Marketing lessons from Seth Godin

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible” – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a best-selling author and entrepreneur and is one of the most prominent and influential names in marketing today. Godin has worked in the field for decades and his daily blog is one of the most trafficked worldwide.

Godin has launched successful entrepreneurial ventures such as Yoyodyne, one of the world’s earliest online marketing companies, which he sold to Yahoo! in 1998 for $30 million, and Squidoo, a platform acquired by HubPages. With all of this in mind, it is safe to say that Seth knows the world of marketing like the back of his hand. With his experience, we can learn how to bring value to our audience. Here are some quotes and what we can learn from them:

1. “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention”

You can have a great product, idea or concept, but getting attention is the real challenge. Seth says to start by understanding that people care about themselves. Anyone who tweets about a brand or favorites a brand is doing it because it is a symbol of who they are – it is a token, it is a badge. It’s about them, it’s not about the brand. The marketer’s job is to tell a true story, one that resonates, one that matters to people, and to repeat it often enough that it creates value.

2. “What could you measure? What would that cost? How fast could you get the results? If you can afford it, try it. If you measure it, it will improve.”

Metrics are critical to ensuring that your marketing is aligned with your business objectives. In one of our previous blog posts, we talked about the importance of data in your strategy. Data should guide decisions, best practices and internal and external activity. Data gathering and analysis is a common activity among highly successful companies. The data is already there, it simply needs to become the driving force toward improvement.

3. “Organizations that destroy the status quo win. Whatever the status quo is, changing it gives you the opportunity to be remarkable.”

What does your idea or concept achieve that hasn’t been done before? If it has been done before, how do you plan to stand out from your competition? If you’re just doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, then you’re just fitting in and going with the flow. Find new ways to stick out and create a strategy to grab the attention of your audience.

4. “Hope without a strategy doesn’t generate leadership. Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there.”

Strategy is at the core of success. Merely using hope to lead the way when you begin your venture without a strategy will only create disappointment. Before you launch a product or service, you need establish your vision, then create a plan on how to achieve that vision, and stick to it. In the words of Seth Godin, “If you don’t have time to do it right, what makes you think you’ll have time to do it over?”