This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See, by Seth Godin, is an insightful analysis of the definition of marketing.

In this book, Godin excels at asking the right questions and challenging the status quo. He provokes thought about the field of marketing and the role that marketers play within business growth. His philosophical musings serve as a framework for business owners to establish their goals and determine long-term business strategies. This is Marketing begins with the notion that marketers can no longer rely solely on advertising. Instead, they must look at people’s needs and desires in order to develop valuable products that meet these needs in a unique way.

Seth Godin Defines Marketing

Godin weaves many valuable lessons throughout his book such as the assertion that the job of marketers is to change people through stories, the idea that marketers should go for the smallest viable market instead of the minimum viable product, the notion that price is a story you are telling, and many more philosophical ideas that provide the building blocks for a successful career. Godin encourages readers to be themselves, not copy others, and not “shout”. Instead, effective marketing should allow others who care about you to find you, without having to yell “Look at me!”.

This is Marketing is a compilation of Godin’s many teachings that have inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans. Through this book, Godin has brought together all of his marketing wisdom into one complete package. And it is a book that will be relevant for decades to come.

While Godin’s book provides a much-needed re-evaluation of what constitutes marketing, it does not provide any specific instructions regarding today’s digital marketing techniques. Though readers may be able to use the content of the book to form solid goals and establish ideas regarding the desired outcome or direction of their marketing plan, readers will not glean any specific techniques (e.g. how to build a website, the basics of email marketing, etc.). If you are looking for a how-to guide on digital marketing, this won’t be the book you are looking for.

However, if you are someone who has worked in the field of marketing for any length of time, This is Marketing is a must-read. It will certainly challenge your idea of what marketing should be.

Seth Godin

Seth Godin: Best-selling Author

Seth Godin has authored ten bestselling books and is a renowned speaker. He is a successful entrepreneur and has founded numerous projects and companies, including Yoyodyne, the industry’s leading interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in 1998. Seth Godin is well-known for his blog and praised by marketers around the world. In fact, Godin was called “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week. His vast experience in this field makes him a qualified candidate to write the book on the definition of marketing.

Chapter Highlights

This is Marketing provides 23 chapters of valuable content, each with a lesson that inspires a change in mindset or a change in action. Below are some descriptions of the most inspiring chapters within Godin’s book.

Chapter One: Not Mass, Not Spam, Not Shameful…

This is Marketing starts off by addressing what marketing is not. Titled “Not Mass, Not Spam, Not Shameful…” it describes how shameless marketers brought shame to an entire profession. However, Godin offers a light at the end of the tunnel by explaining that marketing doesn’t have to be selfish. It talks about how marketing and advertising were interchangeable for a long time. Then, it explains how times have changed and marketers must redefine themselves. The chapter also includes a case study which helps to bring all of these ideas together into a tangible scenario.

Chapter Four: The Smallest Viable Market

Godin begins this chapter by asking a simple question, “What change are you trying to make?”. It immediately makes you start thinking in a different way, because marketers often think in terms of the desired results, but not necessarily the change that may occur. After figuring out what change you are trying to make, Godin challenges you to determine who you are seeking to change.

Chapter Fourteen: Treat Different People Differently

Chapter 14 of This is Marketing goes against the status quo and encourages readers to treat different people differently. There will always be an ‘average’ customer that you seek to reach and ‘typical’ service that you will provide. However, some people should receive a different level of service. For example, Godin explains that you should be in search of the neophiliacs, those in search of novelty. Those are the people who will try new things and test new products.

Additionally, every business will have some superusers. The people that generate eight times as much revenue as a typical customer. These people should be treated differently. Godin uses this chapter to encourage marketers to provide personalized customer experiences, not for every single customer, but for the ones that it will make a difference to.

Chapter Sixteen: Price Is A Story

Godin explains that price is a signal and it tells a story. He also talks about how business owners who focus on offering the cheapest price are often just scared. In fact, Godin asserts that “low price is the last refuge of a marketer who has run out of generous ideas.” Instead, business owners should focus on providing free ideas that spread like wildfire and pair them with expensive expressions of the same ideas that people won’t mind paying for. For example, you’ll hear the latest hit song on the radio for free, but you’ll have to pay to see the artist in concert.

Should You Read This is Marketing?

If you are a business owner who wants to understand the world of marketing or get in the right frame of mind to reach customers effectively and ethically, then this is the book for you. It is a must-read for marketers, as it challenges many of the traditional ploys of marketing. Godin’s book will have you re-evaluating what you stand for as a marketer by the end of Chapter One!

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