The sign of a great marketing book is when you want to reread sections to digest and dissect concepts and ideas days, weeks, even months after reading the last page. These books stay with you and never truly go out of style (even if the act and idea of “marketing” evolves). Like most of his writing, Seth Godin’s latest book, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See, is one of those great books.
The 2018 AMA Marketing Hall of Famer uses his well-known witty, straightforward writing style to discuss the core principles of marketing as they relate to today’s marketer. Everything from seeking the right audience to semiotics to trust and beyond is covered in this bright orange package. It isn’t a long book or difficult to read, but it is a dense text full of marketing knowledge.
This is a book for the marketer that knows that marketing is not just about how many followers you have or how many leads you can generate. It’s about creating a movement and solving problems for your audience. According to Godin, “Marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems.” Godin uses a number of real life examples to illustrate his concepts and references other great marketing books (he supplies a reference list in the back) to support the ideas that need to go into becoming a marketing disruptor.
However helpful and inspiring This Is Marketing may be, readers need to know that the principles examined in this book will take time and effort to implement. There isn’t a simple formula or actionable list to use to take your work to the next level. Those familiar with Godin’s work will understand that he does not set out to tell the marketer how to do their job, but instead strives to give them the tools to forge their own path.
The factor that makes This Is Marketing so stimulating is how hopeful it is. Godin spends a significant amount of time talking about how marketers need to abandon spamming to focus on creating meaningful stories to move your audience to action. He touches briefly on what makes a marketer “evil” and the morality of the decision marketers make to complete their job. Topics like culture, innovation, price, the sales funnel, and more are covered in depth citing examples that match the bite sized nuggets of wisdom Godin presents.
There are many takeaways that a reader can walk away with after finishing This Is Marketing, but it would be unsporting to share those details. Part of the experience of reading a Seth Godin book is letting it transform itself into the book you need it to be. Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration to energize your marketing or need a kick in the pants to get you through a rough patch of work, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See is a great book to help anyone at any level in their career.
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Featured Photo Credit: Jill Greenberg