The Marketing Books that drive the Flock Team to Better Integration


We have put together for you a list of marketing books that have inspired individual team members of Flock that we would like to recommend to you. While these books are not strictly about marketing integration, they represent the different minds at Flock and show where we get the ideas that drive us to deliver better integration and effectiveness.

So if you are looking for something to read these days, here are our suggestions:

Perfect Pitch – by Jon Steele

The art of selling ideas and win business, this is not only a marketing book. It was written by a marketer but is applicable across any industry or business. My favourite part of the book was the detailed story of how London pitched to the International Olympic Committee to secure the London 2012 Olympic Games. London was not the favourite city going into the process but through having a sound idea, a perfect plan and the right people in the room with the right amount of emotions in the message, London won the jury’s votes. Every single word of the presentation was planned, debated, added, deleted, rehearsed and rehearsed again, for several years… to be absolutely spot on on the day. And it worked… it was a “perfect pitch”. It goes to show how much planning, integration and preparation goes into the best work. Nothing should ever be left to luck.

Recommended by: Katarina Nielsen

Smart Swarm – by Peter Miller

Nature has solved just about every conceivable problem. How do ants find food? How do birds protect themselves from Falcons? Smart Swarm looks at how crowds of insects and animals work, and how they are relevant to helping us solving business issues today. Flock is called Flock because we behave like one, and we use some of the learning from nature to inspire our integrated marketing solutions. This is a great book for people who have an enquiring mind and want their organisations to be more agile, more nimble and ultimately more effective.

Recommended by: Simon Francis

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works – by A. G. Lafley & Roger L. Martin

At a time when many executives would synonymise strategy with financial planning, or creation of yearly goals, Lafley and Martin remind us that strategy boils down to two questions: ‘where to play?’ and ‘how to win?’ and then making specific choices. In Martin and Lafley’s words:

“A strategy is a coordinated and integrated set of where-to-play, how-to-win, core capability, and management system choices that uniquely meet a customer’s needs…it is only through making and acting on choices that you can win. Yes, clear, tough choices force your hand and confine you to a path. But they also free you to focus on what matters.”

Recommended by: Antonio Silano

A Technique for Producing Ideas – by James Webb Young

I love this book because it is timeless wisdom. This is a read that I would not only recommend for those seeking a creative mind, but anyone interested in the creative process. The book is short, only about 50 pages, but it gets straight to the point. Creativity and producing ideas is not a matter of luck or only for the said ‘creative minds’ but instead a process, a ‘technique’ (as the title suggests), that anyone can develop.

Another book that I also have to mention is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk, which I have most recently read and it is a great guide into Social Media Marketing Strategies and achieving better connectivity.

Recommended by: Giovanna Bellemo

Joseph Jaffe – complete work.

Complete works (all four books) as they form a perfect quartet that helps you evolve your thinking. Joseph evolved my thinking greatly. In fact, so much so that we wrote one book together. The books are:

  • Life After the 30 Second Spot: describes the death of the traditional TV-centric media model. He did so in 2005!
  • Join the Conversation: lays out how a new digital and social marketing economy will replace the old one-way mass media marketing economy. And he did so in 2007, a year after FB opened to the public!
  • Flip the Funnel: creating a model whereby paying more attention to your existing customers will pay dividend to brand growth and brand health, a rallying cry for marketers to move beyond “acquisition as strategy”.
  • Z.E.R.O., zero paid media as the new marketing model: written with me and published last year, it brings together all the thinking from the three books into the evolved new marketing economy with a 10 point action plan.

Recommended by: Maarten Albarda

The Tipping Point – by Malcolm Gladwell

My recent read of ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell, has provided me with a unique perception of the world of marketing. The book outlines the influence of three agents; the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context, on the moment an idea or trend crosses that threshold and spreads like wildfire. Through various examples Malcolm conveys how little things make a big difference; a statement that I believe should be at the forefront of marketers’ minds, when deciding a strategy to spread the word of a brand. If you are wondering why those new shoes are being worn on the other side of the world, or why, alternatively, they are not, why not read this book, it will give you a new insight on that vital ‘tipping point’.

Recommended by: Evangelina Hogan

Further Mentions:

Grouped – by Paul Adams

Mandatory reading for all marketers that are using social media to connect with their consumers. Especially chapter 5 called “The myth of the influentials” is awesome. Paul first worked at Google, then at Facebook and now at Intercom.

The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars – by Joël Glenn Brenner

As a true chocoholic, I had to read this book. The history of the chocolate business is amazing, and much (much!) weirder than Coke vs. Pepsi.

The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, & the Network Battle for the Night – by Bill Carter

Written in 1994, it gives a great inside look at the business that is (late night) US TV. Think “crazy”, then add 100% and you have this bit of TV history.

Flash Boys – by Michael Lewis

A very recent book that describes the flawed world of high finance run by algorithms (spoiler alert: everyone in the game makes money, you – the consumer – will make the least!). It is a fascinating insight as to what the future of media buying might look like in 3 to 5 years.

One to One Field Book – by Don Peppers & Martha Rogers PhD.

I frequently use or refer to this book when developing and implementing CRM transformation strategies. It is my handbook and helps remind me not to lose focus; by highlighting key issues that frequently get overlooked by the detail of day-to-day operational complexities.

Buyology: How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy is Wrong – by Martin Lindstrom

Courtesy of Amazon: “…Martin Lindstrom’s ground-breaking study of what really makes consumers tick. Convinced that there is a gulf between what we believe influences us and what actually does, he set up a highly ambitious research project that employed the very latest in brain-scanning technology (neuroscience) and called on the services of some 2000 volunteers. Buyology shares the fruits of this research, revealing for the first time what actually goes on inside our heads when we see an advertisement, hear a marketing slogan, taste two rival brands of drink, or watch a programme sponsored by a major company. The conclusions are both startling and ground-breaking, showing the extent to which we deceive ourselves when we think we are making considered decisions, and revealing factors as varied as childhood memories and religious belief that come together to influence our decisions and shape our tastes.

Now we would like to hear from you. Tell us what book would you recommend to us? Or send us a tweet to let us know if you agree with our list.

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