The 5 Best Books on Marketing Psychology

A comprehensive understanding of marketing psychology is key to long-term success. Here are 5 of the best books on marketing psychology.

#1 - Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

This is a masterpiece by Robert Cialdini. It delves into the most important aspects of sales and marketing and is one of the most authoritative books on the subject despite its age. People think that the marketing arena is changing, but that is not quite true. The tools and technology are different, but the underlying psychology of persuasion is much the same.

#2 - Predictably Irrational

This book highlights the fact that our behavior is anything but rational. Attitudes and behavior can be manipulated and predicted using marketing techniques and peoples action have little to do with rationality. Their desires can be manufactured and subverted. This book by Dan Ariely also demonstrates the relative nature of happiness and that we are not fully in control of our decision-making processes. Perhaps the most stunning revelation in this book is that people do not know what they want unless it is put into context for them.

#3 - Contagious: Why Things Catch On

This book takes apart viral sensations to analyze why they became viral. In the book, Jonah Berger identifies 6 essential ingredients to make sure that an idea goes viral. These are triggers, emotional resonance, social currency, observability, usefulness, and stories. A key revelation is that boring but repeatable ideas will often trump interesting ones. So the idea that a cereal lowers cholesterol can go viral but sensational ideas might get nowhere. This is because boring ideas can often come up in everyday conversation.

#4 - Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

This book by Nir Eyal provides an excellent explanation of habit formation. Marketers and advertisers are beginning to understand that habit formation is key to long-term success and repeat purchases. This idea was always understood by big corporates such as Coca Cola and McDonalds. Eyal describes hook cycles of trigger, reward, action, and investment to keep customers engaged.

#5 - Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

This is another classical marketing psychology handbook co-authored by Al Ries and Jack Trout in the seventies. While many of the concepts are now understood as common sense, the book laid down the foundations for modern marketing psychology. They describe the place a product occupies in the mind of buyers relative to other products. The book shifted the marketing paradigm so it became more targeted.


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