Book Review: This is Marketing, by Seth Godin
Updated: Aug 21, 2022
You can't be seen until you learn to see
I'm incredibly respectful of Seth Godin, the way he presents ideas and new ways of thinking about marketing and engagement is like a breath of fresh air. His approach is very similar to how I see marketing - being very strategic base, he rarely looks at marketing tactics but explores visions to achieving the mission.
This 2018 version reflects the changing nature of marketing as we move further from social media-led strategies which replaced the digital marketing strategies before it, and the email marketing before that. We are now in the era of community, tribes and people - however before he delves into any of this, Seth spends the first part of the book exploring the skills of the marketer.
Following on from the Blue Ocean idea (which is my next read), This is marketing spends significant time looking at businesses finding its distinct space, building a narrative that truly reflects its audience, and focuses on incredibly targeted customers. For me, Seth is seeking marketers to improve themselves through the process of reinventing marketing strategies - to be more authentic and credible with the power and impact that marketers can have.
What I particularly like in the middle section, is how Seth does not disregard the business plan - and how central this is to effective marketing - the product is much part of the strategy as too the channels to engagement; and this will support the value placed upon a product.
Seth addresses one of my favourite topics - semiotics; which I studied at university - which quickly places This is Marketing and one of my favourite books!
Building trust and how to effectively lead without demanding leadership are two of the most poignant themes of the book - which moves away from enforced thought-leadership strategies of the noughties. Now we need to be driven by consistent engagement and networking to build profile, resilience and influence because storytelling requires frequency.
Overall, for anyone wanting to get the modern view of strategic marketing development and building intuitive strategies that will profoundly connect with the target audience - read this as an initial guide.