I am happy to have achieved at least one of the goals that I had set for myself for this winter break – reading Seth Godin’s This is Marketing.
Simply said, if you are in any way in the business (and according to Seth many more of us are marketers than care to admit), this is a must read. For me, Seth is much easier to listen than to read (I prefer listening to Akimbo updates any time I can) and still this book was a great choice. It shares so much knowledge that I feel like underlining every word in his book.
I find my thoughts today at the intersection of Seth’s newest book and Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”. Daniel Pink very well identified the shift we are living in which the Right Side of the brain no longer represents a liability but something that will some of us apart in the world. Just going in with knowledge, data, research, will maybe place us somewhere in the room but what will bring us to the table is our potential to connect, synthesize, empathize and see the big picture.
Seth’s book talks about marketing in the context of this whole new mind. How do you market in a world where there is abundance, immediate impact / detriment, a flood of information and advertising, how do you set yourself apart? Seth advises us all to not fall into the trap of simply assuming that services such as FB or Twitter will carry us to where we want to go and invites us to understand that we will not be seen until we learn to see.
One example that stuck with me from the book – and again, half of it is underlined and that is only because I went easy on it and only read it once so far – is how much everything we do as marketers is linked to knowing who we are marketing to. What makes our audience tick? What counts for them – what are the values our change touches upon where they are concerned? Why are they buying or not buying what we are selling – whether it is a product or a service or an idea. I realize that this might sound like marketing 1 on 1 but consider the context we live in today in which our audience is flooded and most of the times harassed by people stealing their attention – the most valuable currency there is. In a world where social media allows masses to be contacted by a click of a button and it would seem so very easy to connect with thousands of people, Seth warns that this is actually the way to get lost and talks to us about how to gather our smallest viable audience. The ones that will miss you when you are no longer present.
Seth’s book is a good guide to a marketing path which may not lead to immediate profit in the monetary sense, but a path that taps into meaning, respect and connection and is more likely to secure profit in the long run in terms of reputation and build up of whatever change we are looking to make.