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« Marketing Narnia | Reaching the Luddites »

March 7, 2005

Seth Godin: Marketing Master in Action

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Marketing

The marketing guru Seth Godin (author of Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside) has a new book coming out in May, All Marketers are Liars.

New book—rah, rah, rah. But more importantly, pay attention to how Godin markets this new book. You can learn a thing or two from watching a marketing master in action:

Start Early
His promotional attack starts more than 60 days before the book comes out. He’s working now to build the buzz, hoping for a deafening roar come May 19. Waiting until opening day is a losing strategy.

His first big public move is a blog. It’s not just a web site. It’s not some glorified brochure. It’s a blog (what’s a blog?). A blog usually means constant updates, which means the site will keep bringing people back. Plus, it’s content. It’s not just a teaser cover and a one page “excerpt” (like he offers in PDF), but it’s actual examples of what he’s talking about, reinforcing his message and whetting your appetite for the book.

But more than just a blog, it’s a blog with RSS. And what exactly is that? RSS is like opt-in marketing where the consumer has all the power. It stands for “really simple syndication,” and is a technology that allows people to subscribe to content from a web site and an RSS reader (like this one) will tell them when new content is available. (Still confused? NPR has a good overview.) RSS goes a step further than a web site, connecting you with people who care about what you’re saying. But the best part is that it’s private, it’s personal, and it’s totally up to the consumer.

After seeing a poorly designed new Microsoft web site, Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble recently said “You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.” (We’ve got RSS feeds—check the four varieties of syndication to the left.)

Free Prize
Godin’s two previous books came in special editions for early buyers. Purple Cow came in its own milk cartoon and Free Prize Inside came in a cereal box. Free Prize Inside went on to cover this concept in detail, but the basic idea is to give people something cool for free. A cereal box sitting in your office is quite the conversation piece. Those special editions encouraged people to buy the book early, boosting initial sales, which helps grab more attention for a new book. Watch for some sort of special, limited edition packaging for this book.

Purple Cow
Another concept from an earlier Godin book is in full force—the concept of the purple cow. The idea is to have something so different people can’t help but pay attention. In this case it’s a marketing book that admits marketers are liars. Intrigued? That’s the idea.

Start the Buzz
Word of mouth is a concept Godin knows all about. For his last book he turned to the word of mouth experts, BzzAgent. They’re marketers who pass out new products and get people talking. They create buzz. He put their services to work for the release of Free Prize Inside, getting the book in the hands of influential people before it came out, thus furthering the buzz and the initial sales. Watch for a similar word of mouth campaign.

And the buzz continues. Who knows what else Godin will come up with to promote his new book. Pay attention and see what you can learn.

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A friend emailed me a link to this page, and traversing your site, I found a number of things that are interesting. Great site name by the way. I'm curious, what is the benefit of providing a variety of RSS feeds, and how do I utilize the code?

Posted by: The Team [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 28, 2005 2:03 PM

Thanks for your interest. We provide a number of RSS feeds to accomodate more people, and you can access any of the RSS feeds with an RSS reader, like Bloglines. Thanks.

Posted by: kevin [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 2, 2005 11:18 AM

Today's New York Times had an excellent article "How to Do the Right Thing?" that featured Seth Godin book "All Marketers Are Liars" among several other new cool books at
Great reading if you have a minute to spare!


Posted by: Manny Valencia [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2005 4:51 PM