This is Marketing

Seth Godin
Reading Order: Book 28
Categories: 2019, Erik Rostad
Date Started: July 14, 2019
Date Finished: July 16, 2019
4h 44m 36s
Reason Book was Chosen: I majored in International Business with a marketing emphasis. I try to keep up on the marketing field. I also like Seth Godin a lot, so this seemed like the best marketing book fit for 2019.

My Thoughts

Seth Godin says marketing is

Sharing your path to better.

It’s “inviting the customer on a journey where change might happen.”

I like that. It’s simple. I was continually reminded to two other books while reading This Is Marketing:

For Kahneman, I was reminded of the insights he provided into human behavior. Seth discusses some of these and how to market accordingly. For Miller, it was the importance of story, of people wanting what your product will do for them, not necessarily wanting the product for product’s sake.

Here are some other things that stuck out:

  • identify your smallest viable audience – your product is not for everyone
  • the engine of culture is status – how does your product/service enhance status
  • people buy a feeling, not a widget
  • a company’s brand encompasses everything – it’s not just the logo, it’s the product packaging, the font, the colors, the music playing while someone is on hold, the first feeling someone has of a company, etc.
  • power of normalization – people asking “do people like me do things like this” – and how brands can join in

Overall, this was a decent book about marketing. However, I was expecting more. Or maybe I was expecting a format more akin to his other books, where there’s one big idea that I can immediately recall – (the dip, purple cow, etc.). This book felt like more of a collection of blog post ideas put together under a pretty audacious title. It identified key changes in the past 10 years and had some excellent models to use for thinking about your own marketing, but it lacked the punch of other Seth books.

And this is a lame critique, but one addressed in the book, and so I’ll mention it. In a section where Seth asks “what does this remind you of,” he writes:

When we pick up a book that feels self-published, we treat it differently than the book that reminds us of a classic we read in high school.

One really petty thing about this book is that it felt unbelievably cheap. Published by Portfolio Penguin, the inside black cover was sticky and felt like cheap material. The book creaked very time I opened it and it had the feel of a “self-published book.” This actually impacted my view of the book. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I don’t remember Seth’s other books feeling like this. And I don’t think I would have mentioned it had it not been addressed in the book. I’m more concerned with the content of the book than its look/feel.

Overall, you’ll come away with some good mental models from this book, but before suggesting this one, I’d have you read Building a StoryBrand and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

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