5 Books Every Marketer Needs to Read in 2023

7 min readMay 30, 2023


Originally posted on QueryClick, 1st March 2023

There’s always something new to learn as a marketer.

Whether it’s a new marketing channel, a new technique or even just a new term, upskilling ourselves is a key part of our role.

But, while we keep ourselves up to date with what’s new in the industry, it’s important to remember that there are some staples of the industry that never go out of style.

So, as part of World Book Day, we’ve asked a few members of Team QC to recommend the books that have stuck with them through the year, and to share why they think you should them to your reading list.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

Recommended by: Laura Imrie, Digital Marketing Manager

What is the book about?

The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib is aimed at helping readers hone in on what gets results for their business and to stop wasting time on what isn’t working.

Creating a marketing plan can often feel difficult and time-consuming so Dib has simplified the process to create a plan that is just a single page, divided up into nine squares.

Whether you’re new to the industry or are an experienced marketer, this book provides a great starting point to propel your business growth.

Why has it been recommended?

This book puts marketing into the simplest terms to help you focus on your goals.

As marketers, we often have a lot on our plates and there’s always something new to consider.

It really highlights the importance of having a strategy in place and remembering who our target audience is, while and emphasising the age-old adage “work smarter, not harder” (most of the time just 20% of our work brings in 80% of the results!).

I’ve found this book extremely useful for realigning when things aren’t going as planned and refreshing my own marketing knowledge about the importance of effective targeting.

So, if you’re just starting out or want to refresh your existing strategy, there’s guaranteed to be a snippet of knowledge in there for you to take forward in your own marketing plans.

Good for:

  • New business owners who are looking to do more with less.
  • Marketers starting in their career.

They Ask, You Answer

Recommended by: Julie Molloy, Head of Marketing

What is the book about?

They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan is a new (and refreshing!) approach to inbound sales and marketing.

The premise of the book, which is written in a chatty and engaging style, is that everything we do in Marketing (and inbound Sales) should revolve around answering prospect/customer questions, creating trust and building authority.

It approaches areas such as pricing and competition in a simple and plain-speaking way.

Why has it been recommended?

I was introduced to this book when I attended a session by Marcus Sheridan at Inbound in Boston in 2018 and have used it as my ‘go to’ for content marketing ever since.

The book is full of practical ideas (many are very obvious once pointed out!) and examples of how to improve your website, email marketing and content as well as inbound sales tactics and strategies.

Good for:

  • Everyone in Digital Marketing, but in particular those focused on content marketing and demand generation.
  • This is also a good read for Inbound Sales.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Recommended by: Fernanda Botelho de Oliveira, SEO Manager

What is the book about?

Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a great read for those who, like me, have difficulty saying no.

In this book, the author attempts to identify the common root of several productivity issues. It implies that the pursuit of success can lead to failure, and strange as it may seem, we can all experience this.

Through it, we can understand that only when we stop trying to do everything and stop saying “yes” to everyone can we offer our maximum contribution.

As a result, it makes us question how much we agree with everything around us because of stress, other people’s needs, or even because yes has become a standard response.

Why has it been recommended?

We all want to stand out, progress in our careers, and become references at some point in our lives.

And this can lead to us being extremely helpful to the point of accepting any challenge, even if it goes completely against our goals.

This book is key to being able to identify these situations to avoid creating a false sense of success and continuing to badly manage our energy.

Good for:

  • Anyone looking to specialise their talents while having more time to focus on what matters.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Recommended by: Malcolm Gibb, Head of Performance

What is the book about?

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink is a great book to read if you’re looking for a fresh perspective on motivation.

The book challenges traditional thinking about motivation and introduces the concept of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Pink argues that the desire for autonomy, or the ability to be self-directed, is a key driver of motivation.

Mastery, or the desire to improve and develop skills, is also a critical motivator.

Finally, Purpose, or the desire to be part of something larger than oneself, can be a powerful driver of motivation.

These three factors are shown to be more effective than traditional rewards and incentives, such as money or recognition.

Why has it been recommended?

This book has become a cornerstone of my own digital marketing career.

The concepts of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose are applicable to any area of work, particularly in digital marketing. By understanding and promoting these elements, we can create a more engaged and motivated team, and ultimately shape our own definition of success.

The book includes fascinating case studies that confirm this approach, making it a must-read for anyone in the field of digital marketing.

Good for:

  • Anyone who is new to people management or looking to progress in their career.
  • Digital marketers.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Recommended by: Rhiannon Thomas, Senior Account Executive

What is the book about?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a business and self-improvement book.

After conducting his own research into the concept of “success”, by reading over 200 years of literature, Covey created an new approach to being effective in attaining goals that is universal and timeless.

The 7 habits covered in the book are:

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Think win/win
  • Seek to understand first, before making yourself understood
  • Learn to synergize
  • Sharpen the saw

Why has it been recommended?

This is a book I go back to time and time again. It’s a very famous one — and for a good reason!

The points made within the book are, individually, very simple but the book as an overall guide, the premise of the book and the way he delivers his points is so inspiring to me.

I read it while I was at university and read it again a few years later in my first marketing job and it was still as relevant then as it was the first time I read it.

Good for:

  • Anyone who wants to get things done well in life, be that in business, education or any other aspect of self-improvement.
  • Marketers looking to improve their task management skills.

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Marketing professional with a passion for content marketing.