Must Consultants and Marketers Lie to Win? Book Review

Seth Godin. You’ve likely heard the name before. He’s considered the most influential business blogger in the world and is the author of several inspiring and best-selling books on creating, cultivating and spreading ideas.

In “All Marketers Are Liars Tell Stories” (published by Portfolio Penguin) Godin, yet again, does not dissapoint.

When you pick up a Seth Godin book or listen to him speak you quickly understand why he is a leader in the field.

Put simply, his books make you think. You feel as though your brain is being pushed and expanded to allow for more room to store and evaluable new ideas and concepts.

Marketing Has Changed

What you will find in this book is a strong argument that marketing has changed. No longer will simple ads and commercials work the way they used to. Today, and it has been like this for quite some time, stories are what sell.

But how do you create these stories? And more importantly, how can you know which stories will gain momentum and which ones will flop?

These questions, and many many more, are what Godin answers in the book.

Don’t try to change someone’s worldview is the strategy smart marketers follow.”

Godin suggests we don’t try to use facts to prove our case and insist that people change their biases.

This is an important point and one I am afraid many of you may miss.

So let’s break it down. Really what Seth is saying here is that people already have a set of beliefs. They do things a certain way. They have a view of the world and the environment around them. And they protect all of this. Too many marketers take the approach of trying to change people’s beliefs and worldview in their marketing and advertising. And that just doesn’t work anymore.

Here is a short video of Seth talking about his book:

Here is a presentation by Seth Godin given to Google employees when the 1st edition of the book came out:

Other key points include:

– When building your business start off by pinpointing a small market and get them to be your ambassadors. If they are passionate enough about what you provide they will tell others, and your idea will spread.

– Don’t worry about finding a special formula to make your marketing work, instead spend your time trying to find the right story that will resonate with your audience.

– Being authentic, real, honest and having a mindset of exceeding customers expectations is more important now than ever before.

– Whether you sell products or services, are a coach or marketing consultant, do not attempt to take over your competitors’ market by doing the same things they do. You need to approach the market with a different story as people will be reluctant to make a change to you, because that equals that they made a wrong decision before.

Big Takeaway

One big theme that kept leaping out as I was reading the book was that of authenticity. These days, marketers want to see instant results. They want to get where they are trying to go quickly. They cut corners and fool themselves into thinking that they can be everything to everyone. This approach usually leads to disaster. There is nothing wrong with going slow. With testing your story on the market and finding the right angle that really resonates. That people get excited about and will want to talk about. Once that happens, then you can scale up your business. These things do not happen overnight.

This is a great book. Easy and enjoyable to read, and I think one that would benefit anyone in business, marketing or consulting.

You can get a copy of the book on Amazon as well as any of Seth Godin’s other books.

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