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Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync?by Seth Godin
Synopses & Reviews
Todays brands face an apparent choice between two evils: continue betting on their increasingly ineffective advertising or put blind faith in the supposedly mystical power of social media, where likes” stand in for transactions and a mass audience is maddeningly elusive. There has to be a better way . . .
As Lennon and McCartney wrote a half century ago, money cant buy you love. But in todays world, where people have become desensi­tized—even disillusioned—by ad campaigns and marketing slogans, that maxim needs an update: Money cant even buy you like.
Thats because weve entered the Relationship Era,” where the only path for businesses seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Not through hip social media promo­tions, viral videos or blizzards of micro-targeted online ads. Those tactics, which simply disguise old ways of thinking with new technology, just dont work in the long run.
So what does work in this bewildering new era? Where do authentic customer relationships” come from? The answers will make some leaders sigh with relief while others rip their hair out: Honesty. Transparency. Shared values. A purpose beyond profit. Sure you still need a high-quality product or service to offer, but thats not enough. Now that people can easily discover everything thats ever been said about your brand, you cant manipu­late, seduce, persuade, flatter or entertain them into loyalty. You have to treat them like flesh-and-blood human beings, not abstract consumers or data points on a spreadsheet.
It may sound like the woo-woo language of self-help books and inspirational wall posters. But as Garfield and Levy show in this book, its the deadly serious reality of business in the 2010s. Its why General Motors abandoned its $10 million annual budget for Facebook ads, and why some brands have hurt themselves badly on social media by nagging, interrupting, abusing and generally ticking off their customers.
The good news is that some companies have already embraced the Relationship Era and are enjoying consistent growth and profits while spending substantially less on marketing than their competitors. The authors show what we can learn from case studies such as . . .
"Godin's latest business handbook (after Small Is the New Big and The Dip) revisits some of his most popular marketing advice, while emphasizing that it can't just be applied willy-nilly. In past decades, he says, companies were able to get rich by making 'average products for average people,' but those markets have long since been sewn up; 'mass is no longer achievable [or] desirable.' Rather than simply rely on mass media to raise product visibility, 'New Marketing' treats every aspect of interacting with customers — including customer service and the product itself — as an opportunity to 'grow the organization.' In order to be successful with such marketing techniques, a company must change its practices across the board. Otherwise, you're just putting whipped cream on a meatball. Godin has a perspective on everything from blogs (don't bother unless you really have something to say) to the long tail (if it's as valuable to your company as the top sellers are, why aren't you paying more attention?). His arresting conversational style is sure to once again set the business world talking." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bestselling business author Godin delivers his most far-reaching and provocative book, explaining what works in marketing these days, what doesnt, and what to do about it.
Every marketer and CEO has felt the ground shifting beneath their feet. Most have responded by either doubling down on increasingly inefficient advertising or by putting blind faith in the supposed mystical powers of social media. Only the most thoughtful brands have followed a third path—the only path to meaningful returns in the dawning Relationship Era. To remain relevant and sustain growth, businesses must now create and cultivate authentic customer relationships, based on shared values, in all they do. For example:
Drawing on proprietary research and decades of experience, Garfield and Levy show how brands can outperform their competitors and inspire their employees— while also spending fewer marketing dollars.
?Gotta get me some of that New Marketing. Bring me blogs, e-mail, YouTube videos, MySpace pages, Google AdWords . . . I don?t care, as long as it?s shiny and new.?
Wait. According to bestselling author Seth Godin, all these tactics are like the toppings at an ice cream parlor. If you start with ice cream, adding cherries and hot fudge and whipped cream will make it taste great. But if you start with a bowl of meatballs . . . yuck!
As traditional marketing fades away, the new tools seem irresistible. But they don?t work as well for boring brands (?meatballs?) that might still be profitable but don?t attract word of mouth, such as Cheerios, Ford trucks, Barbie dolls, or Budweiser. When Anheuser-Busch spends $40 million on an online network called BudTV, that?s a meatball sundae. It leads to no new Bud drinkers, just a bad case of indigestion.
Meatball Sundae is the definitive guide to the fourteen trends no marketer can afford to ignore. It explains what to do about the increasing power of stories, not facts; about shorter and shorter attention spans; and about the new math that says five thousand people who want to hear your message are more valuable than five million who don?t.
The winners aren?t just annoying start-ups run by three teenagers who never had a real job. You?ll also meet older companies that have adapted brilliantly, such as Blendtec, a thirty-year-old blender maker. It now produces ?Will it blend?? videos that demolish golf balls, Coke cans, iPhones, and much more. For a few hundred dollars, Blendtec reached more than ten million eager viewers on YouTube.
Godin doesn?t pretend that it?s easy to get your products, marketing messages, and internal systems in sync. But he?ll convince you that it?s worth the effort.
About the Author
Seth Godin is the author of nine international bestsellers, most recently the New York Times bestseller The Dip. His other books include Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside!, All Marketers Are Liars, and Small Is the New Big. He is also the founder and CEO of Squidoo, and one of the most popular business bloggers in the world (www.SethGodin.com).
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