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Must-read books for marketing researchers – keep the suggestions coming!

Article ID:
June 2014
Emily C. Koenig

Article Abstract

Drawing on continued interest from LinkedIn members, Quirk’s has added to the list of must-read books for marketing researchers.

In 2012, Quirk’s asked the members of its Marketing Research & Insights LinkedIn group, “What books should a marketing researcher be required to read?” Two years later we are still receiving recommendations for must-read books! We decided to follow up our 2013 compilation of must-read books for marketing researchers with a few of the new titles.

Below is the list of additional titles LinkedIn members have suggested. We have also included why the book was suggested as a must-read, when provided.

This list is not exhaustive but rather a great place to find the next book for your summer reading! If you have additional books to suggest after reading this update and our original post “Must-read books for marketing researchers,” e-mail us at We’ll continue to collect the titles and post periodic updates.

Consumer psychology

Buying In: What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker
Are we becoming immune to brands or embracing them? In this book Walker argues that the accepted wisdom that “brands are dead” misses the important cultural shift of a practice he calls murketing, where people create brands of their own and actively participate in marketing campaigns as an expression of their identities.
“(Buying In) provides additional insight into human/consumer behavior and how they influence purchase/usage decisions.” – Jeff Morton

The Laws of Choice by Eric Marder
In this book, Marder describes his work on developing a global theory of choice behavior, revealing how universal patterns in survey responses not only lead to general marketing practice but also to the verifiable laws of human nature itself.

Creative thinking

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques by Michael Michalko
Michalko reveals tools to help you think like a genius by using creative-thinking techniques to approach problems in new ways. This book will help you take in the same information as everyone else and see something different.
“This book helps in probes, ice breakers and cracking clients’ heads open so they implement findings.” – Kathy Flament

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam
Roam teaches readers how to clarify a problem or sell an idea by relying on visual thinking skills and simple drawing.

Research in general

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman
This collection of articles, interviews and essays from Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman provides a look into a life in science.
“(This) book sparked my own interest in research and the pleasure that comes from ‘finding things out.’ Those connections previously unseen give me that satisfaction and hopefully others will find their own spark after reading the book.” – Alan Strahinic

Applying Scientific Reasoning to the Field of Marketing: Make Better Decisions by Terry Grapentine
This book provides readers with a guide on how to make marketing decisions based on knowledge instead of beliefs, thereby increasing an organization’s success.
“One of the best real-world market research books that I’ve come across.” – Brian Kiley

Business strategy

Social Business Intelligence: Reducing Risk, Building Brands & Driving Growth with Social Media by Stephen Andriole, Vincent Schiavone, Luis Stevens, Mark Langsfeld and Mark Harrington
This book explores the growth of social media and the new class of “influencers,” providing recommendations on how companies can implement effective social business intelligence strategies.

Developing Business Strategies by David A. Aaker
An updated edition of Aaker’s influential strategic manual, this book offers information on emerging business topics. Providing readers with the understanding to create and implement successful business strategies, the author explains how to distinguish fads from trends, foster creative thinking and more.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan
From encouraging fans to record live shows to selling concert tickets directly to fans, The Grateful Dead broke every rule in the music industry and pioneered social media and inbound marketing concepts along the way. This book looks at how we can learn from The Grateful Dead’s approach to business and experience marketing gains.


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