The Best Marketing Books for Startups

Launching a new startup presents teams with many marketing challenges, including: finding potential customers, establishing a brand, testing product or marketing ideas, encouraging word-of-mouth referrals, and driving customer engagement with your product or service.

It helps to be familiar with some of the very best marketing books for startups, so this is a reading list to help you hit the ground running. Each of the following books gives readers an opportunity to adopt best practices, learn from other’s mistakes, and increase the odds of success.

Note: If your business has moved beyond the initial startup phase, you may want to explore a list of the top business and marketing strategy books. It can help you take an established company to the next level.


Traction

Traction

By Gabriel Weinberg

(4.21 avg)

Most startups end in failure. Almost all have a product to sell, but most fail because they don’t have enough customers. This book covers nineteen traction channels that startups can use to attract customers. And it provides clear advice on how to select and execute on the best traction channels for your business.

Sprint

Sprint

By John Zeratsky

(4.46 avg)

The sprint is Google Ventures’ unique five-day process for answering crucial questions through prototyping and testing ideas with customers. It’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavioral science, design, and more—packaged into a step-by-step process that any team can use. It’s perfect for businesses dealing with: high stakes challenges, tight time deadlines, or a loss of project momentum.

Hooked

Hooked

By Nir Eyal

(4.13 avg)

Learn how to create habit-forming products to increase user engagement. The Hook Model is a four-step process that many successful companies use to boost repeat usage of their products and services. This approach can help businesses better serve their customers through long-term engagement.

Zero To One

Zero To One

By Peter Thiel

(4.21 avg)

Improving on an existing solution takes the world from 1 to n. Creating something brand new takes the world from 0 to 1. Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things. Peter Thiel calls on entrepreneurs to build valuable businesses around such opportunities to build a better future for everyone.

Crossing The Chasm

Crossing The Chasm

By Geoffrey A. Moore

(3.99 avg)

Learn how to effectively market high-tech products and services to the mainstream market. This classic book explains why so many technology businesses fail to gain traction beyond early adopters. And how you can avoid their fate by following a proven strategy for selling to mainstream customers.

Contagious

Contagious

By Jonah Berger

(4.08 avg)

Discover why certain products, brands, or ideas are talked about more often than others. The six principles of contagiousness reveal the science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. They can be used by individuals, businesses, and organizations to craft contagious content.

Building A StoryBrand

Building A StoryBrand

By Donald Miller

(4.59 avg)

Learn how to clarify your message so customers will listen. The StoryBrand 7-Part Framework uses the universal elements of storytelling to improve brand communication. It can transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value your business delivers.