All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

by Seth Godin


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Seth Godin's three essential questions for every marketer: "What's you story?" "Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?" "Is it true?" All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that's virtually the same car. We believe that $125 sneakers make our feet feel better--and look cooler--than a $25 brand. And believing it makes it true. As Seth Godin showed in this controversial book, great marketers don't talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story--a story we want to believe, whether it's factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories. Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or Fiji water or the iPod. But beware: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse. That's a lesson learned the hard way by telemarketers, cigarette companies, and sleazy politicians. But for the rest of us, it's time to embrace the power of the story. As Godin writes, "Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn't invent storytelling. They just perfected it."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591841005
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2005
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.76(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
ScentTrail on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to work with Seth for a day years ago. His mind works as fast as you think. It is a little like being on a very fast ride with no seat belts. All Marketers is one of Seth's best books if you manage web sites as I do. Story is critical to online success in Web 2.0. Voice creation, if you've ever tried it, can be hard. Liars helps flatten and demystify creating compelling stories. Seth's point that we marketers are all story tellers is an undeniably true statement. He follows truth with helpful hints. One of Martin's Top Ten Web Marketing books (LOL).
willisja on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like the way Seth thinks (about marketing), but strongly dislike his smug leftist-liberal attitude and "worldview" when it comes to politics. He needs to check the attitude at the front book cover for the next one he writes or (in my ever-so-humble opinion) risk loosing readers. Like me. The only reason I picked this up is because the local Penguin distribution center was having a sale and I got it for $2. Nevertheless, I'm glad I picked it up. It's a good read.In this book Seth brings together a number of concepts that at some level good marketers know instinctively. But he puts words to it--gives form to all those hunches/gut feels that we have. In a nutshell, his thesis is this: people have a worldview, a way of thinking about the events and people around them, and they don't like to admit their view may be wrong or slightly out-of-kilter with reality. And so they look for and endorse people, ideas, things that validate their worldview. True enough. He also advocates positioning or "serving up" stories that cater to those long as those stories are true to the worldview and to "truth" or "reality". In other words, it's OK to embellish, to present something in a certain light--especially if it fits with the worldview. But it's not OK to patently lie.There's a fine line in there somewhere about just who's truth is real truth. But frankly, it all depends on your worldview! And what you consider truth. Or whether or not you even think there IS such a thing as truth. Oh my, my head is starting to ache.This gets a "recommended read" from me. I like most things Seth writes. I just don't like the attitude.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Marketers are always on a quest to discover the new best way to sell products. Author and marketing guru Seth Godin takes a slightly skewed look at the marketing principle of positioning and renames it 'storytelling.' In doing so, he redefines a market segment as a community with a shared worldview, and a marketing campaign as a story framed to fit that worldview. The idea is provocative. By tweaking the conventional approach to advertising, Godin gives marketers a new angle, backed up by enlightening case studies. At times the book is simplistic and repetitive, and it never fully gets into the meat of how to create and disseminate a marketing story. Still, Godin will intrigue you as he explains that purchases are driven by desire, not need, and that clever storytelling is better at whetting a purchaser¿s desires than an old-fashioned ad campaign. We recommend his practical marketing advice with its unorthodox approach to charming the cash right out of the customer¿s wallet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'All Marketers are Liars' is one of the best books I've read this year. Seth Godin is highly entertaining, witty and funny as he takes you on a journey through the world of business storytelling!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book, strictly for the title as I have always thought myself to be a marketer's nightmare and thought this book would be humorous. I don't buy anything because of the brand name and the few branded things I do buy are only bought because I have used them and they have proven their worth to me. So, I picked up All Marketers Are Liars, expecting it to trash marketing gimmicks. Boy was I surprised to find that I am not the nightmare I thought myself to be. Godin's theory of storytelling as opposed to advertising is right on the money. While reading his book, I realized that I, too, have been hooked by the good stories and it opened my eyes a little more to marketing ploys that I hadn't even paid any thought to. Godin's examples of product story telling are very interesting. I really enjoyed this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
All Marketers Are Liars completes the Seth Godin marketing hat trick begun with Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside. We all like being told stories (lies) from the time we are children. As kids, we want to believe in the magic and hope that fairy tales and fables bring us. As adults, we still need to believe in the power of magic, of things having exceptional qualities. Marketing stories/lies give us that magic. They take what is unique about a product/business (Purple Cow) and combine it with its extra benefits (Free Prize Inside) to create a story that we understand on an emotional level. Once a product/business has a strong lie, it can connect with its customer quicker and more efficently. I would strongly recommend this book especially for small business owners who are having to act as their own marketing directors. You will come away with an direction for you marketing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seth Godin is the kind of character and author that you either love - or love to hate. I find myself happily in the first camp. I find his view of the world and of marketing to be refreshing and insightful. I have always walked away from a personal encounter with Seth having learned something new and having been encouraged to think about familiar things in new and different ways. The same holds true for his books. I have devoured Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, Permission Marketing, Unleashing the IdeaVirus. His new book has just been released to bookstores. All Marketers Are Liars (The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World) stands on the shoulders of his previous books and builds the case for storytelling being at the heart of all marketing activities. And for Seth, the medium is often a crucial part of the message. Packaging is part of the story. Ergo, limited editions of Purple Cow came packed inside purple and white half gallon milk cartons. Free Prize Inside was sold inside a cereal box. All Marketers Are Liars features a picture of Seth Godin looking strangely like the love child of Pinocchio and Cyrano de Bergerac! The deliberately arresting and provocative title of the book makes Seth's point succinctly. In telling us the title of his book - he is telling us a lie. The book is not really about the fact that marketers lie (although some do). It is about the fact that consumers tell themselves lies all the time to justify buying what they want rather than what they truly need. We tell ourselves stories about the products and services we desire. And the successful marketer finds ways to control the storytelling process. 'Stories let us lie to ourselves. And those lies satisfy our desires. It's the story, not the good or the service you actually sell, that pleases the consumer.' (p. 84) The heart of Seth's argument can be found in this pithy statement: 'Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner or the iPod.' Every marketer, sales person and business executive should read this book and then engage in some healthy reflection and self-analysis. Every consumer should read it to gain better understanding about what moves us to want and then to buy the things that we acquire. I enjoyed this book. No lie!