Improving skills in product marketing requires effort in many areas of social relationships: influencing, persuading, and attracting potential customers while keeping up with the industry trends of the target market.
Thus, nobody can deny the fact that product managers have a lot on their plate regarding digital marketing—and they have to improve constantly to drive business success in the long run.
From creating product roadmaps to finding target customers, this list will provide you with some of the best business books for product marketing managers to read on self-improvement and the best marketing strategies.
Before moving on to the list of books written by the industry experts, make sure to check other lists we prepared in 2022 for product marketing managers: must-have tools for product marketing managers, product marketing metrics and KPIs to keep an eye on, and really cool product marketing strategies that might inspire you on the way.
1. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself by Wes Bush
Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, written by a marketing veteran and current principal of the Product-Led Institute Wes Bush, is a must-read for every product marketing manager.
What Bush aims with this book is to help readers find a path towards showing the real value of your product meanwhile trying to enforce the idea of product-led growth as much as possible.
Throughout the book, Bush challenges the traditional approach to marketing where the growth of a product is in the hands of an expensive sales team and gives solid answers to this question: How to build a product that sells itself?
Touching upon subjects like viability, customer lifetime value, and go-to-market strategy, the topics discussed in the book offer lessons of great value that could change the entire marketing strategy of any company that ultimately aims big.
2. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout
This book by Al Ries and Jack Trout is no doubt one of the essentials of marketing. It is revolutionary in the sense that it leaves the traditional ways of advertising altogether and turns to a whole new technique.
In this book, Ries and Trout focus on some case studies from many successful companies. Even though the book was initially released in 2001, before the current digital developments of our time, it is still considered a classic when it comes to product positioning and messaging.
Divided into chapters, this book knows how to sell concepts regarding communication, such as positioning, mind, society, and message. Simplifying each concept by bringing marketing mix into it as well, this business guide swears to raise successful candidates who will be able to put theory into practice with the information and idea they gather.
3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Many people argue that Influence is the most important marketing book ever written. As the guru of social influence, Robert B. Cialdini talks about six actionable steps of influence: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. After enlightening readers on these steps, it promotes practical application on using them to become a good marketer.
New York Times bestseller, this book helps you revise the basics of persuasion and create better direct communication with your target audience, which is a really important matter for digital marketing managers. Thus, trusting Cialdini’s experience of 35 years and learning from his actions would definitely be a good course of action to bring any product to market.
4. Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore
Another must-read for product marketing managers who try to improve themselves to the best before deciding who their target audience is. In this revised book, which was initially released in 1991, Geoffrey A. Moore contributes to the idea of creating a market strategy, product positioning, and, most importantly, segmentation.
Despite being written more than 25 years ago, Moore’s work, which is a part of Collins Business Essentials, is still valid today. Besides, the updated version keeps up with the new content in the marketing world from A to Z since it includes several examples in order to display the successes and failures that took place in the industry.
Give this one a chance if you want to explore the nature of digital products, especially high-tech products!
5. Four Steps to Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win by Steve Blank
Using customer development methodology, the book provides valuable information for product marketing managers. It is a clear guide that is based on a Lean Startup approach.
Using customer development methodology in four steps, the book provides valuable information for product marketing managers. It is a clear guide that is based on a Lean Startup approach—actually, it is one of the books that started it.
The fact that Steve Blank, as an entrepreneur, spent more than thirty years in the field of technology forms the basis for the book. He shares his experiences and gives many good and bad strategical examples.
Discussing the concepts such as rapid iteration, testing your assumptions, and customer feedback, The Four Steps to Epiphany is well worth the read. Just like his articles that are regularly published in Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
6. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink
This impressive book by Daniel H. Pink challenges your perspective on sales. To be a good marketer, you should persuade yourself to buy your product first. While achieving this self-persuasion, To Sell is Human teaches product marketers how to understand the other party’s perspective with three rules only.
It also teaches how to frame your message more clearly and persuasively. This book is full of practical tips and shares quite interesting ideas about marketing and sales along with the six successors that play an important role in the elevator pitch. In other words, this book will change your perspective both as a customer of other products and manager to your own product, helping you gain a whole new understanding of product strategy and marketing campaigns.
7. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
As we know, storytelling is an essential part of product marketing; Chip Heath and Dan Heath work on this topic in this bestselling book. They aim to give the idea of creating a story that distinguishes your product from the others, which would constitute a solid foundation for your next marketing campaign.
They explore curiosity gaps and how they can be used in storytelling for marketing. Made to Stick is a useful guide for finding convincing narratives for your product marketing plans—involving crucial insight regarding profitable ideas with success stories and failures makes this book a key marketing book for sure.
8. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products is one of the books that are highly recommended to understand how some brands get their users hooked. For product marketing managers, it is quite significant to discover the value of your product and how customers distinguish value from the others.
Nir Eyal, in this book, gives great examples from recent products like iPhone, Twitter, and Pinterest. He teaches his four-step process that product marketing managers can use to drive demand and form stronger and healthier relationships with their customers.
One of the best business books of the year according to Goodreads’ readers, this product marketing book is an essential one to boost customer engagement and expand your market share.
Product marketing is an area of work that one has to put much energy and effort into.
Thus, it calls for a never-ending improvement process that will drive business as well.
In this article, you can find the books to help you with that.
Best of luck in advance!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a Product Marketing Manager?
A PMM is a person in charge of efficiently transferring the value proposition of a product to the audiences through successful marketing. Bringing a product to market, finding a successful product strategy, improving the overall marketing strategy, taking care of product positioning, and performing marketing analysis are just a few tasks that they are responsible for.
Why is Product Marketing Management important?
Product marketing management is important because in order to build a bond between your intended audience and step-up your marketing game, you need to excel at that concept. No matter how good your product management is, if you cannot put on a good show in terms of product marketing, then you will not receive an equal outcome that matches your effort.
How can I learn Product Marketing Management?
Basic marketing knowledge is not sufficient to become a PMM; you also need to have plenty of knowledge of product and product marketing management through courses and books. Thus, you might first start by reading beginner-friendly books and enroll in beginner-level courses to build a foundation. Then, you can read the list above; get more skillful and versed by working in the product marketing industry.