Are you willing to delight the specific? – Interview with Seth Godin about his new book: This Is Marketing


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Today’s interview is with Seth Godin, best selling author, teacher and sometime entrepreneur. Seth joins us today to talk about his new book: This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See and we discuss the book’s main thesis, the challenge for marketers, what we need to learn, why it might be hard, why it matters and how we start to apply all of this in our businesses and our work.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – How to make your people SUPERENGAGED – Interview with Nikki Gatenby – and is number 283 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my interview with Seth:

  • Seth considers himself mostly a teacher and sometimes an entrepreneur.
  • The thesis of his work is that if we do work that matters, for people who care, then you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing underhanded spammy attention getting tricks. And, you can focus on doing work that matters.
  • This Is Marketing is a summation of a lot of Seth’s previous work, a call to action as well as some important new thinking about how we live and work in a world where mass marketing no longer works and where micro marketing has taken its place.
  • The Internet is not a mass medium it is the largest micro medium in history.
  • Addressing the smallest viable audience is not only more effective but more satisfying than trying to pander to the masses.
  • No one believes what you believe. No one sees what you see and it’s naive to believe that the noise in our heads is the same as the noise in everyone else’s head.
  • If you want to engage with other people you can’t insist that they hear your noise.
  • Very few people go into marketing desiring to be empathetic. They go into marketing because they want to put on a show and they want to win.
  • The idea of making an assertion and putting ideas into the world is more important than ever before. This is not about asking people what they want what, this is about coming to conclusions about how people see things and then bringing them something and saying: ‘Here I made this’ in the hope that it will resonate with them.
  • This is a big shift.
  • To help with that instead of thinking of yourself as a marketer start to think of yourself as a teacher and that the person you are trying to teach is a voluntary student.
  • A professional is someone who makes a promise and keeps it.
  • Professional marketers make change happen.
  • There are more bad marketers in the world than any other profession and that’s because everyone is a marketer but most people don’t realize it.
  • Many people have a very interesting and challenging relationship with the word service and what it means to serve.
  • One of the most important parts of the book is the idea of status roles and affiliation versus dominance right and how some people have trouble with service and serving.
  • They get caught up with thinking that service and to serve is about subservience. It’s not. It’s much more than that. Look at some of the greatest leaders of our time…..Mandela, Patton….they were all in service to their people.
  • Much of your relationship to the word service and serving is related to your worldview and whether you think that life is a zero sum game or not.
  • If we accept that we live in a connection economy then Metcalfe’s law supersedes the law of scarcity.
  • We should really focus on the minimum viable audience and go from there.
  • We need to have humility whether we want to or not because the marketplace won’t let us buy arrogant.
  • Consider Penguin Magic which is a multi-million dollar company and which is kicking Amazon’s butt in their category because they are focusing solely on amateur magicians who have resources.
  • Millions and millions of marketers are trying to have a home-run yet only a few manage it. So, if you like those odds. Please proceed. But, if you don’t like those odds……
  • I’m angling for a religious conversion here.
  • The specific is the best path and be specific puts you on the hook. And, if you’re willing to be responsible for delighting the specific then I think this is your best option.
  • So, the question has to be: Are you willing to delight the specific?

About Seth
Seth GodinSeth Godin is an author, entrepreneur and most of all, a teacher.

In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 18 best-selling books, including The Dip, Linchpin, Purple Cow, Tribes, and What To Do When It’s Your Turn (And It’s Always Your Turn).

Over the last 30 year he’s been involved in a range of Projects.

Though renowned for his writing and speaking, Seth also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!).

By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership, to the spread of ideas and changing everything, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world.

In 2013, Seth was one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might be the only person in both.

You can find out more at Seth’s website, his blog and do follow his Twitter blog stream @ThisIsSethsBlog.

Finally don’t forget to grab a copy of his new book from or



Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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