15 Books on Product Marketing to Unlock Your Team's Potential Sarah Chan Rejante April 18, 2023
Looking for your next great read?
Reading is an important part of your professional development. Studies have shown that reading can boost intelligence and promote innovation and insight. Essentially, reading keeps you sharp.
It's also a great way to learn more about your craft, independently and at your own pace. That's why we've put together a list of books for product marketers just like you. There's always room for growth in the ever-changing world of product marketing.
Whether you're looking for fresh ideas, successful strategies, or to refresh your foundational skills, these books on product marketing will help you stay on top of your game.
Clear some space on your bookshelf, because you're going to need some room to fit our top 15 product marketing books.
Books on product marketing to inspire marketers
1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal, 2014
There's a reason this book was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2014—it's simply a very good read.
If you've ever had an "I wish I knew that before" moment, you'll understand why startup founder Nir Eyal was inspired to write this book for new entrepreneurs.
In it, he combines his years of practical experience, research, and consulting to provide practical advice for anyone looking to build habit-forming products.
The key, according to Eyal, is to use the "Hooked Model," an appropriately-named four-step process that many successful companies use to "hook" their customers and keep them coming back for more.
The four steps in the "Hooked Model" are:
Trigger—the spark that starts the process and gets your attention
Action—your end goal—what you're trying to make your customer do
Variable Reward—the prize or gratification for completing the desired action
Investment—this is where you ask for payment, if needed
Product marketers looking to find out how successful companies influence customer behavior and turn a product into the next "holy grail" item will definitely want to pick up this book.
$22.31, 256 pages
2. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, by Wes Bush, 2019
Can a great product really sell itself?
In this refreshing read, Wes Bush challenges the need for expensive sales teams in the SaaS industry, by encouraging readers to try a product-led growth strategy, instead.
What is a product-led growth strategy? According to Bush, product-led growth means focusing less on "how" you sell something, and more on "what" you're selling.
The core of a product-led strategy is showing customers the value they'll receive from a well-built product. For example, you can offer a free trial or freemium experience to your customers so they can test your product first-hand.
Another great way to show customers the value of your product is to provide them with a personalized shopping experience.
In-person, this could be as simple as having staff on hand to answer product-related questions and conduct demos to walk customers through the details of the product.
If you want to give them a similar experience online, apps like Glass.io can help promote customer engagement with your product, by connecting them with a member of your sales or customer service team.
These are just some of the useful tactics you could be using to drive your product-led growth strategy.
Want to boost your customer acquisition, conversion, and retention rates? This is a great book for SaaS product marketing managers, and those involved in the product development process.
$15.97, 181 pages
3. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback, by Dan Olsen, 2015
If you're looking to take a different approach to product management and development, The Lean Product Playbook is a great resource that teaches readers how to create products customers love.
Dan Olsen created this practical guide on the Lean Startup approach to help you do just that. In this book, you'll learn how to apply the Lean Startup principles, to create products customers can't get enough of.
Every brand dreams of having a product that is synonymous with the generic, such as Kleenex or Hoover (in the UK). If you play your cards right and use the Lean Startup principles, you could make your dreams a reality.
The Lean Startup process emphasizes the importance of rapid iterations, user testing, customer data, and utilizing customer feedback to achieve product-market fit or a product that satisfies the needs of your target customers.
Product marketers, product developers, and entrepreneurs will all benefit from giving this book a read.
$29.60, 336 pages
4. Building For Everyone: Expand Your Market With Design Practices From Google’s Product Inclusion Team, by Annie Jean-Baptiste, 2020
Are you missing out on a large portion of your target market?
If diversity and inclusivity aren't at the forefront of your product marketing and development strategy, you might be.
Even a minor change to your product's design could impact someone's ability to access it. Inclusive design takes the other party's perspective into consideration when creating products that can be accessible to all.
In this exciting book by Google's Product Inclusion team, readers can get a taste of the team's inclusive design process, and learn how to create more user-centric, accessible products.
This book goes beyond the boundaries of product inclusion, and also touches on the importance of building inclusion into the culture of your business.
This is a must-read for product marketing teams and anyone involved in the product development process.
$15.54, 250 pages
5. Start At The End: How to Build Products That Create Change, by Matt Wallaert, 2019
How much product marketing advice can you really get from a behavioral psychologist?
A lot, actually. Start at the End is a practical guide to product marketing and development, that flips the product development process on its head.
Rather than starting at the brainstorming stage, Matt Wallaert encourages readers to start the ideation process by considering their target customers' desired outcome—what do they want to do, and why aren't they doing it?
While this might feel a bit unnatural at first, this problem-solving approach will help you create better products that change behavior.
If you want to design and sell great products that matter, you should definitely read this book.
$13.99, 256 pages
6. Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger, 2013
We've talked about this before, and we'll talk about it again—Contagious is a great book.
Jonah Berger draws from his expertise as a marketing professor at the prestigious Wharton School to explain the importance of word-of-mouth and social influence when trying to make something become contagious.
He also shares 6 universal principles that will help you develop and market unforgettable, successful products that your customers will love.
This is a valuable resource for any product marketer looking to get their products to catch on.
Contagious is a New York Times bestseller, and was named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association.
$11.69, 210 pages
7. Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers, by Geoffrey A. Moore, 2014
Want to learn the secrets to marketing high-tech products?
In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore recognizes the chasm between the adventurous early adopters and the practical early majority of new innovations.
What is an early adopter? Early adopters are the people who buy into a new product in its early stages. These target customers are looking to find that "unicorn" product, like a revolutionary breakthrough, and are willing to take risks to obtain it.
What is an early majority? This is the start of your mainstream market. This target customer is interested in technological advances, and prefers to wait for others to try the product first, before they invest.
The third edition of this product marketing "bible" provides new real-world examples, insights, and advice for readers looking to bridge the gap and encourage their target audience to become part of the early majority.
If you're in the market for the ultimate guide to selling high-tech products to mainstream customers, don't pass up on this one.
$15.99, 288 pages
8. The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company, by Lucas Weber, 2017
Product marketing managers, this one's for you.
Product marketing managers are the glue of an organization. They play an essential role in bringing a new product to life, including crafting its messaging and defining its positioning.
This comprehensive guide by Lucas Weber provides an in-depth overview of the role, and highlights the essential skills every product marketer should have.
Weber ties in real-world examples from his own career and interviews with industry experts, to provide an entertaining, yet informative, window into the world of a product marketing manager.
This is a must-read for current product marketing managers, and those who are looking to step into the role.
$6.95, 125 pages
9. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, by Daniel H. Pink, 2012
To Sell is Human is another great book we can't recommend enough.
Bestselling author Daniel Pink truly understands the art of selling — and he wants you to, too.
Even if you aren't in sales, you play a role in selling, both inside and outside of the office. Every day, you partake in some form of persuasion, influencing, convincing, or pitching.
You might persuade your children to study, influence your friends to watch the awesome movie you just saw, or convince your boss to give you a week off for a vacation. All of these are ways in which we try to move people.
Pink draws on his expertise in social science to explain selling in a unique way. He also shares six alternatives to the elevator pitch, and guides readers to craft clearer, more persuasive messages.
If you're looking for a fresh take on sales to inspire your product marketing strategy, we highly suggest you read To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others!
$15.30, 272 pages
10. Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug, 2013
Successful companies have successful websites; the key to a successful website is strong web usability.
Many product marketers are responsible for designing the creative aspects of their marketing strategy, including websites and landing pages.
Don't Make Me Think, Revisited teaches readers how to create intuitive, user-friendly web pages and mobile apps. In this book, Krug emphasizes the importance of understanding the needs and desires of your target audience, so that you can design better interfaces that suit these needs.
If you are a product marketer looking to learn how to design web pages while keeping usability in mind, check out this book.
$40.24, 216 pages
11. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout, 2001
It's time to dive into the classics!
Marketing professors often incorporate this book into their curriculum for a reason—its lessons on product positioning and messaging are timeless.
Al Ries and Jack Trout provide practical tips and tricks about everything from pricing to naming that can help you make your product stand out in a crowded market.
If you're preparing to launch a new product and you want to enter pre-existing markets, you should definitely give this a read.
The advice in this book will help you set the foundation for a more effective go-to-market strategy, and put your brand on the path to becoming an industry leader.
Product marketing managers, don't miss out on this essential manual for product positioning.
$18.00, 228 pages
12. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It, by April Dunford, 2019
While we're still talking about product positioning, have you read Obviously Awesome?
If you haven't, it's obviously awesome, so you should. Product positioning is a crucial element of product marketing, and there's no better person to learn about it from than seasoned former tech exec, April Dunford.
Whether you're preparing to launch your latest innovation or looking to refresh an existing brand, this book will help you identify your "secret sauce," and get it in the hands of the right people.
The tips in this game-changing book will boost any product marketing strategy—we promise!
$15.94, 202 pages
13. INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, by Marty Cagan, 2017
What sets the world's largest tech companies apart from all the rest?
Using profiles of product managers from some of the most recognizable tech brands, like Google, Tesla, and Amazon, Marty Cagan gives a masterclass on structuring successful, effective teams, and building tech products your customers will love.
The best way to become successful at something is to learn from the success of others. This is a great book to help product marketers better understand all the factors that contribute to a successful product.
Product marketing and product development often go hand-in-hand, so it's important for product marketers to have a strong sense of every aspect of the business.
If you're a product marketer in tech, this is a great read for you.
$22.51, 368 pages
14. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace, 2014
Creative culture is the heartbeat of a great product marketing team.
By reading Creativity, Inc., product marketing managers looking to foster success and creativity in their team will gain invaluable lessons from Pixar Animation Studios Co-Founder, Ed Catmull.
Dive into the core of Pixar, and learn how to build a work environment that promotes true creativity, originality, and unhindered ideation.
Product marketing managers will appreciate the unique stories Catmull shares, from his early days meeting his founding partner, George Lucas, to the many successes that led Pixar to become one of the most successful businesses in the animation industry.
This is not just a guide to help managers better support their team's success, this is a manual for anyone looking to bring imagination and out-of-the-box thinking back into their product development process.
$28.81, 368 pages
15. Learning to Build: The 5 Bedrock Skills of Innovators and Entrepreneurs, by Bob Moesta, 2022
The final book on our list is for product marketing managers with a taste for innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.
You might ask yourself—can product marketing managers really be innovative? Of course!
If you think back to some of the most memorable and unique product marketing campaigns, they didn't just come out of nowhere. A great product marketer on their team tapped into their own sense of innovation, took a creative risk, and succeeded.
You, too, can build effective and exciting marketing campaigns by honing your own innovation skills.
In Learning to Build, Bob Moesta lays out the five fundamental skills of innovators and entrepreneurs, drawn from his decades of experience in designing and selling successful products.
Innovation skills are essential for successful product marketing managers, as these skills help to shape the unique, impactful brand message and promotions for a product.
$15.99, 194 pages
Frequently asked questions
Want to know more about the world of product marketing? We've answered some of the questions you might have below.
What is the difference between product management and product marketing?
According to Coursera, "a product manager focuses on product strategy to create, distribute, sell, and obtain feedback on a specific product or service."
Product managers are in charge of creating the overall business strategy of a product, and often work hand-in-hand with other teams to bring the product to fruition.
They also work closely with product marketers to develop the product's growth and promotional strategies. Product marketing managers sometimes even have a hand in the development of the product itself.
Product marketers, on the other hand, are responsible for communicating, promoting, and sharing the product with the target audience and sales teams.
They focus on positioning, messaging, and other marketing activities, such as leading product demos and even setting pricing strategies.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out this great video by ex-Google employee, Henry Wang:
Video: Product Manager vs. Product Marketing Manager (by an ex-Googler) by Henry Wang
What are some videos I can watch to become a more successful product marketer?
There are a lot of great videos out there that can help teach you to be the best product marketer you can be:
Former Google employee Henry Wang broke down the basics of product marketing with a Google Product Marketing Manager in this great video.
If you're curious about what your day-to-day experience could be like as a product marketer, check out this video from Jeff Su.
Learn more about product marketing managers in this video by Product HQ.
Are you a product marketer for a SaaS company? Check out these proven successful strategies for your marketing campaign, by TK Kader.
We hope this list of books for product marketers helps you boost your professional growth, inspires you to build habit-forming products your customers love, and teaches you to design better product marketing campaigns.
In the fast-paced world of product marketing, fresh ideas can make all the difference when you're planning the launch of a new product. Product marketers can learn a great deal from the unique perspectives of these accomplished authors.
A lesson learned today could result in a big success tomorrow. So what are you waiting for?
Crack open one of these product marketing books today.
For more great reads, check out our list of the 39 best books for persuasion for sales and marketing teams.
Sarah Chan Rejante is a digital marketer and social media coordinator based in Toronto, Canada. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Humber College and is passionate about marketing and getting in front of customers in the right way.
With Glass.io, you can reach across the screen and help visitors make a buy decision. See exactly how visitors use your website in realtime, trigger a notification to the right sales rep when they show buying intent, and start a personalized conversation (chat or video) at the perfect moment.
Plug your leaky sales pipeline by engaging with your website visitors while you have their attention. Sign up for an account here.