5 great resources for social marketers, and one bad one

I have finally had a little free time to plow through my stack of books and wanted to pass along five little tomes you will love and one that you won’t.

Marketing White Belt: Basics For the Digital Marketer

I love, love, love this book by braniac Christopher S. Penn. One of the themes you have seen consistently here on {grow} is an emphasis on marketing fundamentals. Social is just a channel. To succeed you need to know more than creating a Facebook page. This book fills a gaping need for solid marketing fundamentals. If you are just starting out and want to be a marketer, please read this book! Christopher is such a smart guy and a natural teacher. You’ll really enjoy White Belt.

The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social

By Jay Baer and Amber Naslund –  I actually read this book months ago and continue to refer to it and recommend it in my college classes. This is an old-fashioned business book. It’s not flowery examples wrapped around a solitary idea. NOW is a legitimate framework for social media success in an organization.  If I had one recommendation, it is that the book should have been longer to cover the rich subject matter.  For example, NOW begins with an emphasis on the importance of a company culture that enables social media.  This is spot-on thinking and they could have written an entire book on just that one subject … and I hope they do!

Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition

By Mike Stelzner –  The title is a bit precocious for the book’s actual subject matter … which is really the importance and mindset of content marketing.  But hey, content is king on the social web and this is the place to learn about that.  Stelzner, the founder of the wildly successful Social Media Examiner, should know.  He tells the story of how content — and the right mindset to use it — transformed his life.  Launch explores the ideas of content from every imaginable perspective.  It is the definitive handbook for creating and managing content for business success.

The Future of Commerce

Last year I got to meet Grégory Pouy, one of France’s leading business bloggers, and he let me know he was working on an eBook project.  I figured, oh we all need more social media eBooks, right?  Little could I imagine that he was developing an authoritative FREE reference on eCommerce, filled with great case studies and facts presented in a very entertaining way.  I have no idea why he’s not CHARGING for this but let’s not question it. I guarantee you will want to bookmark this resource and share it with your friends and clients!

Zero Moment of Truth

I got turned on to this eBook by a buddy at Coca-Cola who swears by it.  That got my attention!  This little book, written by Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales, provides an interesting perspective of Google’s view of real-time consumer marketing. Company puff piece?  Maybe, but this is an eye-popping multi-media experience filled with insights and relevant case studies.  And hey, it’s FREE!  Yes, ZMOT is informative, but I’d like you consider this book on another level — how is this a brilliant example of brand building through content marketing?

We Are All Weird

So I told you there would be a book in this line-up that was not so great and this is it – We Are All Weird by Seth Godin. I admire Seth of course but I have not been able to figure out his last two books.  In “Weird” there are just so many strange leaps of logic that I honestly wonder if Seth is testing us.  Is this an experiment to see if people will buy books from a famous person, even if they make no sense?

Here’s an example of the circular logic in the book. The book’s basic theme is that mass marketing and merchandising are dead.  However, he also says that the efficiency of mass marketing and merchandising is the very thing enabling the wealth to purchase expensive niche market goods.  Huh?  Doesn’t sound like it’s dead to me.

Godin also marvels at the disintermediation and market efficiency of the Internet that is now connecting obscure goods with niche buyers. Welcome to the 1990s, good sir.

It seems to me that Seth looked around New York City, wondered at the glorious panapoly of goods available in this metropolis and declared it a worldwide trend.  Mr. Godin, I would invite you to explore middle America where our commerce is generally governed by Wal-Mart and Taco Bell. Of course you will find weird people there, too.

These are a few from my reading list.  What books are making an impact on you these days?

Disclosures: I received free review copies of Launch, The Now Revolution, and We Are All Weird. The links to the books that are not free are affiliate links.  I consider Jay Baer a personal friend but would still rip his butt if he deserved it.