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This is Marketing by Seth Godin

Charles Cherney

I am living my life and doing my work with joy. You can count on me every step of the way as your trusted real estate advisor...

I am living my life and doing my work with joy. You can count on me every step of the way as your trusted real estate advisor...

Dec 4 4 minutes read

This is Marketing (2018) is by Seth Godin. I subscribe to Seth Godin's blog - I encourage you to check it out. Seth's podcast - Akimbo - is also very good. Pretty much anything from Seth Godin is worthwhile, including This is Marketing.

For many people, marketing is a dirty word, or at least a very tainted one. Seth Godin aims to make known that marketing - at its best - is about something other than the hard sell. It's about serving the people you care about. It's about changing the culture; changing your world. This is marketing. "Marketing, says Seth Godin, "is the act of making change happen. Making is insufficient. You haven't made an impact until you've changed someone."

Once upon a time, marketing was advertising. Short-term. Profit-maximizing. Coercive. 

"And then it wasn't true anymore."

Now it's understanding our customers. Connecting. Bringing value. "Seeking volunteers, not victims." Making things better.

"Marketing," Godin says, "is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become." The modern-day marketer succeeds by telling stories. "Persistent, consistent, and frequent stories, delivered to an aligned audience, will earn attention, trust, and action." And, according to Godin, "The way we make things better is by caring enough about those we serve to imagine the story that they need to hear. We need to be generous enough to share that story, so they can take action that they'll be proud of."

Godin points out it is a mistake to aim to tell a story that is intended for everyone."When we find the empathy to say, 'I'm sorry, this isn't for you, here's the phone number of my competitor,' then we also find the freedom to do work that matters." As a business, the aim is to tell your story for your audience. As Curaytor co-founder Jimmy Mackin likes to say, "Aim to attract, don't chase."

Patience is a part of this process. "It's a mistake to show up with an acorn and expect a crowd," Godin writes. "Work that matters for people who care is the shortest, most direct route to making a difference." And work that matters takes time. And commitment. And showing up. Frequency matters. It builds trust. "Permission is like dating. You don't start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit."

Service is a part of this process. Instead of asking "How can I get more people to listen to me, how can I get the word out, how can I find more followers, how can I convert more leads to sales, how can I find more clients, how can I pay my staff. . . ?" you can ask, "What change do I seek to make?"

Godin notes that a better business plan "outlines the tension you seek to create, the status role you're engaging with, and the story you're bringing that will make change happen." And if doesn't work, that's okay. Move on. Keeping growing forward. The ultimate focus is not on making a sale but creating a legacy. As Godin observes, "The easy sales aren't always the important ones." And the important ones have to do with giving someone what they need and want.


"Work that matters for people who care is the shortest, most direct route to making a difference."

- Seth Godin

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