This is a marketing book by Seth Godin, here are my notes that I took as I read the book.

Book Notes:

It's easier to make products or services for customers you seek to serve rather than making the products or services that find the customers.

Marketing in five steps

  1. invent something worth making, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about
  2. design and build it in a way that a few people will benefit from and care about
  3. tell a story that matches the built-in narrative and dreams of that group of people, the smallest viable market
  4. spread the word
  5. show up, be consistent

Marketing is making a change to those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us.

Your work is to make a change, and you can do it by identifying who you want to change, earning enrolment and educating along the way.

Fill in the blanks:

My product is for the people who believe _____
I will focus on people who want ______
I promise engaging with what I make will get you ____


Case Study - Open Heart Project Pg.40

  • Start with empathy to see a real need
  • Focus on the smaller viable market
  • Match the worldview of people being served. Show up with a story they want to hear and told in a language they understand
  • Make it easy to spread
  • Earn and keep the attention of those you serve
  • Offer ways to go deeper
  • Create and relieve tension
  • Show off often, do it with humility

Going beyond what you do for yourself, instead figure out what the client's struggle is. Does that struggle contain a group of others who are also struggling with the same cause? If that is the case, then you have an opportunity to serve them.

Begin with assertions. What does our audience, the folks we want to serve, want and need? Begin with dreams, fears, emotional states, and with the change your customer seeks. Ask yourself how it makes them feel?

1,000 'true' fans might be sufficient to live a better than decent life.
Kevin Kelly

The Path of Empathy, Connection and Change

We often pursue ideas and actions because; "it is part of who we are or people like us." Changing the culture of a small group of people can strengthen our seedling's root, eventually growing into a strong tree. If we continue to nourish this tree that bears fruit, we will attract more and more who want to play, eat, sit, sleep on the tree. The key message is to grow a viable segment of people by changing their culture.

Disrupt the pattern and create tension is how to gain momentum. An example is Slack new app that disrupts the pattern of an employee-to-employee conversation. Tension; if you don't join, you miss the conversations that take place.

Status plays a role in how we make decisions and where we see ourselves in the pecking order. Status doesn't have to remain constant in different areas of your life—for example, school vs home vs work.

The folks we seek to serve are trying to figure out who we are. If we're showing up in their world, at least make it easy for them to know who we are and where we stand.

What promise do these folks think you are making, and what do they expect when they meet, buy, or hire us? That promise is our brand. If people care, you've got a brand.

Neophiliacs are self adopters who want better, are clever, and tend to favour innovation. They fall on the left side of the standard deviation.

Enrollment is what's needed to earn permission to engage.

The lesson is always to be wondering, testing, be willing to treat people differently. If not, our target audience will find someone who will

Direct Marketing ads make sure you measure everything. Figure out how much it costs to get attention, clicks, turning that attention into an order. Direct Marketing is action marketing, and if unable to measure it, it doesn't count.

Brand Marketing, we need to remain patient, refuse to measure. Engage with the culture.

Having an open funnel can attract thousands and filter down to five. Those five are the key believers, the Neophiliacts who want to try new things, who can help spread the word.

The most important metric is Lifetime Value (LTV). The early adopter will try it, if they love it, they'll share it with friends, and the status of human evolution will kick in (where do I sit in the pecking order?)

Tribe: the goal is for them to miss you when your gone. You don't lead or own the tribe. They agree with your vision, thoughts, or path.

The Story of Self: Your transition, from who you used to be to whom you've become
The Story of Us: Why your story of self is relevant to us and how we will benefit when we're part of people like us.
The Story of Now: I was like you. I was in the desert. Then I learned something, and now I am here.

The best marketers are farmers not hunters!

Marketing Worksheet

The worksheet below is an exercise meant to figure out what you are selling, who it is for, and how you can grow it by changing the culture and attracting a like-minded tribe.

  • Who's it for?
  • What's it for?
  • What is the world view of the audience you're seeking to reach?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What story will you tell? Is it true?
  • What change are you seeking to make?
  • How will it change their status?
  • How will you reach the earlier adopters and Neophiliacs?
  • Why will they tell their friends?
  • What will they tell their friends?
  • What is the network effect that will propel this forward?
  • What asset are you building?
  • Are you proud of it?

I enjoyed this book as it provided some good insight on how marketing is more than just selling to a persona. It's about offering something you believe in that has the ability to help others. If you can help change people's lives for the better, then you are really onto something great!