Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, a sought-after lecturer, a monthly columnist for Fast Company, and an all-around business gadfly. He’s the bestselling author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, The Big Red Fez, Survival Is Not Enough, and Purple Cow.
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The indispensable classic on marketing by the bestselling author of Tribes and Purple Cow.

Legendary business writer Seth Godin has three essential questions for every marketer:

“What’s your story?”

“Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?”

“Is it true?”

All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that $225 sneakers make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than a $25 brand. And believing it makes it true.

As Seth Godin has taught hundreds of thousands of marketers and students around the world, great marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story—a story we want to believe, whether it’s factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories.

Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or Fiji water, or the iPod.

But beware: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse. That’s a lesson learned the hard way by telemarketers, cigarette companies, and sleazy politicians.

But for the rest of us, it’s time to embrace the power of the story. As Godin writes, “Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn’t invent storytelling. They just perfected it.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.
This life-changing manifesto shows how you have the potential to make a huge difference wherever you are.
 
Few authors have had the kind of lasting impact and global reach that Seth Godin has had. In a series of now-classic books that have been translated into 36 languages and reached millions of readers around the world, he has taught generations of readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. In Linchpin, he turns his attention to the individual, and explains how anyone can make a significant impact within their organization.
 
There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team, the linchpins. These people figure out what to do when there's no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.
 
Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn't reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back. Linchpin will show you how to join the likes of...
 
· Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces.
· Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a résumé.
· David, who works at Dean and Deluca coffee shop in New York. He sees every customer interaction as a chance to give a gift and is cherished in return.
 
As Godin writes, "Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."
The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller that redefined what it means to be a leader.
 
Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin's visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.
 
It's human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads).  Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so.
 
With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.
 
If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle.
 
Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It's not easy, but it's easier than you think.
 

 
The man Business Week calls "the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age" explains "Permission Marketing" -- the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.
Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.
Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity -- time -- Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness -- and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.
In his groundbreaking book, Godin describes the four tests of Permission Marketing:
1. Does every single marketing effort you create encourage a learning relationship with your customers? Does it invite customers to "raise their hands" and start communicating?
2. Do you have a permission database? Do you track the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them?
3. If consumers gave you permission to talk to them, would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products?
4. Once people become customers, do you work to deepen your permission to communicate with those people?
And in numerous informative case studies, including American Airlines' frequent-flier program, Amazon.com, and Yahoo!, Godin demonstrates how marketers are already profiting from this key new approach in all forms of media.
Gotta get me some of that New Marketing. Bring me blogs, e-mail, YouTube videos, MySpace pages, Google AdWords. I don't care, as long as it's shiny and new. 

Wait. According to bestselling author Seth Godin, all these tactics are like the toppings at an ice cream parlor. If you start with ice cream, adding cherries and hot fudge and whipped cream will make it taste great. But if you start with a bowl of meatballs, yuck! 

As traditional marketing fades away, the new tools seem irresistible. But they don't work as well for boring brands (meatballs) that might still be profitable but don't attract word of mouth, such as Cheerios, Ford trucks, Barbie dolls, or Budweiser. When Anheuser-Busch spends $40 million on an online network called BudTV, that's a meatball sundae. It leads to no new Bud drinkers, just a bad case of indigestion. 

Meatball Sundae is the definitive guide to the fourteen trends no marketer can afford to ignore. It explains what to do about the increasing power of stories, not facts; about shorter and shorter attention spans; and about the new math that says five thousand people who want to hear your message are more valuable than five million who don?t. 

The winners aren't just annoying start-ups run by three teenagers who never had a real job. You'll also meet older companies that have adapted brilliantly, such as Blendtec, a thirty-year-old blender maker. It now produces Will It Blend? videos that demolish golf balls, coke cans, iPhones, and much more. For a few hundred dollars, Blendtec reached more than ten million eager viewers on YouTube. 

Godin doesn't pretend that it's easy to get your products, marketing messages, and internal systems in sync. But he'll convince you that it's worth the effort.


From the Hardcover edition.
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