Seth Godin’s This is Marketing — My Top 5 Takeaways

Seth Godin recently wrote a book entitled This Is Marketing and these are the 5 things that I really liked from reading it. I’ve paraphrased from the book my 5 subtitles.

1. My product is for people who believe ... 

I will focus on people who want ... 

I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get ... 


These three fill-in-the-blank statements are gold for anyone trying or wanting to figure out what their competitive advantage is in the marketplace. This has caused me to take the time to think about who my service is specifically for, what my intended audience actually wants, and what I’ll commit to giving my clients for their benefit. I have so much more focus and direction with my business and service offering by going through this exercise. And the really good news is that this is an exercise I, or anyone, could start at any phase of the business. It’s even a good exercise to do on a regular basis, even annually, to make sure I haven’t veered from my target or to confirm if I need to change my course.

2. Branding vs marketing, strategy vs tactics, and be a farmer not a hunter.

These lines speak to the refreshing wisdom of taking the longview when it comes to serving people and growing a business. Rather than trying to find a hack or a trick to get attention quickly, why not focus on building a strong foundation with fundamentals and principles. I’ve found many business owners must take short cuts and try to fast track revenue because they didn’t do the slow and steady work of saving up a cash reserve and honing their craft over the previous years in order to have a multiple year runway in their business. By runway, I mean the ability to live off of personal savings instead of forcing a business to become a high revenue source of income too soon.

 

3. Price is a marketing strategy.

This resonates with me because I don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done when it comes to pricing. For example, just because the financial industry has been known for selling products in the past doesn’t mean I have to do the same. I can price simply and transparently for advice. That in itself can be a big benefit to those whom are looking for the ease of understanding what they’re paying for.

 

4. Marketers need to spend more time on helping, one person at a time, day-by-day.

This resonates with me because it’s comforting to remind myself that I can’t expect to get there over night. It’s the small incremental actions that make a big difference over time. It’s the compounding interest effect applied to serving clients and helping people one at a time over the long haul. It’s not until a decade down the road that someone can look back and see the mountains they’ve scaled. I also like the emphasis Seth places on taking action rather than coming up with ideas. Both are really good and important things to have as strengths, but it’s showing up with the courage to put yourself out there with a real product or service, day-in and day-out, that creates the real change.

 

5. The goal is to be known by the smallest viable audience.

This to me was the mantra of the entire book. I like this because it forces me as a business owner and financial advisor to be specific in whom I’m serving and why. It’s easy to say I’m going to be the best at everything or that I want to help everyone everywhere, but that’s not really committing to anything or anyone in particular. However, I can make a big impact when I force myself to put detail and commitments behind it all. I need to continually ask myself whom specifically am I best suited to serve and how many people am I capable of serving really well. This can also keep me from chasing distractions and losing focus on what’s really important.

 


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