All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin and My Thoughts

This is the eleventh book in the series Learning Together and Leading Together where we are going through the Personal MBA plan curated by Josh Kaufman. Our goal is to get through 99 books this year. Do we read the whole book? Nope. We digest the summary(s) of the book and I give my thoughts and you give your thoughts. Feel free to follow along and comment if you would like.

The best summary I found on this book was found here. This summary and many other summaries of great books can be found on is a paid service for the most part but it delivers very well. I highly recommend it if you are looking for high quality book summaries. Major points of this book are:

All Marketers Are Liars is organized around a five-step process that people go through when they encounter successful marketing. These steps are:

Step 1: Their worldview and frames got there before you did. A consumer’s worldview (the combination of his or her current rules, beliefs and biases) affects the way he or she notices things and understands them. If a story is framed in terms of that worldview, the consumer is more likely to believe it. Smart marketers, Godin explains, don’t try to change someone’s worldview. Instead, they identify a group of people with a certain worldview and frame their story in terms of that worldview. Since people of similar worldviews “clump together,” successful marketers find a previously undiscovered clump and frame a story in the words, images and interactions that reinforce these people’s biases.

Step 2: People only notice the new and then make a guess. Consumers notice things when they change. As soon as they notice something new, they start making guesses about what to expect next.

Step 3: First impressions start the story. A first impression causes the consumer to make a fast, permanent judgment about what he or she was just exposed to. Godin explains that “almost every important buying decision is made instantaneously. These snap decisions affect everything we do, and we’ll bend over backward to defend them later.”

Step 4: Great marketers tell stories we believe. A story changes the way the consumer experiences a product or service. Consumers make a prediction about what will happen next and rationalize anything that does not match the prediction. Godin writes that “authentic marketing, from one human to another, is extremely powerful.” Consumers and marketers win when the marketer tells a story authentically and the company creates a product or service that does what the marketer says it will do.

Step 5: Marketers with authenticity thrive.Godin writes, “The authenticity of the story determines whether it will survive scrutiny long enough for the consumer to tell the story to other people.” No marketing succeeds if it cannot find an audience that already wants to believe the story being told.

Main idea of the book: According to Godin, there are only two things these days that separate success from failure in most organizations: Inventing stuff worth talking about and telling stories about what you’ve invented. The difficult job of making up great stories is the imperative of today.

My Thoughts: I have been blessed to be around great storytellers. My grandfather who passed away several years ago was one of the best. You could sit at his feet and listen to story after story after story. It was very captivating. Who knows if the stories were 100% true but I do know that I believed him. I hope one day that my grandkids will say something very similar because I love being a story teller.

Do you want to be a great marketer? Then become a great storyteller. Learn the craft of captivating an audience. Paint a picture with your words that drives inspiration. I love Godin’s last point though. You have to be authentic. Have you ever noticed that the videos that get watched the most on YouTube are more authentic than professional? Especially if you take out the category of music videos. People want to see and hear what is authentic and entertaining all at the same time.

Here is where I will encourage you to be more of a storyteller moving forward than listing facts or figures about your product, service, or cause. Sure stats like, 96% of all text messages are read is interesting but finding out about a story of a mom who keeps getting text messages wrong because of autocorrect will spread much faster than the stat.

If you need a copy of the book you can find it here:[amazon_enhanced asin=”1591845335″ /]

What did you think of this book? Are you trying to be a storyteller?

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