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The Must-Read Duo For Aspiring Marketers

Updated: Apr 7

Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to work with some pretty wicked smart advertising professionals, the founders of the agency formerly known as Zippatoni, a 350-person St. Louis-based advertising agency with firms in five major cities, and clients like Motorolla, Dewers Scotch, Ralston Purina, Anheuser-Busch, Chicken of the Sea, Miller Brewing Company, Verizon, Sony, and more.


They told me that in order to get on their level and think like they do, I needed to read two books, well, for starters, at least.


🌟📚 The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

🌟📚 Contagious, by Jonah Berger



I now recommend both of these to every marketing student I come across (and about 97 other books, but I digress).


The Tipping Point will give you the mental model needed to understand the psychology behind the types of actors responsible for spreading your ideas and creating truly contagious and viral events. Gladwell basically takes the Theory of Diffusion of Innovation Curve and points to a segment of those responsible for creating the momentum needed to get to the top of the curve, where what follows is explosive growth and full adoption of a new idea, product, or service.


Contagious will allow you to see all future innovations in media platforms through the lens that matters, i.e., the human behavior triggers that make people want to engage and share content, no matter how much noise is out there. The book ties straight into Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, pointing to the intrinsic need to want to belong and feel valued. The reason we share content is that it gives us a way to create value by sharing something of value for the circles we walk in, a social currency that we trade back and forth.


Platforms and outlets are ever-changing, but human connection will always be relevant. If you're interested, I suggest reading The Tipping Point first and then Contagious to turn your ideas into the kind of stories that don't just stick but spread like wildfire.

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