By Jen Williams
Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.
These books have taught me how to discipline and amplify my own instincts. Each one has shepherded me through tough client challenges either by grounding me with marketing theory or helping me to build the trust required to work through those challenges.
The Trusted Advisor, by David H. Maister
Regardless of the industry you may work in, if you hope to build relationships with clients or customers — this book is a must-read. It is an engaging guide for how to transcend the default mode of work relationships (transactional) and achieve a higher plane of true connection.
“We don’t want people to be interested in us as a means to an end, as a destination for their own purposes. We want people to be interested in us as fellow-voyagers, people who care about us enough to go on a journey with us.”
Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
The premise is this: in order to do truly great work, and live out your potential, you must start from a place of vulnerability. You must be willing to share the unformed, imperfect parts of yourself in service to your own growth. There is great power in naked honesty. This book helps you harness that power.
“We’re hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives”
Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath
Marketing is the simple art of persuading someone to change a behavior. This book lays out the roadmap to follow for behavior change success: Engage people’s emotional and rational selves equally, while creating a path that removes as many obstacles as possible.
“In almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE — THINK — CHANGE, but rather SEE — FEEL — CHANGE. You’re presented with evidence that makes you feel something. It might be a disturbing look at the problem, or a hopeful glimpse of the solution, or a sobering reflection of your current habits, but regardless, it’s something that hits you at the emotional level”
Truth, Lies & Advertising, by Jon Steel
This book is a treasure trove of insights, best practices and proof points all related to the importance of keeping the end-consumer at the center of any advertising efforts. It’s all about the practice of taking vague and varying inputs and organizing them in a way that is insightful, actionable and above all, inspirational. The case study results included speak for themselves…ever heard of “Got Milk?”
“in most fields of human endeavor, the chances of finding a solution or uncovering the truth are increased as more perspectives are taken into account.”
Ogilvy on Advertising, by David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy, of course, is one of advertising’s greats, and his book delivers on every level. One part history lesson and one part rule book, he doles out wisdom on all aspects of the craft with a dose of humor and whole lot of authority. Yes, some of the media we advertise in today is different from 1983, but the fundamentals remain as valid today as ever.
“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”