My default is to spend my time talking about management and leadership or perhaps broader organizational issues, but for the rest of the summer, we will talk about marketing. More specifically, we will review some of the best ideas of Seth Godin.
If you have never heard of Seth Godin, he is a force of nature in the business world. He wrote more than forty books, eighteen of which are best sellers. He has been writing business books since 1987, but he really came into his own in 1999 when he wrote Permission Marketing. Since then, each of his small books have addressed a clever angle about business. His books have catchy names like Purple Cow,Meatball Sundae, and All Marketers are Liars.
Seth is known for writing short, compelling books with a clear angle. Over the next few months you will learn interesting things like
- How permission marketing works
- Why you should speak to your tribe and stop trying to talk to everyone
- Why most marketing efforts look as inviting as a meatball Sundae
- How to become a purple cow so you stand out in comparison to the competition
- Why it is just as dangerous to aim too low as it is to aim too high with your goals
Seth’s life story is interesting. He worked for Spinnaker in the 1980s. Then he founded Yoyodyne where he honed his thinking about permission marketing. He began by writing general business books such as Business Rules of Thumb (1987),Wisdom, Inc.(1995), Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business(1995), Point and Click JOBFINDER(1996), and the Bootstrapper’s Bible(1998). But then he learned to focus. He focused on himself, his art, and his audience. He stopped trying to be all things to all people and he focused on being Seth Godin and in the process, he became wildly successful.
By the way, if you have never checked out Seth’s blog, it is worth reading: https://seths.blog/
Yesterday’s entry should give you a taste of how he thinks:
There is no market. There are markets.
And markets have segments. There are people who enjoy buying expensive wine. There are people who will save up their money to have a big wedding. There are people who pay to have a personal trainer…
And within segments, there are careful consumers, traditional consumers, consumers who seek out the cutting edge. There are bargain hunters, luxury snobs and people who measure the way Consumer Reports does.[i]
That is right. We need to think in terms of markets (plural) rather than the market. An insurance salesman should not think of selling everyone or he will be overwhelmed by the competition. However, he might feel inspired when he thinks of being the best homeowners insurer in Charleston, the preferred pet-insurance agent, or the name that rolls of the tongue when one boat owner asks another about boat insurance.
What about you?
Are you focused on your market rather than the whole market? Are you trying to be like everyone else or are you being fully you? Stay tuned and you will learn a lot from Seth Godin.