We’ve just finished compiling our Poolside Study Guide for Marketing Agencies, and we’ve got summer reading on the mind. So I surveyed some of the marketing fanatics in our office and our collection of amazing partner agencies to find out their best recommendations for marketing agency summer reads. You can’t live on gossip magazines and paperbacks alone!
Here’s what we came up with to keep you entertained on the beach or while you’re poolside. And as always, we’d love to gather your reading recommendations, too! Leave your favorite marketing books in the comments below so we can all pick up a copy for ourselves.
Our Favorite Summer Reads for Marketing Agencies
The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The Handbook for Building Hybrid PR, SEO, Content, Advertising, and Web Firms (By Paul Roetzer)
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. This handbook from HubSpot partner Paul Roetzer is one of the most forward-thinking books we’ve read on building a top-performing marketing agency. The handbook challenges today’s marketing agencies to leave behind the traditional agency model in favor of a hybrid approach that crosses channels and focuses on a more efficient marketing system.
The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Expand a Seven-Figure Consulting Practice (By Alan Weiss)
If you’re on the consulting side of the agency world, The Consulting Bible is your best comprehensive guide to developing thought leadership and building your consulting practice. The book covers:
- The origins and evolution of the consulting profession
- The range of consulting methodologies
- Developing proposals and setting value based pricing
The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know (By Robert Solomon)
“A fast-reading, pocket-size, actionable checklist,” The Art of Client Service gives client service pros a set of essential ideas to live and work by.
We love the book for its creativity; I mean, how can you go wrong with a chapter called “What happens when I screw up?” But it also has a great deal of practical tactics to increase client retention and grow your business.
Clients for Life: Evolving From an Expert-for-Hire to an Extraordinary Adviser (By Jagdish Sheth & Andrew Sobel)
Featuring portraits of some of history’s most storied advisors, including Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, and J.P. Morgan, Clients for Life gives consultants and agencies a reason to get inspired about the approach they take to client services. Reviewer Michael McLaughlin wrote, “An experienced consultant may find many of the concepts in this book familiar, but you may question how well you’re following the authors’ great advice.”
The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World (By Walter Kiechel)
For the history buffs, The Lords of Strategy gives you a look back into how the consulting industry was born. This book “tells the story of the four men who invented corporate strategy as we know it and set in motion the modern, multibillion-dollar consulting industry.”
We like this book for the perspective it gives on the forces that have shaped the industry and where it may be headed.
Managing the Professional Service Firm (By David Maister)
Don’t let the politics get you down. Managing the Professional Service Firm gives you the tools you need to deal with any management issues in your marketing agency. Drawing on 10 years of research and consulting, author David Maister breaks down complex organizational issues that are unique to agencies and gives you tangible approaches to becoming a more effective services firm. Despite the heavy topic, Maister manages to keep this reading light and interesting – so don’t be afraid to pack this one in your beach bag.
Clients from Hell: A Collection of Anonymously-Contributed Client Horror Stories From Designers (By Anonymous)
Finally, enjoy a little light reading (and some serious catharsis) on your summer beach trips with Clients From Hell, a compilation of anonymously-contributed client horror stories from agency designers. Whether you’re a designer yourself, bear witness to clients who insist on using Comic Sans, or spend your days negotiating with clients who can’t stop huffing and puffing about their latest website redesign, this book will get you laughing but still keep you immersed enough in the agency world to come back from vacation ready and raring to go.
We could go on for pages about thought-provoking marketing and consulting books. If you manage to plow through these, other books we’ve heard great things about include The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk, and The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership, by Lisa Petrilli.
What other books would you add to this list? What marketing books are particularly good for people who work at agencies or in client services?
Image credit: Jonas8110