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This Is Marketing summary

Seth Godin

You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See

4.5 (446 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin is a marketing guide that challenges traditional advertising and offers a new approach to marketing that prioritizes empathy, connection, and emotional resonance with customers, rather than merely promoting products.

Table of Contents

    This Is Marketing
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Mass advertising made sense in the heyday of mass media; in the internet age, it no longer does.

    Imagine you’re a marketing executive back in the 1960s. Your company has a product, but your sales team has a problem: not enough sales! So how do you solve it?

    If you took the traditional approach to marketing, it would boil down to two words: buy ads – preferably lots of ads, and get them seen by as many people as possible.

    Call it the “Coca-Cola method.” As the world-famous soft drink company has done year after year, you would flood the airwaves and magazine pages with advertisements.

    Your objective? In a word, mass. You use the mass media to achieve mass saturation of the mass market with a mass message aimed at – you guessed it – the masses.

    And what’s the message? Mass again. It’s about persuading your mass audience that your product is a part of the mass culture. For Coca-Cola, that meant convincing people that everyone’s drinking Coke – and enjoying it!

    Back in the 1960s, when the United States had three main television channels, and nearly everyone was watching the same shows, that was a viable strategy. If you ran an ad on The Beverly Hillbillies, your message would reach millions of people – a large percentage of the television-viewing public.

    But those days are long gone. Now the public’s attention is split between thousands of television channels and shows, and many people are watching YouTube and Netflix instead.

    The internet is a game changer. On one level, it’s the most massive mass medium ever created, connecting billions of people. But on another level, it’s also the least massive medium. That’s because everyone can curate their own private version of it, with personalized Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds, and tailored YouTube video suggestions and Spotify playlists.

    Just as mass media has splintered into numerous smaller media, the mass culture that used to be centered around it has fractured as well. The television show Mad Men, which ran between 2007 and 2015, chronicled this shift, and the show itself provides an example of the change that’s taken place. The show received a great deal of praise, yet on average, only about 1 percent of the US population watched it.

    The mass-advertising approach to marketing no longer makes sense. Clearly, a new approach is needed.

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    What is This Is Marketing about?

    This Is Marketing (2018) begins with a provocative premise: the landscape of marketing has dramatically shifted in the past few decades, but we haven’t updated our thinking about it accordingly. Our mental model still places advertising at the center of the marketing universe – but in the age of the internet, that no longer makes sense. A new philosophy is needed.

    This Is Marketing Review

    This Is Marketing (2018) by Seth Godin is a practical guide that explores effective marketing strategies for the modern age. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers insightful perspectives on how to understand and connect with customers in a meaningful way, allowing businesses to thrive in today's competitive market.
    • Emphasizes the importance of empathy and authenticity in marketing, urging readers to prioritize building relationships and delivering value over traditional sales tactics.
    • Provides practical strategies and examples that can be applied to any industry, helping readers gain a deeper understanding of their target audience and how to effectively communicate with them.

    Who should read This Is Marketing?

    • Marketing mavens looking for new ideas and inspiration
    • Marketing skeptics waiting to be won over to the discipline
    • Marketing opponents wanting to protect themselves against manipulation

    About the Author

    Seth Godin is a successful entrepreneur, educator, writer and speaker on the topics of marketing and leadership. He has founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne, and he has written 18 books, which include The Dip, a New York Times best seller, and Purple Cow, which sold more than 150,000 copies and went through 23 printing runs in its first two years. He has led a number of marketing workshops, seminars and courses, and he also maintains Seth’s Blog, which is as popular as it is self-descriptive.

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    This Is Marketing FAQs 

    What is the main message of This Is Marketing?

    Authentic marketing is about serving others and creating connections.

    How long does it take to read This Is Marketing?

    Reading time for This Is Marketing varies, but you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is This Is Marketing a good book? Is it worth reading?

    This Is Marketing is worth reading for its insights into ethical and effective marketing methods.

    Who is the author of This Is Marketing?

    The author of This Is Marketing is Seth Godin.