This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
My rating: 8/10
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Good marketing isn't about hacks and SEO, but about what we do, how we do it and why we do it.
Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.
It’s easier to make products and services for the customers you seek to serve than it is to find customers for your products and services.
Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. It involves creating honest stories that resonate and spread.
Marketing in five steps:
- Invent a thing worth making, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about.
- Design and build it in a way that a few people will particularly benefit from and care about.
- Tell a story that martches the built-in narrative and dreams of that tiny group of people.
- Spread the word.
- Show up - regularly, consistently, and generously, for years and years- to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make. To earn permission to follow up and to earn enrollment to teach.
Marketing begins (and often ends) with what we do and how we do it. Your tactics can make a difference, but your strategy—your commitment to a way of being and a story to be told and a promise to be made—can change everything.
People don’t want what you make. They want what it will do for them. They want the way it will make them feel.
- Marketing driven: You focus on the latest Facebook data hacks, the design of your new logo.
- Market driven: You think a lot about the hopes and dreams of your customers and their friends. You listen to their frustrations and invest in changing the culture.
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.
Begin with the smallest viable market. What’s the minimum number of people you would need to influence to make it worth the effort?
If you could only change thirty people, or three thousand people, you’d want to be choosy about which people.
Choose the people who want what you’re offering. Choose the people most open to hearing your message. Choose the people who will tell the right other people.
Choose the people you serve, choose your future.
Figure out the simplest useful version of your product, engage with the market, and then improve and repeat.
My product is for people who believe __.
I will focus on people who want __.
I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get __.
Dog food is for dog owners. It’s for the way it makes them feel.
The right formula is to make a dog food that dog owners want to buy.
The people you seek to serve care about a range of inputs and emotions, not simply a contest for who’s the cheapest.
You can’t be perfect in the eyes of an early adopter; the best you can do is be interesting.
Plenty of people are good at what you do. Very good at it. Perhaps as good at it as you are. But it’s not enough. Quality is required but no longer sufficient.
If you make something that others make, if it’s something we can find on Upwork, on Amazon, or Alibaba, you’ve got pain. It’s the pain of knowing that if you raise your price enough to earn a decent return on the effort you’re putting into your work, we’ll just go somewhere else and buy it cheaper.
We sell feelings, status, and connection, not tasks or stuff.
Begin with dreams and fears, with emotional states, and with the change your customers seek.
People are buying a feeling, not a wallet. Identify that feeling before you spend time making a wallet.
Always be seeking, connecting, solving, asserting, believing, seeing, and yes, testing. The other way to read this is: always be wrong. Well, not always. Sometimes you’ll be right. But most of the time, you’ll be wrong. That’s okay.
Every very good customer gets you another one.
The critic who says that no one else will like your work is wrong. After all, you like your work. Someone else might like it too.
All the storytelling you do requires frequency. You’ll try something new … and when it doesn’t work right away, the instinct is to walk away and try something else.
The market has been trained to associate frequency with trust. If you quit right in the middle of building that frequency, it’s no wonder you never got a chance to earn the trust.
The path isn’t to be found when someone types in a generic term. The path is to have someone care enough about you and what you create that they’ll type in your name.
“Cheap” is another way to say “scared”.
Combine: 1. Free ideas that spread. 2. Expensive expressions of those ideas that are worth paying for.
Lowering your price doesn’t make you more trusted. It does the opposite.
Being famous to the right three thousand people is plenty. The goal isn’t to maximize your social media numbers. The goal is to be known to the smallest viable audience.
Our work isn’t us. If we’re going to take it personally every time someone doesn’t click on a link, we can’t possibly do our work as professionals.
We need to be able to market to ourselves, to sell ourselves every day. To sell ourselves on the difference we’re able to make.
You’re already telling yourself a story. Every day. We may market to ourselves that we are struggling. We may tell ourselves that we are unknown and deserve to be unknown. We may tell ourselves that we’re a fake, a fraud, a manipulator. We may tell ourselves that we are unjustly ignored. They’re as true as we want them to be. And if you tell yourself a story enough times, you will make it true. Make things better.
Make something you’re proud of. Market something you’re proud of. Do it again, and again.
If you’re having trouble making your contribution, realize your challenge is a story you are marketing to yourself. It is the marketing we do for ourselves, to ourselves, by ourselves, the story we tell ourselves, that can change everything.
How to know if you have a marketing problem: You aren’t busy enough.