The Art of Marketing by Seth Godin – a review

I attended the Art of Marketing conference in Toronto today. It was my first time hearing Seth Godin speak – I have not even read any of his 10 best selling books! I found his speech very motivational. I share many of his insights and ideas. It was comforting to hear someone connect so well with my own beliefs.

The marketing function has changed a lot over the past few years. The job of a marketer is no longer to create a need but to take people somewhere they want to go. People already have most of what they need. Your brand needs to stand out for something and you need to do something that is worth following. People will follow those who connect with them.

I enjoyed Seth’s explanation on how we developed as an industrial nation and how we create value in today’s world. Most (if not all) marketers can lift (do manual tasks), hunt (scan the environment and find), grow (be detail-oriented and patient), produce and sell. However, now in the new web 2.0 connected culture, we must be willing and able to connect, create and invent. The marketer’s job is to solve interesting problems in unique ways and lead people (their tribe) along with them.

As  a product marketing professional, I like to think I am being paid for my thinking and creative skills and not so much for the amount of work I produce. Anyone can produce. Thinking in creative ways and solving problems is the true value I bring an organizaiton. After Seth’s speech, I felt vindicated and no longer scared to follow my own instint and do what I enjoy: delivering creative and unique solutions that will provide my organization the best long-term results.

As a blogger, I need to use my creativity to publish interesting content. I am hopeful that one day I will publish a good story that will spread, I will connect people and they will want to follow me. In using our creativity we become artists. The world is looking for new creative ideas that brings our communities closer with a strong leader to take them along for the ride.

One other thought from Seth that resonated well with me is that deep domain knowledge is not always “a must” in today’s world where anyone can find the knowledge they need via tools like Google. Don’t beat yourself up over not having domain expertise as it is not what is getting rewarded. First and foremost, you need passion and the ability to inspire others. You then need to connect people, be an excellent project manager and be creative.

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