LIES and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lifting author Seth Godin's words directly from the book, below is the Brand Autopsy mash-up [marketing club remix version] synopsis of LIARS.
All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. Successful marketers don’t talk about features or benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we want to believe.
Marketing is the story marketers tell to consumers and then maybe, if the marketer has done a good job, the lie consumers tell themselves and their friends. Some marketers focus so hard on the facts of their offering that they forget to tell a story at all and then wonder why they’ve failed.
Stories are shortcuts because we’re too overwhelmed by data to discover all the details. Marketers tell the stories, and consumers believe them. Some marketers do it well. Others are pretty bad at it.
Great marketers tell stories we believe. The marketer tells a story about what the consumer notices. The story changes the way the consumer experiences the product or service. Storytelling only works when the story actually makes the product or service better.
Storytelling isn’t Seth’s idea. It’s the idea of customers. It’s customers who want to be told stories. It’s your prospects who will walk away if you obsess about the last sigma of this or that without bothering to tell a story about it.
There are no small stories. Only small marketers. If your story is too small, it’s not a story, it’s just an annoying interruption. Make your story bigger and bigger until it’s important enough to believe.
Paul and I each connected with Seth’s worldview of marketing being all about storyselling … we mean … storytelling. Below you’ll find a jump-list of seven posts where we frame up our observations/impressions from LIARS and from an email exchange we had with Seth.
- Getting the Most Out of LIARS | insights into how to approach reading LIARS
- "Liar" Stories Worth Repeating | some key learnings from LIARS
- Smart Customers Hear the Whisper | Seth talks about the importance of subtlety
- Buying the Sizzle, Not the Steak Knives | what x-ray specs and the ThighMaster share in common
- Strategies Smart Marketers Follow | why Miller Brewing will fail in its attempt to live the glamorous marketing life
- Getting Big, Staying Small | keeping the story alive as you grow
- Seth’s New New Marketing Journalism | Seth shares the approach he took in writing LIARS