My 13 Favorite Business Books of 2009

As 2009 comes to a close, I want to share my thirteen favorite biz books from this year that I found myself writing the most “Notes in the Back of the Book“, and stimulating the greatest new thinking and ideas. The list of books covers social media, marketing and new marketing models, and innovation and leadership. For reference, here are also business book favorites by Fast Company, Mashable, Amazon and The Brand Bubble (John Gerzema).

If you’re looking to better understand and excel in today’s social media and web 2.0 worlds, here are four: Inbound Marketing is a must for anyone who wants to be found online, and is especially helpful for anyone who is actively considering how to get started with inbound marketing. Written by the leaders of Hubspot, they know what they’re talking about. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can tap into the power of these networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is essential to building online reputations, those who traffic trust are “trust agents” and key people for any business.  Putting the Public Back into Public Relations shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations with traditional and new influencers, bringing the “public” back into public relations. Both are consistent thought leaders in the area of PR. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik begins to bring accountability to web 2.0 online programs with focus on customer- centered thinking and measurement, and builds upon his 2007 book.

Of course, to participate in our ever changing digital and social world, strategic marketing and a deep customer focus are still paramount.  How is marketing evolving? In Marketing with Meaning, Bob Gilbreath outlines the next evolutionary step in a progression following direct marketing and permission marketing. The book calls for the end of “push and sell” marketing in favor of adding value to customers’ lives. Excelling in marketing also starts with listening…In Listen First. Sell Later, Bob Poole outlines the benefits of listening FIRST. And to remind us about customer- centered marketing, I Love You More Than My Dog by Jeanne Bliss is a great read. Who can argue that companies like Lands End didn’t get it right early on? Continue reading

Ellen Hoenig Carlson’s Back of the Book Blog

After 18 years in the pharmaceutical and consumer health industries, I set up shop in 2001 and called it AdvanceMarketWoRx, working with clients to simplify the complexities of consumer and pharmaceutical marketing.

During my industry years, I’ve worked with the likes of Revlon to Bristol Myers Squibb, from consumer brand management in the US to global category development in Asia, to leading one of the pharmaceutical industry’s first Consumer/Patient Centers of Excellence (also known as Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) and Database Marketing).

At AdvanceMarketWoRx our challenge for each project is to find an elegant solution – the best way to use resources to achieve profitable growth.

Working on the third floor of an 1854 farm house my husband and I remodeled for our family, the first thing people usually say when they come up is ‘wow, pretty cool space’ – (it still has the original post and beam construction). The second thing they say is ‘Wow, you have a lot of books -how do you read all these?’

It’s true, books are everywhere and I have a problem throwing any away, even the bad ones. At the end of each summer, when I get back from vacation, our office manager, Loretta, has bought another book case in an attempt to reorganize them all.

Learning is a passion for AdvanceMarketWoRx (AMW) – it’s part of our ethos, and it’s at the heart of the freshness that drives our brands’ performance. When I read a book, I underline and write in the margins. When I get ideas as I’m reading, I write them down in the ‘back of the book’… the better the book, the more writing I do.

At AMW, we get excited when someone writes a good book. We’re energized by other peoples’ great thinking – it helps us to do more of our own, and to lead clients to do more. This blog celebrates our learning practices and all my notes in the ‘back of the book’. It invites you to think with us about how to best leverage marketing resources to navigate growth in an increasingly complex consumer world.

While we often focus on Healthcare, Over the Counter (OTC) and Pharmaceutical Marketing (including biopharma and life sciences), we’re always watching the best work in marketing elsewhere and invite you to explore that here as well.

Other members of the AdvanceMarketWoRx team may also contribute articles (Patti Kriger, Lisa Ruderman)

We look forward to learning with you.

Ellen