Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address


preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog

Search

Google


WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« August 2010 | Main | October 2010 »

Dissatisfaction guaranteed

Great brands are built on dissatisfaction. After all, if you are satisfied with your Revlon makeup or your Nike sneakers or your iPad, why would you buy another one? Satisfied means done, finished, I don't need any more.

In fact, most great commercial (and non-profit, and political) brands create a cycle of purchase based on ever-greater dissatisfaction with what we've got.

Do you actually care about privacy?

I'm not sure you do.

If you cared about privacy you wouldn't have a credit card, because, after all, they know everything you spend money on. And you wouldn't use the phone, because somewhere, there's a computer scanning what you say.

What most of us care about is being surprised. You don't want the credit card company to track where you're staying and whether you're buying flowers for someone you're not even married to--and then send you a free coupon for STD testing, right? Even if it was a good coupon, and even if they knew you needed it. No, you don't want this because you don't want to be surprised.

What many people miss about privacy and Facebook is that the company has always taken the position that privacy shouldn't be assumed. Sure, they've mishandled some of their user communications and feature rollouts, but basically, they offer the religion of no-privacy, and an entire generation or two is ready to grow up in public as a result. We're just not eager to be surprised along the way.

The forever recession

There are two recessions going on.

One is gradually ending. This is the cyclical recession, we have them all the time, they come and they go. Not fun, but not permanent.

The other one, I fear, is here forever. This is the recession of the industrial age, the receding wave of bounty that workers and businesses got as a result of rising productivity but imperfect market communication.

In short: if you're local, we need to buy from you. If you work in town, we need to hire you. If you can do a craft, we can't replace you with a machine.

No longer.

The lowest price for any good worth pricing is now available to anyone, anywhere. Which makes the market for boring stuff a lot more perfect than it used to be.

Since the 'factory' work we did is now being mechanized, outsourced or eliminated, it's hard to pay extra for it. And since buyers have so many choices (and much more perfect information about pricing and availability) it's hard to charge extra.

Thus, middle class jobs that existed because companies had no choice are now gone.

Protectionism isn't going to fix this problem. Neither is stimulus of old factories or yelling in frustration and anger. No, the only useful response is to view this as an opportunity. To poorly paraphrase Clay Shirky, every revolution destroys the last thing before it turns a profit on a new thing.

The networked revolution is creating huge profits, significant opportunities and a lot of change. What it's not doing is providing millions of brain-dead, corner office, follow-the-manual middle class jobs. And it's not going to.

Fast, smart and flexible are embraced by the network. Linchpin behavior. People and companies we can't live without (because if I can live without you, I'm sure going to try if the alternative is to save money).

The sad irony is that everything we do to prop up the last economy (more obedience, more compliance, cheaper yet average) gets in the way of profiting from this one.

Questions or answers

You can add value in two ways:

  • You can know the answers.
  • You can offer the questions.

Relentlessly asking the right questions is a long term career, mostly because no one ever knows the right answer on a regular basis.

Are you responsible for what you market?

Let's assert that marketing works.

The money and time and effort we put into marketing goods and services actually works. It gets people to change their minds. It cajoles some people into buying and using and voting for things that they otherwise wouldn't have chosen. (If it doesn't work, save your money).

If it works, then, are you responsible for what happens after that?

If you market cigarettes aggressively, are you responsible for people dying of lung cancer?

I think there are two ways to go here:

1. You're not responsible. The marketer is like a lawyer representing the obviously guilty client. Everyone is entitled to a lawyer, and it's up to the jury to decide. The lawyer's job is to do the best she can, not to decide on the outcome. Market the best you can and let buyers take responsibility.

2. You are responsible. Your insight and effort cause people to change, and without you, that change would never happen.

I'm not sure there's a middle ground. Either we should applaud the folks lobbying on behalf of causes we despise, the pornographers selling products that degrade our society and the politicians spinning and lying to get elected (because all these people are doing is giving us a choice for which we're responsible) or we should take responsibility for stuff we sell.

My take: if you're not proud of it, don't sell it.

The power of buttons and being normal

Taxi drivers in New York were worried about adding credit cards to their cabs. The fee (5% or so) would cost them too much, they said.

It turns out that tips are up, way up. They're actually making far more money now.

Why? Because most of the machines offer a shortcut for the tip: $2, $3 or $4.

You can decide to be a cheapskate and hit the $2 button. Except...

Except that if you had paid cash, you probably would have tipped 75 cents for that $4.25 ride. It takes a few more clicks to type in 75 cents, and hey, $2 is the lowest and it's a more 'normal' amount.

It's a three second decision that happens over and over. People really like cues.

Turning the tables on critical trolls

How to deal with the colleague/board member/voter who is quick to criticize whatever you're proposing?

It can't work/it's been done before/it's never been done before/you can't do it/we don't have the time/money/skills...

So easy to be right when everyone else is wrong, so easy to be confident when someone else is putting themselves on the line.

I start with this: do we agree that there's a problem? An opportunity?

Do we agree that we need to take action, that something needs to be done, that there's an opportunity here?

If we don't agree on that, then don't waste time listening to my solution. Before we do that, let's spend more time deciding if there's a problem or opportunity here.

Once we agree on that, then the response seems simple: "What do you think we should do?"

"Be specific."

"Thanks."

Beyond crowdsourcing

Crowd accelerated innovation is the latest TED talk. It's from TED boss Chris Anderson.

The idea is one of those big ones, a simple one that will stick with you for a long time... Online video radically changes the reach and speed of the improvement cycle. Things like dance, snowboarding and TED talks keep getting better, and faster, because artists see the best and improve on it. Even more than that, it requires you to top what's out there, or you'll be ignored.

The same thing has been done with scientific journals for two hundred years. Now, though, instead of a long cycle and a few readers, we have a nearly instant cycle and millions of 'readers'. Video scales, now. And to quote the other Chris Anderson, there's going to be a long tail of these video cycles.

Also worth thinking on: Chris is using the medium itself to do something that would have required a traditionally published book five years ago. His video will be seen by more than a million people by the end of the week--something he could never have achieved with a traditional method.

Rehearsing is for cowards

Jackson Browne gave us that advice. He would rather have you explore.

Exploring helps you figure out what you can do the next time you present or perform or interact. Rehearsing, on the hand, means figuring out exactly what you're going to do so you can protect against the downside, the unpredictable and the embarrassing.

I'm not dismissing study, learning, experimenting or getting great at what you do. In fact, I'm arguing in favor of this sort of hard work. No, I'm talking about the repetition of doing it before you do it, again and again. Just drilling it in so you can regurgitate later. Better, I think,as they say, "...let's do it live."

A well-rehearsed performance will go without a hitch. An explorer seeks the hitches, because hitches are the fissures and chasms that help us leap forward.

What shape is your funnel?

Put random folks in at the top and loyal customers come out at the bottom...

A billboard leads people to a website, which gets some people to subscribe via email which drives some folks to respond to a promotion which leads a few to come back for the stuff that isn't onsale, which leads to someone who can't live without you.

That's the obvious path of outbound marketing. Most people you pour into the funnel hop out long before they become loyal customers.

The thing is, some funnels are more efficient than others. Expose your idea to ten of the right people and it catches on with three of them. Other ideas or offers need to be exposed to far more people (and go through more steps) before they're likely to convert someone.

The mistake we often make: thinking that the problem is that there's not enough people starting the process, not enough people being exposed to your offer. In fact, it's almost always a problem with how efficient the funnel is and how likely it is that loyal customers tell their friends. If you take care of those two elements, you have a lot more to invest in promotion, and delightfully, the promotion is more effective as well.

Google advertising puts the funnel shape under stress. If you can make your funnel more efficient, then you can afford to spend more money on each person you put into the top of the funnel via a paid ad. If your competitor can convert twice as many people as you can, she can spend twice as much per person, no? And thus the smart competitor will buy up as much of the market as possible. The only response: shape a more efficient funnel.

« August 2010 | Main | October 2010 »