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Books To Read If You’re A Marketing Student

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdin

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

In Influence, Dr Robert Cialdini, a seminal expert in influence and persuasion, explains the psychological reasons behind why it is that people say “yes” and how to influence others, applying these understandings to a business environment. Cialdini uses case studies to support his arguments and he writes in a witty and informative style. Anyone doing a masters in marketing or anyone who is interested in the psychology behind persuasion would enjoy this book.

How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B. Holt

How Brands Become Icons

If you’ve ever wondered how it is that iconic brands like Coca – Cola, Harley Davidson, Nike and Budweiser are created, then you should read this book. In How Brands Become Icons, Douglas Holt, an associate professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, argues that icons do not build their brands through traditional branding strategies such as focusing on benefits, brand personalities and emotional relationships, but instead use a set of “cultural branding” principles.

Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz

Pour Your Heart Into It


Recommended by Harvard University’s reading list, Pour Your Heart Into It is Starbucks’s chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, recounting how he and his team grew Starbucks from 11 small Seattle, WA based stores to almost 30,000 stores worldwide, and as a result created the nationwide business phenomenon we know today.

To facilitate its growth, Starbucks relied on innovative marketing strategies and building a brand that employees and customers will want to be a part of, which Schultz explains throughout. Schultz explains that one of the main challenges faced by the company was having to educate customers about the joys of high-quality coffee (as the coffee shop boom had not yet occurred in America). This required careful targeting marketing techniques, which (spoiler) Starbucks handled remarkably well!

However, despite the prosperity of its marketing strategies, Schultz generally credits Starbucks’ success to the firm’s investment in high quality – investing in both high quality product and people over any other aspect. If you’re a marketing student looking for an interesting read about one of the most successful companies in the world (especially if you’re a coffee lover), then this is the book for you.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Scott, 2017

The New Rules of Marketing and PR


An international bestseller, with more than 300,000 copies sold in over 25 languages, The New Rules of Marketing and PR has been described as ‘the benchmark guide’ to marketing and PR. Using case studies and real-world examples about content marketing and inbound marketing success, Scott shows how companies are using modern marketing tools such as social media to achieve success.

He explains how the media landscape has changed and how to use different online tools to target buyers. This book was first published in 2013, and later updated in 2017 but even so, some of the ‘new’ techniques he describes are no longer new. Nevertheless, as one critic states, ‘Scott still provides a good basis of presence, marketing and influence on the internet in one place’ and as many other books are finding; the fast paced evolution of social media means that it’s practically impossible to keep a book updated with all of constant developments that social media platforms bring. Overall an interesting read for any marketing student!

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