A few months ago Seth Godin was a guest on this blog. You can find the interview here.
We talked about a lot of things, including Conversational Copywriting… and his new book, This Is Marketing.
He was kind enough to send me a proof copy of the book, so I’ve had some time to work my way through it and digest its lessons.
You can see my copy in the photo above. Well thumbed and with plenty of pages and paragraphs marked along the way.
As I’m sure Seth anticipated, I love what he’s teaching. Why? Because my work on Conversational Copywriting is built on many of the core values he talks about… honesty, respect, engagement and trust.
But as you can imagine, the scope of Seth’s book is a lot broader, and deeper.
For me, this is his most important book since Permission Marketing.
He’s talking about a whole new approach to marketing.
He’s trying to shift how we think about and “do” marketing.
The old-school approach to marketing is about creating a product or service, identifying a “target” audience, and then trying to push what you’re selling into people’s lives.
Old-school marketing is aggressive and adversarial. In that world, marketers want to win… even if that means the customer loses.
Seth sees a different way. He believes marketing can be better than that.
Marketing can be a force for change.
And what he shares with us are his insights into how marketers can make that change happen.
One of the most important steps he describes is to identify your “smallest viable audience”. Not the average, but “people like us, doing things like this”.
Part of selecting that smallest viable audience is the acceptance that it’s OK if what we create isn’t pleasing to everyone. (What a relief!)
Mass marketing is about trying to please everyone. And that leads to average. To mediocrity.
Forget about going after everyone. Instead, focus on the people you can serve best. And then use marketing to bring positive change into their lives.
Focus on those “people like us”.
This leads you towards, “Doing work that matters for people who care.”
Pause and think about that for a moment.
Wouldn’t it be great, as a marketer, if you devoted your time to doing work that matters for people who care?
There’s a ton more to this book. It’s a deep and important read.
I’ve covered just my take on what I see as Seth’s goal with this book. His overarching message.
He also shares the strategies you can apply to achieve this goal, and the tactics you can deploy to move things forward.
And, as always with Seth’s books, he spoils us with a ton of short case studies and stories.
I love that he does that, because it means I don’t have to do “book learning”. Instead, I can see how his lessons play out for real businesses, both large and small.
If you’re a marketer, I think you should definitely get a copy of This Is Marketing.
If you’re a Conversational Copywriter, consider it required reading. This is at the heart of what we do!