10 Best Product Marketing Books for Every Product Marketer

10 Best Product Marketing Books for Every Product Marketer

Product marketing is all-pervasive, being a function that balances product, marketing, and sales. 

The product marketing manager’s responsibilities go beyond product development and involve customer behavior, product positioning, customer feedback, and marketing strategy.

As a product marketing manager, you are a storyteller who knows the target customers, creates a go-to-market plan for new products, and finds ways to interact with them. 

Plus, successful product marketers share some essential skills—they know how to build habit-forming products in niche and crowded markets using rapid customer feedback, product-led growth, data analysis, and competitive intelligence. 

Here’s a list of the 10 best product marketing books with practical advice, real-world examples of creating products users love, and new customer engagement methods. 

This list includes everything from scientific advertising to product marketing manager responsibilities and concepts like web usability and story brand concepts to customer data. 

10 Best Product Marketing Books to Add to Your List in 2024

1. The Influential Product Manager: How to Lead and Launch Successful Technology Products

The Influential Product Manager
via Amazon

In The Influential Product Manager, Ken Sandy teaches you how to behave at every stage of the product life cycle, combining his 20 years of experience and growth stage knowledge.

The author divides product marketing lessons into easy-to-implement templates and principles.

At the beginning of the product development process, focus on improving your understanding of the problem and uncover all possible outcomes. Before taking on a single approach, create mock-ups for all alternatives and test them with customers and internal stakeholders. 

The author’s most practical advice is to continually test throughout the design, development, and implementation phase—even if it’s on a few target customers. 

He proposes that all product management templates should have five critical elements:

  • Written Hypothesis: Write or articulate your goal for your mainstream market 
  • Measurable Outcome: Streamline product positioning by identifying metrics to define success criteria
  • Clarity about Constraints: Solve a small problem first and apply your solution broadly later
  • Clarity about roles: Be clear about jobs to be done and user stories for the target customer
  • Collaborate on Potential Solutions: Encourage your team to collaborate on solutions

“Product managers own the problems (the ‘why’ and ‘what’), and engineers own the solutions (the ‘how’ and ‘when’) – but it is only by collaboration that you can develop and build the best ideas.” – Ken Sandy

About the book

  • Author(s): Ken Sandy
  • No. of pages: 394
  • Year published: 2020
  • Estimated reading time:  13 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Basic, intermediate, and expert readers 
  • Ratings:
    • (4.6/5) Amazon

Key takeaways 

The book builds onto Adam Nash’s concept of feature buckets in product management. Sandy proposes that a good feature release should have some of the following factors: 

  • Metric Movers: To improve product metrics 
  • Customer Requests: To fix bugs or enhance features 
  • Delighters: Innovations that the team comes up with 
  • Strategies: Features related to long-term goals 
  • Enhancers: Product improvements or enhancements

What readers say:

The Influential Product Manager is an in-depth playbook that’s perfect for both those new to product management and those who want to have an even greater impact on product at their company. This is my new go-to resource for how to be an effective strategic partner throughout the product development life cycle.”

2. Product Marketing, Simplified: A Customer-Centric Approach to Take a Product to Market

Product Marketing Simplified
via Amazon

One of the most highly rated product marketing books, Product Marketing, Simplified, is a practical guide to product marketing. 

Srini Sekaran presents solid frameworks for customer segmentation and persona building in product marketing. The book defines the customer journey and shows product marketers how to create the correct personas. 

The author weaves real-life examples of habit-forming products, customer behavior at every stage of the lifecycle, product positioning, pricing, and packaging.

Whether you’re an enterprise or a consumer marketer, this book provides a primer for customers’ purchase decisions. The goal of this practical guide for aspiring product marketers is to show how to connect the dots between disparate tasks within product marketing.

An interesting take here is to subtly encourage customer behavior by making it easy for them to play out their instinctual compulsion. 

Appeal to the customer’s instinct, offer flexible payments, and make it easy to learn about your product. 

Plus, he shares product development process templates to plug and play as per your go-to-market plan. 

“Art and creativity revolve around the ability to effectively connect with others. Product marketing encompasses this narrative as well.” – Srini Sekaran 

About the book

  • Author(s): Srini Sekaran
  • No. of pages: 204
  • Year published: 2020
  • Estimated reading time:  10 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Intermediate 
  • Ratings:
    • (4.3/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • When people buy products, people apply the three aspects of the soul as enunciated by Plato: the head, the heart, and the gut
  • Understand the level of involvement the customer has in purchasing your product
  • Appeal to the logic, emotion, and instinct of your customers. Position your products and categorize them in a particular area of your customer’s mindshare 

What readers say:

“I purchased this book in preparation for a new job and was immediately impressed with how easy it was to digest. The book is thoughtful, informative, and well-written, and provides a solid foundation in product marketing.”

3. The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company

The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company
via Amazon

When Lucas Weber was a product marketing manager who searched the internet to learn about marketing strategies for selling high-tech products. At that time, the product marketing books and research journals offered little help. 

Weber wrote The Product Marketing Manager: Responsibilities and Best Practices in a Technology Company to share his learnings through trials and errors on the job and real-world examples. 

The book explains the challenges of other teams who work with a product marketing manager. What do such roles entail? Addressing the unique problems of the product marketing team in an entertaining read, Weber combines anecdotes and interviews with his colleagues and industry experts.

He teaches the essential skills needed to become a product marketing manager and new ideas and inspiration for seasoned product marketers. The author warns that everything else fails without a proper strategy for sales.

“We must identify values where there appears to be none.” – Lucas Weber

About the book

  • Author(s): Lucas Weber
  • No. of pages: 123
  • Year published: 2017
  • Estimated reading time:  10 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Basic to Intermediate 
  • Ratings:
    • (4.4/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • Listen with an open mind to those who have worked longer in the company or industry than you
  • Consider people’s emotions, decision-making processes, and intellectual level while talking to them
  • As a product marketer,  be ready to take detailed technical product information and distill it into crucial marketing and sales messages

What readers say:

“The author’s practical experience in product marketing makes it a very insightful read. There are mentions of both successes and failures, which can help aspiring product marketers. Even if your title is not product marketer, and you are involved in other roles such as content marketing or growth marketing, you can find many best practices to learn from. Especially helpful where marketers are juggling between multiple responsibilities and the organization has not created a formal product marketing position.”

4. Obviously Awesome

Obviously Awesome
via Amazon

April Dunford starts Obviously Awesome and discusses how she used to position products at her technology company—a form the marketing team would fill when launching a new product. 

This would answer the why, how, and what of the product. However, this strategy was boring and ineffective.

That’s when she started building frameworks around crafting product positioning so your customers love your product.

Using an eight-step sales pitch structure, she demonstrates exciting examples of how habit-forming products break through the clutter in a crowded market.

She further outlines two traps of contextual positioning. Most product marketers focus on what the development team has built but don’t focus on how the product transforms or changes in the target market. 

Successful businesses constantly evolve their product with changing market and consumer trends. 

It is one of the best product marketing books because Dunford has worked with some of the best startups for over 25 years, helping them position products better (or right).

Product marketing managers wanting a lean product playbook to win more business should read this book. 

“While we understand that context is important, we generally fail to deliberately choose a context because we believe that the context for our product is obvious.” – April Dunford

About the book

  • Author(s): April Dunford
  • No. of pages: 202
  • Year published: 2019
  • Estimated reading time:  15 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Basic to advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.5/5) Amazon

Key takeaways 

Dunford spells out the five components of effective positioning: 

  • Competitive Alternatives: Visualizing options for the target audience if your product didn’t exist
  • Unique Attributes: The competitive advantage your product has over others
  • Value (and proof): The benefits of your product’s features to your target audience
  • Target Market Characteristics: Qualities of buyers that make them care about the product value 
  • Market Category: Either position your product in an existing market category or attempt to create a new category  Those users who will find your solution product market fit

What readers say:

“Well-written and easy-to-follow book on positioning. A must-read, especially if you are into marketing tech products. Goes beyond theoretical constructs and offers an actionable framework to arrive at the ideal positioning.”

5. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Inspired: How to create tech products customers love
via Amazon

The # 1 bestseller in Business Research and Development, Marty Cagan’s Inspired explains how effective product management contributes to designing, building, and scaling successful tech products. 

The author gives valuable insights into how the best tech and successful companies, such as Apple, Tesla, and Facebook, conduct product launches and how to structure successful product organizations. 

Though this product marketing book was written in 2008 when no distinct product marketer job role existed, it is a valuable resource for understanding the psychology of tech products.

Product market fit, regardless of the company’s stage, requires proper structuring of product teams, a relevant marketing campaign, and strategic value regarding business context and direction. 

“A product manager is working tirelessly, leading the product team to combine technology and design to solve real customer problems in a way that meets business needs.” – Marty Cagan

About the book

  • Author(s): Marty Cagan
  • No. of pages: 386
  • Year published: 2008
  • Estimated reading time:  20 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Basic to advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.6/5) Amazon

Key takeaways 

According to Cagan, the best product teams work because:

  • They deal with risks (value, usability, feasibility, business viability) before they build their solutions
  • They define the product in collaboration with all the teams (i.e., Design, Engineering, and Product Management work side-by-side)
  • They offer solutions that essentially solve underlying problems 

What readers say:

“Marty has captured each area of impact for a product organization and from the perspective of various people: Product manager, designer, stakeholders, leads, and delivery manager, which makes this book relevant for everybody in a product company.”

6. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

via Amazon

If your team has struggled with failed products, Nir Eyal’s Hooked provides you with a four-step process (called the Hooked Model) to build habit-forming products your customers will love.

The best part is that the book details the behavioral techniques social media platforms use to keep users hooked and coming back.

So, what do these companies do differently? They offer first-to-mind solutions. They associate themselves with a problem or need so strongly that their target audience reaches out to them automatically.

For example, ‘search’ today is organically associated with Google, or the need for ‘feeling good’ instantly takes people to Instagram. Eyal shows readers how to build such associations and apply the ‘Hooked Model.’ 

“Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old, while companies irrationally overvalue the new.” – Nir Eyal

About the book

  • Author(s): Nir Eyal
  • No. of pages: 243
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time:  13 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Basic to advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.6/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • The ‘Hooked Model’ has a four-step process embedded in a loop or cycle involving the trigger, the action, the investment, and the variable reward
  • There are two kinds of triggers. External triggers are direct, paid, earned, relational, or owned calls to action. Internal triggers are the associations people make with their pain points
  • Your product needs to solve a problem repeatedly and consistently (think of Facebook or Instagram—whenever you’re bored, you visit these sites without external prompting) to form a habit

What readers say:

“This is a great book for those wanting to learn what makes a great product. It helps to bring out many of the concepts that we see in our real life but are not able to put a name to e.g. triggers, actions, rewards, investments. It’s a great companion for one who is looking to build a product and will serve as a checklist to see if you have covered the most important things with your product.”

7. The Product Manager’s Survival Guide

The Product Manager's Survival Guide
via Amazon

Steve Haines, the founder of The Product Management Executive Board, asks product marketing professionals to think strategically to advance in their careers. 

In The Product Manager’s Survival Guide, the author shares a step-wise blueprint for succeeding as a product marketer and how to build minimum viable products (MVPs) through practical tools and techniques. 

The book has techniques to earn empowerment, deploy and release products, and metrics to assess product performance.  

As a product manager, you will learn to go beyond features and functions and become a product expert and a customer advocate. Whether you’re a beginner looking for product marketing debunked tips or a seasoned leader, this book has everything you need to contribute consistent positive results to your business. 

Dive deep into the creative aspects of product management while mapping out the customer journey.

“When product management isn’t properly organized, aligned, or scoped, people have to work harder to achieve the same goals and build successful strategies.” – Steven Haines

About the book

  • Author(s): Steve Haines
  • No. of pages: 223
  • Year published: 2013
  • Estimated reading time:  11 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.1/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • A product is not always a single item, but within a company, there’s a hierarchy of services and product lines
  • Product management is a model that includes discovering, innovating, strategizing, experimenting, planning, developing, and marketing products
  • There are four aspects to product marketing: map out your bearings, be a domain expert, direct everyone to focus on company goals, and keep moving forward 

What readers say:

“I made the jump from a career in the military, to sales, and recently to product management. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone in the product management world! Steven does an excellent job detailing first-hand examples from his career and supporting them with tactics and guidelines that can be used by the reader immediately. He also provides many useful templates and tools which I plan on incorporating ASAP. My only regret is I didn’t read it sooner!”

8. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

Product-Led Growth
via Amazon

Wes Bush was inspired to write this book when he blew $300 on writing a white paper for a SaaS product. When he helped launch a free premium product from 0-100k users, he realized a surprising truth: most people were wrong about selling software.  

In Product-Led Growth, Bush proposes a product-led strategy and provides practical tips for saving development costs and following a proper strategy for SaaS product launch. 

He breaks down complex technology product marketing concepts into interesting charts and tables. 

For example, product fillers are like Coke served with French fries. Mainstream customers will always check out the big fillers, so a bundle helps drive uptake in a higher average revenue per user (ARPU). 

“Ability debt is the price you pay every time your user fails to accomplish the key outcome in your product.” – Wes Bush

About the book

  • Author(s): Wes Bush
  • No. of pages: 278
  • Year published: 2019
  • Estimated reading time:  15 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.5/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • A value gap is created when there’s a difference between perceived value and experienced value; the bigger your value gap, the leakier your funnel
  • There are three reasons why value gaps are so big in the SaaS industry, namely, product ability debt, lack of awareness about customer needs, and over-promising a solution
  • To create tech products customers want to pay for, you should remove the value gap and friction that leads to low product adoption 

What readers say:

“Would advise every Saas founder read this book before starting his venture ~ many portions may look theoretical. And then again after two years since the product launch read this all over again~ you will find every word will make absolute sense. Too good.”

9. The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things
via Amazon

Initially published in 1988 as The Psychology of Everyday Things, Donald Norman describes the psychology behind good and bad design while proposing design principles. 

Though The Design of Everyday Things touches upon disciplines such as ergonomics, design practice, and behavioral psychology, this book has a firm place among product marketing books. 

Understanding cognitive psychology is among the many aspects of product marketing. 

Building on the premise of customer’s expectations and needs, the author makes a strong case for how product design bridges communication between the object and the user. 

While innovators blame themselves for product failure, the surprising truth, as the book suggests, is that products fail when the design lacks intuitive guidance. 

The author urges designers, product marketers, and product marketing managers to embrace the power of constraints and design for error. A good design’s most significant brand message is it doesn’t need an explanation.

“Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible.” – Donald Norman

About the book

  • Author(s): Don Norman
  • No. of pages: 368
  • Year published: 2013
  • Estimated reading time:  20 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.4/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • A good design uses product limitations to help the user understand the product
  • Good product ideas survive when the design process considers human psychology
  • Human-centered design brings technology and humans closer

What readers say:

“If you are a UI and UX Designer, You must have this book as this is your BIBLE …This really helps us to understand simple design principles that we may otherwise miss out on in the name of design or simplicity.”

10. Building For Everyone: Expand Your Market With Design Practices From Google’s Product Inclusion Team

Building for Everyone
via Amazon

This is the first book on the list that discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion in product design. 

In Building for Everyone, Annie Jean-Baptiste makes a compelling case for business leaders to adopt an inclusive approach to create products for women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups. 

The author takes a step-by-step approach to the questions marketers, user researchers, and product marketing managers should ask to include more user groups in the design process. 

As the Head of Product Inclusion at Google, Jean-Baptiste points out that product inclusion expands the user demographic from an ‘average’ person to a diverse and dynamic population of various races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities. 

“As you prioritize inclusive design, you begin to center on deeply held user concerns to resolve those concerns.” – Annie Jean-Baptiste 

About the book

  • Author(s): Annie Jean-Baptiste
  • No. of pages: 272
  • Year published: 2020
  • Estimated reading time:  14 hours 
  • Recommendation level: Advanced
  • Ratings:
    • (4.6/5) Amazon

Key takeaways

  • The golden rule for inclusive product marketing is not—‘treat others as you would like to be treated,’ but ‘treat others as they would like to be treated’
  • Underrepresented people comprise a significant part of the population and are, therefore, growth drivers  
  • Underserved customers should be at the core of your practices and processes 

What readers say:

“This book inspired me to begin the conversation about product inclusion and become a champion at every organization I’ve worked for since. Anyone working as a product leader of any kind this book will make it clear to see that building for everyone is good for both people and business.”

Other Honorable Mentions in Product Marketing Books

Product Marketing with ClickUp

ClickUp Visualize and Plan Media Content
Use ClickUp to customize your view to visualize and plan product marketing materials like content and media across your organization

Besides product-led growth principles and product marketing managers’ responsibilities, the above list also talks about the importance of using the right tools to improve efficiency.

ClickUp is one of the best tools for the next-generation product marketer. Whether a newbie product marketing manager working with multiple teams to launch new products, or a veteran product marketer, ClickUp’s suite of project management tools helps you perform better.  

Here’s how ClickUp helps you get more done in less time. 

Marketing project management software 

ClickUp’s all-in-one productivity software brings all your marketing activities together. ClickUp’s project marketing software for product marketers covers all activities, from brainstorming, planning, and executing your team’s marketing programs to visualizing progress with team-wide transparency. 

ClickUp’s project marketing software keeps everyone on the same page

Product management platform 

One of the critical responsibilities of a product marketing manager (PMM) is to streamline product development with cross-department collaboration. ClickUp’s product management platform helps you map your vision, align your team on the goals and timelines, and sprint toward product development and launch. 

Product roadmap template 

Suppose you’re in charge of your product’s website redesign project. You need to track and share a product roadmap, share weekly and monthly execution updates with the leadership, and publish release notes for your internal team. 

Use ClickUp’s Product Roadmap Template to map out each step of the product development cycle. The roadmap provides a macro-level view of the vision, breaks down tasks, and prioritizes features and initiatives for the redesign project. 

Product Roadmap Template by ClickUp
Product development is a breeze when using Product Roadmap Template by ClickUp

Plan and execute marketing campaigns 

Brainstorm, plan, and execute your marketing campaigns on ClickUp’s intuitive dashboard. ClickUp AI helps product marketers nail product positioning by using ClickUp AI. Generate content ideas, roadmaps, and emails, especially when dealing with a creative block. 

ClickUp Email Marketing
Product marketing made easy with ClickUp AI

Set goals and priorities 

Whether you want to take a customer-centric approach or product-led growth, you must set goals and targets for yourself and the teams involved. Carry out your product marketing manager responsibilities more efficiently with ClickUp Goals. Measure your success, track progress, and create daily sprints using Targets. 

Visualizing progress in ClickUp’s Goals folder
Visualizing progress in ClickUp’s Goals folder

Strategy planning with ClickUp Whiteboards 

Make your product plan easy to understand with ClickUp’s Whiteboard. Think of the whiteboard as your creative canvas for mapping ideas, connecting them to workflows, and sharing them with your team members. 

Real-time progress tracking with custom dashboards 

At a time when product marketers are to ensure every dollar they spend contributes to the overall success, ClickUp’s Dashboards come in handy. They help drill down into task-specific details to identify bottlenecks, patterns, and trends. Custom dashboards allow users to gain real-time visibility into progress and performance. 

Clickup dashboard
Set up the reports you need, all in one place, on ClickUp

Great Product Marketing = Master the Basics + Use the Right Tools 

Product marketing managers drive innovation through their leadership but need technology to help them. 

ClickUp’s comprehensive project management tools simplify your product development process and help you ship products faster. 

In summary, kickstart your product marketing campaign using the ClickUp Marketing Plan Template to set goals and targets and add specific details such as design briefs, customer journey maps, and product launch strategy. 

Use ClickUp AI to simplify and enhance the product messaging for sales teams. Develop product roadmaps and write attention-grabbing headlines and copies without depending on your content team to create the drafts. 

With ClickUp, organize and monitor your team’s work and collaborate with other departments, such as sales and customer support, to get your new product on customers’ radar. 

The Workload view helps you assess individual capacity, remove redundancies, and re-assign work to ensure the go-to-market plan is ready. 

Stay on top of all deadlines and schedules with Gantt chart views and manage priorities on the shared visual timeline with your team. 

The best part, integrate ClickUp with your existing tech stack, including the CRM, and automate routine tasks such as status updates and assignee changes.

Try ClickUp for free today. 

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