Nicholas's Reviews > All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
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's review
Aug 18, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: marketing
Read in August, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Really good, really simple, quick read. Hard to quote cause it's already so simplified and to quality. Tough to pick out what to quote.

Marketing is the art of telling stories. Stories people will pay for the right to believe. This is the new way of selling things. Tell people a story that they already believe. Make a product that fits in with and expands upon their worldview.


"Don't try to change someone's worldview."

"found a shared worldview;
framed a story around that view;
made it easy for the story to spread;
created a new market, which he owns."

"Step 1: Every consumer has a worldview that affects the product you want to sell. That worldview alters the way they interpret everything you say and do. Frame your story in terms of that worldview, and it will be heard."

"Step 2: People only notice stuff that's new and different. And the moment they notice something new, they start making guesses about what to expect next."

"Step 3: Humans are able to make extremely sophisticated judgments in a fraction of a second. And once they've drawn that conclusion, they resist changing it."

"Step 4: Stories let us lie to ourselves. And those lies satisfy our desires. It's the story, not the good or the service you actually sell, that pleases the consumer."

"The only robust, predictable strategy is a simple one: to be authentic. To do what you say you're going to do. To live the lie, fully and completely."

"The good news is clear:authentic marketing, from one human to another, is extremely powerful. Telling a story authentically, creating a product or service that actually does what you say it will leads to a different sort of endgame. The marketer wins and so do her customers."

"There are four reasons your new release failed:
1. No one noticed it.
2. People noticed it but decided they didn't want to try it.
3. People tried it but decided no to keep using it.
4. People liked it but didn't tell their friends."

"IF you hope to sell a product or service or candidate or organization that affects the way people feel,
AND IF you hope to get a premium (in revenue or in marketshare or in votes) for that feeling,
THEN you must refocus your efforts. Concentrate on the story you tell. The story you tell affects the way your audience feels about the product. The story, when you come right down to it, is the product.
SOME CONSUMERS will avoid or resist or deny you your story. That's okay. Tell you story to people who want to hear it, who want to believe it, who will tell their friends.
BEFORE you begin to tell your story you have no choice but to live that story. To make it authentic. Every action you take and ever signal you send has to be in support of the story.
FINALLY, realize that you are in a powerful position and use that power to do the right thing, to tell the whole truth and to spread ideas worth spreading."

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