Best Reads in 2011

Stressed and reading a book

Best Books of 2011

As an educator and consultant in social & integrated marketing, I love to read books to keep up & for use in my social & integrated marketing classes at Northwestern.  The following are some of the best books I read last year.  Several are – in my opinion – “must reads” for marketers who are involved or considering developing social marketing programs in the near future.  

Here are some of the best books of 2011.  I have included a link to if you want to purchase an electronic or paper copy.  Best books include:

1.  Groundswell – Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff  Amazon link  This is one of the best books exploring the transformation resulting from social media and social networks.  It is a great first book to begin understanding the marketing and business potential of social media.  It shows you how to monitor & interact with social communities.  A “must read” book.

2.  The New Rules of Marketing &PR – David Meerman Scott   Amazon link  This is a book I use in the social marketing classes as it covers how to create blog and social content which is interesting, engaging and effective.  For companies using social media for press releases, business blogs, video, and viral marketing, this is also a “must read” book.  My students really like it.

3.  Reality is Broken – Jane McGonigal   Amazon link  Gamification or game theory is playing a bigger and bigger role in the creation of community focused website for an integrated social marketing program.  This book is an excellent primer on game applications in the social world.  I have listened to Jane in TED presentations and she is right on target.  This is another “must read” for today’s marketer.

4.  Gamification by Design – abe Zichermann & Christopher Cunningham  Amazon link   This is another good book on game theory and gamification,  It is much deeper than Jane’s but is still a good read for a marketer wanting to learn more about how gamification might work for your website or social marketing program.

5.  Social Media ROI – Olivier Blanchard   Amazon link   This is a bit academic but a useful read if you are wondering about social media tracking.  Not really social marketing as we define it at Northwestern but it does present a decent overview of the challenges of applying ROI to social media.  An interesting read.

6.  Social Media Marketing – An Hour a Day – Dave Evans   Amazon link   OK, its not a book published in 2011 but I am a slow reader!  Actually, it is a book we use in class and is a great primer on how to being doing some forms of marketing using social media.  A useful read – especially if you are a marketer new to social media.

7.  Media:  From Chaos to Clarity – Judy Franks  Book link  Judy and I have been friends and colleagues for a number of years at Northwestern.  She is a media and creative guru who consults and educates companies on media and PR.  Her book explores how to use the “tried and true” media approaches and adapt them to the social & electronic ages.  It is great “must read”

These are my best reads of 2011.  Now I am preparing to being reading some of the book recommendations of Joey StrawnMark Schaefer, and other marketer / bloggers I follow to keep up


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Randy Hlavac
Randy Hlavac is a marketing futurist who – since 1990 – has worked to integrate new technologies into the marketing strategies & tactics of B2B and B2C companies.

December 2011
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