business.
7. The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business, or Next Career by Sanyin Siang
Sometimes all you need to succeed is to know that others have done the same before you. Sanyin Siang has collected success stories from across the business world in hopes of inspiring others. The Launch Book is a great resource for B2B marketers looking for expertise and guidance in a format easy for quick, on-the-go reading.
8. The Ultimate Marketing Engine: 5 Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth by John Jantsch
I’m always on the lookout for titles that help business owners of all sizes realize growth through effective marketing practices. More often than not, “the little guy” gets ignored as authors assume that readers work with six-figure marketing budgets. John Jantsch gets this. I love that he chose to call his approach The Duct Tape Marketing System. The title alone reflects his commitment to keeping his ideas both accessible and relatable. In The Ultimate Marketing Engine: 5 Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth, Jantsch encourages marketers to focus less on the monthly ROI, as important as that is, and to turn our primary attention to the flourishing of our customers. By working to bring about the growth of the customer, we facilitate the growth of our businesses. I’m always intrigued whenever relating to customers as human beings fuels a consistently healthier bottom line.
No great marketer ever became great all on their own. They may have had a valuable education, expert mentor, or perhaps just a particularly insightful book. The B2B marketing books on this list can help elevate your marketing skills. You may even be surprised by how they shift your mindset.