Powerful Lessons From One Of The Best Marketing Books I’ve Ever Read

Guys, I’ve read a ton of marketing books. You can see many of them on my personal reading list. Most of them are forgettable, but some contain powerful lessons that you can use to improve your marketing almost immediately. 

The best book for marketers that I’ve read in the last two years is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (affiliate link). In this article, I’m going to share five powerful lessons from this amazing book so you can take your marketing from good to great.

My Top 5 Marketing Books Of All Time (READ THESE NOW)
Key Takeaways
1. The importance of storytelling in marketing.
2. Strategies for effective lead generation.
3. Balancing online and offline marketing approaches.
4. Recognizing and addressing common marketing research mistakes.
5. Leveraging consumer insights for informed decision-making.
6. The role of open-ended questions in gathering valuable data.
7. Practical tips for successful marketing campaigns.
8. Understanding the impact of Super Bowl marketing.
9. Exploring alternative methods for marketing research.
10. Learning from mistakes and challenges in marketing research.

Have A Bias Toward Action

A bias toward action is important for many reasons. The most obvious one is that it helps you get things done. If you’re constantly waiting for perfect conditions, you’ll never do anything and I mean anything. 

Perfectionism has killed more dreams than failure ever could; it paralyzes people from taking any kind of the first step toward their goals so they can never even begin to go after them.

But there are other reasons why having this bias toward action is so important as well. First, if you don’t take action in the direction that feels right to you, then it’s likely that someone else will take over your business or market share and leave no room for growth or expansion (or worse). 

Second, by taking action now instead of waiting until some magical moment when everything seems perfect, not only will your product improve over time through iteration (i.e., making small changes based on feedback).

But also whatever idea came into existence as a result of taking action has already been born into the world before anyone else had time to steal it away from under your nose!

When delving into the world of marketing, it’s crucial to understand the different types of marketing research. These insights can greatly enrich your understanding and help you apply the lessons from the marketing book effectively.

Think Big

One of the best pieces of advice in the book is to think big, but start small. This can be applied to anything from your marketing campaigns to your personal goals and dreams. 

If you’re having trouble focusing on one thing at a time, this is one piece of advice that will help you organize your thoughts and set achievable goals.

Think about how far away your goal may seem right now, but also what’s in store once you’ve achieved it. 

When I was starting as an entrepreneur back in 2010, I had no idea how successful our business would get but when we hit our first million dollars in sales in 2012 (just 4 years later), it felt incredible! 

And then when we hit $10 million sales two years later…well let’s just say those achievements were pretty damn exciting too!

For us to achieve those big milestones though, I needed a plan for getting there, and thinking about my future as if it were already happening helped me stay focused on reaching my goals and avoiding distractions along the way (which was key).

Focus On Your Strengths And The Big Picture

One of the most important lessons from this book is that you need to focus on your strengths. Focus on what you’re good at, and then use that as a foundation for success. Don’t worry about the small stuff focus on the big picture instead.

I love being an entrepreneur, but it’s also a lot of work! I’ve had to learn how to let go of some things and accept that some things aren’t going according to plan. Most things don’t go according to plan! 

That’s why it’s important not to get bogged down in details or get caught up in worrying about small things that aren’t worth worrying about in the first place.

Instead of stressing out over every little thing that doesn’t seem right or isn’t working out perfectly, learn how best you can use your strengths (and other people).

So that when something goes wrong or breaks down, there’s always another way around it rather than just throwing up our hands and giving up because life isn’t perfect all the time – which is something we all know by now anyway 🙂

Exploring unconventional avenues for insights can be game-changing in the marketing world. Discover how savvy marketers leverage platforms like Reddit in predicting trends, as discussed in How Marketers Can Use Reddit to Predict What Will Become Popular Next.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Dumping What Isn’t Working

The only way to learn is by doing. Failure is a natural part of the process, and it’s important to be able to recognize what’s not working and change course before you throw in the towel. To win in marketing, you need to take risks and be willing to change your game when necessary. 

This means being willing (and able) to dump what isn’t working even if that means dumping something that has worked before.

Experiment Constantly

There’s nothing wrong with trying new things. There’s nothing wrong with failing on occasion. And there’s nothing wrong with getting it right once in a while, either. 

You may not know what will work until you try it, and then experiment some more, and don’t be afraid to change your mind when something else works better than the original plan.

Of course, every great marketing campaign starts with a good idea and plenty of planning but it can never hurt to try something new if it makes sense for your brand or business model. 

So feel free to experiment constantly it’s the best way to learn what works (and what doesn’t) for your company!

To Connect With Your Market, You Need To Know Them

It’s important to know your market. Who are the people who buy your products or services? What do they want and need? How can you help them?

Be a customer advocate. If you want to connect with customers, then be one yourself. Use what you’re selling every day and get feedback from others who use it to this way, you’ll be able to address their pain points and make improvements for everyone.

Listen carefully for complaints the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But then don’t just fix those problems; take care of all of them!

Believe In The Strength Of Your Brand And Product

One of the most important lessons from this book is that you need to believe in the strength of your brand and product.

A business can only become successful if its management believes in its products. That’s why any entrepreneur must understand exactly how strong their brand name is, as well as how good their product is.

If your product doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations, then don’t expect a positive response from either customers or investors. 

Even if you’re selling something like an iPhone XS Max with an edge-to-edge display, beautiful cameras, and incredible speed (which happens to be one of my favorite phones).

But if it breaks down after just one month because of bad quality control during production or shipping, customers won’t buy another one from you ever again.

Enhance your marketing endeavors with a comprehensive grasp of marketing research best practices. Implementing these strategies alongside the lessons gleaned from the marketing book can empower your decision-making process.

Be Willing To Take Risks

The most successful people are the ones who risk failure. They know that if they don’t take risks and grow, they won’t be as successful as they could be.

When you begin taking risks, make sure you do so in small increments. This will help you build confidence and give yourself time to get used to the feeling of being on the edge of your comfort zone. You can always increase the size of your risk later on!

There are many ways to take a risk: based on data, experience, gut feeling, or some combination thereof. 

Pick one or two and use them as your guidelines for decision-making with regards to whether or not something is worth doing for it not only to be effective but also fun!

Your Marketing Message Must Be “Sticky”

You want the people you’re talking to remember your brand, and that means your message must be sticky. This is a word we use in the marketing world, and it refers to how easily someone can retain information and pass it along (or share it). 

If you can make your company name or product memorable and relevant enough, then you have a better chance of getting people to come back for more.

You should build up an audience before you launch your product or service because no one knows who you are when they first encounter your business.

Or if they don’t trust what they do know about it then all of that hard work will go towards nothing because no one will buy anything from you!

You should stand out from other companies who provide similar services so people know what sets them apart from others like them

Give The Market Permission To Buy From You

In the book, we read about a study where the researchers sent out four different types of letters asking customers to recommend their products.

For one group they asked: “Please send us the names of three people you think would enjoy reading this magazine.” For another group, they asked: “We hope you’ll write down at least three names of friends or business associates who might be interested in our publication.” 

A third group was asked: “Could you name two people who might enjoy reading this magazine?” And finally, a fourth group was simply given space on the back of an envelope and told to write down as many names as they could remember.

The results? The people who were asked if they could name three other potential readers were more than twice as likely to complete a recommendation (60%) compared with those who were told only how many people should be recommended (29%).

Crafting effective marketing decisions is a cornerstone of success. Delve into techniques for making better marketing decisions and witness the synergy when combining this knowledge with the insights offered by the marketing book.

Do The Job Better Than Everyone Else

The first lesson from this book is simple, but it’s one that many people don’t follow. Do what you do best and do it better than anyone else.

The power of this lesson is so obvious that it’s easy to forget about, but the authors make the point very clear: don’t worry about what your competitors are doing or what the market wants; just focus on doing what you do best, even if no-one else seems interested in it at all. 

The market will take care of itself as long as you’re providing value for everyone involved and working hard to create something truly amazing that stands out from anything else around it!

Believe In What You Do, And Your Customers Will Believe In You

You’re probably wondering why I’m so excited about this book. Well, it’s because the author shares a simple but powerful lesson: If you don’t believe in what you do, your customers won’t either.

That’s right it all starts with you. You might be thinking that this isn’t always true, but let me ask you this: Do your customers believe in what you do? If not, then maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at yourself and figure out why. 

Maybe it’s as simple as being more confident or enthusiastic about your product/service offerings; maybe there are other issues at play too (e.g., making sure your team members feel appreciated). 

Either way, if people can tell that something about how you communicate doesn’t line up with how they perceive the value of the products/services being offered by the organization at large and especially if those perceptions are negative.

Then there will be an impact on sales and customer retention rates down the road (not to mention employee morale).

Make It Easy For People To Recommend Your Services Or Products

The easiest way to get a customer is to have someone recommend you. Recommendation from an existing customer is the #1 source of new business for most companies. When someone recommends a product or service, they are saying: 

“This is good! I like it a lot! You should buy this thing from them!” So how can we make it easier for our customers to recommend us?

Here are some ways:

Make it easy for them to share content about your brand on social media and in-person (e.g., by giving out branded swag that they can wear). This helps expose new people who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed without being prompted by a friend’s recommendation.

Make sure that when someone visits your website, they are encouraged at every turn with calls-to-action (CTAs) asking them if they want help with something specific like finding an article or getting in touch with someone at the company directly.

And above all else, make sure nothing is preventing them from sharing something cool they find on your site with their friends via email or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter!

The Best Marketing Is About A Relationship – Not A Sale

Relationship marketing is about building a community of people who believe in your brand. It’s not about selling, it’s about building trust and loyalty.

It’s a subtle difference but an important one: relationship marketing capitalizes on the value you create for your customers by providing them something valuable to them a great product or service at a reasonable price, for example, and then asking for their support in return.

Relationship marketing isn’t just about building trust with your customers; it also means that you view every interaction with your community members as an opportunity to deepen their connection with your company and its products or services.

Are you a beginner navigating the marketing landscape? Discover the top survey platforms that can aid your journey in The 15 Best Survey Sites for Beginner Marketers. These resources, alongside the book’s wisdom, can be invaluable for your growth as a marketer.

You Don’t Have To Sell Stuff; You Just Have To Get People Talking About It!

Now, this is a little more specific to the book, but hear me out. If you want people talking about your product or service, all you have to do is get them talking. Social media is one way of doing that. 

The power of referrals, testimonials, and reviews is another way. Press and word of mouth are also great ways of getting people talking about your product/service.

The truth is that people are social creatures who love being part of something bigger than themselves – something meaningful and life-changing – so long as it’s not too hard for them!

If A Marketing Program Isn’t Working For You, Change It!

The most important lesson that I learned from this book is that if a marketing program isn’t working for you, change it! If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. 

If you want different outcomes, then go about your business differently.

The following is an excerpt from my favorite chapter of the book:

“There’s an old saying that goes something like this: ‘If at first you don’t succeed try again in another way.’ It’s true because if we keep doing what we’re doing and expect different results, then all we’re going to do becomes frustrated.”

Change Can Be Hard, But Often Very Necessary!

I don’t know about you, but altering my mindset has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s a process that takes time and effort and it’s also something we can learn from. 

The fact that change can be difficult doesn’t mean we should avoid it or expect it to be easy; instead, we must understand why change is important and how to make it happen in our own lives.

To quote one of the best marketing books I’ve ever read: “Change can’t happen without some kind of pain or discomfort.” (The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner)

It’s Better To Have 10 People Who Love You Than 10,000 Who Like You!

You want to be a trusted brand. It’s better for your company, and it’s better for the people who are loyal fans of yours. And there’s an easy way you can become one: get dedicated customers instead of just casual ones.

There’s a great story in this book about how comedian Jerry Seinfeld had only 4,000 people on his mailing list at first, but they were all die-hard fans who would buy tickets to see him perform even if they had to travel across state lines! 

Because he was able to target them so well and make them feel like they were part of his inner circle, he built up such an incredible reputation that he could sell out stadiums full of people who didn’t know him personally at all.


So what’s the takeaway from this? You might not always be able to create a perfect product or service, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose. Instead, you can set yourself up for success by focusing on what makes your offer unique. What are your strengths? 

How can you improve them even further? Always ask yourself these questions and keep pushing forward with new ideas for improvement. Now go out there and crush it!

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources to expand your understanding of marketing and gain valuable insights:

Calvin Rosser’s Notes Discover in-depth notes on various marketing concepts, providing a deeper understanding of key topics.

5 More Must-Read Marketing Books Uncover life-changing lessons from an array of marketing books, enhancing your knowledge base.

Best Marketing Books You Should Read Find a curated list of some of the best marketing books, offering diverse perspectives on effective marketing strategies.


What are the core principles of effective marketing?

Effective marketing is built on a foundation of understanding your target audience, crafting compelling messages, and strategically delivering them through appropriate channels.

How can I apply marketing insights to my small business?

Tailoring marketing insights to your small business involves identifying relevant strategies from your research and adapting them to suit your specific industry and customer base.

What role does data play in modern marketing?

Data is pivotal in modern marketing, guiding decision-making, refining strategies, and enabling personalized approaches that resonate with individual customers.

How can storytelling enhance my marketing efforts?

Storytelling is a potent tool for connecting emotionally with customers. By crafting narratives that resonate, you can create a deeper engagement and forge lasting connections.

What is the significance of understanding consumer behavior?

Understanding consumer behavior provides valuable insights into purchasing patterns, preferences, and motivations, allowing you to align your marketing efforts more effectively.