What Seth Godin Thinks About the State of Social Media

What Seth Godin Thinks About the State of Social Media

Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss the state of social marketing and the importance of consistency.

In This Episode:

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Be Consistent!

It is often said that authenticity is the key when it comes to social marketing. Overall this is true—your brand should certainly be authentic to who you are. Your stories and content should be authentic.

On a day-to-day level, however, the most important thing is consistency, according to This Is Marketing author Seth Godin. A certain level of informality and frankness in social marketing can be endearing to your customers if it is consistent with your brand. If your various social channels and pieces of content don’t line up, this will create distrust with your customers.

Whatever your brand aesthetic may be, consistency in tone, voice, and style is crucial in building trust and keeping your audience coming back for more.

In This Episode

  • 05:42 – Why marketing still matters.
  • 06:50 – Why marketing and advertising are not the same thing.
  • 11:01 – Why social media success is about having a noteworthy product, not a noteworthy post.
  • 16:41 – How clickbait earns distrust and ultimately loses customers.
  • 20:46 – Why consistency is more valuable than authenticity.
  • 28:06 – How to market to people’s beliefs.
  • 29:20 – Why “want” and customer experience are greater than “need” in first world marketing.

Quotes From This Episode

“A lot of marketers have chosen for their work to not matter.” — @ThisIsSethsBlog

Marketing is creating true stories that, when they intersect with people who want to hear them, change those people for the better. Click To Tweet

“We don’t have mass media anymore. We have micro media. The internet is not a mass medium, even though more people use it than watch television.” — @ThisIsSethsBlog


See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Jay Baer: 00:00 The voice you just heard was that of Seth Godin, legendary author, incredibly brilliant marketing strategist, and all around good guy. He's our guest on the Socials Pros podcast this week. I'm Jay Baer from Convince & Convert show. And as always, got my special Texas friend, Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Man, oh boy. What a show. Adam Brown: 00:21 What a show. What a show. Jay Baer: 00:23 This one's kind of hard to do an introduction for because it was like, "Wow, I got to take a minute to get my arms around it." Number one, Seth's new book This is Marketing is terrific, but he speaks some serious truths about the nature of social media this week on the show and I'm really, really glad he came on the show. Adam Brown: 00:40 And I was so glad to be a part of this, too, Jay. The book is full of so many examples, so many stories, as you would expect from Seth Godin and what he just shared is, again, one of the meaningful parts that we get to in this podcast. I think too often we forget as social media marketers what social media is really good and what it's not so good at. And the idea that social media is a one to one or a very, very micro-based medium. It is not a mass medium and too often times, we as marketers, fall into that trap of using it that way. Jay Baer: 01:15 Yeah. Seth talks [inaudible 00:01:16] we're trying to use social as television on a computer and that's not going to work. That's not what it was built for. So you're going to learn a lot this week on Social Pros. I'm really excited that we got Seth on the podcast. Check out his book as well. Before we get into it, an acknowledgment of our great sponsors, Adam's company, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, whose new report, The State of Marketing 2019, interviewed 4,100 marketers from all around the world about the impact of CX on marketing and AI in social media. It is a unbelievably dense and important report. Make sure you download it. No cost. Go to bitly/jaysays. That bitly/J-A-Y-S-A-Y-S. Jay says. All lower case. You can get that for free from Salesforce, thanks to them, thanks to Adam. Also, this week, again, the show is brought to you by, we actually name checked them in the episode, our friends at socialmedia.org, which is the community for big brand social media managers. Adam's been a member twice now. That organization and if you're trying to run social for a company that has some size and scale to it, you've got a bunch of challenges, right? You're surrounded by alligators and this organization helps you tame those gators by you in touch with lots of other people who have the exact same challenges. It is a transformative organization. Adam Brown: 02:29 It is. And Jay doesn't even know what I'm about to share here. Jay Baer: 02:32 Oh great. Adam Brown: 02:32 But you've heard me talk about that the benefits of socialmedia.org in terms of having colleagues who are in this industry to be able to bounce ideas off of. But I promise ... this is true and I promise that Jay does not this before I said that, I had the opportunity to actually meet Seth Godin at a socialmedia.org meeting. I think it was still called the Blog Council, but it was the same organization that Andy Sernovitz founded. But we had Seth come in and actually autograph copies of his latest book. It may have been Purple Cow. It may have been ... it was not Permission Marketing. It was after that. But those are the types of experiences you get with the Blog Council. Jay Baer: 03:10 Love it. If you want more on that organization, if you run social for a big brand, you should definitely look into it. Go to socialmedia.org/socialpros. That's socialmedia.org/socialpros. Friends, it's our honor to bring you this week's special guest, mister Seth Godin. His new book is called This is Marketing. Enjoy. Right here on the Social Pros podcast. Legendary author, marketing superstar, person who actually has his own action figure, author of the brand new book This is Marketing, the one the, the only, the bald man with the glasses, Seth Godin joins us this week on Social Pros. Mister Godin, thank you for your time. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being here. Seth Godin: 03:48 Wow. What a great intro. It's so good to see you guys and thanks for helping me make a ruckus. Jay Baer: 03:53 You are making a ruckus, as always. Adam Brown: 03:56 Absolutely. Jay Baer: 03:57 Before we get into the actual book, and let me just say begin of the show, before people start tuning out, This is Marketing, absolutely a must read. Extraordinary book. Everybody who listens to this show needs to grab a copy of it. Why did you write this one? Seth Godin: 04:10 Well, you know, I've a hypocrite for sure. And I've quit book publishing several times and books are a- Adam Brown: 04:19 I wish I could quit you, book publishing. Seth Godin: 04:21 Books are a magical medium. They have a lot going for them. They don't need a battery unless they're on the Kindle. And you can hand them from person to person. But they are cumbersome, they take a year to produce. And more and more people are not reading books. And so if I can write a blog post and solve my book itch, I will write a blog post every time. What happened was a year and a half ago, I started The Marketing Seminar, which is an online workshop we built just so I could teach people what I knew in a new form, so they would stop asking me the same questions over and over again. And it's got 50 videos in it and when I started making the course, I knew 20 of them, right? But I had to make 30 as we went based on their questions, based on where people were stuck. And once I'd laid the whole thing out, I said, "Wow, there's a curriculum here. I'm really proud of this arc." And then I got into The Marketing Hall of Fame last may and that was a grown-up moment for me. Jay Baer: 05:19 Yeah. Adam Brown: 05:19 Wow. Seth Godin: 05:19 They do that when you're dead. Adam Brown: 05:21 Right. Seth Godin: 05:21 So between those two things, I said, "Maybe I should put this into a handy $20 format for people." The goal is to reclaim marketing from the people who have stolen it from us. To reclaim it from the grifters and the hustlers and the scammers. To reclaim it from the advertising people. Because that's not marketing. Marketing is something else. Jay Baer: 05:42 One of the things that you talk about at the beginning of the book and really throughout This is Marketing is this notion that your work matters. As a marketer, your work matters. If you feel like we are in an era where marketers have come to believe that their work doesn't matter. Seth Godin: 05:58 Well I think a lot of marketers have chosen for their work to not matter. And that is the big chip I have on my shoulder. So, like you, I'm on the road and I meet marketers all the time. And people will come up to me and say, "I'm a marketer." And I'll ask what they do and they say, "Well, I move this pile of information from here to here where people don't even want to see it. How do I get more people to see it?" That's not marketing. There is a cog task there that doesn't have a name. But marketing is creating true stories that when they intersect with people who want to hear them, change those people for the better. And if you're doing that, by definition, you're making things better. If you're not doing that, you're a clerk, and we need clerks. But please don't call yourself a marketer because that's not what marketing is. Adam Brown: 06:50 Seth, if we take that one point that you just made about marketing doing something good for someone or some way and we compare that to a term that, I at least, for most of my life, and I think a lot of marketers have done is we've begun to compare in marketing and advertising and see them as one the same. Throughout this book, you make the case that advertising is not marketing. Seth Godin: 07:13 Right. Adam Brown: 07:14 My question for you is; when did this happen? You know, we've seen marketing and advertising, at least for purposes of this discussion, kind of go from the call to action, it's all about that unique selling proposition. David Ogilvy told us how to do it in the '70s, to know more about marketing, not even really talking about a product or a brand, but talking about this holistic kind of empathy side of a brand, product, or service. When did this happen and why is it working today in 2019? Seth Godin: 07:45 So great question. So it begins in 1950 when something went on sale that was an incredible bargain and you could buy as much of it as you wanted and that thing was attention. So beginning in 1950, you could buy TV ads at an insane discount. And the reason is that the networks weren't that good at optimizing and maximizing the performance of the spectrum they owned. And so, if you had the guts to hire Don Draper, if you had the guts to show up and show up and show up with bundles of cash, you could build a brand for the ages. And so in the 1960s and in the 1970s, we saw a new important brand built every week via TV and then magazine advertising. So of course you needed to get good at that because it was a miracle that it worked, but it worked beautifully. And so this interregnum, you know, to steal from Jeff Jarvis a little bit, the parentheses of advertising. 1950-2000, what a run. 50 years of it being perfect. That's several careers worth of time. Well, then in 2000, I was there when it broke. And it broke because we gave up the scarcity of attention and gave people cable and then we gave people the Internet. And so suddenly we don't have mass media anymore. We have micro media. The Internet is not a mass medium, even though more people use it than watch television. The Internet is a a micro medium filled with tons and tons and tons of little slices. So you can't buy the Internet. And when I was at Yahoo, people would shop with piles of money say, "How do I buy the Internet?" Yahoo would sell them the home page, but that wasn't the Internet. And so, what happened was the Clydesdales, Coca-Cola, the polar bears, all that stuff, you can't put on that show anymore at the price you used to be able to. And so the yield plummeted and at the same time, people like you and me with keyboards, for free, could connect with people who wanted to hear from us. And that meant, for the people in business, whoa, TV, let's just move it onto the Internet. And there is a long history, all the way up to current Buzzfeed days of, "Let's just cram TV, grabbing attention with irrelevant ads onto the Internet for free." And that's one of the appeals of social media for a lot of big companies. It's what they think they're getting. And then other people say, "Wait, I'll just make content that's irresistible." And Jay, you're a pioneer of that, and people will watch and will be aligned with my mission and theirs and I won't think of it as advertising because it's not. It's not like I paid CBS to interrupt these people. I am the interruption and people are watching me for free, for fun, because they want to. So, Permission Marketing was one of the first books on this topic that if you deliver anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who want to get them, they will watch. And so my definition and I'll finish my rant, my definition of permission is if you didn't send that email tomorrow, if you didn't tweet tomorrow, how many people would miss it? And if the answer is that no one would miss it, then you're a spammer. Jay Baer: 11:01 Do you feel like one of the challenges now is that the net cost of social media participation is so low, and email, too, for that matter. That it really encourages our baser instincts. You write in the book and the book is This is Marketing, this is of course, Seth Godin this week on Social Pros. You write that it is time to get off the social media merry-go-round that goes faster and faster, but never gets anywhere. As a show that is about social media, those are hard words to read, but I assume you have an antidote. Seth Godin: 11:30 Well okay. So first, if there are babies that I'm throwing out with the bath water, I apologize. I like babies. The thing is, there's an open API for email. Anyone can plug into it. And there's an open API for social media. One of the differences, you can't easily turn off email the way you can easily turn off social media. You can say, "I don't want to hear from that person anymore." But there's still ... these are very spammy media. You want to figure out how to be on the shortlist, the good list, the gold list, not the promo folder, right? My argument about social media is that it is largely a symptom, not a tactic when it is used correctly. So here's the example that didn't make the book. The example is, the Mona Lisa is big on Instagram. She's all over Instagram, but she's not a real person. And she doesn't have an account. So what's going on there? What's going on there is that the Mona Lisa's presence is a symptom of the fact that she stands for something, that people want to see her, that she matters. And other people are talking about the Mona Lisa. So where I begin is get as far away from Oreo coming up with a clever tweet during the Super Bowl that goes down in legend and didn't sell one extra Oreo. And instead, figure out how to do what Oreo did in the first place 100 years ago, which is make a cookie that kids care about. If you do that, people will talk about you in social media. But this idea that you can mechanize and cog-afy this thing and just give people a script that they will keep somehow burning through on social media and then you will ... We were just talking about this in the office today. No, there's no evidence that this works. You want to build the thing that will cast a shadow on social media, but social media is not your source of light. Jay Baer: 13:22 So social media is where the evidence of your success is- Seth Godin: 13:25 Exactly. Exactly right. Jay Baer: 13:26 Is witnessed more so than the creator of your success. Seth Godin: 13:29 Correct. And so we need social media managers and they have a not trivial job, but it is not at the core of your marketing. The core of your marketing is to tell a story to the right people in the right way. That deals with status roles and trust and fear and dominance and affiliation so that they want more of you. That they want you to succeed, that they want to be part of it. If you can do that part, you will discover social media goes way easier. Adam Brown: 13:59 Seth, you mentioned the Super Bowl and as we record this, we are just two days away from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. And in the book, you talk a little bit about one of the most successful, I think we can all three agree, Super Bowl campaigns and that was for Apple in 1984 with Lee Clow's amazing 1984 ad. My question for you is this; you talk about it in the book about why that was successful and why Apple really only needed about a million of those 100 million people who was that ad to get it. And that immediately made me think about social media because in way [inaudible 00:14:37] trying to create a sort of phenomenon or a story, that's what social can do when we do it right. Could you talk a little bit about that campaign? Seth Godin: 14:46 People talk about the ads on the Super Bowl as if that's interesting and that was invented by Apple. Apple got way more coverage for the ad before and after the Super Bowl than they did from the Super Bowl itself. And the essence of the story in the book is when you're launching a product, it's for the early adopters. It's for the nerds. It's for the people who want to go first. The Super Bowl is for the masses. So when you run a Doritos commercial on the Super Bowl, we have evidence to show that enough people will go out during half-time to refill on chips that that ad will pay for itself. That's different than the Apple ad, which said to 99 million people, "You don't need to understand this. It's not for you." That's brilliant because they got enough. They got enough of the early adopters to establish a standard. Now, when we go onto social, remembering it's a micro medium, remembering that even the biggest people on social have a tiny fraction of the attention of any given moment. We have to figure out how to become idiosyncratic. How to stand for something specific. How we are not an AM Disc Jokey on WBEN in Buffalo, New York during drive time, where if you lose a car, that's going to cost you. You are a meaningful specific, as Zig would say, not a wandering generality. And so the goal is to find the smallest viable audience, the smallest group of people who would miss you if you were gone, that you can be sustained by and anything above that is a bonus. So my biggest problem with social media is the single metric that they all use because single metrics are seductive. And then managers try to make that metric go up, regardless of whether that metric going up means they're doing a good job or not. Jay Baer: 16:39 Which metric do you refer to? Seth Godin: 16:41 The number of followers, the number of likes, right? That I know exactly how to do that. And I don't. And people have been bothering me about this on my blog for 20 years. "Oh, Seth, why don't you run more things like 10 ways to improve your blog post frequency?" Because lists work. They work at what exactly? They work at this idea that you could trick people into paying attention for a little while. So today, I don't know, I ended up on a CBS site and it was a story about something that I was interested in and right under it was a big thing that say, "How far can Tom Brady throw a football?" And I look at this and I go, "That's interesting click bait because I do wonder." Maybe he could throw two football ... and so I clicked on it and it's not a video of Tom Brady throwing a football as far as he can. Adam Brown: 17:36 Surprise. Seth Godin: 17:36 It's a video of Tom tossing the ball back and forth with Steve Kroft talking about a football far. Well so technically they weren't lying, but emotionally, they were lying. So they got my click and then they got my distrust and they will never get it back. And that's not useful, unless the only thing you're getting rewarded for is how many people clicked. Jay Baer: 17:58 You talked in This is Marketing and obviously in Purple Cow as well about this idea of pattern matching and pattern interruption and this idea that one of the best ways to gain attention is to do something that people don't expect or anticipate. Do you think social is good at that? Or does that lead you to become too click bait-y because in the zeal to be a pattern interrupter, you start doing things that you know interrupt the pattern, but may not be true to the spirit of what you were talking about, not just similar from the example you just gave about Tom Brady throwing a football? Seth Godin: 18:35 Yeah. You guys are asking such good questions. So, the problem with the very dynamic of the medium is that it is pushing people to do things that do not serve their long-term interest, nor the long-term interest of their followers, the people they need to have trust them. So I was talking to Tim Ferriss about the greatest April Fool's blog post in history in which he posted that he hadn't written any of his blog posts, that he had outsourced it to some guy in a developing country for a dollar a day. And there was outrage because this was a pattern interrupt in just the right way in front of just the right people. And for years, it was his most popular post. And he regretted it from the very first minute because in order to get a whole bunch of clicks from strangers, he got a whole bunch of people to wonder about whether anything he said was true. And so when we're talking about an open API with millions of profit seekers all competing for that next click, it's sort of inevitable that that's what's going to happen. Adam Brown: 19:37 You talk about the fact that we as marketers need to, again, be thinking about our consumer and what he or she may need. And in a way that's empathy and that's empathy is another topic that you talk about in this new book. I had the benefit of interviewing Minter Dial here on this podcast two weeks ago as he talked about Heartificial Empathy, his new book, really at the intersection of AI, of empathy, and business. And Seth, my question for you is really where and why did this empathy thing come from? Because it is very much like you said. It is now about being heartfelt. It is about really looking at the needs of that customer, of that consumer, but it is so against kind of how we've looked at marketing in the past. And we've now seen examples of where marketers have gone from selling detergent and razors, to now really focusing on something completely different like the Gillette ads of about a month ago. Where did this come from and is this sustainable and is this going to stay around for a while? Seth Godin: 20:46 So let's talk first briefly about authenticity. I think authenticity is a trap and I don't think it is much of a topic when we're talking about commercial interaction. People don't want their surgeon or their lawyer or their cereal company to be authentic. They want them to be consistent and those are two different things. So if you don't feel like being cheerful today, but I came here for you to be cheerful, I want you to be cheerful. If you don't feel like doing heart surgery today, but I'm going to die if you don't do it, I want you to do a heart surgery. That was the promise you make. Keep your promise. So what it means to be a brand is not to have a logo, it means you made a promise. And you can't be an authentic human and keep your promise every time at the same time. So if I have the choice, I'd rather have you keep your promise. Thank you very much. So then we end up with this medium where it's really easy to push away the other. It's really easy to throw shade. It's really to say, "I'm not with you." And that's human. That's okay, unless you want me to buy something from you. And if you want me to buy something from you, you have to see me for who I am. So the marketer says, "You don't know what I know. You don't want what I want. You don't see what I see. And that's okay." But if you can't add , "And that's okay." You've just ended the relationship. But if you can say, "That's okay, but if you want to go where I'm going, let me teach you something. We can go together." That is how a man can sell pantyhose to a woman because he is never going to wear pantyhose, but he could say, "If you learn this thing, maybe you would decide that this match is what you want because I know you're not going to buy this product because you want me to succeed, you're going to buy this product because you want to get what you want." And so what we need to do as marketers and I would include among marketers, politicians. I would include among marketers even citizens and people in a community is developed as practical empathy, even if we're only selfish because it's the only way to engage, to educate, to enroll, and to cause action. Adam Brown: 23:03 In fact, you talk about that in the book. You talk about replacing the word consumer or customer with student. Seth Godin: 23:09 Right. And this was the one sentence that caused the most pushback in the first marketing seminar and now that people see it coming, they're getting the point, which is being a student is voluntary. No one educates at you. They have to educate with you or it doesn't work. So if you can treat people as people who if they just learn something from you, would eagerly engage with you, it makes it a lot easier to be a marketer in a world where you can't steal attention. Jay Baer: 23:37 I love the section in the book, Seth, when you talked about Casey Neistat and his ability to consistently fill the top of his funnel with interested students and people who just love his attitude and his teachings. And then a few of those people will take the next step and fewer yet will take the third step and that's sort of how a funnel works. You are famously inactive in social media. Is that because you don't feel like social adds to the top of your funnel? Seth Godin: 24:05 No. It's because I'm selfish. I knew when Twitter came along it was really early days. You were there early days. Jay Baer: 24:14 Oh yeah. Seth Godin: 24:15 I knew if I showed up in a certain at a certain pace, I could do very well there, but I also knew it would make me unhappy and I knew that it would take away from my blogging. And I decided it would be better for me and the people I serve to remain good at my blogging, than to be mediocre at both. And I knew that I would not sleep better, nor cause more change if I became the person who would be good at Twitter. So that's the reason I did it. I am not a corporation. I'm a person, right? If I was a corporation with shareholders and I made a promise to those shareholders, I would've had a totally different conversation. Jay Baer: 24:56 Yeah. That's an interesting perspective. You are a writer, first and foremost. You're obviously involved in many other things, but you are a prolific writer, not only in book format, but of course, the famous blog. What's your take on the [inaudible 00:25:12] of the realm in content and communication moving more and more toward video? Seth Godin: 25:16 Yeah. So this is what happens when you get old, right? Because I don't understand certain kinds of pop music either. Here is my challenge with video. It's currently really hard to scan and search. It's going to get easier, but it's never going to be as useful in the latest edition of marketing seminars, someone figured out how to make the type bigger on their iPhone. They wanted to share it with other people and they made a video that lasted three minutes. And we summarized it up with, if you need to make the type bigger, click this link. And it took you straight to the place where you could do it. Now I get why engaging with linear video might feel more human, but as someone who's trying to get through the day with as many interactions that are useful as I feel like I can, I was like, "Why did we just waste 172 seconds on this?" So yes, it's working. We're entering this post-literate world. When I give a talk now, if I'm doing a book signing at the end, more than half the people, when offered a free book, would rather have a selfie. And I totally get the emotion behind that, but the old man in me says, "I fear for the end of the 500 year run of dense proven thoughtful information when all I have to do is turn on a camera and make a three hour video instead of spending a year of my life making a book." I'm not sure how to balance those two. So, I guess I'm stuck. Jay Baer: 26:44 Books are free. Selfies are 20 bucks. That's [crosstalk 00:26:46]. Seth Godin: 26:47 That's the solution. Jay Baer: 26:47 Yep. That's it. Adam Brown: 26:49 So no matter what the channel, whether it is video or photography, there is one part, Seth, of your book that I've actually put up on my wall in my office. And it's something that I think we should all remember and it's your simple marketing promise. And it's three sentences. I'm going to read every one and then I would love for you to dissect it with an example and I'm going to give you the example. But the marketing promise is so simple and so straightforward. It is, my product is for people who believe blank. And we fill in the blank. I will focus on people who want blank. And I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get blank. I have found this to be an invaluable tool for me as I work with our customers at Salesforce and their marketing disciplines. What I would love for you to do for our audience is to pretend that you are head of marketing of a company that makes, let's say earmuffs because of the polar vortex that's also going on as we [inaudible 00:27:51] this. Fill in those three blanks as a marketer of earmuffs and help our audience understand how you make that pivot. Jay Baer: 27:59 Adam, maybe it should've been a marketer of a podcast about social media, but please continue [crosstalk 00:28:03]. Adam Brown: 28:03 We could've got some free marketing here, Jay, you're exactly right. Seth Godin: 28:06 So this goes super deep. It's not about demographic, it's about psychographics. That the only way to do real advanced marketing is not to market to what people look like or what's on their census form, but on what they believe. Right? So, for people who believe that looking good in front of other people in a certain way gives them joy and satisfaction, now a certain way needs to be two pages long, but that's the short version. And for people who want their status among the community of X to go up, my product will give them a weather-based excuse to put on a haberdashery show that lets those people that they wanted to look better in front of be jealous of how sharp they look. So earmuffs have nothing to do with ears- Adam Brown: 28:59 Keeping your ears warm. Seth Godin: 29:00 Oh, right. They don't. This is better because it's already connected, right? What it has to do with is, you're putting on a show and [crosstalk 00:29:09] not going to buy them if they don't make you match your vision of who you could become. And if you don't want to become someone else, I got no chance at selling you earmuffs. Jay Baer: 29:20 Yeah and it's all like that, right? Whether it's pocket squares or watches or anything that's outside the very, very, very ... I mean, this is not in the accidental sport coat. None of mine are. Not accidental glasses on Seth either. Those aren't just randomly selected from the bin. Everybody's signaling all the time. And it's funny. I love your analogy. I think in marketing we've all gotten caught up in this idea of personas and saying, "Okay, sell on needs not wants." But the reality is, it's all wants. Seth Godin: 29:55 Exactly. Jay Baer: 29:55 There are no needs, not for most people. Not in a first-world country. I mean, I do a lot of work in CX now and there's this philosophy, not untrue, that CX is everything. Without customer experience, your marketing doesn't matter, but that's a first-world choice. Right? To be able to pick a product or pick a brand based on the experience, god what a world we live in, right? I mean we used to have to pick products based on their existence, right? That you could even find. You know, you can have any color want as long as it's black. We're a long way away from those days. Seth Godin: 30:25 Right and so let me just dig deep into the empathy issue here. Do I have enough time to tell one more? Jay Baer: 30:25 Yeah. Seth Godin: 30:30 Okay. So when I was in India, and I tell this story in the book, selling something that was deeply needed to people who needed it, reading glasses for 55 year olds and I won't go into all the detail, but the punchline of the story was I didn't have practical empathy because I started by saying, "If I were you, I'd want a selection of 10 different kinds of glasses and I'd want to make sure that they were all brand new and sanitary. And that's what we're giving you and I don't know why you're not buying them." And then I said, "Wait a minute. For people who have been poor their whole lives, whose parents were poor and whose grandparents were poor. For people who work super hard, but don't have a lot of prospects ahead of them, choice is an enemy. Choice is a pothole. Choice means you might be wrong. Shopping is not fun." For people who have never shopped once in their life for fun, showing up and saying, "Want to go shopping for glasses?" Is a threat. It is not a [inaudible 00:31:28]. How can I serve you? Well, oh get rid of all the glasses and say, "Here are the glasses. Want them or not?" All of a sudden, I'm saying, "You're okay." Because for people who want to solve their eyeglass problem and then move on and to do it in a way that's proven and deniable and cheap and fast, here they are. And we doubled the percentage of people who go the glasses that they needed because I went to where they were. I didn't insist that they come to where I was. Jay Baer: 31:57 You make it a light switch decision. It's on or off. I'm so glad you mentioned that. To me, that was the single most impactful three pages in the amazing book, This is Marketing by Seth Godin. So much so I coincidentally read this book on the way to Mexico for our annual company retreat. And when I got to that point, it really hit me like a bolt of lightning because as a consulting firm that helps a lot of brands with social media and content marketing and all of this stuff, we are in the business of making recommendations, right? We're not an agency. We don't do stuff. We tell people what to do. And one of the things that I realized because of your story about the glasses in India where we were failing is we would say to clients, "Well, you could do this or this or you might also consider doing this." And in so doing, by trying to be inclusive, we're actually creating dissonance, friction, fear, and uncertainty. So literally, the next morning, we had our sort of big state of the units. Said, "Okay from now on, nobody sends me something to approve that has more than one recommendation." That's it. We get one. If you can't decide what software is the best for the client, then you're putting the onus back on them to decide what software is best for them. So, it already just in a few weeks has had a huge impact on our business and we've been doing this for 10 years and I have been doing this for 30 years. So thank you for that. Seth Godin: 33:16 Well you're welcome and I got to tell you that day in India changed my life forever. Not just from the academics of what I do, but standing in that 100 degree heat with that group of people, I saw a whole different way to be in the world and I will never forget it. So I'm glad it resonated with you. Adam Brown: 33:32 Seth, there's so many parts of this book that resonate with me. This is true for all of your books and I would also recommend that anybody who hasn't read Permission Marketing to read it. It is still such an evergreen read in 2019 and some of the pitfalls and hurdles that you identified. [inaudible 00:33:49] you wrote I think, what? 2000, do you remember? Seth Godin: 33:53 Oh sorry, don't remember. Adam Brown: 33:55 Early 2000s. Still so- Jay Baer: 33:57 That's when you know you've got a lot of books when you can't remember what year they came out. Adam Brown: 34:02 Need to go look at it on my [inaudible 00:34:04]. One of the things I thought was interesting in this one, Seth, is you talk about the word culture and not liking it, as it relates to making a particular marketing or a business decision. Talk a little bit about that. Seth Godin: 34:18 Maybe I'm picking up the wrong thread and we're not in sync on this one, but there is no the culture. There are many cultures. People like us do things like this and so it begins with people like us. Not everyone. People like us. You get to decide who the people like us are and then you get to decide what the things like this are. And you cannot deny your responsibility in this. That if you're a cigarette marketer, it's on you because marketing works, so don't take the money if you don't think it works and if you do take the money, guess what? You just changed the culture because you put something into the world, not everyone's culture, the culture you were aiming at and you made it more normal to do something. And so for me, it's hard to imagine a job where you have more leverage to change the lives of more people than what we do and so I think we got to own that and we got to own who it's for, what it's for, and the change we seek to make. Jay Baer: 35:19 The book is This is Marketing. He is Seth Godin. Seth, I'm going to ask you the question that I get asked all the time on podcasts and I hate the most just because I think it's hilarious to ask you, what's next for Seth Godin? What's the next thing you're going to do? And the reason I hate it is say the same thing. I'm like, "Dammit, I just published this book. What do you want?" Seth Godin: 35:39 I doubled the size of my team for the first time in five years. Jay Baer: 35:42 Did you? Wow. Exciting. Seth Godin: 35:44 I am getting off airplanes really aggressively and we are spending all our effort to build these workshops because they work better than anything I've ever done. So, in early February, we'll be launching something called The Business of Food in conjunction with a professor at UC Berkeley named Will [Rosenswhy 00:36:00], who's a great guy. And then we'll be back with some of the workshops we've done before, the marketing workshop we'll back again, the altMBA, and I am finding that this, I hate to use the word institution, but this institution building. So you don't get guru time because I'm hardly a guru and that doesn't scale. What you get is workshop time with each other and this is my next act for the foreseeable future. Jay Baer: 36:23 This is why our friend Andy Sernovitz is so brilliant. I mean what he's built was socialmedia.org, one of the sponsors of the show and all his other confabs and cohorts is so smart, right? You, you know, as Chris Brogan famously said many years ago, "If you want to be a priest, build a church." And that is a really smart way to do it. It's a lot easier than being a traveling priest, so I'm excited for you. Send people to SethGodin.com to get more on all your stuff, is that the plan? Seth Godin: 36:50 Ah, that works. That sounds great. Jay Baer: 36:53 You're pretty easy to find. Going to ask you the two questions we've asked everybody here on the podcast now nine years of weekly shows here on Social Pros. First question, Seth, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro? Seth Godin: 37:06 Become a marketing pro first. And what that means is you're in charge. You're in charge of the side effects, the way they answer the phone, the product you make, the pricing, who your customers are. If you get good at that, then by default, at no extra cost, you'll become a social pro. Jay Baer: 37:22 That's a good answer. I like that a lot. Last question for Seth Godin, if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why? Seth Godin: 37:31 So it's a tricky question because the goal is of course to outsmart the tricky question. You and I are lucky enough that we can get most people on a video call if we really tried, so it's got to be somebody who no one knows who they are. And so I guess I'd pick [Banksy 00:37:47]. Jay Baer: 37:48 Oh good answer. [crosstalk 00:37:50] I like that one. We've never had Banksy in the, whatever we're at now, episode 350 or something like that here on the show or more. That's a good one. [inaudible 00:38:01] rumors. Rumors of who Banksy is, but never confirmed, so that would be good. Seth Godin: 38:05 Yeah I mean there's all sorts of other secret people, but most of them are noxious. So I don't want to have to waste my video call on, you know, Deep Throat's dead, but you know, just some guy who was in some meeting. Not worth it for that. Jay Baer: 38:18 I like it. Seth Godin: 38:19 And you know, every time somebody asks me that question, I think about usually they relax the one about living or dead. And I just got to tell you, I just want to talk to my mom one more time. Jay Baer: 38:31 Yeah. Yeah. Wouldn't that be the greatest? Seth, thanks so much for being here. Congratulations. Another great book. Ladies and gentlemen, it's called This is Marketing. Go grab it in any way, shape, or form that you want to grab it. Go to SethGodin.com for more on his workshops and other programs. You're the man, boss. Thanks for taking the time. Seth Godin: 38:48 You guys are great. [crosstalk 00:38:50] Go make a ruckus. Jay Baer: 38:50 We are making a ruckus. Thanks, bud. Adam Brown: 38:52 Thanks, Seth. Jay Baer: 38:53 Ladies and gentlemen, that was Seth Godin. I am Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. He is Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This is hopefully your favorite podcast where we make a ruckus about all things social. Don't forget every single episode going back all these years at socialpros.com. Transcripts, audio, links, the whole thing. Check it out. We'll see you next week with more here on the Social Pros podcast.  
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