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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

« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »


Rob points us to: Joel Makower. This is a pretty sophisticated linguistic analysis of eco-marketing. Worldview really is everything.

The silver-grey Japanese car syndrome

I found myself on the Jersey side of the Hudson, riding past a row of new townhouses overlooking New York City. Each townhouse had a single carport facing the road.

As I rode past, I noticed that every single carport, more than forty in all, had a similar car parked in it. Either grey or silver or a mix of the two. Either a lower-model Mercedes or more likely, a Toyota or a Honda. Every single one. It wasn't until the 40th unit that I saw a red car, and a few later that I saw a pickup truck.

This is the power of demographics. This is the power of data mining.

Your choice of car shouldn't tell us anything about what sort of neighborhood you'd like to live in, or who you will vote for in the next election. The kind of clothing you wear should have no influence at all on the kind of wine you prefer. But it does.

I don't know which came first, the car or the townhouse, but the co-incidence of the two is unmistakeable.

This matters. It matters because the marketers at the townhouse ought to seriously consider a co-promotion with certain car dealers, and it matters because it opens a window for marketers. If people who buy novels also buy red wine, marketing your red wine in a bookstore might not be so dumb.

If you're marketing a product or service in a cluttered marketplace, it may cost too much or be too difficult to reach the right person at the right time. Marketing red wine in a bar is intellectually compelling, but awfully expensive. But if you understand the data mining implications of the other habits of your typical prospect, you can reach those people somewhere else or sometime else.

For example, when I do a search on "grey toyota new york", there is plenty of unsold Google inventory, which means you can buy clicks here really cheap. So why not run an ad that says,

This violates some of the precepts of permission marketing. It's not anticipated. But it is likely to be personal and relevant, and even better, you don't pay unless someone clicks.

Will this work for you? I have no idea. The chances that you'll find the perfect match are unlikely. But if you do, the pay off can be significant.

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV

Marcuswelby Linda McCartney, beloved dead vegetarian, has a line of frozen entrees at my local market.

Robert Ludlum, well-known dead thriller writer, now has a new novel out. (the fine print on the copyright page says that someone else wrote it, but not who--I'm not sure if the McCartney entree mentions whether or not Linda cooked it from beyond...)

If you're a famous chef, that means you're not really a chef any more. You're a TV personality/entrepreneur.

Walking down the supermarket it's easy to feel like you're in a bookstore. Bookstores always used to be about people--individuals who wrote the books. Now, we've got Steve and Jeremy making ice cream, Emeril and Rao making sauce and, of course, Ben, Jerry and Paul making various snacks and treats.

It's no longer about celebrity as endorser. Now, it's about celebrity as provider. You don't just get their face... it's as if they made it for you.

We don't need another Lexus or Accelant or Verizon. Apparently, we need Frank to do our accounting and Tom to crack our backs... if you've got a skill, you've got a shot at building a brand. Possibly a lot farther afield than you ever imagined. And not necessarily for the massest of mass markets. There are already medical practices in New York where patients never meet the famous doc.

Obvious doesn't mean common

Robert's new book is worth a look if you design just about anything for just about anyone.Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design.

Top 10 Secrets of the Marketing Process

If my previous post confused you, it's because of the difference between tactics and innovation. Try these 10 ideas to get you started down the path of scientific marketing tactics:

1. Don’t run out of money. It always takes longer and costs more than you expect to spread your idea. You can budget for it or you can fail.

2. You won’t get it right the first time.
Your campaign will need to be reinvented, adjusted or scrapped. Count on it.

3. Convenient choices are not often the best choices. Just because an agency, an asset or a bizdev deal are easy to do doesn’t mean that they are your best choice.

4. Irrational, strongly held beliefs of close advisors should be ignored.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t like your logo.

5. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea.
If you’re sure you’re right, you probably aren’t.

6. Focusing obsessively on one niche, one feature and one market is almost always a better idea than trying to satisfy everyone.

7. At some point, you’re either going to have to stick to your convictions or do what the market tells you. It’s hard to do both.

8. Compromise in marketing is almost always a bad idea.
Extreme A could work. Extreme B could work. The average of A and B will almost never work.

9. Test, measure and optimize. Figure out what's working and do it more.

10. Read and learn.
There are a million clues, case studies, books and proven tactics out there. You can't profitably ignore them until you know them, and you don't have the time or the money to make the same mistake someone else made last week. It's cheaper and faster to read about it than it is to do it.

Nobody Knows Anything

There are two kinds of marketing analysis, both pretty useless.

The first kind is done before the fact. This is when you and your team (and your advisors and your mother in law) weigh in about whether your ad, your product, your uniforms and your logo are any good. Call it ‘analyzing tomorrow’.

Analyzing tomorrow is a sort of analysis is filled with superstition, unsupported opinion, half-truths and most of all, fear. Fear of being wrong, fear of challenging the status quo, fear of going out on a limb. Fear of wasting money, fear of criticism and fear of the market.

Analyzing tomorrow is the province of consultants and pundits. People who predict what will work and what won’t, and are eager to tell you what you must do (and not do).

The other kind, of course, is called ‘analyzing yesterday.’ Analyzing yesterday is 20/20 hindsight. It involves finding threads of ‘tomorrow’ analysis and hooking them up to things that appear to have worked. Using yesterday analysis, I can easily explain the success of Starbucks and Apple and Nike and Google, and of course make it really clear why Friendster didn’t become Myspace.

Except, of course, I’d be lying.

The great thing about science, about proven fields like physics and evolution and chemistry, is that science works. A physicist is never going to be wrong about her prediction of what a spaceship on the other side of the moon is going to do. And when ten chemists analyze why a formula failed, all of them will give you the same (correct) answer.

Marketing, then, is not science.

Sure, there are principles. Trends, even. That’s why reading my stuff isn’t a total waste of time (I hope). The idea, though, that you can accurately analyze tomorrow just because some marketer did a good of describing yesterday is nonsense.

A nice side effect of the gurucomplex is that sometimes reading a marketing tract can give you the confidence to do what you knew was the right thing anyway. And sometimes listening to a marketing pundit can spark an idea that leads to a real breakthrough.

Here’s the really good news: in addition to analysis, marketing today offers something that actually works: a process.

The successful marketing process will always get you better results than the alternatives. The successful marketing process is not dependent on an historical analysis of what your competition did that worked, but is a truly powerful way to figure out what to do next. I think most marketing breakthroughs come down, sooner or later, to luck. But just as a gambler in Vegas can improve his luck, so can you.

Up in the air, it's a bird...

Dogcostume I bought a Halloween costume for my dog today.

Of course, it's not really for Woody. Woody doesn't celebrate Halloween. In fact, it's quite likely she doesn't even know who Superman is. The costume is for me and the people around me.

There are more gatekeepers involved in purchasing than you might realize.

Lazy people in a hurry...

I just had an interesting email exchange with John, and we concluded that this is often the target market.

You're busy trying to sell a service or a product or an idea to lazy people in a hurry.

Lazy, as in not willing to do the work to create long term benefits. Lazy as in not willing to read the instructions, follow the manual, do all the steps, invest the time in the research. Lazy as in willing to buy the first choice that's 'good enough' as opposed to finding the best choice. These are people who will spend five minutes to find a parking space one minute closer to the mall.

And in a hurry.

In a hurry because they jump to conclusions, don't read to the end, and most of all, most of the time, search for a shortcut.

Lazy, in a hurry and in search of better are often contradictory ideas. Doesn't matter. We don't have to like it, we just have to acknowledge it.

The great news is that in every market, there's a subset of geeks and nerds that are neither lazy nor in a hurry. Start with them.

YEP is here

Seven years ago at Yoyodyne, we started work on the Yoyodyne Engine for Pages, a free program that would automatically optimize landing pages. I've wished for something like that out loud more than a few times since.

Here it is, from, who else, Google: Website Optimizer - Adwords - Google. Thanks, Corey, for the tip.

A few cool sites

Just waiting to be discovered:

Small Marvel Shop



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