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All Marketer’s Aren’t Philanthropists

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 353 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

This post is a little overdue bit about my thoughts on “All Marketers Are Liars” by Seth Godin. The first 35+ pages of this book are amazing. Seth has a knack for putting into action words the things that we SHOULD have known anyways, but no one had ever really thought of. Telling a story…YES! That makes perfect sense, but his explanation of how to go about telling the story is really what makes the book extraordinary. You can tell an AUTHENTIC story and actually live it. People are so used to marketing bull sh*t that when you tell them a genuine story they LIKE to listen. Consumers like to spread the story of something that they think is worth believing in, and that certainly makes life as a marketing professional much easier.

I was being completely truthful with you when I named this book. Marketers aren’t liars. they are just storytellers. It’s the consumers who are liars. They are just storytellers. It’s the consumers who are liars. As consumers, we lie to ourselves every day. We lie to ourselves about what we wear, where we live, how we vote and what we do at work. Successful marketers are just the providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.

This book is about the psychology of satisfaction…

This appears to be a book about lying…but the irony, of course, is that it’s a book about telling (and living) the truth.

Throughout the book, you are constantly reminded of just how powerful marketing is. This is not to say powerful in a manipulative way, but rather, powerful in a way that can be helpful to things other than just making money (or making money for large heartless corporations). Reading between the lines a bit, it seems Seth really encourages folks to use the power for good.

Seth says, “Marketing is about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important output of our civilization…”

This is a man that is adamant about his ideas. He spreads ideas because he thinks it will help people…and help people to help other people. I think the philanthropy of this book is what most critics and reviewers that I have seen had missed. It really is a testament to the “play it forward” type of thinking.

There are of course other lessons besides philanthropy to be learned here. Learning how to craft authentic stories is one step towards solving the problem of your mediocre marketing efforts. Mediocre marketing, of course, is what all the old, large, bordering on evil brands settle for. Dinosaurs already have a story that everyone knows I suppose. Develop, live, and add to your story and you won’t turn into a dinosaur.
I’m not sure that my dog ear score was quite as high as brand autopsy, but I certainly have quite a few bends and marks on my copy. At the risk of sounding trite, I really like the fact that Seth tries hard to market GOOD causes. I doubt you’ll see him doing speaking pitches for any MLM companies anytime soon no matter HOW much money they offer. You’ll more likely see him spending his time creating innovative ways to market causes like Clean Water Action, Network for Good, or other worthy causes. Seth *isn’t* a liar, and he *is* a philanthropist that folks will have good things to say about for quite some time. Thanks for another host of inspired great ideas Seth. Seems like you and the Eisenbergs would get along well crafting a story for different personas.

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