Inspirational Marketing Books for Experiential Marketers

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If you need a marketing book to pick up for your next vacation, or something to inspire you as you create next year’s event marketing plan, here’s a list of current and classic reads recommended by the Sparks team.


“The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes” by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson


This classic marketing book brilliantly outlines storytelling/character archetypes and how brands can relate to their audiences by adopting an archetype that resonates with human beings at a very deep level. For example, Harley Davidson is the classic outlaw brand. This marketing book is a good reminder that when it comes to creating a strong brand experience, considering the human characteristics of that brand can be very helpful.


“Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger


Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last ten years studying why certain products and ideas become popular. Based on his research, he shares six basic principles behind why concepts become contagious and spread through social media and word-of-mouth. This has great takeaways and actionable ideas for marketers looking to spread their ideas or messages.


“The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage” by Daymond John


Experiential marketers often struggle to retain and keep their event budgets. But Daymond John, FUBU founder and star of “Shark Tank,” says that empty pockets and tight budgets can be your greatest competitive advantage. Learn from his stories about how the “power of broke” makes you think more creatively, use resources more efficiently, market more imaginatively and stay laser focused on your goals.


“Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant


Trying to pitch a new idea but can’t get traction within your organization? Read Adam Grant’s newest business book about challenging the status quo. Through studies and research, he explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a group of allies and choose the right time to act on your idea.


“Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal” by Geoffrey Colon


Seventy-five percent of screen time is spent on connected devices – causing marketers to fully embrace digital strategies in their plans. But this always-on technology makes getting through to customers a difficult challenge. Geoffrey Colon’s recent marketing book features interviews, trends, predictions and stories to get you into the disruptive mindset needed for success today.


“Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking” by Matthew E. May


When faced with difficult decisions, our thinking frequently reverts to old mindsets that don’t work. Or, we overthink problems and make them worse. According to Matthew May, mindful thinking is the new competitive advantage. His marketing book offers a set of seven “fixes” to achieve mindful thinking that will lead to better decision-making, creativity and success.


“Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport


Most of us spend our days responding to a cluttered inbox, working on endless to-do lists and moving from meeting to meeting. Deep Work presents a set of four rules to cultivate a deep work ethic – the ability to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.


“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth


Angela Duckworth is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. From her personal experiences growing up when she was frequently noted for her lack of “genius,” she provides insights that what really drives success is grit – a unique combination of passion and perseverance.


“O Great One!: A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition” by David Novak and Christa Bourg


This “little story about the awesome power of recognition” comes from David Novak, co-founder and executive chairman of YUM! Brands – one of the world’s largest restaurant companies. It’s a great reminder to all of us to recognize people and appreciate the little things they do every day.


Posted by Jen Marano | Request as a Speaker

Pale yet fiery redheaded mom of twin maniacs, I mean boys. RFP and event marketing ninja. Country gal with a boating obsession – hey ya’ll! Reality TV junkie.