20 Must-Read Books, According to Drift’s Marketing Team

By Minako Ogita

I’ll be the first to admit: I’m a book addict.

Before I learned to fear airline luggage restrictions, I would pack three books for the plane ride…and four more in my suitcase. (Just in case I got through them all in two weeks.)

Why am I telling you this?

Because May is National Get Caught Reading Month — and that means it’s the perfect time to lean into your inner bookworm 🤓

So, to kick things off, I asked Drift’s marketing team to share the books that have inspired them to be better marketers (and better people). Our top reads fall into these four categories:

Here are the 20 books that you should get caught reading this month 👇

All About Marketing

1. Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker

“If you’re wondering how to apply agile/scrum project management disciplines to marketing, Scott’s book is the ultimate primer. It helps modern marketers to think like modern project/product managers (which we increasingly have to be to succeed).”

– Nick Salvatoriello, Senior Demand Generation Manager, Channel Campaigns


2. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

“This is a book I wish I had read before I spent many hours in a design lab staring at a Mac thinking I needed to create the most original, fantastic, new-age design ever. So when I came across this book and read the line ‘nothing is original,’ something finally clicked for me. There are masters and experts in our field for a reason. Steal, build, create, market, design from them.”

-Michelle Balaban, Senior Marketing Designer


3. Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

“I mostly read blogs and articles about design and development, but one series I would recommend looking into is A Book Apart. The majority of the books are about design and development, but they also cover more traditional marketing topics like content strategy and public speaking. If you’re looking to learn a new skill, this series is great because the bite-size series format allows you to focus on one topic at a time and figure out what path you want to continue down before diving deeper.”

– Jess McCormick, Lead Front End Designer


4. Hooked by Nir Eyal

“In today’s ever-changing competitive world, only products that truly engage customers will stand out. Hooked lays down a model for building engagement that has users constantly coming back for more. The trigger-action-variable rewards-investment model is a really helpful framework to keep in mind when creating your next product or feature.”

– Fiona Shang, Product Marketing Manager


5. The Forever Transaction by Robbie Kellman Baxter

“I loved this book because it dives into how providing long-term value for your customers can result in long-term loyalty for your business. As the author says, ‘To earn a forever transaction you must offer a forever promise in return.’ Anyone in marketing can benefit from reading this book.”

– Colleen Koslosky, Education and Community Manager


All About Leadership

6. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

“I could not recommend this book more. This book emphasizes the importance of effective communication. It’s important at every stage of your career, especially in marketing, but it’s also something that’s easy to overlook in day-to-day work. Radical Candor has encouraged me to level up my communication style and be more aware of how myself and others can work together to build a stronger, higher-performing team.”

– Caitlin Seele, Head of Digital Marketing


7. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni

“I was introduced to this book at a previous company. And it’s been life-changing! Learning about the five dysfunctions of a team has taught me how to thoughtfully approach team building so we can be productive, healthy, fun, and ultimately, high-performing.”

Holly Xiao Drift
– Holly Xiao, Senior Product Marketing Manager


8. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

“Brené’s work and books, including Dare to Lead, force you to rethink everything you’ve been taught about what leadership looks like. She teaches us that daring leadership requires courage and there is no courage without vulnerability. Dare to Lead challenged me to be a better leader and a better human, and I continue exploring these learnings with Brené and many of this world’s most influential leaders on the Dare to Lead podcast.”

– Emily Singer, Senior Director of Brand and Communications


9. Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson

“A really motivating read demonstrating the importance of shifting your mindset from ‘not possible’ or ‘never been done’ into something more solution-focused. I loved this book not just because it inspired me during my previous entrepreneurial pursuits — but because it taught me to view everyday challenges as opportunities for greater efficiency, impact, and revenue.”

– Ronan Bray, Head of Marketing, APAC


All About Psychology

10. Influence by Robert Cialdini

“Everyone told me this book was a game-changer. So a few years ago, I picked up a copy, but to be honest, I was still skeptical if it would really change the game that much for me. (Spoiler alert: It did.) The funny thing is, once you read about Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influence, you start to notice them…everywhere. Reading this book will make you a better marketer. Period.”

– Molly Sloan, Manager of Content Marketing


11. Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

“While the premise of this book is negotiation tactics, its lessons can be applied to a wide range of scenarios — from career and salary conversations, closing sales deals, and (for the marketers out there) creating copy that is compelling and persuasive.”

– Gauri Iyengar, Senior Product Education Marketing Manager


12. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

“I read this book in my Sociology of Mass Media and Popular Culture class in college. It forced me to think critically about the way I interact with technology and the barriers, or lack thereof, between technology and human interaction. Now that I’m in the B2B space, this book often comes to mind as we’re bridging the gap between humans and technology at Drift.”

– Elizabeth Hilfrank, Content Marketing Manager


13. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

“My first high school English class kicked off with the teacher holding his index finger to the sky and loudly proclaiming that ‘everything is an argument.’ To that point, I figured I’d better be good at arguments. I picked up this book last year and have read it twice. The author, a former FBI hostage negotiator, shares his approach to negotiation and offers practical use cases, all backed by behavioral science and empathy.”

– Ruth Corson, Senior Website Manager


14. Contagious by Jonah Berger

“Today’s buyers actively avoid being sold to. And the digital noise in today’s B2B marketplace means that the currency in the attention economy has never been more expensive. I love this book because Jonah Berger has broken down exactly what makes people pay attention to brands and (hopefully) fall in love with them. There’s science, inspiration for days, and some surly pandas for good measure.”

– Justin Keller, VP of Revenue Marketing


All About Personal Growth and Development

15. Deep Work by Cal Newport

“This book had an impact on how I schedule my workday, and it was so well-written that I finished it in one sitting. In a world full of various inputs, this book reinforced my understanding of the growing importance and rarity of ‘deep work’ — the ability to focus without distraction on a demanding task. Newport gives non-cliche insights and data to show you actionable ways to implement deep work to drastically improve results.”

– Evann Flinchum, Digital Marketing Manager


16. How to Be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise

“This book is a perfect (no pun intended) guide for getting out of your own head and becoming more productive and fearless — not just in your job, but in living a more creative, confident, and happy life! I love how it explains the freedom of imperfection while sprinkling in some cheeky commentary and cool stats too.”

– Delaney Adams, Content Marketing Associate


17. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

“I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely mortal. Oliver Burkeman’s take on time management is all about that — accepting that, realistically, we’ll never have enough time to do everything we want to do. And if that sounds like an existential crisis in the making, don’t worry. This book will have you walking away with a fresh outlook on time and the ways we really should be spending it.”

– Minako Ogita, Editorial Intern


18. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

“A past manager gifted me The Compound Effect and I’m forever grateful. This book teaches one of the most important lessons in life: What you do daily (or don’t) will compound to make a HUGE impact on your future. Picking up this book and implementing daily actions to achieve your goals will improve everything from your health to your career.”

– Jen Lo, Campaign Operations and Technology Manager


19. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

“Daring Greatly can show you how to be a better marketer or creative. It argues that vulnerability is the path towards innovation, creativity, and connection. And as a writer, I couldn’t agree more. Vulnerability (in a safe space) allows your team to think outside the box, come up with the best ideas, and create messaging that truly resonates with your audience. A lot of businesses get nervous about showing up this way, but I find it’s that humanness that creates meaningful experiences and makes your brand memorable in the long run.”

– Diane Garcia, Copywriter


20. Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani

“I love this book because it changed the way I view failure and imperfection. It provides insights into breaking social and gender norms around women — be it in the workplace, at home, or anywhere in between — while also pushing you to lean into failure and rejection. Overall, it is a very powerful message about claiming your voice, taking risks, making bravery a habit, and ultimately living a joyful life.”

– Roshni Patel, Senior Social Media Manager


And we can’t resist, so here’s one more 👇

Get the Drift Conversational Marketing book.