Never Read A Marketing Book? Read These 5 First!


In today’s episode, Open Source Growth host Dean Denny discusses the five most impactful books on marketing that he recommends for businesses to read and implement. He emphasizes that the principles discussed in these books are timeless and rooted in human behavior, making them easy to execute in different forms and industries. Dean also shares his passion for reading and how it has helped him in his personal and professional growth.


Here’s what you will learn from this podcast:

1) Reading influential books can help increase revenue in your business.

2) “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz is a great book for understanding the psychology and mindset of consumers and turning it into compelling messages.

3) “Ready, Fire, Aim” by Michael Masterson provides a framework for businesses to focus on when going from zero to a million or a million to 10 million in revenue.

4) “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind” by Jack Trout and Al Ries is a must-read for understanding how to occupy a position in someone’s mind.

5) “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne is a book that explains how to create your own market and make the competition irrelevant.’

6) Implementing strategies from these books is not always easy but can provide significant benefits to your business.



[00:01:54] – Five Impactful Books for Success

[00:02:16] – Figure out product, stand out competition.

[00:04:35] – Advertising is the lifeblood of any business.

[00:05:37] – Psychology-based, not tactics-based.

[00:07:59] – Crush success with market awareness.

[00:08:57] – Five stages of market awareness: UPSYD

[00:15:55] – Zero to Million: Growth Framework

[00:17:28] – Positioning: Battle for Your Mind

[00:20:37] – Lovely book: Blue Ocean Strategy.

[00:23:14] – Creating Unrivaled Opportunities: Blue Ocean.

[00:23:39] – Create Your Own Market.

[00:24:43] – Be remarkable: Seth Godin’s Purple Cow

[00:27:28] – Build remarkable business, stand out.

[00:27:59] – Five amazing books recommended.


Hi, everyone. How are you going, it’s Dean here and welcome to Open Source Growth, your #1 destination for growing your SaaS business this year with the best, latest and greatest in direct response advertising strategies, Digital advertising and a whole lot more guys. I hope you’ve all been well. We are so thrilled to see all of you, lovely people tuning in and subscribing to this podcast. It means the world to me.

And it’s so exciting to see that our numbers are slowly growing. You know, we don’t do this for any commercial gains. This podcast. We only create this podcast to help out the people who are really struggling, just like you getting their business to grow in more importantly, their online software or software as a service company to grow. You know, you may be in a challenging spot.

You may have be running thousands of dollars a day on Facebook ads and nothing’s converting, or you’re under significant pressure from your manager to meet your, you know, booked demo targets or your SQL targets or your CAC, um, targets. You could just be a person who’s curious about SaaS marketing and thinking about how you can translate the good stuff that comes from this very unique discipline across to your e-commerce brand or your fish and chip shop.

Like it doesn’t really matter because what we do here, isn’t just a flash in the pan. Uh, set of tactics that work in this podcast. Everything we do is timeless it’s based on principles that are proven and principles that are. Rooted in both human behavior and they’re just damn simple and easy to implement. So, you know, everything we do here is executable in so many.

Different places and forms. And in today’s episode, I want to talk about the five most impactful books that will help you grow your business online. Whether or not you’re in a SaaS. Um, company, or if you’re, you know, just to start up, trying to figure out your product. Or if you’re a fish & chip shop, not showing.

And you’re not too sure on. How are you going to delineate yourself from the rest of the competition? And in today’s podcast. I know you guys can’t see the. There’s no camera here, but what I have created and what I’ve managed to do is race out to my business library and picked up the five most influential books that I’ve.

Um, read over my time. When it comes to marketing and sales, and I’m just really going to focus on marketing today. Because I think if you have a chance, Get through these books, read them and implement them because there’s going to be some massive things. But you can take from these books. And then literally turned that into additional revenue in your business. So this is all pretty exciting. I do love reading.

Um, If anyone knows my story that is listening to the podcast. I used to read about a book a week. Um, in marketing sales or personal growth or spirituality, and, you know, it’s been a really exhausting last three years and I haven’t had the chance to really dive deep on reading a whole heap of books recently. So.

It’s good to, you know, blow off the old cobwebs off the covers. So let’s get right into it. Um, I think like it, there’s no secret here. For me, my number one book, when it comes to. You know, figuring out. You’re advertising and getting your marketing to work. Um, There’s no other book for me other than Eugene Schwartz’s breakthrough advertising. Now, you know, Breakthrough advertising. Thanks to Titans publishing and Brian Kurtz. Mad shout out to Brian. Um, They have recently republished this book over the past five years. And it’s now accessible to the average punter like you and I. Um, Breakthrough advertising was first published. I think in the fifties. Let me just quickly double.

Double check this. Um, It was first published, you know, the last. Hang on a second, not the 1950s in 1966 by Barbara Schwartz, which was Eugene Schwartz, his wife. Now.

This book is a juggernaut. When it comes to helping out marketers and entrepreneurs and founders. Get the advertising to work. Because, you know, you’re, if you’re listening to this, you’re somewhat touched and impacted by digital marketing. You’ve arrived at this podcast because we’ve either optimize the SEO on this podcast page. Alternatively, you’ve landed on our website, which is SEO optimized, or we’ve driven traffic to the website.

You’ve seen one of our Facebook ads. I know, you’re listening to me. Speak to you. Um, you know, digital advertising has really taken over, um, the focus of many marketing professionals nowadays. And what’s really interesting. Here is that. Not only are you. Uh, being swept up by the digital advertisers nowadays, but there’s a whole.

Focus of the digital marketing world to keep people dependent on the Gurus because the gurus are perennially selling you tactics. Now. The problem with that is that you become dependent on tactics all the time, because what happens with the tactic is generally as a rule of thumb, a tactic has a half-life.

And when tactics have a half-life, you’re never really going to be able to develop something which is evergreen, which always works, which you just need to tweak. 20% of the left and 20% to the right all the time. And what this book was all about. It’s not about tactics. Like it was written in 1966 for goodness sakes.

Like this book, breakthrough advertising is all about understanding what goes on between the two ears and the mouth. Of the human being and the psychology and the mindset that a consumer is literally going through. And how do you wrestle with that? And then turn it into compelling messages. That sell. How do you turn it into compelling sales letters and advertorials and classified ads, which get people to pick up the phone and be like, yo, I am interested. And that is what breakthrough advertising is all about. In terms of some like top three highlights here for me with breakthrough advertising is the concept of mass desire and basically the concept of mass desire. I’m going to have a go at explaining it very badly is that you can’t create desire because humans. Have their own unique and personal desires. The only thing that you can do is tap into it. So when you understand like your ambitions and your goals and your dreams of your humans, that you’re trying to target with your SaaS product or your online brand or your e-commerce strategy,

What you really need to have a drill. Good understanding is what they really want. And then recognizing that your, your product doesn’t create the desire. Your copy doesn’t create the desire, but it’s your responsibility. As a creative, whether you’re developing a video sales letter or some, you know, you know, some UGC or if you’re doing long form copy, that’s more my style. Um, the whole point here is that you need to get that right.

Um, and understanding on how to actually tap into that desire. And then. Tap into it with your copy and your creatives. So people feel that. Okay. By reading this, the fulfillment on my desire may happen. And by purchasing and taking the next step, that’s going to happen, too. So that’s like the big, the big idea. Um, again, it’s worth the 200 us dollars that you have to spend to buy the book, just to understand that concept, because I can honestly say that that’s been responsible for 80% of the success.

That we’ve had within our own agency at Owendenny Digital with our clients and we’re practicing it even with our own campaigns. It’s absolutely crushed at one, we properly leveraged.

The next big idea, um, from breakthrough advertising. Is the levels of market awareness now. I’m I can’t, I’m not going to do it enough justice here today, but the whole point is that in any given market, which you enter, the buyer is either not aware at all of the problem that they have, or they’re so aware of the problems and the solutions on the market that they’re literally just waiting for a discount.

Now there are five stages of market awareness, which indicate the level of buyer sophistication or how clued on they are to you. You and what you offer. So I’m going to make it really easy for you today. So if you want to pin this on the back of like your vision board or. Understand having the car with you. I think this is a really valuable acronym for everyone to remember. It’s called upside that U P S Y D. Now, if you remember upside, you’re always going to remember your five stages of market awareness.

Stage one unaware of the problem that they have now. A good, a good example of people not being aware of a problem that they have is selling people like a novelty. T-shirt they’ve never needed a novelty. T-shirt just fulfill any form of desire. And there’s no real intrinsic. Um, problem that had solved was like, yeah, you could argue that. Yeah. It keeps someone protected from the sun that keeps them from the elements.

It’s socially acceptable to wear a t-shirt. Um, it can make them feel. It can enable you to tell who you are. It’s all about self-expression. Yeah, whatever, but like, in terms of like burning problem, which is going to see someone walk all over hot coals to go about achieving and figuring out there’s no real compelling, um,

The reason to go about buying one of these. So when you’ve got these products where there’s no real immediate problem, or the prospect has no idea that he or she needs the problem. That’s the first level of market awareness. The second level of market awareness is, uh, people who know they’ve got a problem, but they have no idea that there’s a solution on the market. So you’ve got, you are unaware of problem.

P is problem. A it problem aware. Now, this could be, you know, you wake up one morning and you’ve got a twinge in your back and you’re like, oh,

Good God almighty. I’ve got, I’ve got back pain. I’m not sure what to do like, and then all of a sudden you start, you know, Googling on the internet. You start thinking about, Hey, what do I. Um, I’ve got back pain, lower back pain. How does it, how do I fix that? And then all of a sudden you start landing on all these search engine optimized, blogs around, um, you know, figuring out.

What you can do to alleviate your back pain. Is there exercise and all that sort of stuff, but you’re problem aware, but you’re not necessarily. In the market for a solution yet, which then leads to the next, um, level of market awareness or buyer awareness. So my buyer sophistication. And that is people who are solution aware. Now, for instance, just say you’re a business owner. You’re listening to this podcast.

You know that you’ve got a problem, which is I can’t get my business to grow fast enough. Now if you’re one of those many people, let’s be Frank. Most of us are those people. You’re probably thinking, oh goodness gracious me. I’ve got a problem. I’ve got a leads problem. I’ve got a conversion rate problem. And your solution may be, oh, I need to run a, I need to engage somebody to run my Facebook ad campaign or my Google ads and my YouTube ads on my LinkedIn ads or my Snapchat on my take, talk on my Taboola or Outbrain campaigns, you know, like that is that typical.

Um, How do I say it? The person who knows that there are solutions on the market. And there are people who can serve that salute that serve that problem for the prospect. And that’s kind of the third level, which is the solution aware, so let’s just recap that quickly. You’ve got the people who are unaware of a problem, and you get the people who are problem aware.

And now you’ve got those who are solution aware. The next level is Y so upside with the Y. Which is your solution. So they’re so aware. Of the products in the market. Now they are aware of your solution. So for instance, just say, SaaS owner is like, oh goodness gracious me. I’ve got a lead problem. I need to look up a SaaS marketing agency.

That can help me bolster my growth and truly make T2D3 growth, a complete reality for me. So I need this to happen. Now they can get onto Owendenny’s website. So they understand that we’re a solution for them. Or a company which can provide a solution for them to, you know, fix up their conversion rate optimization.

Plug the holes in their funnel. I figure out exactly why, you know, people aren’t showing up to their appointments and why people aren’t jumping onto like proposal calls or whatever. And then we can go about tweaking the website, rewriting the copy, sending traffic to that landing page, and writing compelling ads. It’s for those.

Traffic campaigns. Now. Like what I’m getting you to think about here guys, is that, that this person is solution aware and they’re also very aware of what you do and what you offer. Which comes to the last level of market awareness or buyer awareness and market sophistication, whatever, what you want to call it is deal awareness. And what that means is.

They are just waiting with an elephant gun in the bushes. To fire their one round and purchase from you based on a deal or offer that comes to the ground. I’ve always wanted to work with Tony Robbins. You know, I’ve always wanted something from him, but it’s always been too expensive. Oh, wow. He’s just on a flash sale. 97% off all courses.

Three days only, I’m going to buy everything. Black Friday. Boom. That’s another example of that. You know that D level or the deal and offer awareness. That’s the very, very bottom of your marketing funnel. So that’s kind of like number two for me, number three, in this, like there’s so much gold here, but really the importance, how it lays down on headlines. I think that headlines nowadays in the world, which is so creative first, not copy first.

That we forgot if we failed to understand the importance of headline testing and how do we intensify headlines. If you want to know how to write compelling ads, study the living crap out of this book. And. Not only is it a course in copywriting and direct response advertising? It’s also a course in understanding the psychology. So this is an absolute banger book.

Get onto it. Make it happen. Let’s get some book. Number two. Um, is ready, fire aim by Michael Masterson. Now I’m not going to really go about like a three point, um, summary of this book. But the biggest thing with Michael Masterson is that he recognizes that every single business has its own unique set of problems.

When it goes from zero to 1 million, 1 million to 10 million. 10 million to 50 million and then 50 million to 100 million. So what Michael Masterson’s done has provided you with a framework as to what you need to focus on when you’re going from zero to a million or a million to 10, et cetera, et cetera.

Now the cool part about this book is that it really one of the first books I read before I jumped into books like traction or, um, any of the other SaaS related growth books. Um, is that. He provides you with a framework as to what to focus on. If your business hasn’t got from zero to a million a year in annual recurring revenue.

Full transparency, where in that boat to the main focus and the main game should always just be marketing and sales, get sales and marketing squared away. So you can scale the thing up and then you can get to the next level. But then when you go from 1 million to 10 million, you start thinking about operations and then as you go higher and higher up the size of organization and corporation, it then turns into a game of governance and boards and strategy and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

So if you want a complete guide to. Getting your direct response advertising and your sales to work and what you need to focus on at the particular stage of comedy that you were at ready. Fire aim by Michael Masterson is a masterpiece it’s super easy to read. Michael Masterson is one of the greatest.

Direct response copywriters of all time. And, you know, He’s just amazing the way he explained everything, even like upsells and how to sell, like, you know, proposals, complain, BS, you know, brevity is the soul of velocity. Like there’s some real Gold in this book. So check it out. I love it. Um, I need to probably read it a few times more.

Which leads me to Book number three. And this is again, if anyone knows me. Um, everyone wants to have a talk or chat with me about marketing. I am totally obsessed with Jack trout and Alvarez. Like I love these guys. These two. Uh, some of the greatest marketing strategies of our times. They came up with some brilliant books, like the 22 immutable laws of marketing. They also came up with bottom up marketing and trout on strategy. There’s like a lot of amazing books that these guys have read, but no book is better. And I repeat better than positioning the battle for your mind. And let me give you an example of what positioning is all about.

I see with positioning the battle for your mind. You and your business occupies a position in someone’s mind. But there are rules around what position you occupy. For instance, if I ask you. Like do this with me on the, uh, whilst you listen to this podcast. Name a sports car manufacturer.

What did you guess? You probably guess Ferrari. If I ask you name a luxury watch manufacturer, what are you going to guess? You’re probably going to run down with Rolex. Like you’re not going to be talking about tag huger, a long gene or. Um, smaller ancillary brands. Or if I ask you to name a name of soft drink, you’re probably going to say Coke.. And that’s because of the fact that they’ve adopted and they’ve figured out a way to intersect.

What’s actually going on. Inside of the customer, and they’ve been able to tap away at that over a long period of time. So it’s kind of like if you’ve got a word. For instance, just say, you’re a SaaS company. You want to be, you want to own a word? You, if, if someone says, Hey, uh, I want to own the category. Our owner want to own that word.

For instance, just say you’re a, um, a governance software. That uses AI. Like I want to be known as the AI governance software.

Or just say your a recruitment platform or a recruitment chat bot platform. You want to own? Recruitment chat bot and basically positioning gives you a whole heap of examples and options and solutions to go about making this happen for your business. As you can see our positioning, we’re trying to aim.

And be the tip of the spear when it comes to SaaS marketing in Australia, like Australia’s number one SaaS marketing agency that could be us. Purely because of the fact that we’re the only people focusing on it. You know what I mean? So just have a think about that. Um, because again, that’s how positioning matters and it makes it a lot easier in the mind of your customer to make a decision with you.

If your positioning is correct, and it’s congruent with what they’re looking for. So again, check out positioning by Jack trout. Love this book it’s super easy to read. I think it’s only about 145. No.

Only about 210 pages and it’s super easy to write. So jump onto this. These guys. Uh, masters and brevity something, which I haven’t quite mastered. Um, But yeah. You’ll love it. Now. A book, which got me in a bit of trouble. Uh, but I do love, there’s a very strong place in my heart. For this book, um,

Because I didn’t quite implement it correctly, but you know, going back and having a look at this book now, I look at it and think okay cool cool. I know how to do it. And it’s called blue ocean strategy. And basically the whole concept of a blue ocean business is a business, which is simply. Uncontested in the market and it makes the competition irrelevant.

See, you know, a great example, which they talk about in this book is Cirque de Solei. Now Cirque de Solei, the French juggernaut that it is. Is the quintessential night out. You know, there was two markets before it existed, though. You had the theater crowd. And then you had the circus crowd. See when Cirque du Solei came to the floor.

The guy who founded it, looked at it and said, Hey, circuses are always very. They’re always very low brow. It’s smelly. It’s big gross. It’s disgusting. You’re under this big top. You feel like you’re literally just entering a barn and there’s animals and all these things. I don’t ethically agree with.

But then when you go to the theater, You your, your experience, isn’t the same. It’s not that dynamic, you know, you’re only on a single stage it’s it costs a lot of money. Um, and you know, it’s, it’s not, it’s not truly like a fully immersive experience at the theater. And the guy. Who sat down and credit Cirque de Solei realized. Hang on a second. There are people by the truckloads willing to spend.

150 250 $300 a ticket to go see these theater. Um, applications because they’re cause they consider themselves, you know, Oh, I’m cultured. I go to the theater. I, I like going, seeing an Opera or the ballet or whatever, and they recognize that, Hey, people are paying good money for this. But there’s really nothing.

That we could. There’s like, we can talk, we can replicate this or we can create our own category. And then you have a look on the other side. They were like, well, we’re circus performance, but we don’t want to be tacky. We don’t be low brow. We don’t want to be this, that. And the third, how about we create something in the middle?

Which we are in our own category of one. So no one can compete with us. And that’s how Cirque de Solei became a thing. You know, it was immersive, it was, it was intelligent. It was sophisticated. It was this incredible business. And it was this incredible offer and opportunity because no one can simply compete.

You know, you like. The, uh, you know, the pricing, it doesn’t really matter. What can you compare it against like a trip to the F1? No, it’s not even, um, it’s not even comparable. So like that’s the whole concept of blue ocean strategy. How do you develop products, services and businesses which create their own market space?

Now there’s a really amazing book called a hundred million dollar offers by Alex Hormozi. I’m surprised I didn’t even include this on this list, but the reason why I haven’t is because of the fact that I want to give you like a very large. Grounding today of like w if you have never read a marketing book, these are the first five you must read.

Just get it done. But, um, The whole concept here is how do you do this? Based on the market information that you have, how can you create your own market? Now. Please be warned. This is not a very easy thing to execute. Uh, but you know what? There are elements within blue ocean strategy, which you can pick and choose and implement within your own business.

You know, being able to cater to new markets and expand markets or being able to satisfy customers, they’ve never been satisfied.

That’s what this is all about here. So. Give it a listen, give it a go. And see how it goes. It’s a best-selling author and your boy here. Dean Denny from Owendenny Digital ended up on their website. For my previous startup, which I’ll talk about in a later episode.

Which leads me to probably like my all-time favorite marketing book and.

Oh, well, this is probably something which not only. Applies to your business, but it also applies to your life. And it’s Seth Godin’s purple cow. Now the whole concept of purple cow is too. Pretty much develop a business, which is so remarkable that it stands out and that people are like, wow. They actually speak about it.

Now. You know, every business owner aspires to have a remarkable business, but Seth Goden really. Clearly defines why you need to create a purple cow business. Let me give you an example of what he means by a purple cow. Just say you’ve packed the kids into the SUV and you’re driving down the highway and you’re driving into the countryside and you, you know, you’re starting to see life’s a lot slower out there. You know, there are.

There, there are barns. There are, you know, dilapidated. You know, You know, petrol stations, there are. You know, the odd, you know, random spot tuck shop and, you know, there’s all these. It’s just, it’s just dusty, it’s dirty and whatever. And then you start jumping along and you driving along and you see like the rolling Plains and all of a sudden you see a cow and you go, you know, you point out to your wife and kids or your husband. And you’re like, oh, wow. Look.

A cow, a brown cow, how exciting. And everyone thinks it’s like the coolest thing in the world. You’ve just seen a cow. Right. And then all of a sudden you’re driving along and you see like, Uh, white cow and you’re like, whoa, what. We’ve seen a brown cow and a white cow. And then you see a black cow and then you see a black cow with a white spot and you’re like, whoa, this is fricking amazing. I can’t believe it. But then all of a sudden you drive through a pasture and there’s cows fricking everywhere and you’re like, hang on a second.

They’re all just cows there. That’s, nothing’s that remarkable? I’ve seen 377 of these things today. Like what’s the point? But then if you’re driving along right.

He is what could be really amazing here.

You could see a purple cow. And how would you feel. When you see a purple cow. You’d be like, holy smoke. This is incredible. I cannot believe I’ve seen. A. A purple cow. Like this is, this is fricking amazing. And you’re going to be talking to not only your friends and your family, but you can talk about everybody that you’ve spoken to and seen about this. And it’s fricking cool. It’s so amazing. So what I’m trying to talk to you about here is that.

You need to stand above the rest. And create your own business, which is truly remarkable. Otherwise you’re going to be totally forgotten. So check it out. It’s super easy. It’s written, written in the kind of way of a fable. Um, to begin with and then talks about being this whole case studies and all that sort of jazz.

You need to build out a remarkable business, something which is worth speaking about which cuts well above. Um, It cuts well above the rest of the market.

And guys. Look. That’s it for today. I hope y’all are having an amazing day. These are five amazing books. Starting with breakthrough advertising by Eugene Schwartz. Ready? Fire aim by Michael Masterson. Positioning the battle for your mind by Al Ries and Jack trout blue ocean strategy by Renée Mauborgne, and then Seth Godin’s purple cow.

They’re my top five marketing books. If you get something from this, please feel free to like share and subscribe to this channel. We really appreciate everything. Um, that you, you hard devoted listeners do for this place. And if you have anything you want me to cover on a podcast, there’s going to be some really interesting ones for learning’s about.

Launch, please let me know. And we’ll make it happen for you. Because again, I’m devoted to making this a space where people can get their problems solved for free. So guys. Do some good today. I love you all. Stay safe. And till next time.




Connect with Dean Denny, host of Open Source Growth and Director at Owendenny Digital


Owendenny Digital, Australia’s #1 SaaS Marketing Agency



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