Read these 7 books by women in marketing
Happy Women’s History Month! Let’s celebrate by combining some of my top interests – girl bosses who are making their mark in marketing and books. Think the ad industry’s boys’ club was left behind with Don Draper and the ability to legally smoke Lucky Strikes in the office? Think again. Although there are some truly remarkable women in advertising, data as recent as 2016 showed that only 11 percent of the world’s creative directors were female. In the same study, a whopping 70 percent of female creatives reported working in a 75 percent male-dominant department. And, just last year, only 0.1 percent of major ad agencies in the U.S. were founded by women. Yikes.
As a woman in marketing, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never personally felt the divide. I once sat in a meeting where a web guy mansplained alphabetical order to me… a copy director with a master’s degree in writing. Another time, a (former) client commented on my “sunny disposition” and asked the other man in the room, “Is that why you keep her around?” It can get disheartening when the scale feels tipped in an unfair direction, but you know what always works for me? Women inspiring women. So back to the books, which in honor of Women’s History Month, will hopefully inspire a lot of men, too:
1. It’s a Good Time to Be a Girl
Woman behind the work: Helena Morrissey, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: Morrissey’s book is something of a response to Sheryl Sandberg’s best seller Lean In. A blend of memoir and self-help, this book essentially asks: instead of leaning into the patriarchal corporate system… why not change it? Why encourage a system that pays men more as a default? Why play a game that rewards traditionally masculine traits and punishes those that are traditionally feminine? Preach! Um, she’s also a CEO, entrepreneur and mother of nine, so yeah, I’m listening.
2. The Mobile Native’s Guide to Marketing
Woman behind the work: Aurelie Guerrieri, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: Penned by the founder and CEO of Akila One, a growth-scaling consultancy, and former Silicon Valley CMO, this book is jam-packed with practical tips and how-tos, case studies, and concrete examples. Read this if you want to stop thinking about mobile as a channel and start seeing it as the primary way consumers experience your brand and the biggest opportunity to monetize your strategy.
3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
Category: Content marketing
Woman behind the work: Ann Handley, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: A partner at MarketingProfs, a Content Marketing Institute hall of famer and a legit social media influencer with 420,000+ Twitter followers, Ann Handley is an genuine content marketing pioneer. Her best-selling book argues that everyone in marketing, by nature of the beast, is a writer and that the real differentiator is who can actually write. Read this for everything from grammar and best practices to empathy and inspiration. Also, she is funny as heck.
4. In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist's Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector
Woman behind the work: Jessica Hische, follow her on Instagram
Why you should read it: If you’re not comfortable drooling in front of other people, I suggest you read this book alone. Jessica Hische, San Francisco-based illustrator, hand-letterer and type designer, takes you “from pencil to vector,” divulging helpful process information, sharing details on tools, both analog and digital, and showcasing some of her own incredible work. Oops, do I sound like a fangirl? (#sorrynotsorry)
5. Make It Rain: How to Use the Media to Revolutionize Your Business & Brand
Category: Public Relations
Woman behind the work: Areva Martin, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: Social media is undoubtedly a must for today’s brands, but Areva Martin's book does an excellent job of reminding everyone why traditional media coverage is so important in terms of influence and awareness. She has a full arsenal of tips on choosing the right media venues, crafting killer pitches, leveraging trending topics, preparing awesome soundbites, oh, and amplifying your brand on social media, too. One more li’l thing, she’s also an award-winning civil rights attorney.
6. Beyond Sizzle: The Next Evolution of Branding
Woman behind the work: Mona Amodeo, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: This book really embraces the core truth that a brand isn’t a logo, tagline or color palette. Mona Amodeo, who just so happens to be the founder and president of Florida-based branding agency idgroup as well as a Ph.D. in Organization Development and Change, writes about building a brand from the inside out, i.e. nourishing your people as your best brand ambassadors. The perfect balance of seasoned professional and fresh thinker, she gives detailed advice on how to add substance and sustainability to your brand.
7. Female Innovators at Work: Women on Top of Tech
Woman behind the work: Danielle Newnham, follow her on Twitter
Why you should read it: What’s better than one woman in tech? Twenty-one women in tech. In all seriousness, the tech world is one of the most stereotypically male-dominant arenas in pretty much any profession, and women traditionally have had a difficult time rising up through the ranks. In this book, Danielle Newnham, a techie herself and founder of multiple online startups and communities, shares 20 candid interviews she conducted with women who have helped shape today’s tech industry.
Hefty reading list, eh? Now get to work! I expect full book reports before Women’s History Month is up… or, at least, an amazon cart full of awesomeness.
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