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This is Marketing by Seth Godin

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10,000 Foot Overview

This book gets to the heart of marketing. It's not about tactics, products, or what you're selling. Marketing is about making change happen in the customers life. Understanding their fears, desires, and emotions, and seeking to radically change the normal way a niche audience lives its life.


Marketing is the act of making change happen. Making is insufficient. You haven’t made an impact until you’ve changed someone. (Location 119)

The other kind of marketing, the effective kind, is about understanding our customers’ worldview and desires so we can connect with them. It’s focused on being missed when you’re gone, on bringing more than people expect to those who trust us. It seeks volunteers, not victims. (Location 196)

It’s easier to make products and services for the customers you seek to serve than it is to find customers for your products and services. (Location 203)

5 Steps to Marketing

The first step is to invent a thing worth making, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about. (Location 264)

The second step is to design and build it in a way that a few people will particularly benefit from and care about. (Location 265)

The third step is to tell a story that matches the built-in narrative and dreams of that tiny group of people, the smallest viable market. (Location 266)

The fourth step is the one everyone gets excited about: spread the word. (Location 268)

The last step is often overlooked: show up—regularly, consistently, and generously, for years and years—to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make. To earn permission to follow up and to earn enrollment to teach. As (Location 268)

Marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems. (Location 274) #quote

Persistent, consistent, and frequent stories, delivered to an aligned audience, will earn attention, trust, and action. (Location 279)

If you want to make change, begin by making culture. Begin by organizing a tightly knit group. Begin by getting people in sync. Culture beats strategy—so much that culture is strategy. (Location 289)

Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us. (Location 362)

Features > Benefits > Emotions

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” (Location 364)

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want to feel safe and respected.” (Location 373)

If you can bring someone belonging, connection, peace of mind, status, or one of the other most desired emotions, you’ve done something worthwhile. The thing you sell is simply a road to achieve those emotions, and we let everyone down when we focus on the tactics, not the outcomes. Who’s it for and what’s it for are the two questions that guide all of our decisions. (Location 378)

When you’re marketing-driven, you’re focused on the latest Facebook data hacks, the design of your new logo, and your Canadian pricing model. On the other hand, when you’re market-driven, you think a lot about the hopes and dreams of your customers and their friends. You listen to their frustrations and invest in changing the culture. Being market-driven lasts. (Location 398)

Throughout this book, we’ll return to this essential question: “Who’s it for?” (Location 457)

Starbucks set out to serve someone with a very precise set of beliefs about coffee, time, money, community, opportunity, and luxury—and by obsessing over this group of someones, Starbucks built a brand for the ages. (Location 463) But as marketers, we must begin with a worldview, and invite people who share that worldview to join us. “I made this” is a very different statement than, “What do you want?” (Location 473)

Organize your project, your life, and your organization around the minimum. What’s the smallest market you can survive on? (Location 508) Once you’ve identified the scale, then find a corner of the market that can’t wait for your attention. Go to their extremes. Find a position on the map where you, and you alone, are the perfect answer. Overwhelm this group’s wants and dreams and desires with your care, your attention, and your focus. (Location 510)

The goal of the smallest viable audience is to find people who will understand you and will fall in love with where you hope to take them. (Location 533)

Drop a teaspoon of it into a swimming pool, and all the water in the pool will become permanently bright purple. But if you drop it in the ocean, no one will notice. When you seek to share your best work—your best story, your shot at change—it helps if it’s likely to spread. It helps if it’s permanent. (Location 557)

How to Create a Great Marketing Statement

My product is for people who believe _. I will focus on people who want _. I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get _. (Location 583)

Start with empathy to see a real need. Not an invented one, not “How can I start a business?” but, “What would matter here?” (Location 598)

Your job as a marketer is to find a spot on the map with edges that (some) people want to find. Not a selfish, unique selling proposition, done to maximize your market share, but a generous beacon, a signal flare sent up so that people who are looking for you can easily find you. We’re this, not that. (Location 657)

You can’t be perfect in the eyes of an [[early adopter]]; the best you can do is be interesting. (Location 686)

Effective marketers don’t begin with a solution, with the thing that makes them more clever than everyone else. Instead, we begin with a group we seek to serve, a problem they seek to solve, and a change they seek to make. (Location 885)

Good [[stories]]: Connect us to our purpose and vision for our career or business. Allow us to celebrate our strengths by remembering how we got from there to here. Deepen our understanding of our unique value and what differentiates us in the marketplace. Reinforce our core values. Help us to act in alignment and make value-based decisions. Encourage us to respond to customers instead of react to the marketplace. Attract customers who want to support businesses that reflect or represent their values. Build brand loyalty and give customers a story to tell. Attract the kind of like-minded employees we want. Help us to stay motivated and continue to do work we’re proud (Location 934)

If you need to be authentic to do your best work, you’re not a professional, you’re a fortunate amateur.(Location 1017) A professional plays a role, doing the best possible work, regardless of the day or the patient or the client. (Location 996)

Don’t begin with your machines, your inventory, or your tactics. Don’t begin with what you know how to do or some sort of distraction about your mission. Instead, begin with dreams and fears, with emotional states, and with the change your customers seek. (Location 1093)

The challenge for most people who seek to make an impact isn’t winning over the mass market. It’s the micro market. (Location 1230) They bend themselves into a pretzel trying to please the anonymous masses before they have fifty or one hundred people who would miss them if they were gone. (Location 1231)

Choose your extremes, find the people you seek to change, and show up with your offer. (Location 1145)

The critic who doesn’t like your work is correct. He doesn’t like your work. This cannot be argued with. The critic who says that no one else will like your work is wrong. After all, you like your work. Someone else might like it too. (Location 1281)

Why are the people who don’t choose you correct in their decision to not choose you? (Location 1310) If you’re a career coach, then explain why people who don’t hire a coach have made a smart decision. Or explain why people who are using someone else to coach them have done something that makes sense for them. (Location 1316)

When we find the empathy to say, “I’m sorry, this isn’t for you, here’s the phone number of my competitor,” then we also find the freedom to do work that matters. (Location 1326)

When we’re comfortable realizing that our work is to change “a culture,” then we can begin to do two bits of hard work: Map and understand the worldview of the culture we seek to change. Focus all our energy on this group. Ignore everyone else. Instead, focus on building and living a story that will resonate with the culture we are seeking to change. (Location 1403)