I had the privilege of reading a copy of Seth Godin’s latest book entitled All Marketers Are Liars- The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World (blog). Let me start off by saying I read this book becuase I had the worldview that Seth is the marketing guru. His concept of a purple cow and permission marketing have changed the way many people go about marketing.
I suppose I should first explain the term ‘worldview’. It’s an idea Seth discusses that basically says ‘this is the way I think about _____’. A worldview can be as simple as feeling strongly about recycling and organic products. Godin points out that as a marketers all you have to do is tell a story that matches a particular set of worldviews. The best part? The story doesn’t necessairly have to be true. Thus: all marketers are liars.
…well, maybe not liars. They’re storytellers. Huh, the title itself is a story… a provocative one at that. If you think about it, many people hold the worldview that marketers are useless and just lie to try to get your money. This book’s title certainly lines up with their values. The title markets the book by telling a story that people have already told themselves.
I found this book a bit more interesting than Purple Cow, actually. Seth includes a number of interesting details. He talks about cotton and how its not as great as we think (even harmful). All that recycling we take part in? In many cases a waste of time. Seth argues that marketers have used our worldviews (saving the world, enjoying the touch of cotton) to market products to us. Products that that we don’t need, but want.
Now, marketing with a story isn’t as easy as that. You’ve got to have a product that begs to be told about. Plus, your story has to be consistent. You can’t just force feed the public a cute commercial and expect us to not see through it. In addition, it’s much harder to tell a story if your company is ‘medium-sized’. Small is good (think interviews) and big works too (Fox News).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I now look at advertising and products differently. I also realize why many commercials won’t sell very well and try to determine ‘which worldview is that supposed to appeal to’? In addition, I’ve become more aware of my own values and worldviews.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out a five page excerpt available online. Also visit the BBBT and its collection of reviews, blog entries, and discussions with the author.