10 Awesome Marketing Books You Need To Read

What makes copy effective?

That really depends on who you ask. There are a ton of different approaches you can take, especially considering the diversity of brands out there. Some marketers stick strictly to one proven strategy for writing copy, while others experiment and refine their styles over time.

Thanks to the advent of the Internet, these approaches are even more varied. Digital advertising has transformed the way we reach out to customers and track statistics, making it easier than ever to see how people interact with and react to our writing.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t certain rules to follow, however.

Marketing in various forms has been around since ancient times, and there exist core principles that were as true back then as they are today. These truths govern how effective your writing will be, regardless of what brand or platform is involved. 

The books listed below detail these principles, revealing what they are and how they determine the success of a campaign. They go in depth on the strategies and tactics you can use to make your next campaign even more successful.

1. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

Known as the ‘Father of Advertising’, David Ogilvy’s impact on the marketing industry was immense. He pioneered various marketing concepts still in use today, and his 1963 classic Confessions of an Advertising Man remains required reading in many marketing classes.

The book condenses Ogilvy's concepts of leadership, management, copywriting, and advertising into an easy-to-follow guide. Written as though the entire text were advertising copy, the book is broken into eleven sections:

  1. How to Manage an Advertising Agency
  2. How to Get Clients
  3. How to Keep Clients
  4. How to be a Good Client
  5. How to Build Great Campaigns
  6. How to Write Potent Copy
  7. How to Illustrate Advertisements and Posters
  8. How to Make Good Television Commercials
  9. How to Make Good Campaigns for Food Products, Tourist Destinations and Proprietary Medicines
  10.  How to Rise to the Top of the Tree
  11.  Should Advertising Be Abolished?

Each section looks at a different aspect of marketing, clearly and concisely explaining the best approach to it.

Despite its age, the insights it offers are applicable to writing even now. If you were looking for something more specific to digital marketing, however, you may want to try another book in our list.

2. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Donald Miller is the creator of the StoryBrand Framework, a seven-part copywriting framework built on the principles of storytelling. Building a Story Brand lays out this framework, detailing each step while exploring the impact it has on the reader.

The structure is as follows:

A Character → Has a Problem → But Meets a Guide → Who Gives Them a Plan → And Calls Them to Action → That Ends in Success / That Helps Them Avoid Failure

Miller argues that humans are hardwired to engage with stories. By using storytelling in your copy, your copy becomes far more memorable and engaging than it would otherwise be.

Miller also focuses on the importance of clarity. For example, he argues that your website should be able to pass the ‘Grunt Test’ - meaning that if you showed it to a caveman, the caveman should be able to ‘grunt’ what your business does just by looking at the homepage.

3. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

In this guide to digital communication, Handley explains how to effectively convey a message to an online audience.

Focusing on content creation, production, and publishing, she gives practical advice and insights for getting results, no matter if you’re a small business owner or a copywriter for a multinational company.

Subjects she covers include:

  • Voice and tone
  • Research and citations
  • Writing for different platforms (e.g. social media, emails, landing pages)
  • Making use of hashtags
  • Grammar and spelling

If writing for an online audience is an important part of your job role, Everybody Writes is a must read.


The three books above are fantastic guides for improving your marketing skills, but there are a ton of other great copywriting books out there. Others include Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz and The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman.

Make sure to search around and find a book best suited to you, so you can keep taking your copywriting skills to the next level!

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UKB Marketing specialises in building results-driven marketing campaigns that convert and engage with your target audience, leading to increased revenue.