Seth Godin “This is Marketing” – book review

Seth Godin has written many books on marketing, and recently I’ve decided to read at least one of them. This is Marketing is his most recent title.

It’s very readable, and I devoured it in one afternoon. It’s not really intended as an introduction to the subject, despite its encouraging title. However, for those who have had some experience of marketing, this is a very useful book. Partially it helps with regaining one’s enthusiasm for marketing. It’s almost  a book marketing the process of marketing.

Take these bullet points from the first chapter:

  • Marketing seeks more. More market share, more customers, more work.
  • Marketing is driven by better. Better service, better community, better outcomes.
  • Marketing creates culture. Status, affiliation, and people like us.
  • Most of all, marketing is change.
  • Change the culture, change your world.
  • Marketers make change happen
  • Each of us is a marketer, and each of us has the ability to make more change than we imagined. Our opportunity and our obligation is to do marketing that we’re proud of.

If you find this kind of style tiresome, this is not the book for you.

Godin describes how marketing finds the needs of its target market and then creates a narrative that fills that need (at a profit to the marketer). In Godin’s words, marketing is all about storytelling and creating a need for a changing one’s status.

Another useful part of Godin’s book is his suggested business plan structure:

1.Truth: The market, the competitors, how others have succeeded and failed in the past

2. Assertion:  We will do X and Y will happen (you will probably be wrong: but this section is the heart of the business plan)

3.Alternatives: How much flexibility do we have? What will we do if we miss a deadline?

4. People: Who are the people you are serving (marketing to)? Who will champion you? What do they believe about their status?  What worldview do they have?

5. Money: how much money do you need, how will you spend it, profit and loss etc, exit strategies

Godin points out that you will be marketing to different target audiences throughout the lifespan of your product. At first, you will market to the neophiles, who love all sorts of new things. But they will move on from your product to the next new thing. In order to find your core customers, you will either need to use the neophiles as trendsetters or adjust your marketing strategy accordingly to suit your core audience.

I am sure there were many other useful tips in the book that you would pick up depending the marketing struggles you are facing, but there are the ones that really stood out to me. Overrall, I found this a useful book — and helpful reading prep for a marketing roles.

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