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12 months.. 12 books.. that changed my perception about Marketing and Strategy in 2017

By September 18, 2018 No Comments

I have started this year 2017 with a simple idea. To buy one book related to Marketing & Strategy at the beginning of every month and to complete it by the month end (kind of reading diet). These are those 12 books..

January – 80/20 principle (by Richard Koch)

A book that teaches about how minor causes create big effects in the business, career and life. It helped me to realise most of things are ‘trivial’ and ‘the most vital’ are really few. If we focus on the later, we can create huge results with little effort (leverage).

February – Eating the Big Fish (by Adam Morgan)

This book is all about how challenger brands can compete against brand leaders. The author Adam Morgan offers Eight Credos of successful challenger brands in this book.

March – Good Strategy Bad Strategy (by Richard Rumelt)

Strategy is the most misused word in the business. Executives often confuse tactics with strategy. In this book, the author dissects good and bad strategy with various case studies (Walmart, Apple & IBM) and offers a 3-part framework for a Good Strategy (The Diagnosis — The Guiding Policy — Coherent Action). This mental model will definitely help the reader to strategize effectively.

April – Change by Design (by Tim Brown)

Written by Tim Brown, the CEO of the world famous design firm Ideo this book will help marketers to become better Design thinkers. I have learnt how to keep users at the centre of any strategy for it to become successful. Some thinking models like ‘analysis – synthesis’ and ‘convergent – divergent’ were brilliant. It’s a useful read to shape up our design thinking capabilities.

May – Thinking Fast and Slow (by Daniel Kahneman)

As a Strategic Marketer, I believe understanding how the human mind works is critical and this book by Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American psychologist known for his work on the psychology of human judgement and decision making as well as behavioural economics (for which he was awarded Noble Prize in 2002) has separated the functioning of human mind as System 1 (which will think fast and make quick decisions) and System 2 (which will think and take slow decision).

June – Linchpin (by Seth Godin)

Linchpin is a must-read for everyone who wants to become indispensable in whatever they do. Seth Godin, my favourite author has offered some path-breaking ideas which will help any individual to come out of the cog and make a meaning difference in his career and profession.

July – David & Goliath (by Malcolm Gladwell)

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than they should? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In this book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating journey to uncover the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power better the small and the mighty. For one who believes they have fewer resources and want some fresh ideas on how to conquer fear, this is a wonderful piece.

August – The Ultimate Question (by Fred Reichheld)

For a marketer like me, who believes customers have to be kept at the centre of any business this book is a game-changer. This book is all about ‘Net Promoter System’ – a framework developed by Fred Riechheld which will help brands to ask a simple yet powerful question to check the customer delight level (Would you recommend us to a friend?). By asking this question, we can identify detractors (who tarnish the firm’s reputation and readily switch to competitors) and promoters (who strength the company with positive word of mouth and help generate profitable, sustainable growth). Some interesting case studies from Charles Schwab & Apple were really useful.

September – Good to Great (by Jim Collins)

This is a CEO stuff which I read to become a better leader. This book is written by Jim Collins, a business consultant after a rigorous research for around 5 years and studying more than 100 companies. The book will help us to understand why some companies make the leap and other don’t.  One of the most powerful strategies used by the Great Companies ‘The Hedgehog Concept’ is an eye-opener.

This concept asks companies to operate within these three-circles (1) What you can be the best in the world at 2) What drives your economic engine 3) What you are deeply passionate about) The intersection of all three circles and the fanatic adherence to operate within these circles takes a normal company to a great one.

October – All Marketers tell stories (by Seth Godin)

This is another Seth Godin book I read this year. This classic explains how marketing really works and why authenticity in story telling is the best marketing of all. Some of the ideas in this book – It’s not just the facts but an authentic story will make a difference in the marketplace. People don’t just buy products or services. They buy stories which resonate with their worldview.

November – Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords (by Perry Marshall)

In the digital world, if we want to reach our target market quickly and cost-effectively, look no further than Google Adwords. From this best-selling book on Google Advertising, I have learnt how to effectively do Market research using Google keyword tool, Campaign strategy in Google’s Display, Search and YouTube platforms. As a marketer, I have learnt how to do test marketing to gather customer insights before spending huge amount of money in mass media.

December – The Star Principle (by Richard Koch)

This is the final book of the year which I have completed just today. Richard Koch, an ex Partner of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has offered practical steps to create a Star Business. Want to know what a star business is? A Company which operates in a high growth market and is a leader in its niche. A good-read if you want to create a winning brand which gives huge profits for your investment.


This reading experience was great and it’s kind of living with these great authors (mental simulation) the entire year. I deeply thank all of them from my heart for their brilliant piece of work.

Here is what I’m planning to do now. I offer a ‘sharing-session’ where I am willing to share 12 powerful concepts which I have encapsulated from these books and how to apply it practically to solve everyday business challenges.

Talk to me, if you are interested.

Rajesh Srinivasan