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Paperback All Marketers Are Liars : The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All Book

ISBN: 1591845335

ISBN13: 9781591845331

All Marketers Are Liars : The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

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Book Overview

The indispensable classic on marketing by the bestselling author of Tribes and Purple Cow . Legendary business writer Seth Godin has three essential questions for every marketer: "What's your story?" "Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?" "Is it true?" All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Surprising insights, but repetitive

Marketers are always on a quest to discover the new best way to sell products. Author and marketing guru Seth Godin takes a slightly skewed look at the marketing principle of positioning and renames it "storytelling." In doing so, he redefines a market segment as a community with a shared worldview, and a marketing campaign as a story framed to fit that worldview. The idea is provocative. By tweaking the conventional approach to advertising, Godin gives marketers a new angle, backed up by enlightening case studies. At times the book is simplistic and repetitive, and it never fully gets into the meat of how to create and disseminate a marketing story. Still, Godin will intrigue you as he explains that purchases are driven by desire, not need, and that clever storytelling is better at whetting a purchaser's desires than an old-fashioned ad campaign. We recommend his practical marketing advice with its unorthodox approach to charming the cash right out of the customer's wallet.

How to Get the Value-Add

Tom Peters likes to say, "You can't compete with China on cost, or Wal-Mart on price." So, how do you get the Value-Add for your products these days? It's not just that products have become commoditized. As we used to say in graduate school, they've become reified. It's not just that the product has become one thing among many, our emotional attachment to products has become one emotion among many. All marketing is viewed skeptically as manipulation. For Seth Godin, the only way marketers can avoid this trap is to go around it, and re-discover the power of narrative. A good story contextualizes a product and reconnects the buyer to the joy of buying and owning the product. Godin provides many examples of good stories, which get the job done, and urges marketers to focus more on the story than on the marketing message, campaign, etc. My favorite story mentioned here is Kiehl's. If you've been to a Kiehl's store, you know what Godin means by a good story. Read this book for pure fun, and pay attention to other stories being told.

Wholly Cow! (Purple, of Course)

Obviously, the purpose of this title is to attract attention. And it does. When you begin to read this book, ignore the title (at least for a while) and focus on Godin's narrative. The appropriateness of Godin's title is best revealed during a careful reading of his lively narrative. As always, his ideas and writing style have Snap! Crackle! and Pop! Think of Godin as a cereal thinker. In this volume, Godin offers his own profile of a great story: It is true, not because it is factual but because it is consistent and authentic; it offers a promise (e.g. enlightenment, entertainment, inspiration); it can be trusted because it is (to repeat) consistent and authentic; it is subtle; its impact "happens fast"; it appeals (preferably) to all of our senses (seldom, if ever to our logic); it is crafted for a specific audience; it does not contradict itself; and finally, it is in alignment with what its audience already knows, feels, believes, etc. Re the last point, a great story offers a reminder and a reassurance while, paradoxically, challenging conventional wisdom. Above all, it commands attention. Godin's profile of a great story also describes the most effective marketing campaigns. Here's a question: What do Aesop, Jesus Christ, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Joel Chandler Harris, and L. Frank Baum have in common? Answer: All were great storytellers who, obviously, can come in all shapes and sizes. One of Godin's most important points is that almost anyone can be a great storyteller IF they (a) have a convincing, indeed compelling story to tell and (b) they tell it to the right audience. Albeit taken out of context, here are a few brief quotations which are representative of Godin's thinking: "Every consumer has a worldview that affects the product you want to sell. That worldview alters the way they interpret everything you say and do. Frame your story in terms of the worldview, and it will be heard." (excerpted from page 60) "People only notice stuff that's new and different. And the moment they notice something new, they start making guesses about what to expect next." (excerpted from page 68) "Humans are able to make extremely sophisticated judgments in a fraction of a second. And once they've drawn that conclusion, they resist changing it." (excerpted from page 76) "Stories let us lie to ourselves. And those lies satisfy our desires. It's the story, not the good or the service you actually sell, that pleases the customer." (excerpted from page 84) "The only stories that work, the only stories with impact, the only stories that spread are the `I can't believe that!' stories. These are the stories that aren't just repeated: these are the stories that demand to be repeated." (excerpted from page 132) For whom will this book be of greatest value? Good question. My own response is that those who are receptive to rigorous and coherent thinking which is unorthodox wi

Lies we use to explain our choices...

Seth Godin always has an interesting perspective of marketing in today's society. His latest book seeks to add to that perspective with a purposely inflammatory title... All Marketers Are Liars - The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World. Chapter List: Highlights; Got Marketing?; Step 1 - Their Worldview And Frames Got There Before You Did; Step 2 - People Notice Only The New And Then Make A Guess; Step 3 - First Impressions Start The Story; Step 4 - Great Marketers Tell Stories We Believe; Examples - Stories Framed Around Worldviews; Important Aside - Fibs And Frauds; Step 5 - Marketers With Authenticity Thrive; Competing In The Lying World; Remarkable? The Cow Has Not Left The Building; Bonus Part 1 - Master Storytellers And Those Who Are Still Trying; Bonus Part 2 - Advanced Riffs; Good Stuff To Read; So, What To Do Now?; Acknowledgments; Index; What's Your Story? This is one of those books where you think it's going to say one thing, and it ends up telling a different tale than you expected. The general premise was easy to grasp, but I kept having to slow down to make sure I was really understanding the finer distinctions involved. Probably the best way to summarize the material is to quote from the Advanced Riffs chapter: "Remember, the marketer tells a story. The consumer believes it and it becomes a lie. And that lie can spread from person to person. Then and only then is the marketer going to succeed and will sales grow." Advertising that involves stating facts and comparing your product to the rest of the market is an effort that is potentially doomed to failure (or worse, doomed to be forgotten). You as a marketer have to tell a story about your product. One of the examples involved Puma tennis shoes which are marketed as a luxury "want" that will make you look cool, special, and so forth. Bottom line, it's an assembly of material used to make a shoe that costs very little when assembled in an off-shore plant. If all the consumer wants is a reliable pair of shoes, s/he can do much better with different brands that are far cheaper. But the consumer buys into the story that Puma is telling, and that story then becomes the "lie" that the consumer tells themselves to explain their attachment with the item. They then start to tell that lie to others, which can form an ideavirus that sweeps through society very quickly. Think of iPods... MP3 players have been around for quite awhile. The story of the iPod has become the lie that millions have told themselves and others. If Apple had simply tried to sell it as a portable music player with gigabytes of storage, there would have been little to differentiate it from others. Then it would have been a race to add more memory. But you can't compete with the "cool" factor of the iPod. A very successful lie... Godin does a good job writing a book that is compelling to read. Although I think I unknowingly understood why the iPod (and other Purple Cows) w
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