PMM Hive Reading List

Reading is essential for product marketers, and the list of useful books is long. We continuously add to this reading list, occasionally publishing reviews of the most important books. 

We reserve the honor of the PMM Hive Must Read badge for the very few books that we believe can help product marketers achieve PMM greatness. What are your favorite books? Let us know!

Curated by Crispin Read, Founder at PMM Hive

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Playing to Win is my favorite strategy book by far. If you have more than one product in a portfolio, you need to read this book and segment your thinking into playing fields. The authors offer a simple framework for dealing with mind-numbingly complex strategy issues.

Branding is closely related to product positioning, especially for technology companies with one or a handful of products. Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Flip is a must-read book for product marketers. Full review here.

What should I read next to gain some inspiration? With so many titles to choose from, which ones should you prioritize? Don’t worry, PMM Hive curated some business books that can help entrepreneurs and leaders at all stages of their careers. 

As a PMM, you give and receive strategy. This book helps you recognize Bad Strategy so that you can develop Good Strategy.  Read Dave Kellogg’s review here.

Dave Kellogg’s kellblog.com, has been running for almost 15 years. It offers many insightful articles on topics including strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, startups, silicon valley, marketing, and career development. Follow Dave Kellogg on Twitter or Linkedin for the latest episodes.

If you expect your business to cross paths with the world of venture capital, Bruce Cleveland and his partners at Wildcat Venture Partners have a book for you. It explains the way that VCs think about stages in your company’s growth and funding milestones. If possible, read this excellent book before, not after, you start the company. It will help. 

Aligned to Achieve

How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth

by Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin

Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin take on the vital topic of sales and marketing alignment in Aligned to Achieve. Since its first publication in 2016, a few things have changed. Helpfully, Tracy, and her team at InsideView keep things fresh by regularly publishing new survey results and insights.

Jonathan Baer and Michelle Messina’s Decoding Silicon Valley offers a guided tour of Silicon Valley and its culture. Product Marketers who are unfamiliar with Silicon Valley and entrepreneurs everywhere will find it helpful. Full review here.

Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup remains my favorite book on innovation. His insight that a startup is not a business, but an experiment reframes how we think about product innovation. The book is useful for product marketers and product managers in companies at all stages, not only startups.  

Marty Cagan’s Inspired is a product management favorite. Product marketers reading this book should look beyond the two pages he dedicates to the PMM role. Consider everything in the book to be your business, and you will find it valuable. At PMM Hive, we believe that product marketing is the business of product management.

Reasonable people may disagree on the relevance of Geoffrey Moore’s classic almost 30 years after its first publication. It remains an essential read for product marketers partly because the ideas in the book have entered product marketing business-speak. If someone asks you, “do you have a chasm-crossing strategy?” it is best to have read the book. 

What are your favorite books? Share your thoughts and favorite books with fellow PMMs at PMM Hive. Join the conversations.

Leigh Caldwell’s The Psychology of Price is an effortless read packed with actionable insights into human  behavior and how it affects our perception of value and price. It covers concepts including anchoring and decoys which we frequently apply in SAAS packaging. A great addition to any marketer’s library. Full review here.

The Empathy Edge shows how compassion can support or drive business success. Perhaps the book’s most fundamental message is that to appear empathetic to customers, a company needs to be empathetic. Ross believes, like Marty Neumeier and other modern brand thinkers, that brands “cannot simply claim a brand attribute, such as empathy (or transparency or honesty… take your pick of the brand attribute du jour), and expect people to believe it”. Full review here.