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

What gift do you get for the marketer who has everything – and more time on their hands than they know what to do with?

BOOKS 📚

At Drift, we’re big readers and we’re constantly swapping book recommendations over Zoom and Slack.

We’ve published book recommendations before – from our CEO and from our senior leadership team. But this time? We’ve crowd-sourced the list from Drift’s own marketing team.

Our top reads fall into these four categories:

Now keep scrolling to see the 20 must-read books taking up prime real estate on our bookshelves (and that you should add to your holiday shopping cart) 🤓

All About Marketing

1. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

“I love this book for a lot of reasons. First, Ann’s hilarious and encouraging. Second, she understands what compelling copy looks like today and how anyone, really, can be a great storyteller. There’s no elitist club stopping you. Finally, when it comes to sharing role models in copywriting, lists often feel like a boy’s club. Which is ridiculous considering 90% of the content marketers I know are women.”

– Sarah Frazier, Senior Content Marketing Manager

2. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

“Shamefully, this has been gathering dust on my bookshelf for over a year. And this holiday season is finally the time I plan to read it. The internet has changed how we speak and interact. Emojis are ubiquitous, so is shorthand and slang in even B2B marketing. I’m hopeful this book provides me with a better understanding of the new language of the internet, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.”

– Gail Axelrod, Director of Content Marketing

3. Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative 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 Partner Marketer

4. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative 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

5. Junior: Writing Your Way Ahead in Advertising by Thomas Kemeny

“This book is inspiring and actionable. The author is not an ad executive but is actually pretty junior as the title suggests. He shares actionable tips and insights on what makes great copywriting, why it works, and how it works.”

– Pat Timmons, Social Media Associate

6. 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, Senior Front End Designer

All About Leadership

7. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg Mckeown

“This book completely changed my mindset as a manager. It compares and contrasts two types of leaders – multipliers and diminishers. Multipliers access the talent within those around them and enable them to perform at a higher level. Diminishers focus on their own abilities and maintaining control over everything. You can guess which one makes the better manager. This quote sums it up nicely, ‘multipliers aren’t “feel-good” managers. They look into people and find capability, and they want to access all of it. They utilize people to their fullest. They see a lot, so they expect a lot.’”

– Molly Clarke, Head of Digital Marketing

8. Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need by Todd Henry

“I’ve always thought that managing a ‘creative’ team is different from how one might manage another kind of team. Todd provides an excellent template for how to lead – without constraining the naturally expansive and inventive urge that drives a truly creative team.”

– Matt Guemple, Creative Director

9. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

“I’ve had this on my list for months and finally started listening to it as an audiobook. Annie Duke is a professional poker player who talks about how to apply that type of critical thinking (about luck vs. strategy) in work and life. I find myself coming back to specific ideas in the book and thinking about how I can make a decision from an odds perspective instead of basing it off emotions.”

– Lacey Berrien, Head of Communications

10. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

“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 be more open and work together to build a stronger team.”

– Caitlin Seele, Digital Marketing Manager

11. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

“I struggled early on in my career with feedback – it was always very earth-shattering for me, but I knew getting better at receiving was essential to my growth. One of my favorite pieces of advice that the book gives is ‘breathing through feedback,’ and I remember reading that specific part right before I went into a review with my manager. So when we started to dive into what I could improve on, I kept reminding myself to breathe. It was the first time I was able to really hear the feedback, process it, and then reply. This is a book I continue to go back to and continue to learn from.”

– Matilda Miglio, Senior Marketing Manager

All About Psychology

12. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion 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, Senior Content Marketing Manager

13. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in 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, Product Education Marketer

14. The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

“This book is specifically about personal finance but I think the lessons have broad applications (especially for marketers). One of my favorites is on leaving room for error – that the most important part of every plan is planning on your plan not going according to plan. Obviously, this is valuable from a planning/tactical perspective, but it also hits on the importance of understanding psychology and the way people think.”

– John DeWolf, Software Developer

15. Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other 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, Senior Marketing Associate, Video

16. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

“This book, co-authored by a business strategy professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, deconstructs the elements of stories or campaigns that make them memorable and viral. And, as you would hope, it’s fascinating and engaging. It’s like if Malcolm Gladwell was a marketing professor!”

– Jenna Crane, Principal Product Marketer

All About the Customer

17. Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days by Joey Coleman

“Joey Coleman’s thesis is spot on: ‘Across all industries, somewhere between 20%-70% of newly acquired customers will stop doing business with a company with the first 100 days of being a new customer because they feel neglected in the early stages of customer onboarding.’ He offers a ton of insight into how to improve the experience customers have during this timeframe, many coming from the B2C world. The book opened my eyes to how much more we can do to create better experiences for customers in B2B SaaS.”

– Julie Hogan, VP of Customer Experience

18. The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave 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, Content Marketing Manager

19. You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy

“I’m probably a little biased as someone who runs a Voice of Customer function…but I think that listening is one of the most underrated and underutilized skills in the workplace (and in life!). Sometimes as marketers we can get so focused on shaping the narrative and driving the conversation that we lose sight of the listening side of the equation. This book had a great mix of scientific proof, illustrative anecdotes, and practical advice that I’ve ended up applying in both business and personal relationships.”

– Alison Bandini, Head of Voice of the Customer

20. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning So Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It by April Dunford

Product marketing and positioning is a crucial skill for all marketers. This book is a tactical deep dive on how to do product positioning and messaging with real examples. It will explain how to find your product’s ‘secret sauce’ and then sell that sauce to those who crave it.”

– Mark Kilens, VP of Content & Community

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