If you search for “Seth” in Google, the first naturally yielded result will be “Seth’s Blog.” What might appear to be an unassuming title is actually a powerhouse marketing blog.
I subscribed two years ago to the blog, and each day my inbox welcomes a new message from Seth Godin the author behind “Seth’s Blog.” What I like about Godin’s blog is that it is no-frills, but don’t let the simplicity fool you, he is a marketing thought leader.
My favorite post by Seth Godin is “The Curious Imperative.” In 115 words, Godin is able to concisely craft a mantra to readers that not knowing is not ok; curiosity is imperative in both your job and in your personal life.
I would follow this up by making an observation that a lack of curiosity is a disease that plagues so many people. When I look back retrospectively at my career, I can recall countless exchanges that I have had with colleagues who use language like, “I have no idea where to look,” “I have never done that before,” “I was only hired to do X”, “I was never trained” and finally, “maybe you should ask person X.” The last three words of Godin’s post are the call to action that many people need to think and practice before they respond – “Look it up!”
By not looking it up, you absolve yourself from the discovery process. Google is a prime example of a company that has trademarked, branded and streamlined the “look it up” practice with their “Google it” call to action. Hopefully, WebMD one day will follow up by offering a self-diagnosis tool that can rate an individual’s peak curiosity levels.
Thanks to a flood of emails from eConsultancy and the DMA my curiosity was peaked for their first annual Integrated Marketing Week Conference (IMW) in NYC. How could I not go, when Seth Godin would be presenting the opening keynote titled “Invisible or Remarkable? New Rules for Marketing in a New Economy.”
As the first attendee to arrive at the Metropolitan Pavilion, I was way to early by New York City standards and obviously an out of Towner. However, to my credit, my curiosity level needed to be satisfied. It isn’t every day that you get to hear a speech by a truly accomplished visionary, and I wasn’t go to miss out on getting a front-row seat to the event!
In about forty-five minutes, Godin had driven up the audience’s curiosity level with funny anecdotal historically based stories that were accompanied by a deck filled only with images that helped to drill down to the point that we are marketing during a time of great change.
He posed this question to the audience, “How do you market in a recession and with the underlying global shift toward a knowledge economy.” His answer was “Trip Advisor made more money than American Airlines because info about planes is more valuable than the planes. There are an infinite number of channels. Mass is not important.”
Since we are a species made up of connections, Godin views the idea of connections as the foundation for the “Connection Economy.” The follow the leader mentality that suppressed curiosity during the industrial age is no longer relevant. In terms of Integrated Marketing, Godin believes it should be “integration with humanity and not with computers.” Therefore, the “Connection Economy should be built on generosity and art.” The four pillars being: “(1) Coordination, (2) Trust (3) Permission, (4) Exchange of ideas.”
The marketplace opportunity is already there. Godin believes “(1) All media is optional, (2) Mass isn’t important; the edges are important, (3) The only work that matters is work that matters.”
At the conclusion of his presentation, Godin showed the audience an image of a cheetah. The question posed was “Does a cheetah worry about how it looks when it runs? No. It runs intuitively.” With everyone’s curiosity peaked, he told the audience to go “full cheetah.” The caveat being that as marketers, in order to protect your curiosity you have to be able to embrace the failures that are bound to happen. His concluding wisdom was “the man who invented the ship also invented the shipwreck.”
Does anyone have a favorite Godin post that they want to share/discuss?