With Mike busy this week carrying out his duties as chair of the American Marketing Association Marketing Research Council (AMAMRC), I’m sitting in at the Brainzooming blog blogging.

In keeping with the research theme, I originally suggested to Mike that I blog about some of the books with applicability to marketing that have a strong research foundation. I have read or listened to quite a number of them recently. (I highly recommend audio books as a way to make a commute more productive, help a long trip go faster, or distract you from the general pain of your workout.)

The past couple of years have seen several really interesting and well written books with a general theme of behavioral economics. These include Drive from Daniel Pink, Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, and Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

Chip and Dan Heath’s books Made to Stick and Switch offer some excellent insights about messaging and organizational change. Likewise Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers have really useful information for anyone who is involved in marketing or marketing research.

But those are the books you might expect me to write about. The title of the AMAMRC conference is “Unfiltered Perspectives Unexpected Opportunities.” So in keeping with that theme I decided to at least provide a twist on the book list by writing about some books that haven’t been in the headlines or best seller lists quite as recnetly. (The books I’ve listed above are all worth your time and I hope to cover several of them in future guest posts.)

There are four books that I regard as foundational in my understanding and practice of marketing, communications, and sales. Each book caused me to think and act differently, sometimes quite differently. I have read each multiple times and I find myself coming back to them repeatedly as I seek to work out a problem or arrive at a fresh solution for a marketing, communication, or sales situation. The other thing they have in common is they answer two of my favorite questions: “Why?” and “How do you know?”

Book 1: The Real Mad Man. - Barrett Sydnor

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