THE FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE MONTH Over the past quarter century, Seth Godin has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all walks of life, via his blog, online courses, lectures, and bestselling books He is the inventor of countless ideas and phrases that have made their way into mainstream business language, from Permission Marketing to Purple Cow to Tribes to The Dip Now, for the first time, Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one accessible, timeless package At the heart of his approach is a big idea Great marketers don t use consumers to solve their company s problem they use marketing to solve other people s problems They don t just make noise they make the world better Truly powerful marketing is grounded in empathy, generosity, and emotional labourThis book teaches you how to identify your smallest viable audience draw on the right signals and signs to position your offering build trust and permission with your target market speak to the narratives your audience tells themselves about status, affiliation, and dominance spot opportunities to create and release tension and give people the tools to achieve their goalsIt s time for marketers to stop lying, spamming, and feeling guilty about their work It s time to stop confusing social media metrics with true connections It s time to stop wasting money on stolen attention that won t pay off in the long run This is Marketing offers a better approach that will still apply for decades to come, no matter how the tactics of marketing continue to evolve


10 thoughts on “This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See

  1. Peter Peter says:

    I m sure there were some important tidbits of marketing advice in this book, but it s so full of generalities and aphorisms that you can t find them Godin writes in pithy, one sentence paragraphs that rarely have any transition to the next paragraph He s almost too cute for his own good It s clear that he knows marketing, but he s too coy to get his point across to the general masses Give me tangible tips, not proverbs.


  2. BookOfCinz BookOfCinz says:

    As someone who works in Marketing and Communications, I thoroughly enjoyed reading, learning and getting some reinforcements on things I already knew I have been a practicing Marketer for the last 8 years and reading this book really helped to simplify and expand on issues I encounter on a daily basis This is a book about roots About anchoring your work deeply in the dreams, desires, and communities of those you seek to serve It s about changing people for the better, creating work you can b As someone who works in Marketing and Communications, I thoroughly enjoyed reading, learning and getting some reinforcements on things I already knew I have been a practicing Marketer for the last 8 years and reading this book really helped to simplify and expand on issues I encounter on a daily basis This is a book about roots About anchoring your work deeply in the dreams, desires, and communities of those you seek to serve It s about changing people for the better, creating work you can be proud of And it s about being a driver of the market, not simply being market driven Having launched BookOfCinz this year, reading this from a Creative perspective really opened my eyes It is so hard to stay focus in this Marketing world where numbers, likes and mass is the goal However, this book reinforces the point that mass isn t everything and influence always wins If you are in the filed of marketing, I highly recommend reading thisThe relentless pursuit of mass will make you boring, because mass means average, it means the center of the curve, it requires you to offend no one and satisfy everyone It will lead to compromises and generalizations Begin instead with the smallest viable market What s the minimum number of people you would need to influence to make it worth the effort


  3. Melania & Melania & says:

    3,65 5I m aware of the importance of marketing and how much it impacts our everyday lives but I could never bring myself to care about it too much That s mostly because of the idea of classic marketers that I associate immediately with this profession They are known for being aggressive and pushing mediocre work at best most of the times That s why what impressed me when reading this book and kept my interest enough to actually finish it were the core values the author is promoting sinceri 3,65 5I m aware of the importance of marketing and how much it impacts our everyday lives but I could never bring myself to care about it too much That s mostly because of the idea of classic marketers that I associate immediately with this profession They are known for being aggressive and pushing mediocre work at best most of the times That s why what impressed me when reading this book and kept my interest enough to actually finish it were the core values the author is promoting sincerity, transparency ,respect ,dignity It seems to me that this approach is a game changer The moment that the marketer will take a humane approach, will actually understand the psychology of its target audience and also will be aware that not everybody is their target, Godin promises that only good things will happen And I tend to agree


  4. Laura Noggle Laura Noggle says:

    Nice recap and refresher on where you need to be mentally in your marketing approach It s hard to write about marketing consistently as Godin does , especially as it is always changing and slippery enough to define in general terms as is Initially, I felt that this book was so similar to all of Godin s other books By the end however, he had me, and I can honestly say I enjoyed this book It reminded me of a mini skirt long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to keep it interestiNice recap and refresher on where you need to be mentally in your marketing approach It s hard to write about marketing consistently as Godin does , especially as it is always changing and slippery enough to define in general terms as is Initially, I felt that this book was so similar to all of Godin s other books By the end however, he had me, and I can honestly say I enjoyed this book It reminded me of a mini skirt long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to keep it interesting Using examples from Apple to Elon Musk, Godin discuses marketing as an elusive fish, which, when caught correctly, makes all the difference in a brand s success I found this book encouraging, and recommend it to anyone running a brandAnd if you re having trouble making your contribution, realize your challenge is a story you are marketing to yourself.It is the marketing we do for ourselves, to ourselves, by ourselves, the story we tell ourselves, that can change everything It s what s going to enable you to create value, to be missed if you were gone


  5. Kirill Kirill says:

    This book summarizes the current state of marketing according to Seth Godin It references ideas that stood through time, like Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, as well as a lot of things Seth wrote before Tribes, Purple Cows A small summary below SPOILERS.Lesson One Find your smallest viable audienceWe live in a world overwhelmed with information Grabbing attention is hard and it costs money Seek for the smallest market you can live with Be specific Trying to catch the whole market This book summarizes the current state of marketing according to Seth Godin It references ideas that stood through time, like Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, as well as a lot of things Seth wrote before Tribes, Purple Cows A small summary below SPOILERS.Lesson One Find your smallest viable audienceWe live in a world overwhelmed with information Grabbing attention is hard and it costs money Seek for the smallest market you can live with Be specific Trying to catch the whole market will make your brand and business bleak and appealing to no one It is ok if your product don t fit someone It s not for you , you say and go away as long as there is an audience that likes it the way it is.Lesson Two The best marketing speaks to the narratives your audience tells themselves about status and affiliationSpeak stories to your audience People interacting with your business must experience a story that transforms them in some way It touches either their status or their affiliation to their tribe It brings emotions and willing to share the story with others.Lesson Three Pattern match for early growthYour smallest viable audience has habits They have patterns they are used to You may want to try to interrupt those patterns with better service or product Instead, look to match those.Lesson Four Brand marketing vs Direct marketingWhen you put a billboard on a street you do brand marketing Running a Google Ads campaign is direct marketing Brand marketing changes culture It can t be measured It is expensive, strategic and long running It makes your brand a part of a culture.Direct marketing interacts with people It can and must be measured It converts money to attention Some of the attention goes to action, which, in turn, can convert to new client Direct marketing is the way for early growth, but it is hard to make it cost efficient If you do not target your audience, do not tell a story of status and affiliation and do not match patterns your funnel will be too costly to make sense.Lesson Five Price is personalPrice is the only way to compete without good marketing strategy And this is the worst way to compete People will to pay different prices depending on what they seek It is not the product they buy, it is the experience that it gives them Seth refers to the classic do demonstrate this you do not buy a drill, you buy memories that emerge from photos on the wall.Price depends on status and affiliation Your client may will to mayto reinforce his vision of himself, or to fell closer to the community with shared interests


  6. Vanessa Princessa Vanessa Princessa says:

    I read this book thanks to Blinkist.The key message in these blinks With the rise of the internet and the fall of the monolithic mass media, marketers can no longer rely on advertising alone Instead, they should take an approach to marketing that identifies people s underlying needs and desires, develops a product that can fulfill them and uses value positioning and storytelling to cultivate a core group of fans who are receptive to trying new things and can provide the product with it smallest I read this book thanks to Blinkist.The key message in these blinks With the rise of the internet and the fall of the monolithic mass media, marketers can no longer rely on advertising alone Instead, they should take an approach to marketing that identifies people s underlying needs and desires, develops a product that can fulfill them and uses value positioning and storytelling to cultivate a core group of fans who are receptive to trying new things and can provide the product with it smallest viable market To spur these fans into action and encourage them to spread the message about the product, marketers should create and relieve tension by challenging their statuses and leveraging network effects to create a bridge between the fans and the general public Actionable advice Use an XY graph to visualize your product s value position Take the product you re trying to market and pick two opposing pairs of values Then, draw an XY graph and write one pair of values on the opposite ends of the X axis and the other pair on the opposite ends of the Y axis For example, on the X axis, you might write affordability on one end and exclusivity on the other Then, on the opposite ends of the Y axis, you might write sustainability and extravagance Now you can see the various territories you can stake out between the extremes of these four values that your customers might espouse Try picking different locations on the graph and asking yourself, How could I position the product here What would make the product speak to this combination of values This will help you find a unique positioning for your product.What to read next Purple Cow, by Seth GodinAs you ve just learned, the task of marketing begins before a product or service is even conceived, let alone built or developed Rather than coming after the fact, it needs to guide the design, manufacturing and implementation process from the very beginning.If you re intrigued by this idea and want to delve into it deeper, check out our blinks to another book by Godin, Purple Cow, where he argues that the path to successful marketing begins with the creation of remarkable products and services, which he calls purple cows These can then be marketed to a target audience through innovative strategies, which you ll also learn about.So saddle up on your electronic horse and get ready to lasso your own Purple Cow


  7. Emily Emily says:

    Book abandoned on Page 115 of 260This is marketing More like this is disappointment This was a book I was very excited to begin as I ve heard Seth Godin is a guru of sorts for marketers What ensued, however, was the most disjointed and frustrating stream of consciousness waste of time The Ulysses of marketing perhaps This book had absolutely no flow or narrative, despite the importance of a narrative being reinforced by the author on multiple occasions Random subsections followed with no o Book abandoned on Page 115 of 260This is marketing More like this is disappointment This was a book I was very excited to begin as I ve heard Seth Godin is a guru of sorts for marketers What ensued, however, was the most disjointed and frustrating stream of consciousness waste of time The Ulysses of marketing perhaps This book had absolutely no flow or narrative, despite the importance of a narrative being reinforced by the author on multiple occasions Random subsections followed with no order or coherent manner what s a car for Followed by too many choices followed by positioning as a service Reading this book is like selected a random playlist of YouTube videos on marketing and playing them with no vetting for quality or topic, played on an endless loop Evenappropriate, it felt like I was reading a poor script for a 90s infomercial it s almost a wonder this book didn t end every chapter with and this can all be yours for only 4 easy payments of 19.95 I don t know what I was meant to take away from this book nor what Godin was trying to tell me Examples were shallow with very little marketing theory applied to them, nor did it provide a substantial exploration of how the mentioned theory related to the case study Almost an entire page is devoted to Godin listing off attribute examples for axes on a spectrum Do I really need a list of seemingly random words I m not as thick as this author clearly thinks his readers might be..If you re looking for a book on marketing, this is NOT the book to invest in


  8. Vera Vera says:

    This is the first book by Seth that I ve read and although there are some genuinely original and solid ideas in there, I often struggled with fluff The one thing that stood out as a negative for me was that he didn t seem to carry out the case studies properly he doesn t talk about the why or the how, so the case studies fail to do what they should I did get some takeaways from it but didn t feel it had much to offer all in all.


  9. Matthew Matthew says:

    I struggled with this one On the one hand, there were a number of helpful concepts On the other hand, those concepts felt so widely varied that it was difficult to find a thread or theme that wove the entire book together I suppose that s the risk you run when you dive into an entire subject Many of the chapters whetted my appetite for , but didn t deliver.


  10. Erik Rostad Erik Rostad says:

    I was expectingThere were some good tidbits of info and some models I plan to use to rethink marketing plans Otherwise, it was a quick succession of ideas about marketing that didn t pack the punch I was looking for.