BtoB

A marketing reading list for 2005

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There's been a notable increase in the number of marketing-related books arriving at our Chicago office this year. Maybe this reflects the reanimated state of the U.S. economy or simply the fact that today's marketers-facing intense executive scrutiny about their profession's contribution to the bottom line-have plenty of incentive to expand and deepen their skills.

The following, in no particular order, are some titles published this year that have come to our attention or have been recommended by industry contacts or reviewers.

  • "Trade show and Event Marketing: Plan, Promote & Profit," by Ruth P. Stevens. Hardcover: 340 pages, Texere, an imprint of Thomson/South-Western. Stevens' book has won high praise for its thorough treatment of the topic. As she writes in her introduction: "Business events uniquely combine elements of marketing, marketing communications and sales."
  • "Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff," by Mark Hughes. Hardcover: 242 pages, Portfolio, a member of the Penguin Group. Former Half.com, Pep Boys and Pizza Hut marketing executive Mark Hughes has written an accessible, breezy book about buzz.
  • "33 Internet Superstars Reveal 43 Ways to Make Money Almost Instantly-Using Only E-Mail!," by Joe Vitale and Jo Han Mok. Paperback: 284 pages, John Wiley & Sons. This introductory book has an interesting twist: It was written by 33 contributors-solicited via e-mail, naturally-over the course of a single week.
  • "Escaping the Black Hole: Minimizing the Damage From the Marketing-Sales Disconnect," by Robert J. Schmonsees. Hardcover: 211 pages, Texere. Schmonsees quotes lots of interesting research showing how the marketing-sales relationship is broken. His solution is what he dubs "Value Mapping," a way of synchronizing the efforts of sales and marketing around a shared understanding of the company's product or service value propositions.
  • "According to Kotler: The World's Foremost Authority on Marketing Answers Your Questions," by Philip Kotler. Paperback: 168 pages, AMACOM (American Management Association). Kotler is the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In his latest book, he offers quick, readable answers to the most-asked marketing questions. The questions/answers are divided into sections on marketing strategy, tools, planning, organization and control.
  • "Marketing Playbook: The Manual for Growing Organizations," by John M. Fox. Paperback: 124 pages, EagleCross Publishing. Fox's wonderfully designed, oversized paperback packs loads of practical, how-to advice. The book features self-assessment forms and additional downloadable content.
  • "Brain Tattoos: Creating Unique Brands That Stick in Your Customers' Minds," by Karen Post. Paperback: 185 pages, AMACOM (American Management Association). Post is a self-declared and trademarked "Branding Diva." Each chapter in her book contains questionnaires, tests, concise chapter summaries and memorable observations from world-famous branding gurus.

Ellis Booker is editor of BtoB. He can be reached at ebooker@crain.com.

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