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Digital marketing books are the base that can accelerate your understanding of the industry and give you with the knowledge required to succeed as a marketer.


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Digital marketing is an evolving field with emerging trends constantly making headways. To keep your target audience engaged through the buyer’s journey, you need to stay on top of new developments in the field and implement strategies that are at the forefront of the discipline. We have compiled a list of the top ten books related to the various aspects of digital marketing to help you do that.

Digital marketing consists of channels such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, social media marketing, and web analytics. Whether you intend to be a digital marketing generalist or specialize in a specific area, it certainly helps to understand the entire digital marketing ecosystem. The digital marketing books recommended here will give you the skills you need to succeed in your role in 2020.

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If you are just getting started with digital marketing, these three book recommendations will help you start your journey on the right path.

The For Dummies book series serves as a primer on various topics, and Digital Marketing For Dummies is no exception. Authored by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry, the book covers almost every concept you would need to establish a well-planned digital marketing framework. Note that although this book is aimed at beginners, seasoned marketers can also learn a thing or two from the book considering the expertise of Deiss and Henneberry.

The book begins with the fundamentals of marketing and focuses on the stages of the customer journey, creating a marketing campaign, and compelling offers. It then delves into content marketing, business blogging, and provides 57 blog post ideas. Once you lay the foundations, the book teaches you how to drive traffic to your website through landing pages, search marketing, social media, paid ads, and email marketing.

The Part of Tens section provides the top ten trending digital marketing skills, ten common digital marketing mistakes, and ten tools you will need to build a martech stack.

If you ever need to brush up on or revisit certain marketing concepts, this is a must-have book in your personal library.       

Google AdWords could be a mystery if you’re new to it. In this nifty book called Google AdWords for Beginners, Corey Rabazinski gives a bird’s eye view of Google AdWords and its key concepts. Rabazinsky has worked with companies such as Holiday Inn and Universal Studios and has helped a startup generate over one million users and $1 million MRR.

Rabazinsky begins by explaining the fundamentals of AdWords, such as how Google AdWords and Ad Rank work, and eventually delves into the campaign blueprint. He shares an eight-step blueprint that covers the following aspects of AdWords:

  1. Account and campaign structure
  2. Geography and location 
  3. Campaign budget and bidding
  4. Ad extensions
  5. Copywriting for ads
  6. Keyword research and the keyword match types
  7. Research
  8. Campaign testing and optimization 

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Once you complete the book, you can supplement your learning with Google’s Google Ads Certification courses that cover the five key areas of Google Ads, viz. Display ads, search ads, video ads, shopping ads, and measurement.

Search Engine Journal (SEJ) released SEO for Beginners in 2017 in partnership with DeepCrawl, The HOTH, and SEO PowerSuite. The book is one of the most comprehensive resources on SEO, as it contains seventeen solid chapters covering various aspects of SEO. And the most surprising thing about the book is that it is absolutely free. You just need to provide your name and email address to download it.

The book starts with the history of SEO, covers the definition, and 200+ SEO terms. The book further delves into understanding the searcher’s intent and offers a list of tools that can help you identify it. The book then covers the importance of keywords, links, and content and nine key types of pages you should know about.

The book sheds light on the most frequently asked question, i.e., how long it takes to SEO your site, followed by SEO myths and the SEO challenges you’ll probably face while working in the field of SEO. To continue your learning, the book also recommends 140 SEO experts you should follow and a list of 25 SEO related blogs and publications.

 Learn More: Top 20 Content Marketing Online Courses and Certifications to Enroll in 2020 

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In this section, we’ll cover books that get into the deeper aspects of marketing, such as customer loyalty, data-driven marketing, and AI marketing.

The Effortless Experience is a book that challenges the notion of delivering exceptional service to build customer loyalty. It is written by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi based on their research at CEB, a subsidiary of Gartner.

According to the book, customer loyalty is not driven by customer satisfaction or delight or customer service interactions. Instead, it depends on how easy it is for customers to do business with you. The book quotes, “Loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be. Most customers don’t want to be “wowed”; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.

To improve customer experience (CX) and drive customer loyalty, the authors provide four principles of a low-effort CX, viz.:

  1. Boost stickiness of self-service channels so that customers can become self-reliant
  2. Implement “next issue avoidance” practices to omit the need for subsequent calls
  3. Teach psychological and behavioral practices to reps to help them manage customer interactions that make customers perceive that they don’t have to put in a lot of effort to get something done
  4. Reward quality over efficiency


Russell Glass (ex-vice president of products at LinkedIn) and Sean Callahan (senior manager, content marketing at LinkedIn) make a compelling case for the potential impact of big data on businesses.

The book starts with describing the benefits of big data and the evolution of customer-focused, data-driven businesses. Glass and Callahan share that prospects connect with a salesperson when they’re about to make a purchase. So, with this shift in the buyer’s journey, the role of marketing has changed. Based on this, the authors share how organizations can use technology to bridge the gap between marketing and sales.

As organizations become more data-driven, they need to upgrade their martech stacks which would require CMOs and CIOs to work in tandem. The book also delves into the rise of digital advertising, marketing analytics, retargeting, and social media ads.

The later chapters cover how to use data to understand your customers, implementing a big data plan, measurement and attribution, and how to use data ethically and responsibly.

The authors have provided real-life examples of Apple, Blackberry, Netflix, DocuSign, Bizo, etc. to give a frame of reference.

Ilya Katsov is the head of data science at Grid Dynamics, who has consulted organizations such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Verizon, Stanley Black & Decker, JCPenney, Apple, and T-Mobile. In this definitive book to AI in marketing, Katsov explains various techniques used by major corporations in the realms of promotions, ads, e-commerce search, recommendation engines, and pricing strategies.

The book begins with an explanation of algorithmic marketing and provides a historical background to set the context. It then gets into predictive modeling and reviews descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. It also discusses the concept of machine learning.

Katsov further explains advertising and promotions, wherein he talks about targeting, designing campaigns, attribution modeling, and tracking the results. In the chapter about search/product discovery, Katsov explains semantic analysis and search methods. Recommendation engines have become a key part of e-commerce stores to push upselling and cross-selling offers, and the book covers various filtering methods like content-based, collaborative, hybrid models, along with contextual and non-personalized recommendation models.

Please keep in mind that since the book is equally aimed towards data scientists, product managers, and software engineers, along with marketers, it gets into the technicality of each subject discussed.

Learn More: 10 Best Social Media Marketing Books to Read in 2020

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Books in this category get into the nitty-gritty of individual subjects. So, if you want to get into web analytics, metrics, or identity resolution, make sure to check out the recommendations mentioned below:

Identity resolution is the process of combining unique identifiers across multiple devices and touchpoints to build a cohesive, single, and unified customer identity. As CX is becoming more and more important for organizations, identity resolution is now an essential component of customer data management (CDM) to enable organizations to serve customers better.

In this book published by MarTech Advisor and Arm Treasure Data, you’ll be equipped to take the first step toward winning at something known as the experience economy.

The first section of the book conveys the importance of customer-centric marketing and CDM. It helps you lay the effective CDM outcomes, which consist of the following two aspects:

              The 5 W’s of the Customers

                  The 3 C’s of Brand Experience

1. Who are they?

2. What do they want to buy?

3. Why do they choose to buy?

4. When are they ready to buy?

5. Where and how do they prefer to buy?

1. Convenient

2. Contextual

3. Consistent

In the second section, the book explains the role of identity resolution in CDM and how to navigate the five D’s of customer data. The third section describes how identity resolution impacts marketing efficiency and effectiveness and how it can drive growth, loyalty, and customer retention.

The last two sections from the book will help you understand the power of identity resolution combined with the effectiveness of CDP, and the core components you should look for in an identity resolution solution if you’re looking to implement.

Avinash Kaushik is a digital marketing evangelist for Google and on the board of advisors for multiple universities for their various programs. In Web Analytics 2.0, Avinash Kaushik provides a framework to help you create an actionable strategy for web analytics. Considering the short shelf-life of books published that cover digital marketing, this book stands its ground despite being released in 2009.

The book teaches you how to pick an analytics tool/vendor and metrics that are most relevant for your organization. As the book progresses, you’ll learn about segmentation, reporting, site search, SEO and PPC analysis, email, cookies, and so on.

Kaushik addresses the most critical aspect of analytics, i.e., measuring success. He provides five examples of actionable KPIs and explains conversion rate, cart abandonment, micro and macro-conversions, and how to measure the success of a non-e-commerce website.

If you are already running experiments and A/B or multivariate tests, the testing ideas, experiments, and tips for establishing the culture of testing laid out in the book will help you take it to the next level.

The last few chapters focus on competitive intelligence analysis, social, mobile, and video analytics, how to become an analytics expert, and how to establish a data-driven culture at your organization.

Brian Clifton, Ph.D., is a web analytics expert who has been the head of web analytics at Google for the EMEA region. Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics serves as a definitive book for anyone looking to become an expert at using Google Analytics.

The first part of the book covers the fundamentals of web analytics, sources to collect web traffic data, and the basic features, advantages, and limitations of Google Analytics. You’ll get acquainted with the Google Analytics interface, reports, dashboards, and default standard reports in the second part.

In the third part, Clifton begins with the actual application of Google Analytics. He runs through the fundamentals of implementing Analytics on your digital properties to some complex implementations such as campaign, e-commerce transactions, event, and virtual pageviews tracking. The section also provides a step-by-step guide to setting up funnels, custom reports, and other customizations.

The last part focuses on setting up KPIs and provides KPI examples by job roles. It also provides real-world tasks such as optimizing poor-performing pages, optimizing your SEM campaigns, and tracking offline marketing. If you want to use Google Analytics for advanced use cases, you’ll also learn how you can integrate it with third-party tools.

In the End of Marketing, the author, Carlos Gil, argues that the rise of social media platforms and the always-on culture has made traditional marketing obsolete. And despite the dwindling organic reach, the key to connect with customers is the human touch, because they want to be engaged.

In the beginning, Gil recommends marketers to identify their audience and the platforms they spend time on, along with the influencers in their niche. Once you know your audience and their preferred platforms, you can start engaging with them and see what content works. Gil strongly suggests that brands focus on engaging with customers and not promoting themselves.

The book also touches upon the concept of employee advocacy, building a personality, and persuading people. Gil provides examples of DJ Khaled and Kim Kardashian West while explaining how to tell stories. It also offers platform-specific tips and techniques to boost engagement, follow/unfollow users, and build thought leadership

Learn More: 8 Unmissable Marketing Books for 2020

Final Thoughts

This is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but we’d rather encourage you to use these books as a gateway to get into the deeper aspects of digital marketing that you find fascinating. The books cover a wide array of topics right from the basics of digital marketing to more advanced topics that gets into the realm of strategy, frameworks, models, and subtle aspects of marketing.

Happy reading!

Would you like to recommend a digital marketing book for our readers? Tell us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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