all marketers are liars, seth godin


Last year I read Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. In this book Godin pleads to make remarkable goods. It’s remarkable products that get remarked on. That seems obvious, but it flies in the face of the way most goods and services and business items are created and marketed. Boring is invisible. 

Godin’s writings focus on how ideas are invented, transmitted and spread. 

For fifty years, advertising (and the prepackaged, one-way stories that make good advertising) drove our economy. Then media exploded. We went from three channels to five hundred, from no Web pages to a billion. At the same time, the number of choices mushroomed. There are more than one hundred brands of nationally advertised water. There are dozens of car companies, selling thousands of combinations. Starbucks offers nineteen million different ways to order beverage, and Oreo cooies come in more than nineteen favors. In the face of all this choice and clutter, consumers realized that they have quite a bit of power. So advertising stopped working. 

Having a good product or service (like a Purple Cow) is the basis of all enterprise, but a good product needs a valuable story to be succesfull.

Do you have a storytelling plan ?

This needs to become an essential part of any businnesplan something that every nonprofit, start-up, big business and politician that intends to succeed must draft. It starts with a discussion of which group you will tell you story to. The people in a group must share a wordview that makes it likely they will sit up and take notice. 

Which worldview are you addressing ?

If you don’t get noticed, you’re invisible. You can’t tell a story and your marketing ends there and then. The story you’ll need to tell in order to get noticed must match the worldview of the people you’re telling it to, and it has to be clear and obvious. 

Different people, different wordviews. People can see the same data and make totally different decision. If Jason got completely screwed the last time he bought a car from a used-car salesman, the worldview he has when visiting a dealership four years later is a little different than that of someone who is buying her third car in four years from the same place. 

Which frame are you using ?

 How do you frame your story so that people with that worldview will be aware of it, listen to it and believe it ? Frames are the words and images and interactions that reinforce a bias someone is already feeling. If you’re unable to tack your idea onto a person’s worldview, then that idea will be ignored. File sharing is different that steeling.

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