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All Marketers are Liars. Seth Godin. The New Definition of Marketing. Marketers can no longer use commercials to tell their stories. Instead, they have to live them. Marketing has become more powerful than it has ever been before.

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All Marketers are Liars

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the new definition of marketing
The New Definition of Marketing
  • Marketers can no longer use commercials to tell their stories. Instead, they have to live them. Marketing has become more powerful than it has ever been before.
  • There is a complete disconnect between observable reality and the lies we tell ourselves.
worldview frames
Worldview & Frames
  • Worldview - the rules, values, beliefs, and biases that an individual consumer brings to a situation
  • Frames – the words and images and interactions that reinforce a bias someone is already feeling
worldview affects three things
Worldview Affects Three Things
  • Attention – determine whether she ever bothers to pay attention
  • Bias – predisposition that instantly colors all the information a person sees
  • Vernacular – consumers care more about how something is said as what is said
    • The choice of media
    • The tone of voice
    • The words that are used
    • The ways things smell
georg riedel story on wine glasses
Georg Riedel Story on Wine Glasses
  • Can a glass make a difference in how a wine tastes?  We had a chance to speak with Georg Riedel about his favorite subject - Wine Glasses.   
  • "We discovered that we can shape the size and the rim and the diameter to the character of the individual grape and, therefore, drinking with an instrument like this enhances the enjoyment of the wine."
  • So the glass doesn't actually alter the wine?
  • "It cannot.  We're not responsible for miracles!"
  • But the right glass can make a simple everyday wine taste better?
  • "The glass doesn't alter the wine but the right glass can make an ordinary wine taste better.  If a simple everyday wine is made well, tastes well, it certainly can be improved and enhanced with the right shape."
  • A glass can make a difference.  Try your favorite wines in different glasses - maybe even buy one special glass for comparison.  You may find a whole new taste in that familiar bottle.
  • Pop the cork!
the purple cow
The Purple Cow
  • Making something remarkable
  • Purple Cows are rare, valuable, hard to copy, and nonsubstituable
Best BuyAngels – believe that shopping for consumer electronics is funDevils – paying the absolutely lowest price in the entire point
Lucky Charms

100 % Whole Grain

Magically Delicious

Low –carb worldview

First movers advantage






Old Power Curve

Goal: make good stuff for cheap



New Power Curve

Quality of original idea and the story told matter a great deal






bluenile com1
  • Tiffany for the next generation
  • Sells identical diamonds for ½ price
  • Target Market – guys
  • Women hate
  • Nobody NEEDS a diamond
Republic of Tea- turned a small market into a cult, into a movement and then a trend, and finally into a mass market.
free prize inside
Free Prize Inside
  • Two characteristics of the Purple Cow
    • It’s the thing about your service, your product or your organization that’s worth remarking on, something worth seeking out and buying.
    • It is not about what a person needs. Instead it satisfies our wants
    • The element that transcends the utility of the original idea and adds a special, unique element worth paying extra for, worth commenting on.
three dog bakery
Three Dog Bakery

100% natural food

People-grade ingredients



Off beat




Kiehl’sInteresting store décorStaff well trainedLabels full of informationEach item lovingly displayedAnimal testingOwned by Estee Lauder

porsche 80 000
Porsche $80,000

VW Touareg $36,000

why is everyone s worldview different
Why is everyone’s worldview different?
  • We all want the same things in life!!!
    • Health
    • Love
    • Respect
    • Happiness
    • Friends

Why doesn’t everyone drive a Honda?

Why don’t we all practice the same religion?

Why is the average price paid for a wedding dress $799 – with some paying ten to twenty times that and others borrowing one for free?


Your boss charges you with introducing a new kind of salty snack food, a chip of some sort. Develop a marketing strategy.

old model
Old Model
  • Identify a target market
  • Find media that reached that market
  • Create some advertising and run it
  • Pay slotting allowances
  • Get your bags on ships (in brightly colored packages) into chip aisle
  • Run some coupons
wordview model
Wordview Model
  • Supermarket aisle full – jammed and target customer’s ability to pay attention jammed
  • Identify a segment that might notice a new story, told in a different way
  • Let’s choose moms that believe “Salty snacks aren’t healthy”
  • Design chips made of soy not potatoes
  • Non-GMO, organic. Low fat & salted with sea salt for flavor not sodium
  • Chips will come in a box, not a bag
  • Slotted in the produce department
first impressions start the story
First Impressions Start the Story
  • Humans make decisions on almost no data and they then stick with those decisions regardless of information that might prove them wrong.
  • Examples:
    • Surgeons
    • Speed dating

SurgeonThe decision to sue a surgeon for malpractice has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not the doctor was negligent or careless and everything to do with………

great marketers tell stories
Great Marketers Tell Stories

Stories let us lie to ourselves. It’s the story, not the good or the service you actually sell.

Ex. Organic food is better

Minivans vs. SUV’s

minivans verses suvs



Fuel efficient



Lousy mileage

More dangerous

Creates pollution

Wear & team on roads

Take extra parking

Make people feel good

Minivans verses SUVs

More toxic pesticides

More federal subsidies

Environmental side effects

High Tech Fabrics



Easier to care for

Less damaging to environment

marketers with authenticity thrive
Marketers with Authenticity Thrive

The challenge is in figuring out what’s remarkable and actually making the remarkable happen

No marketing succeeds if it can’t find an audience that already wants to believe the story being told.


Toyato Prius

- good gas mileage

- smart key (car knows you have key)

good housekeeping sells ads for lots of money because they reach so many moms
Good Housekeeping: Sells ads for lots of money because they reach so many moms

Google Blogs: stories aimed precisely at people who want to hear them

cold stone creamery
Cold Stone Creamery
  • Pay 5 to 10 times price of supermarket
  • Growth through franchising
  • Losing passion of founder
  • Scoopers break into song for tips
avalon organic botanical therapeutic glycerin soap1
Avalon Organic Botanical Therapeutic Glycerin Soap
  • 30 times as much per wash as generic bar soap
  • Hand soap as jewelry
  • Souvenir of your trip
not story worthy
Not Story Worthy
  • Very good quality
  • Slightly better price
  • Decent commodity at a decent price
  • Convenience
  • Quality brochure
  • Few defects
  • Industry standard warranty
  • A methodical, measurable process that allows individuals and teams to inexorably identify the soft innovations that live on the edges of what already exists.
  • Go all the way to that edge – as far from the center as the consumer you are trying to reach dare you to go.