11 Ass-Kicking Books for the Digital Marketer

Here at Drakon Digital we’re all about self-improvement. In my opinion, there is only one way to really learn something; study and then act. I hope by absorbing the information in these books and then putting it to use you will be able to enhance your career and grow as a marketer.

For this list I chose books that will stand the test of time (a couple of them have). There is a focus on advertising and copywriting fundamentals. I feel that there is a lack of understanding traditional advertising amongst digital marketers in general. By educating ourselves on the classics we can better understand the industry that digital marketing was born out of.

Damn Good Advice for People with Talent

Author: George Lois
Purchase: amazon.com
Perhaps the quickest read on this list, Damn Good Advice is filled with just that, damn good advice. It’s filled with short thoughts and advice from a great marketer. I used to read a page everyday before work. Unfortunately it got lost in a move and I haven’t yet replaced it.

Crossing the Chasm

Author: Jeffrey Moore
Purchase: amazon.com
Why is this a good read for marketers in the online space? It focuses on developing markets; and if the digital age has taught us anything it’s that new markets are being created all the time. When you get a client who needs to market the next disruptive technology you’ll be glad you read this.

The Robert Collier Letter Book

Author: Robert Collier
Purchase: amazon.com
This the sales copywriting bible. Learn from a legend and impress clients and yourself with the insight into writing you will gain from this book.

Confessions of an Advertising Man

Author: David Ogilvy
Purchase: amazon.com
Ogilvy was one of the real “mad men” in New York during the 1960s. Another of his books, Ogilvy on Advertising would also be worth your while. Who else better to learn from than one of the founders of famed advertising firms Ogilvy & Mather.

Permission Marketing

Author: Seth Godin
Purchase: amazon.com
Seth is so sure you’ll like this book that you can get the first four chapters for free as a download here. His blog is one you should read regularly. If you want the quick scoop, check out his blog page defining permission marketing.

Guerilla Marketing

Author: Jay Conrad Levinson
Purchase: amazon.com
When working in the local SEO field or with startups, many marketers feel hindered by small marketing budgets. This book shows that with a little know-how and some ingenuity small businesses can achieve great results.


Author: Martin Lindstrom
Purchase: amazon.com
This book was a huge hit a few years back. It’s based off of a several million dollar study conducted by Lindstrom. The study monitored how people’s brains respond to seeing advertisements. Capturing and keeping attention is increasingly important in this digital age.

Scientific Advertising

Author: Claude C. Hopkins
Purchase: amazon.com
Claude C. Hopkins is the father, no make that Godfather, of A/B and multivariate testing. He used the principles set forth in Scientific Advertising to produce increasingly effective ads. The book in the link is actually a dual publication of the two books he wrote. Both are worth your time to read.

Selling the Invisible

Author: Harry Beckwith
Purchase: amazon.com
With the increasing number of SaaS companies you need to understand the ins and outs of selling services. And this is exactly what Selling the Invisible does.

Brand Media Strategy

Author: Antony Young
Purchase: amazon.com
Integrated marketing communications is essential with the constant additions of new marketing media. This book will help you pull back from the tunnel vision and look at the big picture. If you want to read more from Young he writes for Ad Age.

The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World

Authors: Damian Ryan & Calvin Jones
Purchase: amazon.com (book one) & amazon.com (book two)
So this is a series of books, two strong at the moment, which looks at and evaluates some of the most successful digital marketing campaigns. It’s filled with inspiration and will hopefully fuel your own creativity when planning your next campaign.

I purposefully excluded any books on Google Analytics because it changes so fast that any book I recommend will be out of date by the time I hit the “publish” button. Yet this topic is so important I felt like I had to mention it. So here it goes, if you want to learn about Google Analytics read Avinash Kaushik’s blog, Occam’s Razor.


Published:August 18, 2014

Self Improvement

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