What are the top books in marketing management?

As the old saying goes, we are most influenced by the people we spend time with and the books we read. While the two most important factors that marketing managers will experience throughout their careers are the education they pursue and the experience they attain, those committed to being life-long learners will find books that help grow and stretch them over the years. Here are five of the most-influential books on marketing management available today.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

This award-winning publication is a must for any marketing management library. This fast-paced and witty instruction manual on the keys of marketing introduces the reader to the concept of creating a "position" in the customer's mind which will result in a stronger marketing strategy and help an organization stand out from its competition.

Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology by Bob Lord and Ray Velez

Having only been published a few years ago, this book has already proven itself as a valuable resource in understanding the vital link between technology and marketing. Converge "explains how to organize for innovation within your organization by applying the principles of agile development across your business, details how to create a religion around convergence, explaining how to tell the story throughout the organization, and outlines how to adapt processes to keep up with and take advantage of rapid technological change."

YOUtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer

This quintessential reference resource on the strength of social media marketing is all heart. Instead of broadcasting a brand's usefulness or value to the customer, YOUtility strives to communicate an organization's need to understand the customer's need and evaluate its own willingness to volunteer solutions that are less about the bottom line and more about serving the common good. This book focuses on the long game of marketing where customers feel trust toward a company and form a loyalty that spans years.

Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson

With a greater focus on small business, this resource seeks to help the smaller organization make a larger impact in sales. First published in 1983, this book has proven itself over the years to give helpful ideas on how to gain market shares. Stressing creativity over large spending in advertising, Levinson offers hundreds of ideas that are just as noteworthy and current as they were when the book was written.

Marketing Management by Philip Kotler

As noted in the title, this is THE resource for understanding marketing management at its core. This comprehensive reference book is currently in its 15th edition and continues to be used in many of the nation's best Master's in Marketing Management programs. This book covers all of the topics one would expect from the four Ps of marketing, tips on how to deal with competition, and the analysis of consumer markets and buyer behavior to name a few. The author was responsible for creating several concepts in marketing including demarketing, megamarketing, atmospherics, and turbomarketing.

These are just a few of the excellent books available to those seeking to sharpen their skill set in marketing and marketing management. As technology continues to change the landscape of business it is always good to keep abreast of new books as they enter the market. However, as aspects of business like customer service and connectivity will always be relevant, and there are some resources written decades ago that still have much to offer the reader.