4 books marketers should readBedtime around my house means it’s story time for my adorable 2- and 1-year-old daughters. In fact, their faces light up when I tell them that it’s time to read our nightly story. My oldest actually uses that signal to cue up a pitch for her favorite books.

One of my recent interactions with her during this nightly ritual got me thinking about some of my favorite books. Admittedly, the first books that came to mind weren’t related to my professional life, but one may come in handy if someone plans to frame me in order to have me imprisoned on an island off the coast of France.

However, it didn’t take me long to begin mentally reciting a few books that have been beneficial to my professional development. Each of my favorite books has helped influence me in one way or another over the past 14 years or so, and each offered something a little different based on the role I was serving when I found these favorites.

It’s 2015, so in the spirit of the New Year’s resolution hysteria, I thought I’d suggest a few good reads to anyone looking to make reading a resolution. My list is not presented in any particular order, rather it’s just a rundown of some books that I have found intriguing or insightful. Rather than expound about the virtues and shortcomings of each book, I’ll allow my daughter’s own words to sum things up, “I like this one; it’s good; it’s my favorite.”

1. The Wizard of Ads by Roy H. Williams
This book was required reading in one of my undergraduate marketing communication courses, but unlike most required readings, it actually captured my interest. It’s an entertaining read that reminds us that our audiences are people just like you and me.

2. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencion
Upon receiving my first promotion to a team leadership role, I was always on the lookout for new insights into team dynamics. This book distills the problems that keep teams from realizing their potential into five dysfunctions, and through narratives it demonstrates how leaders can help their teams overcome them.

3. Kellogg on Integrated Marketing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

4. Kellogg on Branding from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
I sought out both of the books from Northwestern University when I began to work with clients who wanted to build robust marketing efforts that leveraged multiple channels and relationship marketing to build their brands. The faculty at Kellogg School of Management and the Medill School of Journalism are among the world’s foremost authorities on all things marketing communications. Both books are great resources that help readers develop a more strategic approach to marketing.

If you give one of these books a read, drop me a note and let me know what you think. Oh, and good luck with that New Year’s resolution.

About Nathan Huss

After a career in higher education marketing, Two Rivers Marketing Public Relations Director Nathan Huss shifted gears to B2B public relations in 2009. Just as he’s always looking for new trails to bike, he’s also looking for new and exciting ways to help his clients communicate with their audiences. He expertly pedals between strategy, trade shows, media relations and social media. Spin Nathan an email at nathanh@2rm.com.