Business Insights

Business Insights

  • 10 Aug 2020

22 recommended reads for your 2020 staycation

Just about every campsite and seaside town in the UK is overflowing with holiday-makers.

Lanzarote may be off the cards for this year - for most of us at least - but that’s not to say we can’t holiday closer to home. Or even enjoy a staycation.

If you’re wondering what to flick through as you (hopefully) soak up that summer sun, we’re here to help. 

We asked our Marketing Directors to recommend the best books that they’ve read this year and they’ve responded with a whole host of books to make you laugh, think and feel inspired.


If you want to… work on your leadership skills

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How successful people become even more successful by Michael Goldsmith (Amazon)

Michael Goldsmith is one of the world’s top executive coaches. In this book he shares advice to help already-successful people to identify the traits or behaviours that are holding them back


The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek (Amazon)

This book is a crash course in game theory and business strategy that explores how the pursuit of ‘infinite games’ can help leaders to achieve long-term goals in life and work.


Bolivar: The Epic Life of the Man Who Liberated South America by Marie Arana (Amazon)

Simone Bolivar is one of the world’s greatest leaders. Charismatic, ruthless and idealistic, Bolivar’s story is a rollicking read for anyone who wants to inspire others.


Thriving on Chaos by Tom Peters (Amazon)

Achieving excellence is no longer enough. You need to be ready to pivot, change and adapt with customer behaviour. Tom Peters offers a practical guide for leaders who want to create businesses that are proactive and responsive enough to make it.


Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson (Amazon)

Why do we struggle to connect with certain types of people? Erikson offers a simple way of breaking down four key personality types and shows how to communicate with them better.


Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt (Amazon)

Every leader needs a good understanding of strategy. But what is ‘good strategy’? Rumelt shows that strategy is not buzzwords and financial goals. It’s about harnessing and applying power in the right ways.


Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't by Verne Harnish (Amazon)

Harnish has been advising CEOs for over 30 years. In this book he explores the four key elements of a successful company (people, strategy, execution and cash) in a way that anyone can understand.


Want to seize the advantage in 2020?

Use our 2020 Accelerator Framework to understand your position, set new goals and plan for growth.


If you want to… smile

Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson (Amazon)

Twenty years after he first travelled across Europe as a student, Bill Bryson sets off from the northernmost tip of the continent right through to Istanbul, describing what he sees with humour and occasional bewilderment. 


Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Amazon)

If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, Bryson’s account of traveling around the UK is a witty and charming account of the UK’s many eccentricities and quirks. 


The Jeeves Omnibus by PG Wodehouse (Amazon)

If you’re looking for a gentle read, there’s nothing quite like a spot of Jeeves and Wooster to while away a summer afternoon.


A Bit of Optimism by Simon Sinek (Listen)

It’s not a book but it is very interesting. Sinek speaks to some of the world’s top thinkers, doers and creators about topics ranging from courage to leadership to entrepreneurship. 


In Love with the World: What a Buddhist Monk Can Teach You About Living from Nearly Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (Amazon)

A young monk sets out on a wandering retreat. Just three weeks later, he becomes ill and is left fighting for his life. This is the story of his near-death experience and what it taught him about life.


If you want to… be inspired

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance by Matthew Syed (Amazon)

Matthew Syed uses countless real-life examples to show how peak performance is really achieved, by analysing performance, challenging assumptions and identifying the small tweaks that have a big impact.


Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff (Amazon)

The inside story of Salesforce’s astronomic growth is inspiring, funny and full of lessons for business leaders who want to follow in Benioff’s footsteps.


The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World by Michael Lewis (Amazon)

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s research gave rise to the now famous field of behavioural economics. But the story behind the friendship and its eventual unravelling is just as compelling as their academic work.


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Amazon)

A timeless piece of storytelling that established Hemingway as one of the great authors of the 20th century. It’s a short book that can easily be read in a single afternoon.


Note: Want to speak to an experienced marketer about how to respond to the coronavirus crisis and what follows?

Our Part-Time Marketing Directors are here to help. Book a free one-hour consultation.


If you want to… discover something new

The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy by Richard Shotton (Amazon)

Behavioural economics meets marketing in this fascinating account of the mental processes that underpin big and small buying decisions.


Traffic Secrets / Expert Secrets / Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson (Amazon)

These books are full of practical, hands-on advice that demystifies digital marketing and shows exactly how to drive traffic, get leads and turn leads into paying customers.


Copywriting Secrets: How Everyone Can Use The Power Of Words To Get More Clicks, Sales and Profits . . . No Matter What You Sell Or Who You Sell It To! By Jim Edwards (Amazon)

This book breaks down the tools, tricks and techniques that anyone can use to increase sales through their website, whether you’re a copywriter or not.


Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall (Amazon)

Our lives are increasingly digital, but the geography of the physical world still exerts a huge influence on our politics - and the politics of our past.


The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Content Marketing, Podcasting, Social Media, AI, Live Video, and Newsjacking to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott (Amazon)

What are the latest tactics for reaching and influencing buyers in the digital age? This guide breaks down where digital marketing is at - and also where it’s headed.


1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (Amazon)

All the albums, all the photos and all the stories behind history’s greatest records. This is a real treat for music lovers.

That should be enough books to keep you occupied - assuming the kids aren’t already doing so. 

Thanks to all of our Marketing Directors for sharing their recommendations and we hope you have a relaxing and refreshing summer break.


Is your business missing out?

Every business has blindspots. Our 10-minute questionnaire will show you what you’re doing well and where you could improve, along with expert advice for what to do next. 

Click here to analyse your marketing performance.

Take our marketing 360 diagnostic test

Written by Pete Jakob

Pete is UK Marketing Director for The Marketing Centre and specialises in marketing systems, data and processes for small and mid-size businesses. He has over 35 years’ experience working in technology and a variety of other sectors.

Help focus and strengthen your business

Do you need highly skilled in-house marketing expertise but simply can’t justify it full time or haven’t found the right person?

Find Out More