“America’s Greatest Marketer”

One of the things I do “on the side” is work for the Salem chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. I sit on the board of directors – co-chairing the VP of Professional Development with Susan Appleby from SEDCOR. Each month we have meetings at the Salem Chamber of Commerce with different presenters sharing their knowledge about various topics in the public relations, marketing, and social media fields.

This month, Kyle Sexton – a marketing strategist and the director of membership services for the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce – introduced the group to “America’s Greatest Marketer” according to America Way Magazine. Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author, renowned speaker…an expert who knows the subject at hand and knows how to translate his knowledge into ideas and concepts easily absorbed by his captivated audiences.

To be honest, Kyle’s presentation about Seth Godin was the first time I’ve actually heard about Godin’s work. I’ve seen Godin’s name before – specifically on Kyle’s LinkedIn posts – but I didn’t really know what “Godin-ism” was about until the presentation.

Two interesting points I jotted down:

Create Scarcity
What happens when you create scarcity? According to Godin’s blog, scarcity:

  • Creates fashion. People want something that others can’t have.
  • Creates demand. People want something that others want.
  • Creates word of mouth, because people talk about lines and shortages and hot products.
  • Drives your product to the true believers, the ones most likely to spread the word and ignite the ideavirus. Because they expended effort to acquire your product or service, they’re not only more likely to talk about it, but they’ve self-selected as the sort of person likely to talk about it.

Godin offered 50 people an exclusive chance to travel to and join him talk about his work. That’s scarcity right there. Only 50 people. Through an application process, Godin selected 50 people out of hundreds, maybe even thousands of applications. The catch for those selected? They had to purchase 50 copies of his book and send him the receipt. Hmm, what to do with 50 copies of his book. I’m guessing they would keep one – if they don’t already have a copy – and then give the others away. Godin created the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Instead of paying for the travel expenses, presentation fee, etc. (Godin took care of that for those lucky 50 people…which Kyle was one of), Godin asked them to instead purchase copies of his book that he knew people would eventually give away. That’s smart….very smart!

Don’t Think Outside the Box
You’ve seen it before. The setting: a conference room. The players: a creative team led by a leader (i.e. manager/director). The problem: lack of fresh ideas. So what happens next? The leader stands up and says “Okay team, we have to start thinking outside of the box.”

Thinking outside the box…what exactly does that mean? It’s well known that thinking “outside the box” means you’re thoughts, ideas, vision, etc. is different than others..having a fresh perspective. Everyone is inside the box, so when you’re outside you’re unique, you stand out. And who doesn’t want to stand out in this all too identical world of marketing right?

Godin explains that when you’re thinking outside the box, nothing happens. It’s like a blackhole where there are “no rules” and “no reality.” You have “nothing to interact with, nothing to work against.” Instead, Godin says you should go to the edge of the box. Your values, ideals, etc. are all located in the box. So that’s where you should be. “Thinking along the edges of the box, because that’s where things get done. That’s where the audience is, and that’s where you can make an impact.” That’s some powerful thoughts right there. I wonder if I can visit Godin’s creative box. Lot’s of intriguing info to be learned!

Thanks Kyle for “sneezing” (a Godin term for sharing information) Godin-ism with the group! Now, time for me to go purchase Godin’s books. Just one copy…not 50!

Wordcloud image courtesy of Flickr, Alan Froggatt
Seth Godin image courtesy of Flickr, Pieter Baert

3 Responses to ““America’s Greatest Marketer””
  1. Jyll says:

    Never heard of Seth Godin either- until the PRSA announcement. Wish I could have made the presentation. Makes sense to think along the edges of the box for creativity.

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