Marketing fuels spectacular business growth, and great marketing matters today more than ever. The world of marketing has been disrupted by the transition to digital, empowering marketers with new tools, opportunities and innovation.
Who better to discuss this topic than the author of 18 books, a keynote speaker, and marketing disruptor himself, Seth Godin. I had the pleasure of seeing Seth speak at Sales Machine back in June, and was magnetized by his words of tribes and purple cows juxtaposed with floor to ceiling visuals. The conversation went from the big, bold stage to the small and intimate studio setting in a recent Series Pass, where Tiffani Bova sat down with Seth for a live webcast.
Inspiration continued into this webcast, which addressed the topics and conversations that impact today’s marketers. Here’s a quick look at five Seth Godin quotes, explained.
Back in the Mad Men days, TV ads were dramatically underpriced. If you bought a lot of TV ads, you were going to make a profit. As Seth Godin states, “All of the famous brands in our lives are not famous because they're better. They're famous because they bought a lot of TV.”
In the 90s through today, we’ve witnessed a giant splintering effect, where the number of options and offerings is endless. “The number of movies that Netflix offers, or the number of songs that iTunes offers, is more than all of the products sold in the old days by the Blockbusters and the Tower Records of the world,” says Seth.
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Now that companies are able to reach their audience in different ways, marketers have to be much more respectful of people’s time, and thoughtful about what’s truly the right thing to do. “When we sell a product that hurts someone, that's our responsibility. When we spam people, that’s our responsibility. When we promise one thing and give another, that’s our responsibility,” states Seth. “These are all our responsibility, our option, our choice.”
Great marketing can get attention, but just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. There is a race for attention, but the most touchpoints doesn’t always equal attention. It must be coupled with trust. “When you have attention and trust, then you can make connection and transaction,” shares Seth. “But if you're blowing the trust just to get attention, you're polluting the river we all drink from.”
It’s human nature to organize. We find a tribe. We connect with a tribe. We listen to the tribe. We tell stories that spread, and then we repeat the cycle. As Seth states, marketing's job is a simple seven-word sentence:
People like us, do things like this.
“If you understand that people like you buy certain products, it’s easier to say yes. If you understand that teenagers like us, buy shoes like this, then it's much easier to go buy it there. The idea of getting the tribe to clap in unison is what marketers do,” says Seth.
Fear comes from the unknown. If you know everything you need to know to buy, then there is no fear. If you’re wary, salespeople seek to address your fears. “Why are some things easier to sell than others? Because some customers are less afraid than other customers. Why are they less afraid? Because marketing has done its job,” says Seth.
Salespeople need to be there to teach, to inform, to console, and to encourage people to do that thing that makes them nervous. That thing? According to Seth, “It’s to say yes. People are afraid to say yes. Yes feels riskier than no. Salespeople are in the yes business.”
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The story we tell ourselves is the perception we have of how we want to be perceived in the world. If we stick to the status quo, if we’re the cog in the wheel, big change won’t happen. If you focus on what the company wants, then you’re not focusing on what your audience wants. Your audience wants their problem solved. “Solve my problem in a new way, a better way, an interesting way. Give me joy, give me meaning, give me connection. That's what consumers are paying for now,” states Seth. “That's why in a survey of teenagers they found the typical American teenager would rather have a smartphone than a car.”
According to Seth, the place to start taking action is with your boss. This is the person who is going to support you. Find a boss who will let you share your ideas and try new things.