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The Best Marketing Textbooks

Marketing is one of the most popular majors in business for a good reason. It permeates almost every aspect of the contemporary business world. It can significantly affect the sales and reach of a company.

Though you can work in marketing without a formal education in the sector, it’s crucial to be well-read in all areas of marketing. This helps keep you a strong candidate for marketing positions and to stay relevant in this evolving industry.

Students, professors, marketing professionals, and entrepreneurs alike look to textbooks for the latest marketing trends and tools.

Quick Look: The Best Marketing Textbooks

What Does a Great Marketing Textbook Look Like?

Many marketing books have captivating titles and claim to offer a quick route to success. Instead of relying on the look of the cover to determine whether it’s worth your time, you should evaluate the author and context of the book. The following sections provide more details about the things you should look for in a textbook.

Reputable Author and Publisher

A reputable author has at least a decade of experience in marketing, either as a professor or industry expert. Take the time to study his or her track record, including business achievements, awards, high-end clients, and more.

Similar rules apply for the publishers as well. If you like a particular book and the author checks out, don’t hesitate to inspect the publisher. A reputable one has a lot of publications in business or marketing. It’s best to avoid self-published marketing books unless you know that the author is an accomplished expert.

You can also find worthwhile marketing advice in selected chapters of some business books. It’s a mistake to rely on that alone. A comprehensive marketing textbook can help you understand the fundamentals and approach marketing with confidence and purpose.

Content with Examples

A great marketing textbook shouldn’t revolve around theory. It needs to provide you with clear examples of successful marketing. The textbook can talk about theory, but it should highlight where theory might differ from practice.

Additionally, it should help you understand how to apply the theory in a real-world scenario. Look for books that analyze examples from real companies, including statistics, projections, and more.

Economic Price

Premium marketing textbooks are a significant, monetary investment. Shop around a little to determine which textbook offers the best value for your money. Consider discounts and rental opportunities that often come with online textbook purchases.

Our Picks for the Best Marketing Textbooks

Guided by the principles from the previous section, we’ve compiled a list of the best marketing textbooks. You should find the following textbooks suitable for different areas of marketing, including for those readers who are on a tight budget.

1. Marketing to Mindstates: The Practical Guide to Applying Behavior Design to Research and Marketing by Will Leach

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Intermediates
  • Price: On sale

Marketing to Mindstates offers practical knowledge on how to take advantage of applied psychology to influence customer behavior. It focuses on the behavior design process and provides detailed explanations of the underlying principles.

The author, Will Leach, gives plenty of real-world examples of both good and bad marketing practices. He is one of the leading experts in applied behavioral sciences and marketing, working as an instructor at the Southern Methodist University.

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2. Marketing: An Introduction by Gary Armstrong and Philip T. Kotler

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Marketing: An Introduction is broken into four parts, focusing on marketing processes and strategy design. Special sections help readers understand how to analyze the marketing environment and interpret relevant information.

You’ll also learn about sales and promotion techniques and marketing channels. This textbook was written by Gary Armstrong and Philip Kotler, a team or renowned college professors.

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3. Principles of Marketing (17th Edition) by Gary Armstrong and Philip T. Kotler

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All skill levels

Principles of Marketing addresses the contemporary marketplace that has become more social and digital-oriented. The textbook seeks to help marketing students overcome the challenge of creating interactive consumer communities.

Along with keeping up with digital trends for consumer retention, readers can also learn how to build and maintain customer relationships. This involves studying the latest trends in marketing and networking.

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4. Marketing by Roger A. Kerin

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

In the 20 chapters of Marketing, you will be taken through all the principles and techniques of a successful marketing campaign. Each chapter opens with an example or a case study to help you understand the theory applied to a real-world scenario.

Some examples include virtual reality, Amazon Video, and the success of Apple’s new product development.

Roger A. Kerin, a professor at the Southern Methodist University, wrote this textbook with Professor Steven W. Hartley. You will also get access to in-class activities, interactive online resources, and a guide to building a marketing plan.

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5. Marketing by Dhruv Grewal and Michael Levy

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

The aim of this textbook is to help students understand the importance of value in terms of marketing. It provides examples of how companies use value to create mutually beneficial relationships with customers.

Chapters cover mobile and social marketing, consumer behavior, segmentation and targeting, research, and more. Professors Dhruv Grewal and Michael Levy are award-winning experts and they teach at Babson College.

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6. Marketing: Real People, Real Choices by Michael R. Solomon, Greg W. Marshall, and Elnora W. Stuart

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All skill levels
  • Price: On sale

Marketing: Real People, Real Choices takes a look at the information every professional should know how to utilize.

The textbook guides you through marketing metrics and analytics, and the principles of creating value. It also provides a detailed overview of sustainable and ethical marketing.

The team of authors includes professors Michael R. Solomon, Greg W. Marshall, and Elnora W. Stuart.

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7. Basic Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach by William D. Perreault, Jr., E. Jerome McCarthy and Joseph P. Cannon

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All skill levels
  • Price: On sale

Basic Marketing features 20 chapters which cover topics such as marketing relationships and the link between marketing and other business aspects. All the chapters touch upon the importance and application of big data, internet technologies, and the digital lifestyle. The textbook also includes examples and case studies from companies like Cisco, Apple, and Coca-Cola, to name a few.

Professor William D. Perreault, Jr. coauthored Basic Marketing with professors E. Jerome McCarthy and Joseph P. Cannon. They come from some of the most prestigious U.S. universities.

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8. Introduction to Marketing: Theory and Practice by Adrian Palmer

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Introduction to Marketing takes an all-encompassing approach to learning and draws from other disciplines like psychology, business, and sociology. It delivers a broad framework to help students understand all aspects that influence contemporary marketing.

The textbook features sections about service marketing and detailed annotations for further reading. Professor Adrian Palmer included various pedagogical tools, such as international and digital marketing boxes, case studies, and real-world examples.

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9. Marketing by Charles W. Lamb, Joe F. Hair, and Carl McDaniel

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All skill levels.
  • Price: On sale

The 12th edition of Marketing highlights the ways marketing influences everyday life and business decisions. It deals with topics like C.R.M, social marketing, ethics, and global perspectives.

The textbook is also full of additional materials like video resources, vignettes, and appendices, which makes it a timeless option.

Authors Charles W. Lamb, Joe F. Hair, and Carl McDaniel are all well-respected marketing experts.

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10. International Marketing by Philip R. Cateora, Mary C. Gilly, and John L. Graham

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All skill levels
  • Price: On sale

Each chapter of International Marketing opens with a Global Perspectives section that offers examples of the marketing principles covered in that chapter. The textbook deals with topics like the influence of the cultural environment on global markets.

Special sections are dedicated to international marketing strategies and how to implement them.

Three distinguished professors from prestigious American universities coauthored this textbook. They are Philip R. Cateora, Mary C. Gilly, and John L. Graham.

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Finding the Right Textbook

All the textbooks on our list provide a rich source of examples that highlight the most important principles of marketing. Some of them also offer integration with external applications and resources like the McGraw-Hill Connect.

If you are a marketing student or professor, you probably feel the need to read more on the topic of how businesses operate.

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