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Twitter: @thisissethsblog





Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list


All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow





An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.




Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.



Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.



Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.




Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.



Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.



Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).




The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.



The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.




The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.




The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.





"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.




Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.



V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.




We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.



THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars Blog

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Member since 08/2003

« August 2005 | Main | October 2005 »

What do you think?

My friends Julie and Dean (co-authors of the Big Moo) have built a mammoth site designed to make it easy for organizations to discover (and buy in large quantities!) our new book for charity. It includes some very neat ideas on how the book can be packaged for everyone in an organization.

They're launching the beta today Check out Remarkabalize. If you have thoughts, please drop Julie a note (she's on the contact us page).

Do billboards work?

000_0277Red Maxwell sends in this great photo. He reports that for the first week, all six muffins were in place.

My colleague Jay Levinson taught me that the two best words to have on a billboard are, "next exit." I have serious doubts that you can cost-effectively sell an item that isn't a "right now" purchase from a billboard, though. I'm have no doubts at all that hospitals have no business whatsoever running ads on billboards. "Oh, George, you've been thinking of having heart surgery--look at this great ad from Memorial Hospital!"

So, yes, it's funny and even memorable. But is it selling muffins or a particular brand of muffins? If I got a muffin craving from this ad, would I pay extra for these particular muffins?

Would you buy life insurance at a rock concert?

If you took an $800 dress out of Neiman Marcus and sold it on the street, would it be worth as much?

Why don't they sell books at the grocery store? But Price Club used to sell tons of CDs...

When you spend all day making stuff (and making it better) it's easy to get carried away with the magic of your stuff. You (and your team) believe that your service, your candidate, your new product--whatever it is--is so powerful and well-priced and effective that any rational person will choose to buy it instead of the competition.

But what if you're selling it in the wrong place?
Or with the wrong tone of voice?

I think context is underrated. Especially online.

Yes, Amazon sells just about everything, but my bet is that you could build an online process that would dramatically increase the yield per click that they receive (for your product, anyway).

The narrative of discovery is an essential part of how someone decides to try your product. What did the click before your site look like? What's that missionary wearing?

Marketers are terrible at thinking about this and worse still at sussing it out. How many times have you heard (or read on a form) "how did you hear about us?" That's an okay question, but not nearly as important as, "what was going through your head in the moment before you decided to take a huge risk and buy something from us for the first time?" Of course, you can't ask that question, but that's what you need to know.

Some blogs don't sell very hard. They're not filled with ALL CAP COME ONS or frequent, nearly constant links to all the stuff you can buy or links to the latest postive reviews. Other blogs, on the other hand, have a very different posture. They make it clear to the reader that the purpose of the blog is to sell something, and they do it over and over again, to apparently great success. What's going on here?

What's happening is a shift in context.

Salespeople are often effective because they make it clear from the first moment that they are salespeople. They are trying to sell you something. That makes the conversation authentic and transparent and goal-oriented. Others succeed because they take precisely the opposite tack, selling trust first and products second. I think both approaches can work, but being muddled about what you're doing never will.

The Zagat restaurant guides had a breakthrough early on because they were able to get distribution in places that weren't bookstores--like the counter of the local Korean deli. By intentionally changing the context, they stood out enough to reach people in a different mindset.

On the other hand, the guy who tried to pitch me financial services as I was packing up my computer after a speech didn't have a prayer.

What's your context? Could you find a better one?

Business literature winners

No, it's not an oxymoron. Congrats to  John Battelle and Tom and the Freaknomics guys. / Business life / Business book of the year - Shortlist of six announced.

Dave on semantics of persuasion

Check out: Marketing - The Bold Approach Method.


Garrett_morrisOne of my fondest memories of adolescence was staying home on a Saturday night and watching Garrett Morris do his politically incorrect riff on SNL*. He would cup his hands around his mouth and yell the top stories on the news--for those who might be hard of hearing.

Sometimes bloggers need to do the same thing.

We assume that our readers have been around for a while, understand our metaphors, our shorthands, the shortcuts we use to make a point.

Bad idea.

When I wrote my Akron post  I suspected I'd get flack for it, but I had no idea how personal the attacks would be. Basically, they begin with, "I've never read anything you've ever written..." and conclude with, "Because of your poor judgment, I won't ever read anything you write ever again, or buy your books either."

Of course, given the first sentence, the closing sentence isn't much of a threat, but it also represents a common human trait and one that more careful writing could probably avoid. Regular readers know that I wasn't making any comment at all about Akron... merely a comment about a few of the people who live there. Just as I wasn't criticizing every struggling dot com company, just the group I was interacting with.

Organizations are nothing but people, and their attitudes have a lot to do with their future.

Not in all caps, but I think that makes it more clear.

As for those that will never read my blog again, you're probably not reading this either, and I hope that a friend who still does will let you know that I'm officially apologizing to anyone who thought that I had issued an edict re Akron. I haven't, I'm not and I won't.

*and now, in the interest of my new, ever more clear and complete description of my point, I was only using the Garrett Morris riff as a metaphor, not as a reflection of any kind on those with a hearing disability.

Mooing at the DMV

The talented Stas Balanevsky sends in this photo from outside of Buffalo. Of course, you need to live it, not drive it, but it's a start. The The Big Moo ships in a few weeks.


The long tail, in practice

Sort of like selling plaid elephants--you don't sell many, but you don't have to, either. Books: The 2006-2011 World Outlook for Wheel Rims and Spokes for Bicycles, Unicycles, and Adult Tricycles.

Private Idaho

In an interview just posted (which I did a while ago) I talk about cookies for the real world.

Link: 800-CEO-READ Excerpts: Branding Unbound by Rick Mathieson - Part IV.

Just one reminder

I've gotten some fantastic resumes for this gig, but surprisingly few people seem to be trolling for the bounty: Seth's Blog: $5,000.00 Bounty if you find us a chief engineer.

« August 2005 | Main | October 2005 »