It’s not hard to find an inbound marketing book as such, but most of them are nothing more than bloated advertisements for the author’s services. These three books are exceptions.
Having said that, none of these books offer a complete method of inbound marketing for all types of products and services and neither should they, because such a book would resemble more of an encyclopedia.
Instead, each of these books offers an effective treatment of inbound marketing for their intended market. Which is exactly what you’d expect from smart inbound marketers: a tailoring of their material to their intended market. As the old saying goes: “always start with the market in mind”.
The inbound marketing book that would be best for you read will therefore depend on the type of products or services you want to market.
In my comments below I provide a brief overview of each book, together with a recommendation of who will learn and benefit most from each one. Hopefully, this will save you close to hundreds of hours that you would otherwise need to spend in order to find the right book for you.
INBOUND MARKETING BOOK BY TOM POLAND
OVERVIEW: The book specializes in a very narrow field. If you happen to fit into the “BEST FOR” description below then this is THE perfect inbound marketing guide for you.
This is the only book of the three that clearly defines “inbound marketing”.
Other books write around the subject and offer metaphors to shed light on it but this is the only one that lays out a definition of the inbound marketing that is clear and that makes sense, right from the get go.
This book’s uniqueness is summed up in the assertion that inbound marketing is “more like proposing marriage than selling a washing machine”.
Sure, lots of books give tips on the importance of establishing a relationship with the prospect, but this is the only book that goes into specific detail of the best medium for that and precisely how to do it.
But those very specifics are what makes this book so narrow in its focus: if your business offers services, advice, SaaS or programs and courses, then this book gives you a very precise, simple and effective method for generating inbound leads.
But if you have a physical product you want to market, then the next book on this page is the one for you.
This is also the only book of the three that offers an instant online download of the first part. Pop in your email address below to access part one for free.
BEST FOR: small business professionals such as B2B coaches and trainers, management consultants, financial planners and those are marketing programs or customized software (SaaS).
NOT SO GREAT FOR: retailers, multi-level marketers, manufacturers, digital marketing specialists or those offering low cost services such as therapists.
INBOUND MARKETING FOR DUMMIES BY SCOTT MILLER
OVERVIEW: This book does the best of any of the three book in trying to cover inbound marketing for all products and services. It falls a little short of that noble ambition, because unlike the above book which is too narrow for everyone, this book is too broad for everyone.
Having said that, if you want a guide that covers a very wide scope, then this is a great guide for you. The only caveat I’d add is that it assumes that you have a “team” at your disposal, as is clearly stated on the cover.
BEST FOR: marketing managers with teams including retailers, multi-level marketers, franchise groups, manufacturers.
NOT SO GREAT FOR: people who can only commit part-time resource to their inbound marketing including small business, B2B (business to business) professionals and especially B2C (business to consumer) marketers.
INBOUND MARKETING: ATTRACT, ENGAGE AND DELIGHT CUSTOMERS ONLINE BY BRIAN HALLIGAN AND DHARMESH SHAH
OVERVIEW: Don’t be fooled by the fact that this was written by the founders of Hubspot Marketing. It’s not simply an advertisement for the Hubspot website because it’s packed with valuable concepts, ideas, and tips you could learn about inbound marketing. If you’re prepared to throw some serious time, energy and money into your inbound marketing and you are OK with the idea of split-testing, measuring everything twice and then rinse and repeating, this is a great read for you. And it’s an easy and interesting read, despite it’s thorough treatment of the subject.
BEST FOR: INTERNET MARKETERS including those who want to create a buzz through SOCIAL MEDIA (plus email, LinkedIn, etc) to build and drive traffic to their website, then convert that traffic into sales without any personal interaction.
NOT SO GREAT FOR: anyone who does not have serious bucks to throw at their inbound marketing including small businesses. Not so great either for retailers and manufacturers who get sales from physical products and it should definitely be avoided by anyone who does not possess a brain that lights up at a page full of numbers.
This book is another great read from the Hubspot founders, and if you do nothing else at the very least subscribe to their content because it really is world class.