Wondering how empathy can help your marketing stand out? Curious how trust and tension help marketers retain their customers?
To explore what is and isn't working for marketers today, I interview Seth Godin.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Seth Godin, one of the great thinkers of our era. He's a prolific blogger and the author of 18 books including Tribes, Permission Marketing, and Purple Cow. His podcast is called Akimbo. His latest book is This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
Seth explains why marketing messages should focus on improving people's lives.
You'll also find examples of businesses that use empathy, trust, and tension to market their products.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show:
Seth's podcast Akimbo is about bending the culture, or seeing the culture and how we change it. The name Akimbo comes from the word for a bend in the river and for bending your arms to show power, the way Wonder Woman stands on a building with her hands on her hips, looking down on the bad guys.
When Seth named his podcast, he also wanted his podcast to start with the letter A because many podcast apps list podcasts in alphabetical order. You're at a disadvantage if you call your podcast Zodiac Seven.
Seth had an earlier podcast, Startup School, which was incredibly successful. However, he considers Akimbo to be his first real podcast because he created Startup School in 2 days as an artifact of an event he ran; he didn't create it as a podcast.
Seth has been hosting the Akimbo podcast for a little over a year and has released about 35 episodes at the time of this interview. Each episode is about 20 minutes, he has no guests, and he doesn't read the ads. At the end, he answers questions that people send from all over the world.
Because Seth shut down the comments on his blog, I ask how he likes interacting with his audience in the Q&A. He says answering the questions is fun. The key difference is that the questions aren't comments and they aren't anonymous. Before he started the segment, he was worried about screening 50 good questions. However, he doesn't get many, and they're all good questions.
To prepare for each episode, Seth writes the show notes first. The notes are a list of topics and often include links to relevant articles and videos. Then he riffs based on the show notes. He records the episodes by himself in the shower at his office, which is covered in foam. The shift from writing by himself to talking by himself is fascinating.
Seth believes his podcast is reaching the right people in the right way: drip by drip. He doesn't spend any time or energy promoting the podcast. It's there for people who want it.
Listen to the show to hear how Seth started his podcast after planning it for 10 years.
What's Wrong With Marketing Today
In the author's note to This Is Marketing, Seth says, "It's time to do something else with marketing to make things better." I ask what about marketing today isn't working that prompted him to write that. He responds by outlining two problems.
First, some marketers are selfish, narcissistic, short-term spammers who think their behavior is fine as long as they don't break the law. They call senior citizens at home to sell them worthless collectible coins. They try to hassle people, put them in a squeeze page, or get them to buy something they don't want or need.
As a result, marketing has a second problem: the people who might be willing and able to improve marketing are hesitant to call themselves marketers or do marketing because they think the only way to do it is to be one of those scammer...