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Book Review – This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin is an instant international bestseller when it was published in 2018. Seth Godin has filled the book to the brim with marketing wisdom and techniques, This Is Marketing by Seth Godin is a must-read. Not just for those in the marketing profession, but for those who want to serve with their expertise and reach the people who need them the most.

Seth Godin has authored over 18 books, which many became bestsellers. His books mainly capitalise on his experience with online marketing from the 1990s and his hands-on experience as an entrepreneur. In 1998, he sold one of his companies to Yahoo for $30 million and became Yahoo’s vice president of direct marketing. You may read more about the author here.

With more than 30 years of sound experience in creating a business presence online, This Is Marketing offers tried and tested theories. Below are some of the most salient points the author points out in This Is Marketing.

Positioning As A Service

Having clarity in the type of market you want to serve is a beacon that attracts your type of customer. Knowing exactly the type of customer you want to serve gives you a base on how to reach your ideal customers. This Is Marketing proposes to position the values that your customers are willing to pay for at the forefront of your service. This is opposed to the conventional method of positioning your service for the ideal demography of your clients.

New Solutions, Old Emotions

In this book, Seth Godin talks about the various wants that our ideal customers are seeking. And that although we have plenty of wants, our emotional needs are few. Honing your brand marketing to suit the emotional needs of your ideal customers will serve your business more effectively than a list of futuristic features. Understanding the emotional state of your ideal customers are seeking is what keeps a customer happy and loyal.

Change Culture Using Status

Every entrepreneur believes their product will change the way people do things. But sadly, they market their product with a list of features that make their product unique. Nobody wants to buy something so complicated or futuristic. But people might buy a product that improves their work, impresses their clients, and make them more successful. A change in the positioning of a product from a one-dimensional feature to a status upgrading of the user cements any product as more desirable.

Nontransferable Properties

Seth Godin talks about the nontransferable properties of a brand are connections and the promise the brand makes. We need to realise that branding is not about our physical logo, the size of our workforce, nor is it the frequency of our advertisement on mainstream media. A brand is the expected result that gets fulfilled every time our customers seek our business. Every time. Such nontransferable properties would follow a business no matter if they changed the logo or their business name.

Brand Marketing vs Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing is measurable in comparison to Brand Marketing. Direct Marketing is only effective when the advertising starts paying for itself. We measure Direct Marketing by the cost per click or the rate of purchase per click. On the other hand, Brand Marketing is the culture that the business breathes, lives, and believes. Brand Marketing is the way an employee answers the phone or replies to an email, it is also the music we choose when we put our customer on hold. It is the small nuances that nobody really notices but makes the customer feel she is cared for.


I would definitely recommend this book to those who want to stand out in their profession. No matter if you’re an entrepreneur, or a skilled surgeon, or a government officer. Everybody has a unique streak that makes them the best candidate for a certain task. And it is the brand, the promise, that the person carries that gives the mileage to stand out in their chosen field.

While skillset is first and utmost important, a personal brand that is consistent and serves the values others seek is the key to getting recommendations, becoming word-of-mouth, and becoming viral for the right reasons with the right effects. One could be the best-known programmer by becoming the cheapest, or one can be the best-known programmer by becoming the most innovative.

What do you think? Do you struggle with building a personal brand even after years of building a career? Do you believe that recognising the values your customers are seeking is important to gain their trust? Perhaps a more thought-provoking question is this – do you buy repeatedly from businesses that make you feel good?

I would recommend a book by Liz Gilbert, Big Magic, which I reviewed here if you’re an entrepreneur for a more in-depth look at the unique journey you’re undertaking *winks*.

Do let me know if there are other books you’d like me to review in the Comment section below. Or you may reply with your thoughts if you subscribe to my weekly email which you may subscribe to here if haven’t already. Until then, see you in next week’s post!

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