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All Marketers Are Liars

The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works – and Why Authenticity Is The Best Marketing of All

By Seth Godin
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars explains how telling your customers authentic, meaningful stories about your business helps you sell your products and build a strong, long-lasting relationship with them.

Key idea 1 of 7

Marketing is all about telling a story people can believe in.

A long time ago, people noticed that the sun rose every morning, so they developed a story about Helios and his chariot. This occurred long before the concept of “marketing” existed, but it has something fundamental in common with it: a good story.

Effective marketing is all about telling people believable stories. George Riedel, a tenth-generation glass blower, understands this idea well. His company makes glass products and his wine glasses are particularly popular. He says that all wines have a unique “message” which is translated through the glass out of which a person drinks it.

Riedel’s story works amazingly well. Scientific tests have proved there’s no difference between his glasses and others, but wine experts and enthusiasts all around the world insist that wine tastes better out of a Riedel glass.

That’s the power of marketing. It can change the taste of a wine.

Marketing schemes like Riedel’s succeed because in today’s world, people buy what they want, not what they need. That’s how marketers earn their profits.

Think of it this way: imagine a young woman who buys a pair of Puma sneakers for $125 – which were produced for $3 in China. She doesn’t buy them because of their durability or the support they give her feet. She buys them because, once she puts them on, she feels cool. She imagines her life and image will improve slightly once she gets those shoes.

What the Puma marketers really sold the young woman is a story – a story that she’s special, hip and fashionable – and people spread stories. They rarely buy a product just for its particular features. So remember, if you can tell a good story, you’ll reach them.

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