All Marketers Are Liars By Seth Godin
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World is the seventh published book by Seth Godin, and the third in a series of books on 21st century marketing, following Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside.
All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that $225 sneakers make our feet feel better and look cooler than a $25 brand. And believing it makes it true.
As Seth Godin has taught hundreds of thousands of marketers and students around the world, great marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story a story we want to believe, whether it’s factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories.
Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or Fiji water, or the iPod.
`Perception is stronger than reality’ is the basis of this book.
According to the marketing guru Seth Godin who is the author of this book-whatever is being sold (a religion, a candidate, a widget, a service) is being purchased because it creates an emotional want, not because it fulfills a simple need. His premise is that successful marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell stories. Stories about their products that pander to consumers’ self-regard and worldview. Stories we want to believe.
The best thing about this book is that it does away with all jargon and complex marketing theories and models.
A few quotations from the book just to give you a flavour of Godin’s wisdom:
“If consumers have everything they need, there’s nothing to left to buy except what they want. And the reason they buy stuff they want is because of the way it makes them feel.”
“The myth of product superiority in business-to-business products is just that. The people who buy for business are people first, and they buy things that get them promoted, that make them feel safe and secure or that give them a sense of belonging. They are not buying a product, but the justification, the story.”
“When the Fortune 500 started hiring vice presidents to spend their billions of dollars on information technology, it appeared that all five hundred of these CIOs had the same worldview. Pretty soon, though, alert competitors discovered that some of them wanted to hear stories about avoiding risk, while others desperately wanted to make a name for themselves by appearing to be risk-taking mavericks. Companies like Broadview and IBM and Cisco carved up the market by working hard to discover who would believe which story.”
Like most Seth Godin books, this one is fun to read and has some great new ideas. And the unique thing is that it has plenty of insights covering both business to business as well business to consumer marketing.
At the end of the day, Godin practices what he preaches. He has told a great story here. Even experienced marketers can learn a trick or two from this book.
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World PDF
Author(s): Seth Godin
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover, Year: 2005
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