Review: This is Marketing by S. Godin

Like most people, to me, marketing has always felt like a dirty word. When I think of marketing I think of cigarette companies, influencers, and people forcing more crap I don’t need down my throat. And sure, there is plenty of that. However, with that in mind, recently I’ve felt drawn to understand the process a little better, after all, if I ever want to know how to market this blog or myself in the future I will need to have some understanding of the process. Last week I was looking for a new podcast to watch and stumbled across the name Seth Godin. The podcast (here) itself is outstanding and so I decided to purchase his book. Now I think about it, that’s pretty good marketing…

“A lifeguard doesn’t have to spend much time pitching to the drowning person. When you show up with a life buoy, if the drowning person understands what’s at stake, you don’t have to run ads to get them to hold on to it.” –  Seth Godin

This Is Marketing challenged my perception of the modern world of marketing and gave me some good building blocks for moving forward. Seth makes a great point that marketing the right product/service to the right person really can change the world for the better. 

“Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us.” –  Seth Godin

The book covers everything you need to know to get going, complete with tasks to follow, and real-world examples. He talks to the importance of finding your niche, defining the problem you wish to solve, creating a narrative, developing a strategy, getting your audience’s attention, and most importantly, pivoting if things don’t work. 

“The relentless pursuit of mass will make you boring, because mass means average, it means the center of the curve, it requires you to offend no one and satisfy everyone.” –  Seth Godin,

There is a wealth of knowledge in this small book, but one other thing I’d like to mention is the emphasis he places on the way marketing has changed in recent times. It’s no longer helpful to pour money into sponsored advertising as we, the consumers, are far more cautious of the data we consume. He believes that in this day and age ideas travel horizontally through people discussing our product and the best way to make an impact is through consistency. Sure it will take longer, but this way your system is built to last. Whether you aim to start the next Tesla or selling crystals on Etsy, this book is worth picking up. It’s smart, succinct, and is an easy read.

“Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. It involves creating honest stories—stories that resonate and spread.” –  Seth Godin

One really important point was that we need to get out of our heads. How many times have you seen someone do something similar to what you want to do and thought ‘that person doesn’t even know what they are talking about, I know more than them’, chances are you are right, but the difference between you and them is that they took the leap. I think its an important message, and we should be grateful to these people, because they have paved the way for us, and if they can do it then so can we.