All marketers are liars!
Seth Godin is a shameless self-publicist, second only to Tom Peters of "In Search of Excellence" fame. Seth, like Tom, can spin a good yarn. They can make a lot from a little. He understands marketing to the extent that he understands how to market himself. He's a 'speaker'. I've known many 'speakers' who claim to be marketing gurus on the basis of their own ability to self-promote. I saw him in action in the dot com boom/bust cycle. He took a concept we direct marketers have used for decades and rebadged it and voila: we got "permission marketing". Seth's books are "best sellers". One was 'best-selling marketing book of the decade". But my bullshit meter buzzes when I see 'best seller', knowing as I do how to manipulate publishers' statistics to create a best seller. Now all the above sounds like I'm down on Seth. I am not. I admire his gall. His latest book is called "All MArketers Are Liars!" But on the back of the flyleaf it says "Marketers Aren't Really Liars... It's the consumers who are liars..." Just where is this spin spinning us to? What is the pea and thimble trick?
I won't let Seth off the hook: the title of his book proves its point. Seth's title lies about its content. Seth the marketer in this context is a liar.
I believe, after 25 years in the front lines of marketing, that all marketers are liars. And that the ones who have the guts to tell the truth will win big time in future. (More next blog)