All Marketers Are Liars Book Summary, by Seth Godin

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Overview

You know how it goes: you see an AMAZING commercial advertising an AMAZING product. You rush to get it, you buy it, you bring it home. The next day it breaks or doesn’t work as promised.

Marketing is about spreading ideas. It’s about telling stories and, in many cases, lies. It’s about tapping into the world of consumers – something marketers can be good at doing. That’s exactly what these key points are all about. In fact, in All Marketers Are Liars, the author has some great insights on how marketers think and how they have created stories (and fibs and frauds) for decades, which have had an impact on the lives of many – both for better and for worse.

In this article, you’ll learn why it’s important to understand your consumers’ worldviews and how Dr. Atkins did that; why people use similar strategies as frogs; and where the line is between fibs and frauds.

Big Idea #1: Marketing is all about telling a story people can believe in.

A long time ago, people noticed the sun rising every morning. They made up a story about Helios and his chariot to explain it. This was before marketing existed, but it has something fundamental in common with it: a good story.

Marketing is all about telling stories. George Riedel, a tenth-generation glass blower, understands this idea well. His company makes wine glasses and his products are very popular. He says that every type of wine has its own message which is translated through the glass out of which people drink it.

Riedel’s story is amazing. There are scientific tests that prove his glasses don’t make a difference, but wine experts and enthusiasts insist they taste better out of Riedel glasses.

Marketing can change the taste of wine.

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

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.

Imagine a young woman who buys Puma sneakers for $125. They were produced in China for $3, but she doesn’t buy them because of their durability or support. She buys them because she thinks they’ll make her feel cool and improve her life slightly.

Puma’s marketers sold the young woman a story, which was that she is special and fashionable. People spread stories rather than buying products for their features. So if you can tell a good story, you’ll reach your audience more effectively.

Big Idea #2: Get a feeling for your customers’ worldview.

You might assume that everyone wants the same things in life, but it’s not that simple. We all want different things.

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Everyone has a different worldview, which is formed by their values and assumptions. A person’s worldview is influenced by his parents, the schools he went to, the places he lived in and other environments that he was exposed to. Their worldview determines what stories they will believe.

For example, if you were cheated the last time you bought a car from a used car salesman, that would affect your worldview the next time you go to another dealership. You’d have a different worldview from a person who has successfully bought three cars from that dealership in the past. So customers aren’t all the same. Then again, they aren’t completely different either. People who are similar tend to develop similar worldviews and share common interests as well as experiences which make them easier to market products and services to than those with dissimilar backgrounds. Your job as a marketer is to find people with nearly identical viewpoints on various topics and tell stories that speak directly to those groups of people while avoiding alienating other groups who may be opposed or indifferent toward what is being said/sold.

All Marketers Are Liars Book Summary, by Seth Godin

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