The Journey to Better Marketing (Part 5) — Driving Growth

This is the fifth and final installment of a five-part series on the notes I made while reading This is Marketing by Seth Godin. This is Marketing provides a holistic view of the purpose and function of marketing with insights into how it can be leveraged to do great work in a changing world.

After reading the book, I grouped my notes into sections and expanded on the points so I could better understand the ideas and have a reference to use in the future. I share them with you in hopes they get you as excited as I am about Marketing and Brand Development, and maybe introduce a new idea or two that helps you down the road.

Driving Growth

This section is about the importance of building a community around the change you wish to create so that you can provide a place for those you serve to come together.

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Do Great Work

Seth says “Perfect is impossible, and leads to failure. Better is hope — it’s possibility and improvement”. This statement reinforces the long-held idea that waiting to do or share your work until it is perfect will just lead to failure because that time will never come. The goal is to aim to do great work. Even if the work only turns out good — it’s still a foundation for future improvement, and possibility.

Seth breaks this down in a great example:

  • Good enough leads to engagement
  • Engagement leads to trust
  • Trust gives us a chance to see if we choose to look
  • Seeing allow us to learn
  • Learning allows us to make a promise
  • The promise might earn enrollment
  • Enrollment is what we need to achieve better!
  • Ship your work, then make it better

So don’t wait for perfect. Aim for great, and get good work out.

Share Your Product / Service

Seth says “Do work so great that it creates tension in the person that can only be relieved by sharing it with someone else”, and I think this is a wonderful statement. It instills a drive to achieve the type of work that creates an experience in someone that is powerful, they are driven to share it.

I’m sure you can remember a time when something happened to you that was so exceptionally great that you told the very next person you saw all about it. The feeling that the only way to relieve the tension of excitement and happiness is to share it — is a worthy goal to be aiming for in delivering your product or service.

Is it going to happen every time for everybody? No, but if you can create it in some people, sometimes, that is still an amazing feat, and will not only help you grow your audience but also serve as a foundation for how you can continue making your product or service better.

The Power Of Now, Not Later

Seth talks about using the power of now to drive action within narratives you are telling. He breaks his framework down into three sections:

  1. The story of self
    This is where you give people your foundational background — who you used to be, and who you have become. You show people you are like them, and that your actions led to change that others can now use to learn from.
  2. The story of us
    This is the foundation of your tribe — establishing why we are all alike, through stories and ideas. You want to show people that there are others like them, and there are benefits to coming together.
  3. The story of now
    This is the critical moment of tension that drives the tribe to move forward together. What incentive, idea, or call-to-action are you making that gets the whole tribe you are speaking to, to move in a specific direction.

Whether you use this framework or another to tell your stories, the points that are made here will be repeated. Show them who you are, show them who they are, then lead them somewhere.

You Are A Professional

Seth says that “your work is not you” and that someone not buying your product or service is not personal. When you are doing work that is important to you, that you are putting a lot of your time, effort, and energy into, the feedback you get can feel very personal.

It is easy to feel great when you get positive feedback for your work, and it’s even easier to feel bad when you get negative feedback on it. You must learn to separate feedback on your work from your own value.

There are people out there who do worse work than you but are doing more work because they choose to show up as a professional every day. Part of the decision to show up as a professional is knowing that you are doing the best you can do with your abilities and that not everyone will love the work — but some will — and that’s who your work is for.

It’s A Process

And that leads us to the last quote from Seth: “Marketing is a process and a craft”. As with any process or craft, it has to be honed and developed over time. You’re probably going to start at suck and work your way up to good, great, then amazing.

The key is to sell yourself every day on the idea that you can make a difference if you persist with generosity and care. Keep working towards the goal of helping create the change you wish to see in the world. Make a plan, let it unfold, take notice of reactions, and adjust if you think necessary, but keep moving forward.

That’s A Wrap

That’s a wrap for my notes on this great book by Seth. It was eye-opening to read, every time I had to review my notes to write another part of this series, I got to remember and reinforce what I had learned, allowing me to integrate it even more into my life.

I hope you were able to pull some nuggets out of these notes or get inspired to pick up Seth’s book to learn more about his unique views on marketing.

Written by

Principal & Creative Director of Co-Founder of Houseable. I help businesses create and grow their Brand with Technology, Marketing, and Design

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