One of the best ways to follow current trends, learn new techniques, and retain a sense of humor about marketing is reading books on the subject. With a just quick search, you’ll find that the marketing book genre is home to hundreds of educational and entertaining reads by insightful and witty authors.

Marketer Douglas Burdett, who spent his early career in the advertising scene on Madison Avenue, set out to catalog the best of the marketing book genre — and interview some of its brightest authors — when he launched The Marketing Book Podcast four years ago. Since then, he’s produced 200 episodes featuring top marketing authors and thought leaders.

We recently invited Douglas to guest star on our own podcast, The Marketing Cloudcast. Here are three of his recommendations for recently-published marketing reads, and what you can learn from them:

1. When designing customer experiences, always ask Would You Do That to Your Mother?

As marketers, one of our primary responsibilities is designing excellent customer experiences. While data and behavioral metrics can help us measure what customers are looking for, author and customer experience pioneer Jeanne Bliss posits that the ultimate benchmark for marketing decisions should always be the question “would you do that to you mother?” With a five-step guide, she shows how “Make Mom Proud” companies consistently outperform the competition.


Sometimes the most customer-focused marketing solutions are simpler than we first imagine. As Douglas says, you’ve got to “try and think empathetically about the experience a customer has with your company.” It’s important to remember that customers aren’t just numbers on monthly quotas and quarterly reports. They’re real people, like you and me — and our mothers.  


2. Find out how to inspire word-of-mouth with Talk Triggers

According to Douglas, the newest book from marketing guru author Jay Baer, co-written with Daniel Lemin, is “brilliant, well-researched, and a joy to read.” It’s a definitive guide to marketing for maximum customer word-of-mouth, which is estimated to directly account for 19% of all purchases… and influence 90%.

The key to triggering customer talk is differentiation. People share experiences that stand out to them. As marketers, we need to dare to be different from the competition in ways that positively engage our customers and inspire them to share their experiences. Give your customers something so great, they can’t keep themselves from talking about it.

3. Is it really The End of Advertising?

In his recent book, author and “recovering Mad Man” Andrew Essex highlights many of the advertising channels that no longer work (just like the first advertising channel, cave painting, no longer works) and envisions a future for brands beyond advertising as we currently know it. In Douglas’ view, “it was just such an interesting look at how our whole world has changed, and how the stranglehold that traditional media had as a gatekeeper is a shadow of its former self.”

The supposed “end of advertising” has been trumpeted about for years. The truth is that there will never be a real end to advertising — there will only be the continued evolution of advertising. That’s why the marketing cliché about our constantly changing industry is so true, and why it’s so important for marketers to keep pace with big changes as they arrive. Luckily, books can help us do just that.


Books help us keep pace with industry changes

From common-sense customer experience design, to word-of-mouth marketing inspiration, to preparing for the future of marketing — and beyond — there’s always so much to be learned from taking time to read a book. We’re glad Douglas Burdett created a podcast dedicated to exploring career enhancing books, helping marketers blaze their own trails.!


To hear about some of Douglas’ other favorite marketing books tune in to the Marketing Cloudcast podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play MusicStitcher — or, really, wherever you listen to podcasts



If you have another interesting topic that you’d like us to cover on the Marketing Cloudcast, let us know! Email your suggestions to