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Seth Godin shares 12 tips and tricks from This is Marketing

Lessons from our interview with the "King of Marketing" Seth Godin

His name is Seth, he's been dubbed the King of Marketing by Forbes, and he cooks for his family every night. 

He is Seth Godin, author of 19 bestsellers, including Linchpin, Permission Marketing and Purple Cow.

His daily blog has a readership in the millions. 

And he's coming Down Under. 

Ahead of his tour in May 2020, the Marketing Hall of Fame inductee shared in an interview with The Growth Faculty lessons from his latest book, the #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller and instant New York Times bestseller This is Marketing, and some fascinating personal tidbits about himself. 

Empathy is all that is available to us (marketers) if we seek to change someone else. They don’t see what we see, or know what we know. We need to earn enrolment “I’m going over there, do you want to come?”

Begin with a hurdle you can leap. You have no chance of changing everyone. Begin with the smallest viable market. Understand their worldview. Use psychographics, what they believe in, not demographics.

Your followers will tell others. If the small group that you seek to serve believes in you, and trusts you, then they will tell the others (if it raises their status to tell others about you).

There is no impact unless you change someone. A lot of people in marketing say that they do their job, and run ads. I ask them, ‘What change are you seeking to make?’ ‘Oh, I’m not changing anyone,’ they say. Me: ‘Then, why are you wasting my time?’ No change, no marketing.

You can’t be seen until you learn to see. Do your customers feel you see them? Every brand, every marketer makes hard decisions all the time. Are you erring on the side of looking at your banker, or looking at your customer?

Authenticity is nonsense. An authentically bad surfboard? That’s not what I want. I want consistency. I want professionalism. Add that to empathy, and you get a promise of x, y, and z. I see your fears and desires.

The marketer is the CEO, the head of customer service, she’s the supply chain. If you’re interacting with me, you are marketing. Marketing is more about doing and action, now more than ever people are buying on reputation and proof.

A brand is not a logo. Think about a logo you admire, it will be a brand you admire. A logo is a symbol. A brand is a promise. If Nike opened a hotel, you would know what it looked like, if Hyatt had a brand of sneaker you would have no idea what it would be like. Hyatt has a logo, not a brand.

Direct marketing should be measured. Conversely, brand marketing is spending the money on the prayer, the hope, the belief, that it will change someone over time. If you spend money on FB for branding, stop the measuring, don’t measure the clicks.

In every (Adwords) auction that is taking place, Google keeps 95% of the money.  You do the work, take the risk, yet Google makes the bulk of the money. You need to do something unique and different, so people search for you by name.  

Status is super important. If you’re a hairdresser, you’re not selling a haircut, you’re selling an improvement in a person’s status. Marketers need to be asking ‘Am I raising the status, keeping it the same, lowering it?’

Daily practises for marketers should include strategic thought. How are you serving them, how are you earning their trust? Writing a blog every day for 17 years earns people trust. Your daily practise might be making 5 phone calls today to your best customers saying 'How’s it going, are you in a jam, how can I help?'

(8 getting to know you questions we ask all our authors)  

Recommended books: Linchpin (by Seth), Eliot Peper’s science fiction trilogy, The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch.

If you could co-author with anyone who would it be, and what’s the book title?  My friend Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet. It would be fun to do one with her.

Best piece of advice: Ignore pieces of advice.

What’s been your lowest moment, and how did you recover? I’m thrilled at the failures that I’ve had, I’ve failed more than most people, and that’s a symptom of shipping a lot. A low moment would be when you might give up hope, surrounded by despair or hatred or sorrow (it’s contagious), and in those moments I try to be generous. There is someone who needs to be seen by you, and be understood by you.

How do you relax? This privilege I have, which I’ve wanted to have since I was 14: this idea that I can make a ruckus in a generous way is the most relaxing thing for me. I hate sitting on a beach and pretending I like it, I hate that.

What’s a fun fact that’s not widely known about you? I have cooked dinner for my family every night for the past 25-30 years and I’m getting slightly better at it. My current obsession is dosa (Indian stuffed pancake), I’m trying to make them a little bit crispier, and my friend says that it’s better dosa than ABCV (vegetarian restaurant) in New York City, so almost there.  

What’s the secret of success?: Defining success in whatever you’re doing. 

What’s a prediction for 2025? I think attention is going to be more scarce. I think the world is going to freak out about atmosphere cancer and the change in the climate, and I think there will more, not fewer, opportunities for service. 

Members can watch the full interview with Seth by logging onto The Growth Faculty - On Demand and clicking here.


Don't miss the remarkable Seth Godin in a 4-hour seminar in May, 2020. Dubbed by Forbes as the King of Marketing, Seth is the author of 19 worldwide bestsellers, including Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable and This is Marketing.

The early bird price is available for a limited time and tickets are now on sale. 

Melbourne: 18th May, 2020
Sydney: 19th May, 2020
Auckland: 20th May, 2020

Early bird tickets available here.


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