I have started compiling a required reading list for anyone with a serious professional interest in advertising or marketing communication.
I’m sharing the list in its current form, partly because it may offer some useful guidance or inspiration and partly because I’d like your help in adding to it, please.
What’s missing? If there’s a book you think should definitely be on the list below, please post a comment or drop me a line via email or twitter.
I’m not looking to produce an exhaustive list – even in the fairly narrow field of advertising and marketing theory there are simply too many books out there for one person to get through – but I do want to summarise the most interesting, thought-provoking and useful texts, both directly and indirectly relevant to the comms industry.
I should point out that I’ve not included any IPA texts on my list, but their reports (click here) are also definitely required reading for any half decent or aspiring planner.
Here’s my list so far (in no particular order). What do you think?
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Behind the Scenes in Advertising by Jeremy Bullmore
Truth, Lies and Advertising : The Art of Account Planning by Jon Steel
Perfect Pitch by Jon Steel
A Masterclass in Brand Planning: the Timeless Works of Stephen King
The Book of Gossage by Howard Gossage
Advertising & Marketing Theory
Marketing in the Era of Accountability by Les Binet & Peter Field
The Long and Short of It by Les Binet & Peter Field
How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp
The New Marketing Manifesto: 12 Rules for Building Successful Brands in the 21st Century by John Grant
Human Psychology & Decision-making
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller
Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature by Mark Earls
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H Thaler & Cass R Sunstein
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Positioning: the Battle for your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout
The Pirate Inside by Adam Morgan
Eating the Big Fish by Adam Morgan
Branding only works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Economics & Behavioural Economics
Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist by Tyler Cowen
The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
The Long and the Short of it: A Guide to Finance and Investment for Normally Intelligent People Who Aren’t in the Industry by John Kay
Creativity & Idea Generation
Sticky Wisdom : How to Start a Creative Revolution at Work : by What If? (Dave Allan, Matt Kingdon, Kris Murrin, Darren Rudkin)
A Technique for Producing Ideas by James W. Young
Where Good Ideas Come From: the Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
Creative Mischief by Dave Trott
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity by Edward be Bono
(Image credit: the original version of the photo accompanying this post can be found here)