All Marketers Are Liars (Seth Godin) – Review

All successful marketers tell stories. When they market a product or service, they don’t focus on the facts, features, or benefits. They focus on stories. Because only stories have the potential to spread from person to person. Godin believes that all great stories are consistent with what audiences already believe. The stories give them a sense of intelligence and security as they are reminded of how right they were from the start.

Satisfying wants, not needs

Marketers benefit because consumers buy what they want, not what they need. There was a time when marketers could capitalize on need satisfaction. Making a product or service cheaper or better was a top priority and a surefire path to profitability. The times have changed. Many companies can do something slightly better than you and offer it at a cheaper price. Satisfying needs is no longer a sustainable strategy for marketers.

Therefore, one should focus on the satisfaction of desires and not needs. It doesn’t matter what you sell as long as you satisfy wants, not needs. A product, service, religion, or political candidate is bought because it creates an emotional desire, not because it fulfills a simple need.

Leverage a worldview that a consumer already has

Worldview refers to the rules, values, beliefs, and prejudices that a person holds. Marketers should never try to change the way their consumers see the world. Instead, they should try to shape their story in a way that leverages the consumer’s existing worldview.

Godin suggests that marketers should work towards identifying a population with a particular worldview and framing their stories to that worldview.

First impression and authenticity

Humans are capable of making extremely sophisticated judgments in a fraction of a second. And once they reach that conclusion, they refuse to change it.

The problem for marketers is that we don’t even know when the first impression is made. For this reason, marketers must always be authentic in their storytelling.

Storytelling has to be authentic. If your story isn’t authentic, you’ll benefit from just one sale versus hundreds if your story is authentic. Because authentic stories have the power to spread from person to person.

The book is written entertainingly, shows many real demonstration examples, and offers a good first insight into the world of marketing. But it isn’t just for marketers, because marketing impacts each of us daily. It helps to understand the influence of marketing on our behavior and is therefore useful for everyone.

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